Originally known as Cow Hill, the town was established in 1872 by merchant William Jernigin between the Middle and South Sulphur rivers on the rich, black gumbo prairie in northeast Hunt County. The town was incorporated in 1885, and nine years later, East Texas Normal College moved here from Cooper after the original school burned—today, the school is known as Texas A&M University–Commerce.
Commerce was named the "Bois d'arc Capital of Texas" by the Texas Legislature because of its location in the geographic center of the indigenous range of the bois d'arc tree. The second-largest bois d'arc tree in Texas—"Big Max," recognized by the National Forests Famous and Historic Trees—is within the city limits. In September, the Bois d'Arc Bash celebrates these trees.
The square and downtown are lined with lampposts, benches, live oak trees and colorful plants, with antique brick streets completing the historic setting. The Westside Barber Shop, established in 1886, offers a glimpse of barbering in the early days.
Everything you need to travel within our borders.
Get Your Guide Now ›
Plan your Texas trip then take your Passport with you.
Stay in touch with Texas.
You are now leaving TravelTex.com. You are on your way to an external website.
Economic Development & Tourism (EDT) provides these links solely for the convenience of our visitors and does not endorse, operate or control the external websites. EDT cannot be liable for direct or indirect damage to the user resulting from Internet connections, including but not limited to viruses, pop ups, spyware, or offensive materials.
Don't show this message again.