Stephenville is a city in Erath County, Texas. The city lies on the North Bosque River, which forms nearby. Stephenville is the principal city in the Stephenville Micropolitan Area. Stephenville is among several communities that call themselves the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” The city has a total area of 11.89 square miles.
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 formally organized in 1856. In the first two years of its settlement, the population increased to 776. The population then declined until 1871, due to its location in Comanche territory where raids were common, and because of the hardships of the American Civil War.
As of the 2020 United States Census, Stephenville had a population of 20,897 people, 7,291 households, and 3,771 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,440.4 people per square mile. The 7,579 housing units averaged 637.4 per square mile. . Of the 7,291 households, 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.2% were not families. About 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.99.
Stephenville is home to the Tarleton State University college, which is a member of the Texas A&M University System. It is also home to Ranger College, also known as Erath County Center.
Notable people with ties to Stephenville include football coach, Art Briles, television producer Dustin Hodge, baseball player, Brock Holt, bull rider, Jess Lockwood, rodeo cowboy, Ty Murray, and many others.