Stephenville is a city in
and the county seat of Erath
County, Texas, United States.
The population was 14,921 at the 2000 census
. Founded in 1856, it is
home to Tarleton
Stephenville is among several communities
that calls itself the "Cowboy Capital of the World".
Stephenville is named after John M. Stephen, who settled there in
1854 and donated the land for the townsite laid out by George B.
Erath when the county was organized in 1856. In the first two years
of its settlement, the townsite was successful; by 1858 the
population reached 776. However the townsite was located in
territory and raids were common.
Also the hardships of the American
forced citizens to leave. The population declined
until 1871 when it grew after Stephenville became an agriculture
and livestock center. Coal mining also became important to the area
in 1886 and was a major source of economy for the following three
Stephenville was incorporated in 1889, with the arrival of the
Fort Worth and Rio
. In the 1890s, many of the buildings around the
town square were built, Tarleton State University opened, and the
community's two newspapers merged to become the
, which is still in existence. In the 20th
century industry became an important part of Stephenville, and the
population has steadily increased since the 1920s.
Stephenville is located at (32.220168, -98.213630) .
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of
10.0 square miles (26.0 km²), of which, 10.0 square
miles (26.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles
(0.1 km²) of it (0.20%) is water.
Stephenville is bisected by three major US highways. US Highway
377, US Highway 281, and US Highway 67
(which joins into US Hwy 377).
As of the census
of 2000, there were 14,921
people, 5,906 households, and 3,195 families residing in the city.
The population density
1,488.3 people per square mile (574.4/km²). There were 6,632
housing units at an average density of 661.5/sq mi
(255.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.84% White
, 1.47% African American
, 0.58% Native American
, 0.05% Pacific Islander
, 4.50% from
, and 1.92%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 11.56% of the
There were 5,906 households out of which 26.0% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples
living together, 8.1% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 45.9% were non-families.
35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age
of 18, 25.4% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 15.5% from 45 to
64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
28 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,489, and the
median income for a family was $40,115. Males had a median income
of $27,143 versus $21,824 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$15,108. About 8.0% of families and 17.1% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 10.7%
of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
Stephenville resides in what is called a "dry" county where all
, or wine
is unavailable for purchase. There are, however,
over a dozen "private clubs" where, for a nominal membership fee, a
person is entitled to purchase liquor, beer or wine.**
- by popular vote during the November 2008 County Elections, Erath is no longer
The City of Stephenville is served by the Stephenville
Independent School District
. Stephenville is home to Tarleton State
University, a component of the Texas A&M University
Stephenville is also home to the charter school,
Erath Excels! Academy.
2008 UFO sightings
On January 8, 2008, Stephenville gained national media attention
when dozens and later hundreds of residents reported observations
of unidentified flying
(UFOs). According to reports, residents observed
several types of UFOs, the descriptions ranging from triangular
looking craft to discs. Several residents described the crafts as the
size of a football field, while others said they were nearly a mile
long, similar to the historic Arizona mass
sighting of March 13, 1997.
Some observers reported military
aircraft pursuing the objects.
CNN's Larry King
covered the news story
in the days following the incident, and according to Steve Allen, a
private pilot who witnessed the UFO, the object was travelling at a
high rate of speed which supposedly reached 3,000 feet in the air.
Allen said it was "About a half a mile wide and about a mile long.
It was humongous, whatever it was."The History Channel
show, UFO Hunters
did an investigation on the UFO
On January 23
, after initially denying
that any aircraft were operating in the area for operations
security purposes, the US Air Force said that it was conducting
training flights in the Stephenville area that involved 10 fighter
jets. The Air Force said they were merely F-16 Fighting Falcon
night flights. Disgruntled employee, Angelia Joiner, who during
this period was the Stephenville Empire-Tribune reporter covering
the story, resigned from the paper when they ceased covering the
topic. Washington Post blogger Emil Steiner
reported that her termination may have been related to pressure
from the Stephenville town fathers. MUFON
released reports about the UFO incident here. The report alleged
that a UFO had flown over the Bush's Crawford Ranch.
The other MUFON report is a radar
related report on this matter. Inquiries made
about the UFO incident have been stonewalled by the USAF.
- Stephenville is also the hometown of three of the five members
of the Alternative metal group
Submersed. It was the boyhood home of
famed musicians Lee Roy and Rob Parnell.
- Stephenville is the birthplace of the popular Playboy magazine Playmate Aliya
- It was the birthplace of the 1930s bandleader Milton Brown and famed heart surgeon, Dr. Bud
- It is also the home of Ty Murray and
- "Stephenville, TX" is also the eleventh song on Jewel's 2006 album Goodbye Alice in
- Stephenville has a relatively quirky landmark installed on the
town square: a large plastic cow bearing the name "Moola". The cow
is in honor of the beef and dairy industries, both of which are
prominent segments of the Stephenville and Erath County
- Stephenville High School's football team won the State 4A
football championship four times in the 1990s: 1993, 1994, 1998
- Stephenville High School's girls volleyball team won the State
4A volleyball championship 2003.
- Stephenville High School's girls basketball team won the State
3A basketball championship 1968.
School home to the 36th overall draft pick of the 2007 National Football League
draft,Kevin Kolb, Quarterback from the University of
- It was the birthplace of golf great Ben
- Hometown of the late great Johnny Duncan.
- "Texans report seeing UFO" CNN.com, retrieved 18
- "Possible UFO Sighting", Stephenville
Empire-Tribune retrieved 31 Jan 2008
- "UFOS: Questions & Controversy" CNN.com,
retrieved 18 Feb 2008
- "UFOs? Nope. They were fighter jets, Air Force
says" CNN.com, retrieved 31 Jan 2008
- Stephenville, Texas UFO - Empire Tribune Writer
Silenced!! -UFO Casebook Files
- Fired Reporter Angelia Joiner Sparks Conspiracy
- MUFON Report 1
- MUFON Report 2
- USAF Stonewalls Investigations