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Terrell, Texas
Downtown Terrell, Texas (2021)
Downtown Terrell, Texas (2021)
"Building a Better Community"
Location of Terrell in Kaufman County, Texas
Location of Terrell in Kaufman County, Texas
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
County Kaufman
Incorporated (city) 1874
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 27.33 sq mi (70.78 km2)
 • Land 26.95 sq mi (69.80 km2)
 • Water 0.38 sq mi (0.98 km2)
509 ft (155 m)
 • Total 15,816
 • Estimate 
 • Density 700.12/sq mi (270.32/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 214, 469, 972
FIPS code 48-72284
GNIS feature ID 1348380

Terrell is a city in Kaufman County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,816. In 2019 the estimated population was 18,869. Terrell is located about 12 miles (19 km) north of Kaufman.


Terrell developed as a railroad town, beginning in 1873 with construction here of the Texas and Pacific Railroad line. The town was named for Robert A. Terrell, a pioneer European-American settler whose farm lay on its western edge. He built an octagonal house on his property, called a "Round House", to provide better defense against attacks by Native Americans. They had occupied this territory for thousands of years. His house was later fitted with the first glass windows in the county. The community was incorporated in 1875. The first automobile appeared in 1899.

The Terrell Military College was established here, operating until after World War II. Its campus was sited on part of the former Terrell farm and incorporated his historic Round House. In 1949 the Southern Bible Institute, based in Dallas and affiliated with the Churches of Christ, bought the military college property and transferred their operations here, renaming their institution Southwestern Christian College. It is a private, historically black college. The Round House has been preserved on campus, and is one of 20 such structures in the nation.

The headquarters of the 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard is also located in Terrell.


Terrell is located at 32°44′15″N 96°16′57″W / 32.73750°N 96.28250°W / 32.73750; -96.28250 (32.737525, -96.282444). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.6 square miles (48 km2), of which, 18.3 square miles (47 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (1.82%) is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Terrell has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Terrell, TX, City Hall IMG 5317
Terrell City Hall
Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,003
1890 2,988 49.2%
1900 6,330 111.8%
1910 7,050 11.4%
1920 8,349 18.4%
1930 8,795 5.3%
1940 10,481 19.2%
1950 11,544 10.1%
1960 13,803 19.6%
1970 14,182 2.7%
1980 13,169 −7.1%
1990 12,490 −5.2%
2000 13,606 8.9%
2010 15,816 16.2%
2019 (est.) 18,869 19.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
Terrell iris theatre
Iris Theatre in downtown Terrell
Terrell, TX water tower IMG 4907
Terrell water tower

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,606 people, 4,605 households, and 3,292 families residing in the city. The population density was 742.9 people per square mile (286.9/km2). There were 5,032 housing units at an average density of 274.8 per square mile (106.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.36% White, 32.24% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 9.74% from other races, and 1.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.57% of the population.

There were 4,605 households, out of which 35.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.5% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,036, and the median income for a family was $40,148. Males had a median income of $29,826 versus $21,753 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,405. About 15.7% of families and 19.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.1% of those under age 18 and 13.9% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

British Flying Training School

During World War II, the No. 1 British Flying Training School (BFTS), was located in Terrell. It was the first of six civilian flight schools in the United States dedicated to instructing British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots during that war. This followed an international training concept similar to that previously implemented during World War I near Fort Worth at Camp Taliaferro.

Terrell Municipal Airport hosts the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum, which has an extensive record of the School. In 2000 the museum was instrumental in honoring four Royal Air Force airmen who died in a crash during World War II. The four, flying from Terrell, encountered difficulties over the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma. The AT6 Monument, whose dedication made international headlines with many from Terrell and the United Kingdom present, marks the spot of one of the crashes. City, state and even international dignitaries gathered in Terrell on Friday, September 16, 2011 to mark the opening of the new Major William F. Long Terminal Building.

World War II Veterans Reunion

The City of Terrell, in partnership with the No 1 British Flying Training School Museum, host an annual World War II veterans reunion and air event on the first Saturday of October. This event draws attendees from all over the world. It presents numerous attractions such as vintage aircraft and military vehicles, skydiving, flight simulators, lectures, films, and demonstrations, and activities for every member of the family. The reunion dinner and hangar dance is on Friday night, the fly-in kicks off with a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning, followed by a ceremony and entertainment until the afternoon.

Heritage Jubilee

Heritage Jubilee, held the third weekend in April at Ben Gill Park, is a family celebration with a BBQ cook-off, museum tours, arts and crafts exhibition, carnival, live music, a quilt show, an auto show, and other attractions.


Public school

The city is zoned to schools in Terrell Independent School District.

  • Terrell High School (Grades 9–12)
  • Herman Furlough, Jr. Middle School (Grades 6–8)
  • Dr. Bruce Wood Intermediate School (Grades K–5) Serving the West Side of Terrell
  • J.W. Long Elementary School (Grades K–5) Serving the East Side of Terrell
  • Gilbert Willie Sr. Elementary School (Grades K–5)
  • W.H. Burnett Early Childhood Center (Serving three- and four-year olds)

In 2010, Terrell Independent School District voted to rezone the district into East and West for grades 3–6. The city is divided along Rockwall St. and then further down along a line with no specific boundary.


Trinity Valley Community College operates the Kaufman County Campus in Terrell.

Southwestern Christian College is a private, historically black college affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It offers a four-year degree for ministerial studies, and two-year associate degrees in liberal arts and technical specialties.


Notable people

  • Betty Brown, politician
  • Louis Conradt
  • Robert H. Dennard, electrical engineer who invented DRAM and identified MOSFET scaling law (known as Dennard scaling)
  • Jamie Foxx, two-time Grammy Award-winning musician and singer, and Academy Award-winning actor
  • Jimmy Harris, football defensive back and quarterback
  • Kenoy Kennedy, football safety
  • Brice McCain, football cornerback
  • Cynthea Rhodes, a member of the USA Track & Field team in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta
  • Randy Snow, tennis player
  • C. J. Wilson, American football cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, and NC State
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