Railroads again became important shapers of local history in the
1890's, when Terrell became the headquarters of one of the nation’s
most prosperous short line railroads, the Texas Midland Railroad,
with Col. E.H.R. “Ned” Green as president.
Green, son of the “witch of Wall Street” Hetty Green (at the
time the richest woman in America), was a colorful character,
as well-known for his personal exploits as for his business
acumen. Ned Green made the first automobile trip in Texas, a
Terrell to Dallas, at speeds of 20-25 mph. He also suffered
the first auto accident in Texas. During the Dallas trip, Green
auto company representative George Dorris were crowded off
the road by a farm wagon and ended up in a ditch!
1920, the Terrell State Hospital, with 2,300 patients, was the
largest facility of its kind west of the Mississippi. Terrell
was the commercial center of the county, and the downtown main
street was crowded every Saturday as farm families came to town
to trade and visit. Cotton reigned as the cash crop in rural areas
surrounding the town. During this period more cotton was shipped
from Terrell than from any other single place in the world.
During World War II a British Flight Training School (#1 BFTS)
opened at the southern edge of the city. The airfield and its
buildings provided sites for post-war industries, the beginning
of the industrial diversification Terrell enjoys today.
Terrell Heritage Museum
207 North Frances St.
Open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Wed, Thur and Sat., 1 - 4 p.m. Sun., or by appointment,
The Terrell Heritage Museum, operated by the Terrell Heritage
Society, houses memorabilia from the #1 British Flying Training
School, early railroads, and the institutions and people that
contributed to the city’s history and cultural heritage. The
museum is housed in the 1904 Carnegie Library.
Terrell House, Bowser Circle
The R. A. Terrell House (c.1860-65) on the campus of Southwestern
Christian College was one of the city’s first homes. The home
of city founder Robert A. Terrell, the house is one of twenty
surviving Round Houses in the U. S. It is both a state and
national historic landmark. (Interior not open to the public.)
L. E. Griffith House, 805 First St.
The L. E. Griffith House (c. 1880) is a fine example of early
Texas architecture. It was one of the city’s early homes
and was owned by the same family for five generations. It
as both a state and a national historic landmark. (Interior
not open to the public.)
Porter Farm, 1 mi. north on FM 986
Porter Farm is the birthplace of the U. S. Agricultural Extension
Service. Established in 1903, this “demonstration” farm became
the model for agricultural extension programs throughout the nation.
The farm is both a Texas and National Historic Landmark.
Visitors are invited to travel back in time on a Terrell