The city's name comes from a Native American word meaning "cow (or buffalo) creek." Now the seat of Ellis County, the town was once squarely on the Chisholm Trail as part of the Shawnee Trail. Waxahachie is noted for an abundance of elaborate Victorian-style homes with "gingerbread" trim. Several movies have been made in the city featuring its old buildings and homes. For a map of these sites, visit the Ellis County Museum.
Bessie Coleman, born in Atlanta, grew up here. She became the first black person in the world to become a licensed pilot in June 1921. The late Paul Richards—a longtime player and manager for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves—also called Waxahachie home.