Stephenville takes the county seat of Erath County in Central Texas. Stephenville real estate is the most populous in the county. The population was estimated to be about 18,561 in 2013. Stephenville experiences a humid subtropical climate, so the summers are very warm and humid and winters are mild to moderate, but all four seasons are present. Along with greater Erath County, Stephenville is known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” This is because the area has more championship cowboys per capita than anywhere else in the world. Despite the town’s popularity in the area, Stephenville homes are exceptionally affordable.
Stephenville was named after John M. Stephen. Stephen settled in the area back in 1854 and donated land for the town site. The townsite was laid out by George B. Erath, who the county is named after, in 1856 when the county was established. By 1858, the town’s population reached 776, but raids and hardships caused a decline in the population until 1871. Stephenville evolved into an agriculture and livestock town. Then coal mining gained importance in 1886 and continued to be of great importance for the next three decades. The town was finally incorporated in 1889. Today, Stephenville is still led by the agriculture industry, and the county leads the state in milk production.
Stephenville students are served by the Stephenville Independent School District. Stephen High School is classified as a 4A high school and was rated “Met Standard” by the Texas Education Agency in 2015. Stephenville High School has a 95-percent graduation rate, so many students are able to go off to college to continue their education.
According to a report released by U.S. News and World Report, Stephenville High School was awarded a silver medal for their 2015 academic performance, and this places them in the top eight percent of all high schools in the country. Other schools serving Stephenville include Henderson Junior High School, Gilbert Intermediate School, Hook Elementary School, Erath Excels! Academy and Tarleton State University.
There are plenty of things to do, see and eat in Stephenville including: Stephenville Historical House Museum, Not Too Shabby, Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame, Chick Elm’s Grand Entry and Rodeo Shop, Lone Star Arena, Beans and Franks, Jake and Dorothy’s Café and more! The Stephenville Historical House Museum is located right by the Bosque River and occupies three acres with 12 nineteenth century structures. These buildings are furnished with historical furniture and artifacts and available for free self-guided tours all day every day. John Tarleton, founder of Tarleton State University, owned a ranch house that is part of this museum along with a rock cottage, several log cabins, a two-story Victorian house, a chapel and a school house. Not Too Shabby is a local consignment shop that is adored by locals. They have a great variety of clothing options for women and children and the customer service is always friendly.
The Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame is located right off the square where plaques give recognition to the some of the men and women who have made an impact on Stephenville’s western culture. Chick Elm’s Grand Entry is Stephenville’s local western shop. It is owned by Chick Elms, former rodeo competitor and 6-time NFR qualifier in Bareback Riding. This shop has all of the top brands for men, women and children, as well as tack and horse care, décor, gifts, accessories and boots. Stephenville also has several grocery stores and delicious restaurants to dine in or takeout. Stephenville residents enjoy a unique quality of life, living and breathing cowboy culture and deep love for the Lone Star State of Texas.