Sulphur Springs, Texas

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For the fishing resort and former spa in San Saba County, see Bend, Texas § Sulphur Springs.
Sulphur Springs, Texas
Sulphur Springs in 2015
Sulphur Springs in 2015
Motto: "Just Play. Have Fun. Celebrate."
Location of Sulphur Springs, Texas
Location of Sulphur Springs, Texas
Hopkins County SulphurSprings.svg
Coordinates: 33°8′3″N 95°36′7″W / 33.13417°N 95.60194°W / 33.13417; -95.60194Coordinates: 33°8′3″N 95°36′7″W / 33.13417°N 95.60194°W / 33.13417; -95.60194
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
County Hopkins City Type: Rural/City
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor Emily Glass
Mayor Pro Tem Clay Walker
Craig Johnson
Oscar Aguilar
Freddie Taylor
Kayla Price
John Sellers
 • City Manager Marc Maxwell
 • Total 21.0 sq mi (54.5 km2)
 • Land 17.9 sq mi (46.3 km2)
 • Water 3.2 sq mi (8.2 km2)
Elevation 502 ft (153 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 15,449
 • Density 814.8/sq mi (314.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75482-75483
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-70904[1]
GNIS feature ID 1348056[2]

Sulphur Springs is a city in Hopkins County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,449. It is the county seat of Hopkins County.[3]


Sulphur Springs derives its modern name from the fact that when the area was first settled, springs of sulphur 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.[4] 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.

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 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 th eleadig 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 is 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.

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.

Courthouse Square - ground view of plaza
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 a 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%
Est. 2015 16,098 [5] 4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 15,449 people, 5,959 households, and 3,987 families residing in the city. The population density was 867 people per square mile (314.6/km²). There were 6,654 housing units at an average density of 372.8 per square mile (140.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.4% White, 12.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, .08% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.9% of the population.

There were 5,959 households out of which 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 non-families. 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 population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 19, 6.7% from 20 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age 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 the median income 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.

Radio station[edit]

KSST radio station in Sulphur Springs

Since the late 1940s, Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County has been served by KSST 1230 AM. It was established due to radio pioneer William Bradford, who had gained knowledge during his military service in World War II. The current KSST studios contain a museum in his honor.


Sulphur Springs served by the following highways that run through the city:

The city is also served by a municipal airport. It was named Texas Airport of the Year for 2003 by the Federal Aviation Administration. Railroad Service is provided by the Kansas City Southern Railroad and the shortline Blacklands Railroad is based in Sulphur Springs.

Intercity transportation[edit]

Greyhound provides daily service to Dallas and points west, and Texarkana, Arkansas and all points east. There is no bus depot in Sulphur Springs proper. The Greyhound buses stop at the Pilot truck stop.

Amtrak does not directly serve Sulphur Springs. Its Texas Eagle train stops in nearby Mineola, Texas, with daily service to San Antonio and Chicago, and thrice-weekly service to Los Angeles.

Top Employers[edit]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Sulphur Springs Independent School District 634
2 Grocery Supply Company 450
3 Walmart 400
4 Hopkins County Hospital 357
5 Saputo Foods Inc. 320
6 Owen Sausage 242
7 CMH Manufacturing 218
8 Flowserve 200
9 Hopkins County 160
10 City of Sulphur Springs 150



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

The Paris Junior College location in Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs Center Paris Junior College is a post-secondary education 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 the neighboring city of Commerce, 25 minutes west of Sulphur Springs.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Kelsey, Mavis Parrott; Dyal, Donald H.; Thrower, Frank (2007). The Courthouses of Texas. Texas A&M University Press. p. 142. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]