Erath County, Texas
|Erath County, Texas|
The Erath County Courthouse in Stephenville
Location in the state of Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
|• Total||1,090 sq mi (2,823 km2)|
|• Land||1,083 sq mi (2,805 km2)|
|• Water||7 sq mi (18 km2), 0.6%|
|• Density||13/sq mi (5/km²)|
|Congressional districts||11th, 25th|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Erath County (// EE-rath) is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 37,890. 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, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Erath County is also home to two of North America's largest renewable natural gas plants. The largest is located at Huckabay Ridge, near Stephenville. The second largest is located outside of 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-premise 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 for 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.
County established and growth
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 PGA, U.S. Open and Masters golf champion Ben Hogan.
In 1855, thirty pioneers settled in the county, led by 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.
Viennese immigrant Erath (1813–1891) 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, 1852 through 1855.
Cotton became the major crop 1875-1915, 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 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. During the period 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 of Thurber. The United Mine Workers in 1903 send 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.
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. 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.
- Palo Pinto County (north)
- Hood County (northeast)
- Somervell County (east)
- Bosque County (southeast)
- Hamilton County (south)
- Comanche County (southwest)
- Eastland County (west)
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,001 people, 12,568 households, and 8,106 families residing in the county. The population density was 30 people per square mile (12/km²). There were 14,422 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.72% White, 0.82% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6.78% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. 15.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 12,568 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.70% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.50% were non-families. 27.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 17.00% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 19.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 97.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $30,708, and the median income for a family was $39,491. Males had a median income of $27,972 versus $20,765 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,655. About 10.30% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.70% of those under age 18 and 7.80% of those age 65 or over.
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 89.7, KTRL 90.5, KSTV-FM 93.1, KXTR-LP 100.7 and KSTV (AM) 1510. Two of these (KTRL and KXTR-LP) are operated by Tarleton State University.
- List of museums in North Texas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Erath County, Texas
- Three Way Independent School District
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- Erath County
- Erath County in Handbook of Texas Online at the University of Texas
- Entry for George B. Erath from the Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas published 1880, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
||Palo Pinto County||Hood County|
|Eastland County||Somervell County|
|Comanche County||Hamilton County||Bosque County|