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Bullard is a small town in Smith and Cherokee counties in the eastern part of the state of Texas. U.S. Route 69 and Farm-to-Market Roads 2137, 2493, and 344, intersect here, about 15 miles (24 km) south of the city of Tyler. The population was 2,463 at the 2010 census, up from 1,150 at the 2000 census.
The area dates back to the 1800s. The Etna post office, just west of Bullard, was granted in 1867, although settlers had been in the vicinity since the early 1850s. John and Emma Bullard arrived about 1870. A new post office named Hewsville was opened in the Bullards' store in 1881. The Etna post office was closed in 1883 and the Hewsville post office was renamed "Bullard."
When the Kansas and Gulf Short Line Railroad extended its route from Tyler to Lufkin, it passed through Bullard and built a depot there. This attracted new residents and businesses. In 1890, the town had 200 residents and most essential businesses, plus a doctor and a telegraph office. The railroad was renamed several times - becoming the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway and then (1892) the Tyler and Southwestern Railway.
In 1903, the two public schools (segregated) had five teachers and 186 students between them. By 1914, the population had doubled to 400 and the railroad changed names once again - becoming the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad.
During the 1920s a theater opened in town and a community band was formed. The town gained some notoriety for its unique holding tank - a 7-foot-diameter (2.1 m) wooden tub with bars mounted on a wagon frame. When full, the contraption was driven to Tyler for emptying.
The population was 450 after World War II. The community did not organize to elect a city council until 1948.
By the mid-1960s, the population had declined to 300, but it rebounded by 1973, when it reached 573. The community is now concentrated around the crossroads. Most residents commute for work to nearby Tyler.
The Smith County portion of the town is part of the Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Cherokee County portion is part of the Jacksonville Micropolitan Statistical Area.
The town is named for John H. and Emma Eugenia (Erwin) Bullard in recognition of their contributions to the area and the post office that was located in their store for many years.
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