TERRELL, TEXAS. Terrell is on U.S. Highway 80 and State highways 34 and 205, thirty miles east of Dallas in northern Kaufman County. One of the first settlers in the area was George Paschall, who arrived in 1848. When the Texas and Pacific Railway crossed North Texas in 1873, two enterprising Kaufman County citizens, C. C. Nash and John G. Moore, purchased 320 acres in the J. W. Cude survey, and laid out streets and lots for business and home sites. The town was named in honor of Robert A. Terrell, a pioneer settler whose farm lay on its western edge.
The community grew rapidly and was incorporated in 1875. By the mid-1880s it had a population of 3,000, served by two banks, two hotels, three flour mills, three cotton gins, three weekly newspapers, and nine churches. The North Texas Insane Asylum (now Terrell State Hospital) was opened in Terrell in 1885 to help relieve overcrowding at the state institution in Austin. By 1890 local businesses included a creamery, a canning factory, and an iron foundry; the town was also the shipping point for cattle, cotton, and timber raised in the area. In 1892 Edward Howland Robinson Green chose Terrell as the headquarters for the Texas Midland Railroad. During World War II, British pilots trained at what is now the municipal airport.
The population has grown steadily over years, the 2010 census reporting the population to be 15,816.
W. E. Henderson, Historical Sketch of Terrell, Texas (Terrell: Reeves Brothers Printing, 1926). Jack Stoltz, Terrell (San Antonio: Naylor, 1973).