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 Texas : Towns A-Z / East Texas :

BULLARD, TEXAS

AKA Etna and Hewsville
Smith County,
East Texas
US 69 and FMs 2493, 2137, and 344
12 miles S of Tyler
15 miles N of Jacksonville

Population: 1,150 (2000)

Bullard, Texas Area Hotels
Tyler Hotels

Bullard Texas Downtown
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.
Bullard Texas main street and drug store
Another view of downtown Bullard
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, December 2005
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’s Well

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.
(From Roaming Around East Texas by Bob Bowman)
Old barn near downtown Bullard, Texas
Old barn near downtown Bullard

Photo courtesy Lori Martin, March 2001
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, 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... more

  • Jacksonville
  • Bullard, Texas Area Destinations:
    Tyler
    Jacksonville

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