Bridgeport, TX


By: David Minor

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994


Bridgeport is on State Highway 114 eight miles west of Decatur and two miles east of Lake Bridgeport in western Wise County. It originated in February 1860 when a group organized by William H. Hunt secured a charter from the West Fork Bridge Company to build a bridge across the West Fork of the Trinity River. The bridge was to be part of the Butterfield Overland Mail route. Pierce Woodward suggested the name. A year later, however, the Civil War began, the mail route was abandoned, and the wooden bridge collapsed. Bridgeport remained a small, rural community until 1873, when a new iron bridge was constructed for transporting supplies from Decatur to Fort Richardson. In May of that year a post office was established. In the 1880s coal was discovered near the town, and for the next forty years the Wise County Coal Company was one of the state's chief producers of bituminous coal. Competition from oil and gas forced the coal mines to close in 1929.

In 1893, when Rock Island tracks reached within two miles of Bridgeport, the town moved a mile east to take advantage of the rail line. The railroad established Bridgeport as an retail center for area cattle ranchers and dairy farmers. The town incorporated in 1913 and in 1920 had a population of 1,872. By the end of the decade Bridgeport was producing crushed stone for road construction and was the site of a brick factory. The completion of Lake Bridgeport in 1931 further diversified the economy; Bridgeport became a tourist center for visitors to the lake. The population of Bridgeport grew steadily after the 1920s and surpassed 2,000 in the mid-1950s. In 1986 it had an estimated 3,737 residents and 153 businesses and was the second largest town in Wise County. In 1990 the population was 3,581, and in 2000 it was 4,309.

Cliff D. Cates, Pioneer History of Wise County (Decatur, Texas: Old Settlers Association, 1907). Rosalie Gregg, ed., Wise County History (Vol. 1, n.p: Nortex, 1975; Vol. 2, Austin: Eakin, 1982).
Places:
  • Communities

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

David Minor, “Bridgeport, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/bridgeport-tx.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

1952
November 1, 1994

Place
Bridgeport
Currently Exists
Yes
Place Type
Town
USGS ID
2409907
Town Fields
  • Has post office: Yes
  • Is Incorporated: Yes
Belongs to
  • Wise County
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 33.21455040°
  • Longitude: -97.76212400°
Population Counts
People Year
498 1890
900 1900
2,000 1910
1,872 1920
2,464 1930
1,735 1940
2,049 1950
3,218 1960
3,614 1970
3,737 1980
3,581 1990
4,309 2000
5,976 2010
7,092 2019