Terrell, Texas

Coordinates: 32°44′15″N 96°16′57″W / 32.73750°N 96.28250°W / 32.73750; -96.28250
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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
Coordinates: 32°44′15″N 96°16′57″W / 32.73750°N 96.28250°W / 32.73750; -96.28250
CountryUnited StatesUnited States
Incorporated (city)1874
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Rick Carmona
Grady Simpson
Mayrani Velazquez
Charles Whitaker
Tim Royse
 • City ManagerMike Sims
 • Total27.33 sq mi (70.78 km2)
 • Land26.95 sq mi (69.80 km2)
 • Water0.38 sq mi (0.98 km2)
509 ft (155 m)
 • Total17,465
 • Density640/sq mi (250/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)214, 469, 945, 972
FIPS code48-72284
GNIS feature ID1348380[3]

Terrell is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, located in Kaufman County. As of the 2020 census, its population was 17,465.[4] Terrell is located about 32 miles (51 km) east of Dallas.


Terrell developed as a railroad town, beginning in 1873 with the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railroad line.[5] 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 "Round House", to provide better defense against attacks by Native Americans. His house was later fitted with the first glass windows in the county. The community was incorporated in 1875.[6] The first automobile appeared in 1899.[7]

In 1892, Terrell was a sundown town that largely prohibited African Americans from living there.[8]

The Terrell Military College was established in Terrell, 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 was also located in Terrell.


Terrell is located in northern Kaufman County at 32°44′15″N 96°16′57″W / 32.73750°N 96.28250°W / 32.73750; -96.28250 (32.737525, –96.282444).[9] U.S. Route 80 passes through the city center, leading west to Dallas and east 15 miles (24 km) to Wills Point. Interstate 20 passes through the south side of the city, leading west 19 miles (31 km) to Interstate 635 in the southeastern suburbs of Dallas (Balch Springs) and east 27 miles (43 km) to Canton. Texas State Highway 34 passes through the east side of Terrell, leading northeast 32 miles (51 km) to Greenville and south 12 miles (19 km) to Kaufman, the county seat.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Terrell has a total area of 20.0 square miles (51.8 km2), of which 0.3 square miles (0.9 km2), or 1.74%, is covered by water.[4]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification, Terrell has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.[10]


Terrell City Hall
Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census
Iris Theatre in downtown Terrell
Terrell water tower
Terrell racial composition as of 2020[11]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 6,696 38.34%
Black or African American (NH) 4,500 25.77%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 64 0.37%
Asian (NH) 131 0.75%
Pacific Islander (NH) 3 0.02%
Some other race (NH) 40 0.23%
Mixed/multiracial (NH) 604 3.46%
Hispanic or Latino 5,427 31.07%
Total 17,465

As of the 2020 United States census, 17,465 people, 6,023 households, and 4,111 families resided in the city.

Arts and culture[edit]

British Flying Training School[edit]

During World War II, the No. 1 British Flying Training School 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.[14] 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.[15] In 2000, the museum was instrumental in honoring four RAF 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[edit]

The City of Terrell, in partnership with the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum, hosts 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, demonstrations, and activities for every member of the family. The reunion dinner and hangar dance are on Friday night, and the fly-in kicks off with a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning, followed by a ceremony and entertainment until the afternoon.[15]

Terrell Jubilee[edit]

Terrell 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.[16]


Public school[edit]

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.


Health care[edit]

Terrell is the location of the Terrell State Hospital, a psychiatric inpatient hospital with 316 beds operated under the direction of the Texas Department of State Health Services.[17]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[12][13]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 13 September 2012.[dead link]
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ a b "Terrell city, Texas - Census Bureau Profile". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "Terrell Texas". Terrell Chamber Of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "Terrell, TX". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  7. ^ Long, John Sherman (Summer 1975). "Texas in the Gilded Age". Southwest Review. 60 (3): 300. JSTOR 43471232.
  8. ^ "Color Line at Elmo". San Saba County News. San Saba County, Texas. July 22, 1892. Reprinted in "The Race Feeling in Texas". Weekly Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina. August 1, 1892. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com. 'In Terrell also very few negroes are barely tolerated, and in many sections everything is done to discourage negro immigration.'
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ Climate Summary for Terrell, Texas
  11. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2022-05-22.
  12. ^ https://www.census.gov/ [not specific enough to verify]
  13. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  14. ^ Killebrew, Tom: The Royal Air Force in Texas: Training British Pilots in Terrell during World War II
  15. ^ a b No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum website
  16. ^ City of Terrell Heritage Jubilee website
  17. ^ Terrell State Hospital website
  18. ^ "TerrellHallOfFameInduction". Archived from the original on 2012-06-02. Retrieved 2013-03-22.

External links[edit]