|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|Nickname(s): "The 'Merce"|
|Motto: "Fun, Education, Community"|
Location of Commerce, Texas
|• Mayor||John Ballotti|
|• Total||6.5 sq mi (16.9 km2)|
|• Land||6.5 sq mi (16.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||554 ft (169 m)|
|• Density||1,183.3/sq mi (456.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1373171|
Commerce is a Texas city located in Hunt County, Texas, United States, in North Texas. The population was 9,100 residents at the 2010 census. Commerce is the second largest city in Hunt County and is situated in the heart of the Texas Blackland Prairies, in the northeastern part of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, 60 miles from Dallas, Texas, and 45 miles south of the Texas/Oklahoma border. The 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.
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 tasting, musical entertainment, 5K run, and car & truck show.
Commerce is located at (33.244959, -95.899957).
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.
As of the census of 2010, there were approximately 9,250 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 $24,065, and the median income for a family was $37,284. Males had a median income of $26,389 versus $19,565 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,444. About 13.8% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.4% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.
Commerce is served by the following Highways-
- Texas State Highway 11
- Texas State Highway 24
- Texas State Highway 50
- Texas State Highway 224
- Texas State Highway Loop 178
- Texas Farm to Market Road 71
- Texas Farm to Market Road 3218
Commerce is also just minutes north of Interstate 30.
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.
KETR serves as the radio station for the city of Commerce, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Hunt County, and surrounding cities. The station was founded in 1975 at the A&M-Commerce campus where it still remains today. The radio frequency is 88.9 FM in honor of the year 1889 which is the year the university was founded. The station provides news, music, and sports for it's listeners. In fact the station has two NPR talk shows. Commerce High School football games are broadcast on KETR, as well as A&M-Commerce Lions football and basketball games.
The City of Commerce 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 High School was once known for its Varsity Football Team, considered a perennial powerhouse in Texas in Conference 3A in the 1990s. The Tigers won AAA Conference Championships in 1999 and 2001. It is also home to Texas A&M University–Commerce, a fully accredited and ranked university with an enrollment of around 12,000 students, 6,000 undergraduates, and roughly 6,000 graduate students.
Due to being a rural college town with proximity to Dallas, Commerce has an economy that remained steady for years, but recently has seen some increase with a few new businesses opening and others being renovated. 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, a pet store, 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.
Notable Natives and Residents
- George C. Butte-Republican candidate for governor of Texas.
- Claire Chennault-World War II General and noted war hero.
- Wade Wilson-Former All-Pro NFL Quarterback and current Quarterbacks Coach for the Dallas Cowboys
- Ben Kweller-American Rock Musician who penned a song called "Commerce, TX" that was loosely based on Kweller's time living in a duplex near college students in Commerce.