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EASTLAND, TEXAS

"They'll leave the light on for you"
(The Majestic Theatre Marquee)

Eastland County Seat, Texas Panhandle / North Central Texas
Junction of Hwy 6 and 69, NW of I-80
Off I-20
96 miles W of Fort Worth
Population: 3,951 (2010) 3,769 (2000)

Book Hotel Here > Eastland Hotels

Historical Marker Text:

Eastland

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, Tex Rickard.

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.
(1968)

Eastland Landmarks/Attractions:

Eastland County Courthouse today, Eastland, Texas

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January, 2007

Eastland County Courthouse

Ol' 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.
Post 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.
Majestic Theatre - 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.
Majestic Theatre, Eastland, Texas

The Majestic Theatre in Eastland
Photo courtesy Billy Smith
(See Billy Smith Texas Theatre Photo Collection)

Eastland County  former jail, Eastland, Texas
The former Eastland County jail
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2002
See Texas Jails
Train and depot in Eastland
Train and depot in Eastland
Postcard ca.1915 courtesy rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Eastland, Texas depot
Eastland Depot
1913 Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/
More Texas Depots
Post office in Eastland, Texas
Post Office in Eastland
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/
More Post Offices
Nearby Destinations

  • Lake Leon - On the Leon River 10 miles south of Eastland
  • Nearby in Cisco you'll 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.
    See "…and to think that it happened on Mulberry Street."
  • Eastland, Texas
    Area Towns:

    See Eastland County
    Thurber
    Breckenridge
    Abilene
    Albany

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    Texas Escapes, 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 us.

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