Parts of this article (those related to Demographics) need to be updated.January 2016)(
The Erath County Courthouse in Stephenville
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||George Bernard Erath|
|• Total||1,090 sq mi (2,800 km2)|
|• Land||1,083 sq mi (2,800 km2)|
|• Water||6.7 sq mi (17 km2) 0.6%%|
|• Density||35/sq mi (14/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Congressional districts||11th, 25th|
Erath County ( // ) is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the United States Census bureau its population was 41,969 in 2017. The county seat is Stephenville. The county is named for George Bernard Erath, an early surveyor and a soldier at the Battle of San Jacinto.
Erath County is included in the Stephenville, Texas, Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Erath County is the location of two of North America's largest renewable natural gas plants. The largest is at Huckabay Ridge, near Stephenville. The second largest is located outside Dublin at Rio Leche Estates.
On November 4, 2008, Erath County voters elected to allow the sale of beer and wine in the county for off-premises consumption.
Caddo tribe Anadarko villages were scattered along Trinity and Brazos Rivers.French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe developed camaraderie among the Anadarko in 1719 when he established Fort Saint Louis de los Cadodaquious. The Anadarko became entangled with the French battles with the Spanish and later the Anglos and suffered the consequences, including diseases from which they had no immunity. By 1860, these tribes moved to Oklahoma. Erath County falls into Comancheria and found itself raided by Comanches until their removal to Oklahoma after 1875.
Erath County was formed from Bosque and Coryell counties in 1856 and named for George Bernard Erath, one of the original surveyors of the area.In 1856, John M. Stephen offered to donate land for a townsite which was named Stephenville after him and became the county seat.
A. H. Dobkins founded the community of Dublin in 1854.Other early settlers in Dublin were Will and Tom Holland. Dublin later became famous as the early boyhood home of the PGA, U.S. Open and Masters golf champion Ben Hogan.
In 1855, thirty pioneers settled in the county, led by the surveyors George Erath and Neil McLennan. Included in the group were brothers William F. and John M. Stephen, and a black family whose name and destiny seems to have been lost to history.
Erath (1813–1891), an immigrant from Vienna, Austria, was a Texas Ranger and member of Billingsley’s Company C, 1st Regiment of Texas Volunteers, under the command of Col. Charles Burleson at the Battle of San Jacinto, and a member of the Confederate Home Guard.As a Freemason, he was a charter member and secretary of Bosque Lodge #92, from 1852 to 1855 which changed its name to Waco #92 in 1857 and remains the oldest continuous organization in Waco, Texas.
Cotton became the major crop between 1875 and 1915, with the largest crop being in 1906. The industry was helped in 1879 when the Texas Central Railroad reached Dublin, and in 1889 when the Fort Worth and Rio Grande railroad was completed through Stephenville. This opened eastern markets for the county's cotton crops. By 1910, soil erosion and the boll weevil caused diversity planning that led to dairy farms, fruit orchards, nurseries, peanuts, feed crops and poultry.
The community of Thurber was created by the Johnson Coal Company.From 1888 to 1921, the Texas Pacific Coal Company mined coal near Thurber, making it a leading coal producer in the state. Fifty-two percent of the miners were of Italian ancestry, creating the "Italian Hill" community just outside Thurber. The United Mine Workers in 1903 sent Joe Fenoglio to organize the Italian workers, thus beginning the Thurber Coal Miners Strike. In the 1970s, the area began bituminous coal production for fuel in the cement industry.
Tarleton State University was founded in 1893 as Stephenville College but was renamed in 1899 after the local rancher John Tarleton rescued the institution from financial difficulties.
Erath’s original 1866 wooden courthouse burned to the ground, destroying county documents along with it. A second stone courthouse was built in 1877 but eventually razed. The cornerstone for the current courthouse was laid in 1891. The architects James Riely Gordon and D. E. Laub designed the present three-story showcase Victorian structure. In addition to Erath, Gordon designed the Arizona State Capitol, and courthouses in Aransas, Bexar, Brazoria, Comal, Ellis, Fayette, Gonzales, Harrison, Hopkins, Lee, McLennan, Victoria and Wise counties.The building was completed in 1893, with limestone from the Leon River and red sandstone from Pecos County. The building’s centralized 95-foot tower has a bell tower and creates a chandeliered atrium from the first floor to the third. The interior is east Texas pine, with cast and wrought-iron stairways, and tessellated imported marble floors. It was renovated in 1988.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,090 square miles (2,800 km2), of which 1,083 square miles (2,800 km2) is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km2) (0.6%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
At the 2010 census,there were 37,890 people, 14,569 households and 9,003 families residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 85.6% White, 1.2% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.0003% Pacific Islander, 10% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. 19.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 14,569 households, of which 29.59% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.03% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present and 38.2% were non-families. 27% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.06.
22.29% of the population were under the age of 18, 19.40% from 18 to 24, 23.10% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 12.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.5 years. For every 100 females there were 96.50 males.
Erath County is heavily Republican. In 2012, Mitt Romney won the county in the presidential election, taking over 80% of the vote. The last Democrat to win the county was Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Two newspapers have offices located in Erath County: The Stephenville Empire-Tribune and The Dublin Citizen. Local television stations that provide coverage for Erath County and surrounding areas come from the Dallas/Fort Worth and Waco/Temple/Killeen metropolitan areas.
Five radio stations have their main studios and offices in Erath County: KEQX 89.5, KTRL 90.5, KSTV-FM 93.1, KXTR-LP 100.7 and KSTV (AM) 1510. KTRL and KXTR-LP are operated by Tarleton State University.
Somervell County is a county on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 8,490. Its county seat is Glen Rose. The county is named for Alexander Somervell, Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas.
McLennan County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in Central Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 234,906. Its county seat and largest city is Waco. The U.S. census 2019 county population estimate is 256,623. The county is named for Neil McLennan, an early settler.
Hamilton County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 8,517. The county seat is Hamilton. The county was created in 1858. It is named for James Hamilton Jr., a former governor of South Carolina who gave financial aid to the Republic of Texas.
Falls County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 17,866. The county seat is Marlin. It is named for the original 10-foot-tall waterfall on the Brazos River, which existed until the river changed course during a storm in 1866. The present falls can be found two miles northeast of the original falls, at the Falls on the Brazos Park, a camping site located only a few miles out of Marlin on Farm to Market Road 712.
Comanche County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in Central Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 13,974. The county seat is Comanche. The county was founded in 1856 and is named for the Comanche Native American tribe.
Bosque County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,212. Its county seat is Meridian, while Clifton is the largest city and the cultural/financial center of the county. The county is named for the Bosque River, which runs through the center of the county north to south. The Brazos River makes up the eastern border along with the Lake Whitney reservoir it feeds.
Borden County is a rural county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 641, making it the fourth-least populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Gail. The county was created in 1876 and later organized in 1891. Gail and Borden County are named for Gail Borden, Jr., businessman, publisher, surveyor, and inventor of condensed milk. Borden County is one of six prohibition or entirely dry counties in the state of Texas.
Bell County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 310,235. Its county seat is Belton. The county was founded in 1850 and is named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas.
Dublin is a city located in southwestern Erath County in Central Texas, United States. The population was 3,654 at the time of the 2010 census, down from 3,754 at the 2000 census.
Stephenville is a city in and the county seat of Erath County, Texas, United States. As of the 2019 U.S. Census estimate, the city population was 21,247 and is the principal city in the Stephenville Micropolitan Statistical Area 42,698. Founded in 1854, it is home to Tarleton State University. Stephenville is among several communities that call themselves the "Cowboy Capital of the World".
Mason is a city in, and the county seat of, Mason County, Texas, United States. The city is an agricultural community on Comanche Creek southwest of Mason Mountain, on the Edwards Plateau and part of the Llano Uplift. The population was 2,114 at the 2010 census.
Tarleton State University is a public university in Stephenville, Texas. It is a founding member of the Texas A&M University System. Located southwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, Tarleton enrolled over 13,000 students in the fall of 2019.
McLennan Community College (MCC) is a public community college in McLennan County, Texas. Located in Waco, Texas, it opened in 1965. MCC now serves about 9,000 students and has more than 700 employees. It is governed by a Board of Trustees elected from single-member districts in the county.
Thurber is an unincorporated community in Erath County, Texas, United States, located 75 miles west of Fort Worth. It was, between 1888 and 1921, one of the largest producers of bituminous coal in Texas and the largest company town in the state, with a population of over 10,000. The population of the community is 48 per the 2010 United States Census.
North American area code 254 is a state of Texas telephone area code for numbers in the Waco/Temple/Killeen area. It was created May 25, 1997, in a split from area code 817.
The Bosque River is a 115-mile (185.1 km) long river in Central Texas fed by four primary branches. The longest branch, the North Bosque, forms near Stephenville, and flows toward Waco through Hamilton, Bosque and McLennan counties. It is subsequently joined by the East Bosque in Bosque County and the Middle and South Bosque Rivers near Waco. The river terminates into the Brazos River, and is dammed nearby to form Lake Waco.
John Tarleton was an American settler and rancher. He is best known for endowing John Tarleton Agricultural College, which eventually became Tarleton State University.
KTRL–FM 90.5 is a noncommercial public radio station licensed to Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. KTRL broadcasts to a 10–county area of the Cross Timbers just southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, covering a population of about 200,000 people. The station is partnered with Texas A&M's KAMU-FM 90.9 FM, bringing a mix of public radio and student programming to the Cross Timbers region.
KXTR-LP is a noncommercial college radio station licensed to Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. KXTR-LP broadcasts to the city of Stephenville and the surrounding area, covering more than half of Erath County. Programming is generally rock, both classic and modern. Programming also includes educational programming and genre-specific programs aired by students and faculty.
DeWayne Christopher Burns is a property investment manager and rancher from Cleburne, Texas. Burns is a member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 58 in Johnson and Bosque counties located in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area.
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