BARDWELL, TEXAS. Bardwell is on Farm Road 984 and State Highway 34 just west of Bardwell Lake and ten miles southeast of Waxahachie in southeastern Ellis County. The community developed in the early 1880s when John W. Bardwell built a cotton gin a mile southwest of the present townsite. Bethany school and cemetery, a mile south of present Bardwell, also served the new community as a place of worship until Bardwell's first school was built in 1892 and a Baptist church was organized the following year. Residents also established a Methodist church and opened a post office branch in 1893. When the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway was routed through the county in 1907, the gin was moved to the nearest stretch of track. The community followed, and a townsite was surveyed. Due to its location in an outstanding cotton producing area, Bardwell prospered through the 1920s. Besides its three cotton gins, the town had two banks, six grocery stores, four dry goods stores, a gristmill, a lumberyard, and a weekly newspaper, the Herald. By 1914 Bardwell had its own telephone system and electric power supplied by new lines from Ennis. Residents built an open-air tabernacle to shelter political meetings, revivals, traveling Chautauquas, and popular summer singing programs. In 1929 the population reached a high of 650, served by more than twenty-five businesses. The Great Depression and drought drained Bardwell's economy in the 1930s, and when the main road was rerouted to the new State Highway 34 in the early 1940s, most of the businesses either closed or moved to the highway. In 1958 the Bardwell school was consolidated with the Ennis schools. In 1972 Bardwell had 277 residents, two gins, three churches, and a handful of small businesses. The population in 1988 was 348; in 1990 it was 387, and in 2000 it grew to 583.
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, David Minor, "Bardwell, TX," accessed January 18, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb07.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.