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Stephenville in Erath County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Dawson Saloon

 
 
Dawson Saloon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, October 22, 2021
1. Dawson Saloon Marker
Inscription.  Dating from the early 1880s, downtown Stephenville consisted of wood frame and masonry one-part and two part commercial block buildings, oriented around the county courthouse. The Dawson Saloon building was constructed in the early to mid-1890s on a prominent corner of the square.

Reflected in Sanborn maps, the saloon was likely the earliest occupant of the building. Under the direction of owner and operator W.A. "Billy" Dawson (1851-1901) and with beer barrel seating along the sidewalk for cowboys, patrons and the public, the saloon was a popular watering hole for county residents.

Following Dawson's passing, the building was divided into a restaurant and a confectionery and tobacco shop. The longest tenant was Novit's department store, owned by Belarus immigrant Morris Ytzhak Isaac Astonovitsky (1901-1998). Novit's department store was one of the largest retail establishments in the downtown area until its closing in 1957. Subsequent uses of the building were a barbershop, retail shops and a restaurant.

Built in the vernacular commercial architectural style, the building is constructed of limestone, a locally-sourced
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material. Minimal changes have been made over the years, including the removal of the limestone columns along the front façade in the 1950s; these have since been rebuilt.

With its prominent corner location on the square and local craftsmanship, the Dawson Saloon Building contributed to the growth and development of Stephenville with its variety of successful businesses that added to the culture of Erath County.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2016
 
Erected 2016 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18519.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1957.
 
Location. 32° 13.178′ N, 98° 12.138′ W. Marker is in Stephenville, Texas, in Erath County. Marker is at the intersection of West College Street and South Belknap Street, on the right when traveling east on West College Street. The marker is located on the right side of the front entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 190 West College Street, Stephenville TX 76401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First National Bank Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Erath County CSA War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Erath County Courthouse
The front entrance to the Dawson Saloon and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, October 22, 2021
2. The front entrance to the Dawson Saloon and Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Erath County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Lest We Forget (within shouting distance of this marker); Stephenville Drug Stores (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1997 National Champion (about 300 feet away); Crow Opera House (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stephenville.
 
The view of the old Dawson Saloon building and marker from across the street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, October 22, 2021
3. The view of the old Dawson Saloon building and marker from across the street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 204 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 23, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Feb. 27, 2024