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.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
At a Glance
Bardwell is part of or belongs to the following places.
Adopt a Town
The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.
- Adoption Status: ✅
- This place is available for adoption!
- Adopted by:
- Your name goes here
- Dedication Message:
- Your message goes here
Bardwell is classified as a Town
Has Post Office
Proud to call Texas home?
Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.
Search Places »
Bardwell by the Numbers
This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."
|625||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|723||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|649||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|583||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|387||1990||United States Census Bureau|