Intersection of Ennis Ave. and Dallas St., Downtown Ennis
Location of Ennis, Texas
|• City Council||Mayor Russell Thomas
Carolyn C. Frazier
|• City Manager||Chuck Ewings|
|• Total||18.4 sq mi (47.7 km2)|
|• Land||18.0 sq mi (46.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)|
|Elevation||538 ft (164 m)|
|• Density||891.7/sq mi (344.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1335474|
In 1871, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad (H&TC) purchased 647 acres (2.62 km2) of land in Ellis County at a price of $5.00 per acre ($12.36/ha), establishing the line's northern terminus. On May 8, 1872, this site was established as the City of Ennis. The namesake of the town was Cornelius Ennis, an early official of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. Ennis served as Mayor of Houston (1856–57), and as a director of the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railway and Houston and Texas Central Railway.
In 1891, the H&TC decided to move its headquarters and roundhouse to Ennis, setting the city apart from its neighbors by bringing hundreds of rail jobs to the community. Around the same time, cotton production in Ellis County began to increase. By 1920, Ellis County produced more cotton than any other county in the United States, and the railroads rapidly moved this valuable product to national and international markets.
Ennis is in the Northeastern region of Texas. The city is 39 miles (63 km) south of Dallas and 74 miles (119 km) northeast of Waco, Texas. Ennis covers 18 square miles (47 km2) of land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of 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, Ennis has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
The city of Ennis has a City Commissioner/City Manager government type with several commissions representing different departments in the city government. Ennis is home to the congressional office of US Representative Joe Barton, which is located within Texas's 6th Congressional District of which he represents. Ennis is also a part of the Texas Congressional District represented by Jim Pitts
Ennis is the only incorporated city in the United States that still elects its City Marshal. The election is held every two years with the winner being named Chief of Police by the City Council and City Manager. Currently the post is held by Chief John Erisman.
Below is a list of members of the City Administration and their position:
|City Manager||Chuck Ewings|
|City Secretary||Donna Batchler|
|City Attorney||Richard Wilson|
|Municipal Court Judge||Lee Johnson|
|Police Chief||John Erisman|
|Fire Chief||Jeff Aycock|
|Fire Marshal||Gary Howell|
|Finance Director||Cliff Copeland|
|Economic Development Coordinator||Marty Nelson|
|Director of Utilities||Robert Bolen|
|Director of Public Works||OPEN|
|Chief Building Official||Mark Richardson|
|Director of Health Services||Chauncy Williams, R.S.|
|Human Resources||Diane Kellenberger|
|Director of Parks & Recreation||Andy Wolfe|
|Library Director||Jessica Diaz|
|Director of Tourism||Gina Rokas|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,045 people, 5,335 households, and 3,947 families residing in the city. The population density was 891.7 people per square mile (344.4/km2). There were 5,618 housing units at an average density of 312.2 per square mile (120.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 66.57% White, 14.71% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 15.93% from other races, and 2.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.19% of the population.
There were 5,335 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 22.8% 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 2.95 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.4% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,923, and the median income for a family was $44,608. Males had a median income of $28,585 versus $22,855 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,677. About 10.4% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Ennis is home to the Ennis Independent School District, which consists of two early childhood centers, four elementary schools, two intermediate schools, one junior high, and Ennis High School. Secondary education offers several extracurricular programs, such as UIL (University Interscholastic League) Academics and Sports, TSA (Technology Student Association), and the National FFA Organization. Sports offered in either junior high and up or exclusively high school include baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, cross country running, track, powerlifting, softball, soccer, and golf.
St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church once offered a K-12 private school, but was shut down in 2008 due to low enrollment and a lack of profit. The curriculum focused on academics infused with Catholic theological teaching. Sports included softball, baseball, basketball, and soccer - all of which were part of other sports groups competing with other private schools.
Ennis is home to the Texas Motorplex, a quarter-mile drag racing facility built in 1986 by former funny car driver Billy Meyer. It annually hosts the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals each September, when hundreds of professional and amateur drag racers compete for over $2 million in prize money. In March 21, 2009, the TV show Pinks: All Out hosted a contest at the Motorplex.
The annual National Polka Festival which features Czech cuisine, polka music, dancing, and a parade is held on Memorial Day weekend. The festival started in 1967 by a group of men who thought their Czech heritage should be honored. There is also a contest to find who the Duke and Dutchess of Ennis will be for the year. During the 3 day festival, the Ennis Polka Run takes place to help fund the Rotary Club and the Children's Reading Club of Ennis.
Ennis has an annual Texas Bluebonnet festival during the month of April. During this time, thousands of tourists come to see the bloom of these wildflowers. Ennis was designated by the 1997 State Legislature as the "Official Bluebonnet City of Texas" and home to the "Official Bluebonnet Trail of Texas."
Ennis' first bluebonnet trail was marked through the Kachina Prairie in 1939, which is one of the last remaining examples of Texas blackland prairies.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 119.
- Climate Summary for Ennis, Texas
- http://www.ennis.k12.tx.us/athletics.cfm. Missing or empty
- Official Website
- The Ennis, Texas Chamber of Commerce
- The Rotary Club of Ennis
- Ennis Independent School District
- National Polka Festival
- The Ennis Daily News
- The Ennis Journal
- The Texas Motorplex