Town namesake John M. Stephen donated land for the town site, which was laid out by county namesake George B. Erath. Today, downtown Stephenville offers 1890s-era stone buildings surrounding the Romanesque Revival-style Erath County Courthouse, completed in 1892 and rededicated in 2002 after a complete restoration through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. Made of red sandstone and white limestone, the restored edifice, one of the state’s most picturesque, was designed by noted architect J. Riely Gordon. In 1869, former Civil War Col. J.D. Berry built a two-story stone cottage, which remains the town’s oldest house and a good example of residential Gothic Revival craftsmanship. It’s also the signature component of a historical village at the Stephenville Historical House Museum. The village features another Gothic-style structure, the 1900 Stephenville Presbyterian Church. The museum recreates pioneer days with relocated 1850s log cabins and several late-19thcentury buildings — a ranch house, schoolhouse, carriage house and blacksmith shop. Inside exhibits deal with natural history, military and science topics.