kids encyclopedia robot

Commerce, Texas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Commerce, Texas
View of the Texas A&M University–Commerce campus
View of the Texas A&M University–Commerce campus
"The 'Merce"
"Fun, Education, Community"
Location of Commerce, Texas
Location of Commerce, Texas
Hunt County Commerce.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Hunt
 • Total 6.5 sq mi (16.9 km2)
 • Land 6.5 sq mi (16.8 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
554 ft (169 m)
 • Total 8,078
 • Density 1,183.3/sq mi (456.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-16240
GNIS feature ID 1373171
Website City of Commerce

Commerce is a Texas city located in Hunt County, Texas, United States, situated on the eastern edge of North Texas, in the heart of the Texas Blackland Prairies, and the northeastern part of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The town is 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Dallas, Texas, and 45 mi (72 km) south of the Texas/Oklahoma border. Commerce is the second largest city in Hunt County with a population of 8,599 residents as of 2014. The rural city is home to Texas A&M University–Commerce, a major 4-year University of over 12,000 students that has been in the town since 1894. Commerce is one of the smallest college towns in Texas.


See also: History of Texas A&M University–Commerce
1920 Locust yearbook p. 219 (Federal Building)
Commerce's Federal Building in 1920

The town of Commerce was formed when two merchants named William Jernigan and Josiah Jackson established a trading post and mercantile store located where the present day downtown area is. The rural area just to the northeast of the area was an open prairie area originally known as Cow Hill. The town was established in 1872 and named Commerce due to the thriving economic activity, and cotton fields and ideal farm and ranch lands between the Middle and South Sulphur rivers on the rich, black gumbo prairie in northeast Hunt County. The town incorporated in 1885. Two years later, a railroad was built through Commerce to transport merchandise from Fort Worth, and nine years later, William L. Mayo, a college educator, moved East Texas Normal College from the Northeast Texas town of Cooper to Commerce after the original school in Cooper was destroyed in a fire. Mayo continued as president of the college, now known as Texas A&M University–Commerce, until his death in 1917 and is buried on the campus grounds.

Bois d'Arc Bash 2015 21 (vendors)
Bois d'Arc Bash 2015

Commerce was named the “Bois d’Arc Capital of Texas” (pronounced "bow-dark") by the Texas Legislature because of its location in the geographic center of the indigenous range of the bois d'arc tree. The second largest bois d’arc tree in Texas “Big Max”, recognized by the National Forests Famous and Historic Trees, is located within the city limits. Held every September, the annual festival Bois d’Arc Bash pays homage to bois d’arc trees which played a vital part in the frontier days, providing foundations, fences and weapons of the Native Americans. The Bash celebrates with arts & crafts vendors, food, parade, kid's game area, pageant, wine, musical entertainment, 5K run, and car & truck show.


Gee Lake
Gee Lake of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Commerce is located at 33°14′42″N 95°54′0″W / 33.24500°N 95.90000°W / 33.24500; -95.90000 (33.244959, −95.899957).

It is about 60 miles (97 km) northeast of Dallas

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.5 square miles (17 km2), of which, 6.5 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.92%) is water.


Commerce's climate is considered to be part of the humid subtropical region. The temperature varies greatly throughout the year. Commerce has hot, humid and dry Summers, typical of much of Texas and above average Spring temperatures. Commerce has cooler fall and Winter temperatures with higher wind chills due to its northern location and location on a natural prairie. During the Spring is the strongest part of the storm season as thunderstorms are very common and Tornadoes have been known to form in and around the area.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 810
1900 1,800 122.2%
1910 2,818 56.6%
1920 3,842 36.3%
1930 4,267 11.1%
1940 4,699 10.1%
1950 5,889 25.3%
1960 5,789 −1.7%
1970 9,534 64.7%
1980 8,136 −14.7%
1990 6,825 −16.1%
2000 7,669 12.4%
2010 8,078 5.3%
Est. 2015 8,892 10.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were approximately 8,078 people, 2,881 households, and 1,524 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,183.3 people per square mile (456.9/km²). There were 3,405 housing units at an average density of 525.4 per square mile (202.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.07% White, 20.78% African American, 0.42% Native American, 2.59% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 3.13% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.65% of the population.

There were 2,881 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.1% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.02.

Age demographic: 21.5% under the age of 18, 28.2% age 18 to 24, 26.3% age 25 to 44, 14.3% age 45 to 64, and 9.8% age 65 or older. The median age was 25.6 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,946, and the median income for a family was $34,901. Males had a median income of $17,666 versus $14,515 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,320. About 29.3% of families and 35.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.2% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.


1920 Locust yearbook p. 218 (Commerce, Texas map)
1920 map of Commerce and surroundings

Commerce is served by the following Highways:

  • Texas 11.svg Texas State Highway 11–An east-west route through commerce that connects with Sulphur Springs and Winnsboro to the east, and Wolfe City, Whitewright and Sherman to the west. Runs concurrent with Loop 178 along the south side of the university on a street known locally as "Culver Street" and then runs concurrent with highway 24 before heading west towards Wolfe City.
  • Texas 24.svg Texas State Highway 24–Major north-south route that runs through the city of Commerce and through the University. It connects with Campbell and I-30.svg Interstate 30 to the south and connects with Cooper and Paris to the north. Most of the major businesses of Commerce line highway 24. Highway 24 is also the only highway in Commerce that has a Frontage Road. It is a four lane divided highway.
  • Texas 50.svg Texas State Highway 50–Serves the northwest part of Commerce, particularly the area by Airport Sign.svg Commerce Municipal Airport. Connects with Ladonia to the north. Formerly, the highway ran concurrent with Highway 24 from I-30.svg Interstate 30, this portion of the highway was reassigned in 2009.
  • Texas 224.svg Texas State Highway 224–Is the Commerce-to-Greenville route, as it is the only highway that directly connects the two largest cities in Hunt county. It also goes through Neylandville before reaching its terminus in Greenville.
  • Texas Loop 178.svg Texas State Highway Loop 178–a 3/4 loop that runs a semi-circle around Commerce, runs concurrent with Highway 11 along Culver Street south of the university before the junction with highway 24, after the junction with highway 24 it continues west towards highway 224.
  • Texas FM 71.svg Texas Farm to Market Road 71–Serves the northeast rural area of Commerce and continues into Hopkins County going though some of the smaller rural communities.
  • Texas FM 2874.svg Texas Farm to Market Road 2874– Heads toward some unincorporated parts of Hunt County from a Junction with highway 224.
  • Texas FM 3218.svg Texas Farm to Market Road 3218–Serves the southeast area of Commerce, running through a small industrial and rural area of Commerce. It also passes by a few Commerce ISD schools.
  • Business plate.svg
    Texas 224.svg

Business 224–A business route of highway 224 through Commerce along Live Oak Street, Main Street and Park Street.

  • Business plate.svg
    Texas 11.svg

Business 11–A business route of highway 11 through Commerce along Maple Street, Park Street, and Wolfe City Drive, this route was formerly a part of highway 11 before it was rerouted to run concurrent with Loop 178 and Highway 24.

  • Commerce is the proposed terminus in the third and final stage for the proposed Blacklands Turnpike, a toll road that would run from far northeastern Dallas County, through Collin and Rockwall counties, as a faster way to get from Dallas to the major cities in Hunt County.
  • Commerce is served by Airport Sign.svg Commerce Municipal Airport.
  • A public transit called The Connection serves Commerce and all of Hunt County. The transit operates Monday through Friday from 7am-7pm. Reservations have to be made one day in advance and the transit charges $2 ($4 round trip) if the passenger is traveling to a place within the same community or city, and $3 ($6 round trip) if the passenger is traveling from one city or community to another within Hunt County. Also, the transit will take Hunt County residents to Dallas, this is offered round trip only, passengers are charged $34, and a minimum of three passengers is also required.


Northeast Texas Children's Museum

Commerce August 2015 40 (Northeast Texas Children's Museum)
The Northeast Texas Children's Museum in Commerce

The city of Commerce is home to the Northeast Texas Children's Museum. The museum provides playful and creative learning experiences for children. There are many hands-on exhibits and programs that cater to children between ages 2 through 10. Many school districts from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and the Northeast Texas area visit the museum.

Jim Chapman Lake

Cooper Lake State Park Texas swimming hole
A swimming area at Cooper Lake State Park

Jim Chapman Lake (formerly known as Cooper Lake) is located roughly 25 minutes away from Commerce, between Cooper and Sulphur Springs. Boating, swimming, and fishing are available at Jim Chapman Lake. Cooper Lake State Park is located along the northern shore of the lake. The park contains several picnic areas, campgrounds and a large swimming area on Jim Chapman Lake. The park also contains several hiking and equestrian trails.

Notable landmark

Whitley Hall
Samuel H. Whitley Hall of A&M-Commerce

The most notable landmark of the city of Commerce is the high-rise 12 story building located on the A&M-Commerce campus. This building is called Samuel H. Whitley Hall and is the tallest building between Dallas and Texarkana. The building is named in honor of former university president Samuel Whitley, who served as president of the university from 1924–1946. This 146 foot tall building serves as a dormitory for traditional freshmen on campus.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Commerce, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.