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Sulphur Springs, Texas facts for kids

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Sulphur Springs, Texas
City of Sulphur Springs
Sulphur Springs in 2015
Sulphur Springs in 2015
"Just Play. Have Fun. Celebrate."
Location of Sulphur Springs, Texas
Location of Sulphur Springs, Texas
Hopkins County SulphurSprings.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Hopkins
 • Type Council-manager
 • Total 23.91 sq mi (61.94 km2)
 • Land 20.54 sq mi (53.20 km2)
 • Water 3.38 sq mi (8.74 km2)
502 ft (153 m)
 • Total 15,449
 • Estimate 
 • Density 790.36/sq mi (305.16/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-70904
GNIS feature ID 1348056

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


Sulphur Springs derives its modern name from the fact that when the area was first settled, springs of sulfur water were abundant. Long before the first European-American settlers arrived, Native American tribes had occupied the areas around the springs and used them for their therapeutic value.

The settlers also gathered around the springs. The town developed around this area from the late 1840s.

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.

The village became a city in 1854 when the first United States post office was established. The city's name was originally Bright Star. 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.

SS Courthouse Veterans
Sulphur Springs Veteran's 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 to be the new City Hall
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 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 as the Daily Gazette and 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.

In 1857 the city set aside ten 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.

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, Union 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 as the St. Louis Southwestern Railway.

SS Amer Flag
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 2015 it was estimated at approximately 16,000.

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 dairy 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.

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

Other Attractions

  • The city public library has two unique collections: the Leo St. Clair Music Box Collection includes more than 150 unique music boxes. The Sinclair World War II Collection displays letters, pictures, and other World War II artifacts.
  • Southwest Dairy Museum and Learning Center depicts all facets of milk production and the history of the dairy industry. Its old-fashioned soda bar sells ice cream, sodas and light lunches to visitors.
  • The Farm and Art Market is located downtown from May through October during the evening. In 2012, American Farmland Trust voted the market as “America’s Favorite Farmers Market’.

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

  • Cooper Lake State Park has more than 2,500 acres of terrain and 19,300 acres of lake.
  • Lake Fork, renowned for champion bass fishing, is 15 miles south of Sulphur Springs.
  • Coleman Lake and Park is an 186-acre park with waterfalls, trails, and tournament-rated ball parks. Imagination Mountain has a waterfall, with tunnels, slides and sandpits.
  • Buford Park is a one-acre park with castle playground known as Kid’s Kingdom. The local walking trail crosses Pea Vine Pinion pond.
  • Hopkins County Museum and Heritage Park features 11 acres of historical buildings which have been relocated to the park for restoration and preservation. Activities at the park include people churning butter, blacksmithing, and cooking with a Dutch oven.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.0 square miles (54 km2), of which, 17.9 square miles (46 km2) of it is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) of it (15.11%) is water.


Sulphur Springs is considered to be part of the humid subtropical area.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 621
1870 921 48.3%
1880 1,854 101.3%
1890 3,038 63.9%
1900 3,635 19.7%
1910 5,151 41.7%
1920 5,558 7.9%
1930 5,417 −2.5%
1940 6,742 24.5%
1950 8,991 33.4%
1960 9,160 1.9%
1970 10,642 16.2%
1980 12,804 20.3%
1990 14,062 9.8%
2000 14,551 3.5%
2010 15,449 6.2%
2019 (est.) 16,234 5.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, 15,449 people, 5,959 households, and 3,987 families were residing in the city. The population density was 867 people per square mile (314.6/km2). The 6,654 housing units averaged 372.8 per sq mi (140.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.4% White, 12.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, o.11% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 15.9% of the population.

Of the 5,959 households, 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 not families. About 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 age distribution was 28.8% under 18, 6.7% from 19 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 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 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, but the city has no bus depot. 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 these highways that run through the city:

  • I-30.svg Interstate 30
  • US 67.svg U.S. Highway 67 (runs concurrent with Interstate 30)
  • Texas 11.svg State Highway 11
  • Texas 19.svg State Highway 19
  • Texas 154.svg State Highway 154
  • Texas Loop 301.svg State Loop 301


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. Northeast Texas Connector , based in Sulphur Springs, also provides rail access to the town and interchanges with Union Pacific Railroad and Kansas City Southern Railway.


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

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

Sulphur Springs Center Paris Junior College is a postsecondary 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 Commerce, 20 miles (32 km) west of Sulphur Springs.

Notable people

  • Earl Black and Merle Black, political scientists
  • Kaci Brown, pop singer
  • Samuel Benton Callahan, mixed blood Creek Nation politician, lived in Sulphur Springs before and after the American Civil War
  • Sophia Alice Callahan, daughter of Samuel Benton Callahan, noted author of novel, Wynema. Lived in Sulphur Springs during and after the American Civil War
  • Jim Chapman, congressman
  • Mandy Clark, birth name Amanda Barney, voice actress
  • Keenan Clayton, NFL linebacker
  • Steve George, NFL defensive tackle
  • Forrest Gregg, SMU football, all Southwest Conference, All-Pro Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, NFL Coach–Cincinnati Bengals, NFL Hall of Famer
  • Tyreo Harrison, NFL linebacker
  • Colleen Hoover, New York Times best-selling author
  • Damione Lewis, NFL defensive tackle
  • Gerald Mann, Texas attorney general and SMU quarterback
  • Caleb Miller, NFL linebacker
  • Gary Panter, artist, illustrator, musician
  • Grover Sellers, Texas attorney general

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sulphur Springs (Texas) para niños

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