Since March is Texas History Month, it seems a good time to look at how our local history has a strong tie with the events of 1836. Although our county was years from being formed, our namesake, George B. Erath, played a vital role in the Texas Revolution which we commemorate each March. Born in Austria in 1813, Erath came to Texas in 1833 where he began his career in surveying. On March 1, 1836, he joined Col. Edward Burleson’s First Regiment Texan Volunteers for service in the Texas fight for independence. He fought at the battle of San Jacinto, where the Texan army under the leadership of General Sam Houston won independence on April 21, 1836. His service to Texas, however, did not end there. He remained a Ranger for several more years, then later was elected to the House of Representatives, both in the Republic of Texas and after statehood. He was serving in the Texas State Senate when Civil War broke out and he once again served his adopted home by enlisting in the Confederacy.
After the war, he continued his surveying duties and is given credit for having surveyed Waco and Stephenville. In 1856, a new county was marked off from existing Bosque and Coryell counties and named for Erath, one of the original surveyors. The present day courthouse which serves the namesake county of this great man was built in 1892, and a historical marker was dedicated in 1963.
Cathey Hartmann chairs the Erath County Historical Commission.