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Smith County TX
Smith County
Cherokee County TX
Cherokee County

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AKA Etna and Hewsville

Smith County / Cherokee County, East Texas

32° 8' 27" N, 95° 19' 18" W (32.140833, -95.321667)
US 69 and FMs 2493, 2137, and 344
15 miles S of Tyler
15 miles N of Jacksonville
Population: 3,051 Est. (2016)
2,463 (2010) 1,150 (2000)

Bullard, Texas Area Hotels › Tyler Hotels
Bullard Texas main street and drug store
Downtown Bullard
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, December 2005

History in a Pecan Shell

The Etna post office, just west of Bullard was granted in 1867, even though settlers had been in the vicinity since the early 1850s. John and Emma Bullard arrived about 1870 and a new post office named Hewsville opened in Bullard's store in 1881. This caused the closing of the Etna post office in 1883 and a renaming of the Hewsville post office to Bullard.

When the Kansas and Gulf Short Line Railroad extended their route from Tyler to Lufkin they passed through Bullard and built a depot. In 1890 there were 200 residents and the town had most essential business plus a doctor and a telegraph office.

The railroad was renamed several times - becoming the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway and then (1892) the Tyler and Southwestern Railway. In 1903 the two schools (segregated) had five teachers and 186 students between them.

By 1914 the population had doubled to 400 and the railroad changed names once again - becoming the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad.

The 1920s saw the opening of a theater and the forming of a community band. The town also gained some notoriety for its unique holding tank - a 7 foot diameter wooden tub with bars mounted on a wagon frame. When full, the contraption was driven to Tyler for emptying.

The population was still just 450 after WWII and the community didn't get a city council until and until 1948.

By the mid 1960s the population had declined to only 300 but rebounded by 1973 when it was back up to 573. The community is now concentrated around the crossroads and most resident commute to nearby Tyler.
Bullard Texas Downtown
Downtown Bullard
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, December 2005
Bullard’s Well
(From Roaming Around East Texas by Bob Bowman)

A Bullard landmark, the town’s old well, has been awarded a state historical marker. Inside a building at the corner of Houston and Main, is the old well, which once stood in the middle of the street. Local folks believe the well tapped into an underground water source.
Historical Marker (105 E. Main):

Bullard Water Well

On this site, the historic town well of Bullard marks the origin of the community. In 1883, the Kansas and Gulf Short Line railroad extended tracks from Tyler to Lufkin, and the town of Bullard, named for postmaster John Henry Bullard, supplanted the earlier communities of Etna and Hewsville.

A reliable public water source helped Bullard to grow and thrive. This and other wells in Smith County utilize the Carrizo-Wilcox major aquifer and the Queen City minor aquifer. Water can be drawn by pumps, windmills, or buckets lowered to the water table. This natural resource provided drinking water for people and animals and also served as a social gathering place early in Bullard’s history.
Bullard Tx - Methodist Church

Bullard Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007

Bullard Texas - Mt Nevelton Church

Mt Nevelton Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007

Bullard Texas - Mt Nevelton Cemetery

Mt Nevelton Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007

Bullard Texas - Church Of Christ

Church Of Christ
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007
More Texas Churches

Bullard Tx Building

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007

Old gin near downtown Bullard, Texas
Old gin near downtown Bullard
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, March 2001
See Texas Cotton Gins
Old barn ruins in Bullard Texas
"Old Barn in Bullard Texas. This barn was across the Street from the Douglas Cemetery. It was on the Property of the Old Douglas Plantation. I Don't know when the barn was built but I took the picture in 2001 and I drove by the other day and the barn was now a pile of rubble." - Lori Martin, December 2005
Bullard TX Barn
Barns in Bullard
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, May 2011
Bullard Tx - Douglas Cemetery

Douglas Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007
More Texas Cemeteries

Bullard Tx - Barn Across From Cemetery

Barn across from the cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007

Bullard, Texas Area Day Trips

  • TYLER - A drive with beauty and history
    Excerpted from "The East Texas Sunday Drive Book" by Bob Bowman

  • Burning Bush – An East Texas Ghost Town
    An excerpt from The 25 Best Ghost Towns of East Texas by Bob Bowman

    They say in Bullard if you stand beneath the pecan trees south of Bullard and turn your head slightly to the north wind, you can almost hear the hallelujahs of an old-fashioned church revival.

    It was here, on a rich piece of black East Texas ground straddling the Cherokee and Smith County border, that men and women of another era fashioned a community unlike anything we’ve seen since the early 1900s.

    Burning Bush is gone today, remembered only by a grove of nut and fruit trees and a few old wells, but in 1913... Read full article

  • Jacksonville

  • Etna, TX 1893 canceled postmark
    Etna, TX 1893 canceled postmark
    Cover canceled with Etna, TX 1873 postmark
    Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

    Take a road trip
    Bullard, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Tyler | Jacksonville
    See Smith County / Cherokee County | East Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    Tyler Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.































































































































































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