County seat, Eastland
County. Named for William M. Eastland--Texas War for Independence
hero who was in Mier
Expedition against Mexico, and was executed in "Black Bean" lottery
at Rancho Salado in 1842. Most noted early local people were Comanches,
who resisted occupation of area by white settlers. The last recorded
Indian raid in county was in 1874.
Eastland was named county seat in an election on Aug. 2, 1875. With
250 people it was incorporated on June 6, 1891, and W.Q. Connellee
was elected as mayor. After a discovery in 1917, one of the fabled
oil booms of Texas occurred nearby, with Eastland center for legal
matters. With oil priced $2.60 a barrel, many wells flowed at 10,000
barrels a day. The city quickly grew to 25,000 people; 5 banks prospered.
Coming here to seek "black gold" were celebrities, including evangelist
Billy Sunday, circus owner John Ringling, sports figures Jess Willard,
An international wonder-story happened here: the old
courthouse cornerstone was opened (on this site) in 1928 to reveal
survival of "Old
Rip", a horned toad placed there with other mementoes on July
19, 1897. Continuing oil production, agricultural processing and clay
products bolster the present economy.
Rip, The Horned Toad
Eastland is the home of Ol' Rip, The Horned Toad that had more than
his 15 minutes of fame. Rip is visible everyday in his sarcophagus
at the North side of the Courthouse.
| Post Office
"WPA" Painted mural.
Suzanne Scheuer, the muralist who painted Indians and Buffalo, included
a homage to Ol' Rip in the lower right-hand corner of the painting.
Office Stamp Mural
The Stamp Mural is composed of exactly 11,217 stamps, so we're told.
If you don't believe it, you can count them yourself.
- Dating back to the 1920's, The Majestic was one of six theaters
in Eastland during the oil boom. Beautifully restored, it demonstrates
Eastland can preserve more than horned toads. Just off the square
at 108 N. Lamar. Featured in the September 1998 Texas Highways Magazine
article on restored theaters around Texas. A drive through downtown
Eastland at night is made memorable by the Majestic's lighted marquee.
| Train and depot
Postcard ca.1915 courtesy rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
| Eastland Depot
1913 Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/
| Post Office
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/
| Nearby Destinations
- On the Leon River 10 miles south of Eastland
see the site of the 1929
Bank Robbery made famous in A. C. Greene's book, The
Santa Claus Bank Robbery. When the movie was made it was filmed
on the exact location. Cisco has many brick structures dating from
that period including the same bank.
For the morbidly curious or students of early 20th Century Texas
History, the utility pole that was used to lynch the Bank Robbery's
Mastermind (we use the term loosely) is in back of the Majestic
Theater on the corner of Mulberry Street.
to think that it happened on Mulberry Street."
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact