"We Shoot Straight with You"
32° 19' 44" N, 96° 8' 11" W 32.328889, -96.136389
FM 85 (off US175)
58 miles SE of Dallas
20 miles NW of Athens
Population: 6,006 est. (2016)
5,672 (2010) 5,145 (2000) 3,526 (1990)
Photo courtesy John Stankewitz, January 2005
in a Pecan Shell
Gun Barrel City, despite the frontier-sounding name, has only been
around since the 1960s when the Cedar Creek Reservoir was built.
The population was only 60 in 1970, and the people voted on incorporation
so that the town could sell beer.
The name originated from Gun Barrel Lane, which has become State Highway
198. It was a shortcut connecting Mabank
and Seven Points and we think it's safe to assume the reference was
to the relatively straight nature of the road.
Our source, The Handbook of Texas Online, reports that the
community has won second place (twice) in the Governor's Community
Fishing is not mandatory, but it's more of a lifestyle than
a recreation in Gun Barrel City. Remember their motto is "We shoot
straight WITH you." Not "We shoot straight AT you." (Houston's unofficial
and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Gunsight, Point Blank and Winchester"by
The stereotypical Texan is seldom gun shy when it comes to settling
a difficulty with violence, a mythology reflected in the number of
Lone Star communities with names
evocative of rough and tumble ways.
At least five such towns come to mind: Cut
and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Gunsight,
Point Blank and Winchester...
Gun Barrel City is in Henderson County, about 20 miles northwest of
Athens. As Texas
towns go, it’s not very old, having started during the building of
Cedar Creek Reservoir in the 1960s. Since then, you might say Gun
Barrel City has grown faster than a speeding bullet, shooting from
a population of 60 in 1970 to 5,000-plus in 2000.
Many a barroom denizen has learned the hard way that gunpowder and
alcohol do not mix, but Gun Barrel City was incorporation to facilitate
the legal sale of beer and wine.
The town got its name from its motto, “We shoot straight with you.”
The town’s symbol, of course, is a rifle. But, as the Handbook of
Texas Online points out, a roadway known as Gun Barrel Lane cut through
the area well before the lake was there. Since the road represented
a short cut from Mabank
to Seven Points, the Gun Barrel descriptor might have had to do with
its straightness between A and B...more
Gun Barrel City
I believe some
of your information on Gun Barrel City in Texas is mistaken, of course
it's all in who you ask. But a man by the name of J. C. Waits named
the town. After his death hs wife and stepson continued to run the
first beer store until her death in 1990 I believe.- T.L. Fox, September
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact