Eastland is a city in Eastland County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,960 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Eastland County.During the 1920s, Eastland, like nearby Cisco, Ranger, and Desdemona, was a petroleum boomtown. Eastland is known for the legend of “Old Rip“, a horned toad that lived many years sealed in the cornerstone of the previous Eastland courthouse built in 1897.
The recession of 1921 exacerbated racial tensions between Anglos and Mexicans. Naturally, unemployment increased in town and whites attempted to oust Mexicans whom were hired during the WWI boom. Masked men ravaged shacks used by Mexicans as living quarters. Whites threatened Mexicans’ lives and fearful, they fled to nearby Fort Worth to seek help from the Mexican Consulate since local authorities took the side of the Anglo locals.
In 1928, the current courthouse was erected, the prior cornerstone was opened, and “Old Rip” was found alive. The animal, a kind of lizard, received national publicity. It died in 1929 of pneumonia and was placed in a glass-front casket on view in the present courthouse.Eastland is located north of the center of Eastland County at 32°23′55″N 98°49′16″W (32.398715, −98.821144). It is 96 miles (154 km) west-southwest of Fort Worth and 55 miles (89 km) east of Abilene.
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