Commerce, Texas facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
View of the Texas A&M University–Commerce campus
Location of Commerce, Texas
|Region||Texas Blackland Prairies|
|• Total||8.41 sq mi (21.77 km2)|
|• Land||8.33 sq mi (21.58 km2)|
|• Water||0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)|
|Elevation||554 ft (169 m)|
|• Density||1,080.85/sq mi (417.54/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1373171|
Commerce is a city in Hunt County, Texas, United States, situated on the eastern edge of North Texas, in the heart of the Texas Blackland Prairies, and the far northeastern part of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The town is 66 miles (106 km) northeast of Dallas and 45 miles (72 km) south of the Texas/Oklahoma border. Commerce is the second-largest city in Hunt County, with a population of 9,090 at the 2020 census. The city is home to Texas A&M University–Commerce, a four-year university of more than 12,000 students that has been in the town since 1894. Commerce is one of the smallest college towns in Texas.
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.
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.
Commerce is located at 33°14′42″N 95°54′0″W / 33.24500°N 95.90000°W (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.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2020 United States Census, there were approximately 9,090 people and 2,853 households in the city. The population density was 1,080.85 people per square mile (417.54/km2). There were 3,589 housing units at an average density of 426.75 per square mile (164.85/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 51.63% White alone, 27.71% Black or African American alone, 1.50% American Indian and Alaska Native alone, 2.79% Asian alone, 0.73% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander alone, 4.93% from Some Other Race, and 10.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.84% of the population.
There were 2,853 households, out of which 18.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% were married couples living together, and 36.5% had a female householder with no spouse present. The average family size was 3.34.
Age demographic: 6.5% under the age of 5, 18.9% under the age of 18, and 81.1% percent over the age of 18. People aged 65 or older make up 8.1% of the population. The median age was 23.9 years.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,946, and the median income for a family was $52,188. About 32.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.6% of those under age 18 and 12.6% of those age 65 or over.
Commerce is served by the following highways:
- 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 State Highway 24 – Major north-south route that runs through the city of Commerce and the University. It connects with Campbell and Interstate 30 to the south and with Cooper and Paris to the north. Most of the major businesses of Commerce line Highway 24. It is the only highway in Commerce that has a frontage road. It is a four-lane divided highway.
- Texas State Highway 50 – Serves the northwest part of Commerce, particularly the area by Commerce Municipal Airport. Connects with Ladonia to the north. Formerly, the highway ran concurrent with Highway 24 from Interstate 30; this portion of the highway was reassigned in 2009.
- 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 State Highway Loop 178 – a 3/4 loop that runs a semi-circle around Commerce. It runs concurrent with Highway 11 along Culver Street south of the university before the junction with Highway 24, and after the junction it continues west towards Highway 224.
- Texas Farm to Market Road 71 – Serves the northeast rural area of Commerce and continues into Hopkins County, going through some of the smaller rural communities.
- Texas Farm to Market Road 2874 – Heads toward some unincorporated parts of Hunt County from a Junction with highway 224.
- Texas Farm to Market Road 3218 – Serves the southeast area of Commerce, running through a small industrial and rural area. It also passes by a few Commerce ISD schools.
Business 224–A business route of highway 224 through Commerce along Live Oak Street, Main Street and Park Street.
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 Commerce Municipal Airport.
Public transit called "The Connection" serves Commerce and all of Hunt County. The Connection operates Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. 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. The Connection will also take Hunt County residents to Dallas, as a round trip only: passengers are charged $34, and a minimum of three passengers is required.
Northeast Texas Children's Museum
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
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.
- George C. Butte, Republican candidate for governor of Texas
- Claire Chennault, World War II general and noted war hero
- Ben Kweller, rock musician who penned a song called "Commerce, TX" that was loosely based on Kweller's time living in a duplex near college students
- Larry Lemanski, director of the Biomedical Institute for Regenerative Research at Texas A&M-Commerce
- Wade Wilson, former All-Pro NFL quarterback and former quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys
Due to being a rural college town with proximity to Dallas, Commerce has an economy that remained steady for years, with gradual increases with new businesses opening and others being renovated. Most of the bigger businesses of the town surround the local university, and the university's student body is bigger than the town itself. The downtown area is approximately one mile from the university and is the hub for town festivities. The downtown area includes bars, dining, a fashion retailer, an office supplies retailer, a thrift shop, real estate offices, tax preparation offices, an insurance agency, the Chamber of Commerce, banks, and loft-style living.
Commerce is home to Hunt Regional Medical Center, a Level IV Emergency Room and Trauma Center. The hospital was once part of the Dallas-based Presbyterian Health System, but changed hands around 2010. The main medical center is in nearby Greenville, and Commerce also has three primary care physicians' offices, one chiropractor, a prenatal clinic, two dental offices, and a physical therapy center.
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Texas A&M University-Commerce||900|
|5||City of Commerce||85|
|6||Ben E. Keith Company||84|
High school sports
Commerce High School is the only high school in Commerce. They are known as the Commerce Tigers and compete at the 3A level in UIL sports. The Tigers compete in football (boys), volleyball (girls), basketball (boys and girls), softball (boys), baseball (boys), track and field (boys and girls), cross country (boys and girls), powerlifting (boys and girls), tennis (boys and girls), and golf (boys and girls). The football team has two state titles from 1999 and 2001. Commerce-Norris High School (defunct) won the state championship for basketball in 1964.
The A&M–Commerce Lions compete in NCAA Division II sports and are a member of the Lone Star Conference. The A&M-Commerce Lions compete in football (men), volleyball (women), basketball (men and women), soccer (women), softball (women), golf (men and women), track and field (men and women), and cross country (men and women). Football is very popular among the university as well as the town, as fans from surrounding cities including Greenville and Sulphur Springs will come out to support the A&M-Commerce Lions football team, and the average attendance at football games is over 6,000. The A&M-Commerce Lions have earned numerous conference titles in nearly every sport that they compete in. In addition to this they've also earned six national titles, men's basketball (1954–1955), men's golf (1965), football (1972, 2017), men's tennis (1972, 1978).
Beginning in 2022, the athletics programs at Texas A&M University-Commerce will begin a four-year transition period to NCAA Division I and will join the Southland Conference in all sports effective July 1, 2022.
Primary and secondary education
The city is served by the Commerce Independent School District. CISD currently operates the following schools:
- Commerce Elementary (Pre-K–2)
- AC Williams Elementary (3–5)
- Commerce Middle School (6–8)
- Commerce High School (9–12)
Commerce is home to Texas A&M University–Commerce (formerly known as East Texas State University), a fully accredited and ranked university that offers over 100 different majors, with an enrollment of 12,302 students, 7,808 undergraduates, and 4,494 graduate students. A&M-Commerce was founded in 1889 at its original location in Cooper, Texas, but moved to Commerce after burning down in 1894. The university is ranked #1 in the state of Texas for teaching education and 13th in the nation, in addition to having a highly ranked graduate school. The university also remains as the fifth longest continuous operating university in the state of Texas.
The Texas Legislature designated Paris Junior College as the junior college for students in most of Hunt County, including Commerce. PJC has campuses in Paris (40 miles away), Greenville (15 miles away), and Sulphur Springs (25 miles away).