Stephenville, Texas

Stephenville, Texas

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Stephenville, Texas
settlement_type = City
nickname = The "Ville"
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption = Erath County Courthouse


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Stephenville, Texas

mapsize1 = 250px
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Texas
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Erath

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 26.0
area_land_km2 = 26.0
area_water_km2 = 0.0
area_total_sq_mi = 10.0
area_land_sq_mi = 10.0
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 14921
population_total_2006 = 16058
population_density_km2 = 574.6
population_density_sq_mi = 1488.3

timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 388
elevation_ft = 1273
latd = 32 |latm = 13 |lats = 13 |latNS = N
longd = 98 |longm = 12 |longs = 49 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 76401-76402
area_code = 254
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 48-70208GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1347894GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Stephenville is a city in and the county seat of Erath County, Texas, United States.GR|6 The population was 14,921 at the 2000 census. Founded in 1856, it is home to Tarleton State University. Stephenville goes by the slogan "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 and by 1858 the population reached 776. However the townsite was located in Comanche territory and raids were common. Also the hardships of the civil war forced citizens to leave. The population declined until 1871 when it started to climb as 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 next thirty years.

Stephenville was incorporated in 1889 when the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway arrived. In the 1890s, many of the buildings around the town square were built, Tarleton State University opened, and the communities two newspapers merged to become the Empire-Tribune, 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 coor dms|32|13|13|N|98|12|49|W|city (32.220168, -98.213630)GR|1.

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 censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 14,921 people, 5,906 households, and 3,195 families residing in the city. The population density was 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, .56% Samoan, 0.58% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 4.50% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.56% of the population.

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 liquor, beer, 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.


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 System. Stephenville is also home to the charter school, Erath Excels! Academy.

2008 UFO sightings

Wikinewspar| MUFON releases report on UFO sighting in Stephenville, Texas

On January 8, 2008, Stephenville gained national media attention when dozens and later hundreds of residents reported observations of unidentified flying objects. 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. [ [ "Texans report seeing UFO", retrieved 18 Feb 2008] ] Some observers reported military aircraft pursuing the objects. [ [ "Possible UFO Sighting", Stephenville Empire-Tribune retrieved 31 Jan 2008] ]

CNN's Larry King covered the 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." [ [ "UFOS: Questions & Controversy", retrieved 18 Feb 2008] ]
The History Channel show, UFO Hunters did an investigation on the UFO sightings.

On January 23, after initially denying that aircraft were operating in the area for operations security purposes, the US Air Force said they were conducting training flights in the Stephenville area that involved 10 fighter jets. [ [ "UFOs? Nope. They were fighter jets, Air Force says", retrieved 31 Jan 2008] ] The Air Force said they were merely F-16 Fighting Falcon jets conducting night flights. Disgruntled employee, Angelia Joiner, who during this period was the Stephenville Empire-Tribune reporter covering the story, left the paper because they ceased covering the topic. [ [ Stephenville, Texas UFO - Empire Tribune Writer Silenced!! -UFO Casebook Files ] ] Washington Post blogger Emil Steiner reported that her termination may have been related to pressure from the Stephenville town fathers. [ [ Fired Reporter Angelia Joiner Sparks Conspiracy Theories] ] MUFON has released reports about the UFO incident here. The report alleged that a UFO had flown over the Bush's Crawford Ranch. [ [ MUFON Report 1] ] The other MUFON report is a radar related report on this matter. [ [ MUFON Report 2] ] Inquiries made about the UFO incident have been stonewalled by the USAF. [ - USAF Stonewalls Investigations] For further information see the reports by Shanna Sissom with respect to Tarleton State University.

External links

* [ a fairly large informational site]

Claims to fame

In August 1974, Stephenville garnered nationwide headlines when three inmates who had escaped from a state prison in Colorado killed five people and raped two women outside the city limits of the town; one of the escapees were subsequently shot to death by a combined force of local sheriff's deputies and Texas Rangers.

In 1992 Wisdom Gym hosted the first NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Championship Tournament, where in the championship game Grace (Ind.) beat Northwestern (Iowa) 85 to 79 in overtime.

On January, 8 2008, this town was the scene of a "major" UFO incident.


* 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 Wolf.
* It was the birthplace of the 1930s bandleader Milton Brown and famed heart surgeon, Dr. Bud Fraiser.
* It is also the home of Ty Murray and wife Jewel.
* "Stephenville, TX" is also the eleventh song on Jewel's 2006 album "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland".
* 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 economy.
* Stephenville High School's football team won the State 4A football championship four times in the 1990s: 1993, 1994, 1998 & 1999.
* 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.
* High School home to the 36th overall draft pick of the 2007 National Football League draft,Kevin Kolb, Quarterback from the University of Houston.
*It was the birthplace of golf great Ben Hogan.


External links

* [ ABC News Article: UFO Visits Stephenville, Texas]
* [ Official city website]
* [ The "Stephenville Empire Tribune" - newspaper]
* [ Stephenville, Texas Regional Information]

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