HISTORY OF ENNIS, TEXAS
In 1871, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad (H&TC) purchased 647 acres of land in Ellis County at a price of $5.00 per acre, establishing the line’s northern terminus. On June 8, 1872 this site was established as the City of Ennis. The namesake of the town was Cornelius Ennis, an early official of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. Ennis served as Mayor of Houston (1856-1857), was an incorporator and director of the Great Northern Railroad, and served as director of the H&TC Railroad.
The railroad was the key to the development of Ennis as an agricultural, commercial, and later, an industrial center. In 1920, a total of 152,601 bales of cotton were ginned in Ellis County, the most in any county in America. By 1930, Ennis was known as the place “Where Railroads and Cotton Fields Meet”
For over 135 years, Ennis has successfully repositioned its strategic business focus from railroad, to agriculture, to modern industry. Ennis continues to embrace the rapidly changing business environment and enthusiastically looks forward to a very dynamic future.
HISTORY OF THE ENNIS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Originally known as the Businessman’s Commercial Club, the Ennis Chamber of Commerce was organized before 1900 and was very active in the new thriving city of Ennis. On July 16, 1918, the club incorporated and changed their name to the Ennis Chamber of Commerce. The first elected officers include, J. H. Henderson, J. R. McMurray, Fred A. Newton and P. C. Matthews.
The purpose and objectives of this group set out over ninety years ago was to provide and maintain suitable rooms for the conduct of their business and to establish and maintain uniformity in the commercial usage of the city. They were also to acquire, preserve and disseminate valuable business information and to promote the interests of trade and increase facilities of commercial transactions.
Today’s chamber Mission is strikingly similar: “Working together to improve, grow, to promote the economic, business, civic and cultural well-being of our community.” A membership base is built from the local business community whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. They elect a board of directors or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board then hires a President/CEO to run the organization.
The chamber office is located at 108 Chamber of Commerce Drive, just off Interstate 45 at Exit 251B. Mailing address for the Ennis Chamber is Post Office Box 1177, Ennis, TX 75120, 972-878-2625