Sulphur Springs, Texas

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Sulphur Springs, Texas
City of Sulphur Springs
Sulphur Springs September 2015 1 (Courthouse Square).jpg
Sulphur Springs in 2015
"Just Play. Have Fun. Celebrate."
Location of Sulphur Springs, Texas
Hopkins County SulphurSprings.svg
Coordinates: 33°8′3″N95°36′7″W / 33.13417°N 95.60194°W / 33.13417; -95.60194 Coordinates: 33°8′3″N95°36′7″W / 33.13417°N 95.60194°W / 33.13417; -95.60194
Country United States
State Texas
County Hopkins
  Type Council-Manager
   City Council Mayor John A. Sellers
Mayor Pro Tem Emily Glass
Erica Armstrong
Jimmy D. Lucas
Norman Sanders
Freddie Taylor
Doug Moore
   City Manager Marc Maxwell
  Total23.6 sq mi (61.2 km2)
  Land20.2 sq mi (52.4 km2)
  Water3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)
502 ft (153 m)
  Density680/sq mi (260/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-70904 [1]
GNIS feature ID1348056 [2]

Sulphur Springs is a city and the county seat of Hopkins County, [3] Texas, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,449. [4] Sulphur Springs is located along the western edge of Northeast Texas.

City Large and permanent human settlement

A city is a large human settlement. It can be defined as a permanent and densely settled place with administratively defined boundaries whose members work primarily on non-agricultural tasks. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organisations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

Hopkins County, Texas U.S. county in Texas

Hopkins County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 35,161. Its county seat is Sulphur Springs. Hopkins County is named for the family of David Hopkins, an early settler in the area.



Sulphur Springs derives its name from the fact that when the area was first settled, springs of sulfur water were abundant.

Sulfur Chemical element with atomic number 16

Sulfur (in British English, sulphur) is a chemical element with the symbol S and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent, and nonmetallic. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow, crystalline solid at room temperature.

Eli Bib, one of the first European-American settlers, ran a store from his cabin, selling staples, whiskey, persimmon beer, and slabs of ginger cake. In 1849, Dr. and Mrs. Davis moved into the area. Dr. Davis envisioned the spot as a future city. In 1850 the residents organized the area's first church, the Methodist Episcopal. Construction of the church was completed in 1853. In 1852, the Presbyterian Church was organized. At that time, the population of the village was 441. In order to serve the growing group of people, commodities began to be brought in from nearby Jefferson. New stores were established.

Persimmon Edible fruit

The persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. The most widely cultivated of these is the Asian or Japanese persimmon, Diospyros kaki. Diospyros is in the family Ebenaceae, and a number of non-persimmon species of the genus are grown for ebony timber.

Church (building) Building used for Christian religious activities

A church building or church house, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly for Christian worship services. The term is often used by Christians to refer to the physical buildings where they worship, but it is sometimes used to refer to buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, a church interior is often structured in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the vertical beam of the cross is represented by the center aisle and seating while the horizontal beam and junction of the cross is formed by the bema and altar.

Jefferson, Texas City in Texas, United States

Jefferson is a city in Marion County in northeastern Texas, United States. The population was 2,099 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Marion County, Texas, and is situated in East Texas.

The village became a city in 1854 when the first post office was established. The city's name was originally "Bright Star". [5] Mail to and from the city was delivered by the Pony Express. On May 18, 1871, the legislature moved the county seat of Hopkins county from Tarrant to Sulphur Springs, and the name "Bright Star" was removed from the postal directory.

Pony Express 19th-century mail service in the US

The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, and mail using relays of horse-mounted riders that operated from April 3, 1860, to October 1861 between Missouri and California in the United States of America.

Sulphur Springs Veterans' Memorial at the downtown courthouse SS Courthouse Veterans.jpg
Sulphur Springs Veterans' Memorial at the downtown courthouse

Local government organized slowly. The first known mayor was William A. Wortham. In 1854, Wortham had bought the Texas Star press and moved to Sulphur Springs. He, his brother-in-law, and Bill Davis established the city's first newspaper.

Building being rehabilitated as the new City Hall Building being rehabilitated to be the new City Hall.jpg
Building being rehabilitated as the new City Hall

The county seat had numerous newspapers. Echo Publishing Company was founded in 1897. It was the first steam-powered press in Sulphur Springs. After the first plant was lost to a fire, a new plant was constructed which used gasoline as fuel. In 1884 the Sulphur Springs Enterprise was founded. In the same year, James Harvey "Cyclone" Davis, a Populist (People's Party) US congressman, founded the Alliance Vindicator; it was published until 1901. John S. Bagwell bought the Hopkins County Echo in 1916. In 1924, the Texas Star was merged into the Daily News Telegram. The Daily News Telegram later was renamed the Daily Gazette and still later the Weekly Gazette. Eventually, all these newspapers were merged into the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram and the Hopkins County Echo, both of which still operate.

Printing press device for evenly printing ink onto a print medium

A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium, thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in which the cloth, paper or other medium was brushed or rubbed repeatedly to achieve the transfer of ink, and accelerated the process. Typically used for texts, the invention and global spread of the printing press was one of the most influential events in the second millennium.

Gasoline Transparent, petroleum-derived liquid that is used primarily as a fuel

Gasoline, or petrol, is a colorless petroleum-derived flammable liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in spark-ignited internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. On average, a 42-U.S.-gallon (160-liter) barrel of crude oil yields about 19 U.S. gallons of gasoline after processing in an oil refinery, though this varies based on the crude oil assay.

James H. Davis (congressman) American politician

James Harvey "Cyclone" Davis was a People's Party (Populist) organizer and a Democratic U.S. Representative from Texas for one term from 1915–1917.

In 1857 the city set aside 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land for Bright Star University. The Sulphur Springs District Conference High School began in 1877, established on Bright Star University land on College Street. In December 1882, the school became known as Central College. It was owned by the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was later renamed Eastman College and Conservatory of Music and Art under a new charter and after the leading professor. Before the year 1900, the college burned and Professor Eastman left the area.

Methodist Episcopal Church religious organization in the United States

The Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) was the oldest and largest Methodist denomination in the United States from its founding in 1784 until 1939. It was also the first religious denomination in the US to organize itself on a national basis. In 1939, the MEC reunited with two breakaway Methodist denominations to form the Methodist Church. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church.

The First National Bank of Sulphur Springs received its national charter in 1855. It is now known as City National Bank.

In 1857 the area's first steam-powered factory was established by the Bell brothers. In the same year, the Morro Castle was built on North Street. Its builders remain unknown.

C. Denton was elected to lead the new city government, which was incorporated during the Reconstruction Era. During the Civil War, the town had lost its charter and had to be incorporated again by the state legislature.

In 1868, federal troops moved into Sulphur Springs and occupied the city for a period of two years during Reconstruction, in an effort to protect freedmen after emancipation. Upon their departure and the end of the military occupation, A. J. Bridges was elected as mayor.

The construction of a railroad line from Mineola, Texas, in 1872 stimulated growth in the city. Settlers were drawn by tales of the healing powers of the city's sulphur baths. Due to population growth, the springs of sulphur were gradually covered. None are active today. A rail was run from Jefferson to Sulphur Springs in 1879. The St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas Railroad (Cotton Belt) was built through Sulphur Springs in 1887 on its way to Commerce and Sherman. The next year the line was completed to Fort Worth, connecting the city to a major market. In 1891 the bankrupt railroad was sold to Jay Gould interests and renamed the St. Louis Southwestern Railway.

Hopkins County Courthouse in downtown Sulphur Springs SS Amer Flag.jpg
Hopkins County Courthouse in downtown Sulphur Springs

An ice plant was built in 1887. The city's courthouse, which is still used today, was constructed in 1895. In 1904, wells were dug to supply the city with water. In the same year, a long distance telephone line was run to nearby Greenville. In 1889, the City National Bank was organized.

After World War II, the city adopted a new council-manager type of government. It stimulated new programs. Industrialization brought new plants and factories to the city. The population has grown as a result. In 2016 it was estimated at over 16,000. [6]

The dairy industry was a major component of the local economy from the late 1940s through 1995. The Southwest Dairy Museum in the city features artifacts on the history of the dairy industry. The industry began to shrink largely because of declining milk prices, higher labor costs, and large corporations operating industrial-scale dairies.

Large industries in the area today include Pinnacle, Ocean Spray, Grocery Supply, Jeld-Wen, Clayton Home Mfg., Flowserve, and others. For several months in 2012, Hopkins County enjoyed a very low unemployment rate at approximately 4.5% and 500+ jobs added.

Courthouse Square - ground view of plaza SS Courthouse Square.jpg
Courthouse Square - ground view of plaza
Splash Pad in Downtown Sulphur Springs Splash Pad in Downtown.jpg
Splash Pad in Downtown Sulphur Springs

Sites of interest

There are several parks in the city that feature recreational opportunities:

Farther afield, Cooper Lake State Park, 15 miles (24 km) north of Sulphur Springs, has more than 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) of terrain and 19,300 acres (7,800 ha) of lake. Lake Fork Reservoir, renowned for champion bass fishing, is 15 miles south of Sulphur Springs.


Sulphur Springs is at the center of Hopkins County, roughly halfway between Dallas and Texarkana. Interstate 30 passes through the south side of the city, with access from exits 120 through 127. I-30 leads east 38 miles (61 km) to Mount Pleasant and 100 miles (160 km) to Texarkana, while to the west it leads 30 miles (48 km) to Greenville and 79 miles (127 km) to Dallas. Texas State Highway 19 runs through the western side of Sulphur Springs, leading north 37 miles (60 km) to Paris and southwest 44 miles (71 km) to Canton. Texas State Highway 11 passes through the southern and western sides of Sulphur Springs, leading southeast 23 miles (37 km) to Winnsboro and northwest 20 miles (32 km) to Commerce. Texas State Highway 154 runs through the center of Sulphur Springs as Gilmer Street and Church Street, leading north 21 miles (34 km) to Cooper and south 27 miles (43 km) to Quitman.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Sulphur Springs has a total area of 23.6 square miles (61.2 km2), of which 20.2 square miles (52.4 km2) are land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), or 14.38%, are water. [4] The city is part of the Rock Creek (White Oak Creek) watershed, which flows east to the Sulphur River, a tributary of the Red River.


Historical population
1860 621
1870 92148.3%
1880 1,854101.3%
1890 3,03863.9%
1900 3,63519.7%
1910 5,15141.7%
1920 5,5587.9%
1930 5,417−2.5%
1940 6,74224.5%
1950 8,99133.4%
1960 9,1601.9%
1970 10,64216.2%
1980 12,80420.3%
1990 14,0629.8%
2000 14,5513.5%
2010 15,4496.2%
Est. 201816,134 [7] 4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census [8]

As of the census [1] of 2010, there were 15,449 people, 5,959 households, and 3,987 families residing in the city. The population density was 867 people per square mile (314.6/km²). There were 6,654 housing units at an average density of 372.8 per square mile (140.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.4% White, 12.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, .08% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.9% of the population.

There were 5,959 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.1 people.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 19, 6.7% from 20 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 92 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,701, and the median income for a family was $36,802. Males had a median income of $32,022 versus $20,325 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,967. About 12.6% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.5% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.



Greyhound provides daily service to Dallas and points west, and Texarkana, Arkansas, and all points east. There is no bus depot in Sulphur Springs proper. The Greyhound buses stop at the Pilot truck stop.

Amtrak does not directly serve Sulphur Springs. Its Texas Eagle train stops in Mineola, 36 miles (58 km) south of Sulphur Springs, with daily service to San Antonio and Chicago, and thrice-weekly service to Los Angeles.


Sulphur Springs is served by the following highways that run through the city:


The city is served by a municipal airport. It was named Texas Airport of the Year for 2003 by the Federal Aviation Administration.


Direct Class 1 railroad service is provided by the Kansas City Southern Railroad. Blacklands Railroad, based in Sulphur Springs, also provides rail access to the town and interchanges with Union Pacific Railroad and Kansas City Southern Railway [9] .

Top employers

#Employer# of Employees
1 Sulphur Springs Independent School District 634
2 Grocery Supply Company 450
3 Walmart 400
4Hopkins County Hospital357
5Saputo Foods Inc.320
6 Owen Sausage 242
7CMH Manufacturing218
8 Flowserve 200
9 Hopkins County 160
10City of Sulphur Springs150



The city is served by the Sulphur Springs Independent School District. Sulphur Springs High School has the Wildcats as its sports mascot.

The Paris Junior College location in Sulphur Springs Sulphur Springs Center Paris Junior College.jpg
The Paris Junior College location in Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs Center Paris Junior College is a post-secondary educational institution located in the city, offering two-year college courses. Texas A&M University–Commerce, a major university of over 12,000 students, has a campus in the city of Commerce, 20 miles (32 km) west of Sulphur Springs.

Notable people

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  2. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. 1 2 "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Sulphur Springs city, Texas". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  5. Kelsey, Mavis Parrott; Dyal, Donald H.; Thrower, Frank (2007). The Courthouses of Texas. Texas A&M University Press. p. 142.
  6. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  7. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  8. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. "Blacklands Railroad | Rail and Transload Solutions" . Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  10. "CITY OF SULPHUR SPRINGS, TEXAS : Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
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