Stephenville, the county seat of Erath County, is on the North Bosque River at the junction of US highways 67, 377, and 281, 100 miles southwest of Dallas - Fort Worth between Granbury and Dublin.
In 1953 an industrial foundation was formed there, and within ten years Stephenville had industries including a creamery, hatcheries, feed mills, meat-packing plants, a garment factory, and nurseries. By the early 1970s the town had more than 200 businesses and a population of more than 9,000. In 1983 a population of 11,881 supported 320 businesses. Industrial products included coated abrasives, clothing, automobile parts, mobile homes, and electrical products. Tarleton State University was the town's largest employer.
In 1990 the population was 13,502.