While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


J. E. Jennings

SULPHUR SPRINGS, TEXAS (Hopkins County). Sulphur Springs, the county seat of Hopkins County, is at the junction of Interstate 30 and State highways 11, 19, and 154, in the central portion of the county. The town was originally known as Bright Star when stores and a hotel were first built at the site, which had become a popular camping place for teamsters hauling commodities west from Jefferson. A Methodist church was organized in 1852 and a Baptist in 1859. A post office named Bright Star was established in 1854, and the Odd Fellows' Lodge continued to bear that name until 1949. Bright Star was incorporated possibly as early as 1852. Dr. O. S. Davis deeded the public square to the county when the town was rechartered and became the county seat in 1870. The name was changed to Sulphur Springs in 1871, when the mineral springs in the area were being advertised to make the town a health resort. By 1885 Sulphur Springs had Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and two African-American churches, a high school, several private schools, a flour mill, planing and saw mills, furniture factories, foundries and machine shops, wagon factories, tanneries, three hotels, an opera house, two banks, two weekly newspapers (the Sulphur Springs Gazette and the Hopkins County Echo), and a reported population of 2,500. Central College, a Methodist institution, was organized in 1881 and became Eastman College in 1895. A courthouse was built on the east side of the public square in 1882 after Tarrant lost the position of county seat. After the building burned in 1894, a new granite and limestone courthouse in the Romanesque Revival style, designed by James Riely Gordon, was built. Sulphur Springs continued to prosper during the early years of the twentieth century, and by 1914 the number of inhabitants topped 5,000. The town adopted a home-rule charter in 1917 and a commission-manager government in 1947. The population remained steady until after World War II and subsequently grew steadily. In 1970 the city reported 10,642 inhabitants and 298 businesses; the 1990 population was 14,062. In 2000 the population was 14,551. Industries included manufacture of a variety of products, including men's work clothing, women's dresses, mattresses, dairy equipment, transmission parts, ready-mix concrete, sheet-metal products, movable shutters, high-pressure valves, and petrochemical products. Among the local tourist attractions are Cooper Lake State Park, the Hopkins County Museum and Heritage Park, which contains a number of historic houses, and the Music Box Gallery, a collection of more than 150 music boxes.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, J. E. Jennings, "SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX (HOPKINS COUNTY)," accessed August 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hes08.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...