Erath County residents who are among the most famous range from one of the all-time golfing greats to a Grammy-nominated singer to one of the men credited with development of the Western Swing genre of music.
Here are 10 widely-known current and former Erath County residents.
1. Ben Hogan — Hogan, one of the all-time greatest professional golfers, was born in Stephenville on Aug. 13, 1912 and died on July 25, 1997. The Hogan family lived in Dublin until 1921. Hogan won nine major pro championship titles, tying him with Gary Player for fourth all-time behind only Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Walter Hagen.
2. Milton Brown — Brown and Bob Wills are credited with the early development of the Western Swing genre of music. Brown was born Sept. 8, 1903 and died April 18, 1936. He moved to Fort Worth in 1918. He met Wills in 1930. Brown went on to more success with the Light Crust Doughboys and, later, the Musical Brownies.
3. Ty Murray — Murray, 49, was born on Oct. 11, 1969 in Phoenix, and has owned a ranch near Stephenville since the 1990s. He earned a high school national champion all-around cowboy title in 1987 before winning an all-time record seven World All-Around Champion crowns (1989-1994 and 1998).
4. Jewel Kilcher — Known in the music world as Jewel, she was born May 23, 1974 in Utah. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter has sold well over 30 million albums worldwide. She lived on an Erath County ranch when she was married to world champion PRCA cowboy Ty Murray. They were married six years, ending in 2014.
5. Ruth Buzzi — The actress, comedian and singer has a long list of movie and television acting credits, but is most famous for hilarious comic characters to the TV program Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, from 1968-73. Buzzi (born July 24, 1936, in Rhode Island) collected five Emmy nominations and won a Golden Globe Award.
6. Art Briles — Briles, a native of Rule (born Dec. 3, 1955) who is now head coach at Mount Vernon High School, became a Stephenville sports legend by turning around the high school football program and winning to back-to-back state titles (1993-94 and 1998-99). Briles also had success coaching two struggling Division I college programs — leading Houston to two bowl appearances, and Baylor to a No. 3 national ranking during the 2013 season.
7. Jacobs Crawley — The 2006 Stephenville HIgh School graduate (born May 27,1988 in Ennis) and current Stephenville resident won the world championship in saddle bronc riding in 2015, and has career PRCA earnings totaling more than $1.6 million. He has won two National Finals Rodeo average titles (2013, 2015). He earned the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association title while at Texas A&M, where he earned a a degree in engineering.
8. Kinky Friedman — Friedman (born Nov. 1, 1944 in Chicago) is a musician who once toured with Bob Dylan, was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and has released 16 albums since 1973. His colorful personality was a plus when he ran for governor of Texas as an independent candidate in 2006.
9. Kevin Kolb — Kolb (born Aug. 24, 1984 in Victoria, Texas), had an NFL football career (2007-2013), as a quarterback with Philadelphia, Arizona and Buffalo. After shining as a three-year starter at quarterback for Stephenville High School, Kolb played for the University of Houston. He retired from the NFL in 2014 and resides on a ranch located not far from Bluff Dale.
10. Brock Holt — Holt (born June 11, 1988), a 2006 Stephenville High School graduate, was an active member of the Boston Red Sox when they won baseball’s 2018 World Series. He was signed with Boston’s 2013 world championship team, but wasn’t on the active playoff roster. His major league debut came with Pittsburgh in 2012 after being drafted by the Pirates in 2009 out of Rice University. Brock is a versatile infielder/outfielder with a .269 career batting average. He was chosen to represent Boston in the 2015 All-Star Game.