Commerce, Texas

Commerce, Texas

The City of Commerce is home to Texas A&M University-Commerce, one of the smallest college towns in Texas. Photograph credit: East Texas State Normal College, 1920 Locust Yearbook.

Commerce is at the juncture of State highways 50, 11, 24, and 224, fifteen miles from Greenville in northeastern Hunt County. It owes its origins to William Jernigin, a pioneer merchant in partnership with Josiah Hart Jackson in nearby Cow Hill, who in 1872 opened a mercantile store on the site of the northwest corner of the present town square to take advantage of a new trade route that developed with the building of a new bridge on the South Sulphur River. The community grew up around Jernigin's store and apparently received its name on one of Jernigin's business trips to Jefferson. Jernigin had his merchandise sent to "commerce," since his small community did not have a name. In 1885, the year of incorporation, Commerce had twelve businesses in addition to a hotel and livery stable, a wood shop and wagon factory, and a steam mill and gin, as well as a church and school. In 1887 the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (the Cotton Belt) connected Commerce with Texarkana, Sherman, and Fort Worth. During the 1890s Commerce gained additional rail outlets to Ennis and Paris with the arrival of the Texas Midland Railroad. Commerce has been a college town since 1894, when William L. Mayo moved his East Texas Normal College from Cooper to Commerce to benefit from the rail connections and to collect a $1,000 bonus offered by the community.

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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Commerce is part of or belongs to the following places.

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Place type

Commerce is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Ashland)
  • (Cowhill)


  • Latitude

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Commerce by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
9,090 2020 United States Census Bureau
9,786 2019 Texas Demographic Center
8,078 2010 United States Census Bureau
7,669 2000 United States Census Bureau
6,825 1990 United States Census Bureau
8,136 1980 United States Census Bureau
9,534 1970 United States Census Bureau
5,789 1960 United States Census Bureau
5,889 1950 United States Census Bureau
4,699 1940 United States Census Bureau
4,267 1930 United States Census Bureau
3,842 1920 United States Census Bureau
2,818 1910 United States Census Bureau
1,800 1900 United States Census Bureau
810 1890 United States Census Bureau