Stephens County is the unsung wonder region of Cross Timbers recreational ranches. Northwest of Strawn (home of Mary’s Café), Stephens County boasts dramatic topo, hardwood trees, plentiful wildlife and ranch prices that make the extra fifteen minutes to get there worth the drive.
Areas of Stephens County vary greatly in their appeal or challenge…hiring a knowledgeable local ranch real estate professional is a good idea.
In addition to the county seat of Breckenridge, the communities of Eolian, Gunsight, Caddo, Harpersville, Ivan, Necessity and Wayland anchor the county. The Clear Fork of the Brazos River crosses the county as do several seasonal creeks.Elevations range from 1,000 to 1,600 feet above sea level. Annual rainfall is just over 26 inches.
Comanches and Tonkawas roamed the county prior to Anglo settlement (and slightly after, with several savage battles and attacks filling our history books). John Baylor is thought to be the first Anglo settler, building along the Clear Fork of the Brazos in the late 1850s.
During the Civil War, about 100 county residents lived together at Fort Davis for protection. There was a salt works near Big Caddo Creek at this time. A Spanish silver mine was said to be located in the southern reaches of this county.
A coal mine was dug near Hubbard Creek in 1878 by Jacob Weishar, and outlier from the more famous coal mines to the southeast in Thurber. The county museum on Highway 180 is a treasure trove of local stories.
Ranching, then as now, was the dominant field of employment for most. Oil and gas production remain cornerstones of this county’s prosperity. A ranch broker able to discern the impact of oil and gas leases on recreational ranch acquisitions, along with knowledge of surface agreements and access/pipeline easements is important in this area of Texas.
Though less known than some area counties by Metroplex residents, recreational ranches in Stephens County are both beautiful and well-priced given their high quality and ease of access.
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