2000 Census - 3,769
Eastland Texas History:
The townsite was platted on the C.S. Betts survey in 1875 by Jacamiah S. Daugherty and Charles U. Connellee. In approximately 1875, county voters voted to move the Eastland County seat from Merriman to the new townsite which was then named Eastland. By 1876, the town had approximately 250 residents. In 1880, the Texas and Pacific Railway built a line through the town, ensuring the town’s growth. By 1884, Eastland had three churches, a school, a flour mill, two cotton gins, and approximately 500 residents. Eastland incorporated in 1891, and reincorporated in 1897. During the early 1900s the local economy was largely based on cotton. When the county’s third courthouse was built in 1897, a horned lizard was placed in the cornerstone; the lizard became known as Old Rip. Eastland benefited from the early 1920s Eastland County oil boom. Eastland is located at the intersections of IH-20, SH 6 and SH 112, 56 miles east of Abilene, 35.5 miles east of Baird, 44 miles southeast of Albany, 27.4 miles southeast of Breckenridge, 61 miles southwest of Graham, 37.5 miles southwest of Palo Pinto and Possum Kingdom State Park, 23 miles southwest of Strawn, 10 mikles southwest of Ranger, 52 miles northwest of Proctor and Proctor Lake, 43 miles northwest of Dublin, 31 miles northwest of De Leon, 20 miles northwest of Gorman, 59 miles northeast of Brownwood and Brownwood State Park, 30 miles northeast of Rising Star, and 9.7 miles slightly northeast of Cisco, Texas.
Texas Plains Trail Region:
The 52-county Texas Plains Trail Region includes the Texas Panhandle and Plains. It stretches from the Texas towns of Big Spring and Colorado City in the southern portion of the region, to Muleshoe and the New Mexico state border in the west, to Quanah and Knox City in the east, and to the top of the Texas Panhandle, from Dalhart in the west to Lipscomb in the east. The Texas Plains Trail Region organization is a nonprofit heritage tourism organization affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission. TPTR acts as an economic development initiative that helps Texas communities to promote their historic and cultural resources, and increase tourism to their areas. The organization helps promote travel to heritage destinations and historic sites. A name repeatedly mentioned in the history of West Texas is Cynthia Ann Parker, a young child captured during a raid on Fort Parker. She grew up among the Comanches, married Comanche chief Peta Nocona, and had three children, Pecos, Quanah and Prairie Flower. In 1860, a party of Texas Rangers led by Sul Ross, a future governor of Texas, rescued her and her infant daughter Prairie Flower; Charles Goodnight participated in this raid. Her son Quanah became famous as the last great war chief of the Comanche. One of TPTR’s most visible recent projects is the Quanah Parker Trail. When the project is completed, giant Quanah Parker arrow markers will have been installed in all 52 counties in the Texas Plains Trail Region. Some counties will have more than one installation. The arrows were created and donated by New Home, Texas, artist Charles Smith. As of early 2014, over 70 arrows had been installed in almost 50 counties. Each arrow will have a plaque giving pertinent historical information. (806) 747-1997. P.O. Box 88, Lubbock, Texas 79408. Email Plains Trail Map
Eastland War Memorials:
The memorials are located in the center of the Eastland Cemetery; they honor veterans of all U.S. wars. 400 South Halbryan Street.
Eastland County Courthouse, 1928:
This stone courthouse was designed in art deco style by the architectural firm of Lang & Witchell. (254) 629-1263. 100 West Main Street. Email County
Legend of Old Rip:
During the 1880s, Eastland residents were so starved for entertainment that they kept horned toads as pets. In 1887, electrician Mr. Wood was on his way to lay the cornerstone for the new Eastland County Courthouse. Ripley (the horned toad) scurried in front of Mr. Woods who grabbed him and put him in his pocket to take home to his sons. At the courthouse the town fathers were placing everyday items into the cornerstone time capsule, and asked other residents to contribute. Everyone laughed when Mr. Woods put Ripley into the time capsule. The cornerstone was sealed. In 1928, the courthouse was being razed to make room for a new one. A very remorseful Mr. Woods reminded everyone that a horned toad had been placed in the cornerstone. A large group gathered to watch the time capsule being opened. They wanted to know if the Indian legend of the toad's longevity was true. Rip was still alive. It was at this point that he was named Rip after Rip Van Winkle. Rip went on tour. He went to Washington D.C. and sat on the President's desk. He made public service announcements and endorsed tennis shoes. Robert Ripley (no relation) featured him in his "Believe It Or Not" column and newsreels showed Rip's face on movie screens across the country. Rip spent what were to be the last months of his life in Mr. Woods’s front window in a goldfish bowl sunning himself or burrowing in the sand. When Rip died the town mourned. A casket company provided a glass case, a monument company a marble base, and a taxidermist embalmed Rip for free. Rip was put on public display at the north side entrance of the Eastland County Courthouse where he can be viewed today.