Bullard, also known as Etna and Hewsville, is on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway at the intersection of U.S. Highway 69 and Farm roads 2493, 2137, and 344, twelve miles south of Tyler in extreme southern Smith County and northern Cherokee County. The area, originally occupied by Caddo Indians, was later on the line between the William H. Steel and the Vinson Moore surveys. The William Pitt Loftin family settled in the area around 1850, and the Etna post office, located to the west of the current townsite opened in 1867. In 1870 John H. and Emma Eugenia Erwin Bullard settled in the area. In 1881 Bullard opened the Hewsville post office in his general store. In 1883 the Etna post office closed and the Hewsville office was renamed Bullard. That same year the Kansas and Gulf Short Line Railroad laid track from Tyler through Bullard to Lufkin. The Bullard railroad station was completed in August 1884. The community soon became a shipping point for cotton, vegetables, and fruits. By 1890 the population was 200, and businesses included a sawmill, two general stores, a physician, a smithy and wagon shop, and a telegraph office. John Bullard owned a cotton gin and gristmill. There was also a local school, a Baptist church, and a Methodist church. At this time the railroad was known as the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway. By 1892 the rail line had become the Tyler and Southwestern Railway, and the town had one grocer, a constable, a justice of the peace, a druggist, a physician, a feed store, and a new general store. In 1903 the community had a school for White children with two teachers and sixty-eight pupils and two schools for Black children with three teachers and 118 students.

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.

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Place type

Bullard is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Burning Bush)
  • (Hewsville)


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Bullard by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
4,101 2019 Texas Demographic Center
2,463 2010 Texas Demographic Center
1,150 2000 Texas Demographic Center
890 1990 Texas Demographic Center