Terrell was located on the Texas & Pacific Railroad route and some of the land was given to the railroad with the condition that a permanent depot would be established within the donated land. The first depot in 1873 was just a 20 x 60 frame but by 1884 it almost doubled in size to include an office, waiting room and freight room. A separate passenger depot was built across the street.
The old depot standing today was built in 1911 and still maintains most of its original features. The depot was closed however, in 1977 but remains part of Terrell's railroad history.
This is the oldest black Baptist congregation in existence in Terrell with its history going back to 1877 when the first group of worshippers gathered together under an Brush Arbor. There were two previous churches built in different locations with the last one being destroyed by fire. This current church was built in 1940.
Gov Oscar Branch Colquitt (1861 - 1940) was the 24th governor of Texas from 1911 - 1915. He was known as the Napoleon of Texas Politics as well as 'Little Oscar' because of his height. Born in Georgia, he was a descendant of the American Revolution and Civil War fighters. During his life he was a tenant farmer, Newspaperman, Texas Senator and Railroad Commissioner. His legal residence during both terms as Govenor, was in Terrell.
William Henry Burnett was a black farm boy and promising scholastic pupil who under the guidance of a Presbyterian Missionary Alexander R Wilson, received an education and was awarded a scholarship to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Once trained as a teacher, he returned to Texas to dedicate his life to the education of black children. After teaching in several communities, Burnett became the principal of Terrell's black school in 1900. During his 44 years of service he achieved the organisation of the systems first high school program and the formation of a school band. He was noted for his public speaking ability and teacher workshops. He was one of the leading educators of the state and also an active Mason, Church Member and civic leader. The elementary school on this site was name for him in 1979.
The old City Hall was built in 1914 by architects Van Slyke and Woodruff and remained active in this role until around 1989 when it was converted to a Community Service Centre - which is still is today.
The Downtown Shopping Area is part of the Terrell Historical District and more than $4 million is being spent on renovation under the Main Street Program.
The Corley/Hulsey House was built in 1896 by John Neilson, a former shipbuilder. A lot of the building materials were shipped to Jefferson, Texas by boat and then by railroad to Terrell. The Victorian style architecture has an unusual design of 3 landings and a curly pine and cypress. Formerly owned by John Corley.
Quite an unusual mansion which was built in1904 by Robert Lee Warren who in 1911 - 1915 was a State Senator and entertained many leading Texans in his home.
There are 18 rooms which include a formal reception hall, two large drawing rooms, a conservatory, 10 fireplaces and a basement and attic. It was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1973 and is currently undergoing renovations.
The Carnegie Library Building was completed in 1904 and sits on the site owned by a local publisher who later became the Governor of Texas. The building was a gift by Andrew Carnegie and is the only library in Kaufman County serving students from 5 local colleges. The building has been recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark.
The Terrill Heritage Museum is also located in the Carnegie Library Building
The local Heritage Society collects, preserves and displays items about Terrell and the surrounding area. There is a 1912 Estey pipe organ which has been restored to playing condition and many artefacts from the No.1 British Flying Training School which operated during World War II and trained both Royal Air Force pilots and some US Army pilots.
Southwestern Christian College was originally founded in 1949 as Southern Bible Institute in Fort Worth, Texas then moved the following year to Terrell. Its primary purpose is to offer a well-rounded educational program that motivates students to value academic excellence and to assist educational, culturally and/or economically disadvantaged students in transiting from high school to college.
R.A. Terrell House (c.1860-65) is on the campus of Southwestern Christian College was one of the city's first homes. The home belonged to the founder of the city, Robert A. Terrell and is one of only 20 surviving round houses in the U. S. It is both a state and national historic landmark. (Interior not open to the public.) This house replaced the log cabin that Robert Terrell originally had in 1845.
The first church commenced its construction on this site in 1878 in a Victorian Gothic style and was completed in 1907. It has an elaborately carved oak altar and rare Gratian organ. The site is listed as a Texas Historic Landmark.
In 1920, the Terrell State Hospital with 2,300 patients was the largest facility of its kind west of the Mississippi. TSH offers services for mental illness and mental retardation to enable those afflicted to make choices that will enrich their lives, give dignity and increase independence. The hospital provides services to individuals within a 22-county, 14,622 square mile area.
The church was organised in 1873, the same year the Texas & Pacific Railroad opened a station in Terrell. By 1900, the membership had grown to 495 and so a larger brick edifice replaced the first sanctuary. The fellowship helped support Wesley College which was located in Terrell from 905-1911 and also built the city tabernacle which was the site of public gatherings from 1905 to 1915.
Midland Railroad #993 El Paso Rail Car - This was the private car of 'Ned' Green, President of the Midland Railroad and it is on display in Ben Gill Park. Green was a prominent citizen of Terrell and served as the state Republican Party Chairman in 1896. (see Cultural Tips). A special exhibit in the rail car is planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Texas' first gasoline-powered motorcar trip, taken by Green in 1899. In the 1890's Terrell became the headquarters of one of the nations prosperous short line railroads - The Texas Midland Railroad.
This area was originally occupied as by the former Texas Military College. There are 15 buildings on the campus.