Ferris, Texas is a small, rural town located in Ellis County, about 20 miles south of Dallas. Despite its small size and quiet nature, Ferris has played host to a number of historical events throughout its history. Here are seven notable historical events that have taken place in or near Ferris, TX.
1. The Battle of Waxahachie: On December 6th, 1863, a small skirmish occurred between Union and Confederate forces near Waxahachie, just a few miles north of Ferris. While the Union army was ultimately forced to withdraw, the battle marked an important moment in the Civil War for North Texas.
2. The founding of Ferris: Ferris was officially founded in 1874, named after Judge Justus Wesley Ferris who donated land for the town square. Originally a farming community, Ferris grew into a small but bustling town with its own post office, school, and businesses.
3. The Ferris Train Wreck: On May 12th, 1896, a terrible train accident occurred just outside of Ferris when two trains collided head-on. At least 22 people were killed and many more injured in the disaster.
4. The founding of Southwestern Assemblies of God University: In 1927, Southwestern Assemblies of God University was founded in Waxahachie, just a few miles north of Ferris. Over the years, the university has grown into a major institution of higher education, offering degree programs in areas like ministry, education, business, and more.
5. The Great Depression: Like many small towns across the US, Ferris was hit hard by the Great Depression. The population dipped and businesses closed, but the town was ultimately able to weather the storm and recover after the economy improved.
6. The Civil Rights movement: In the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement swept across the US, and even small towns like Ferris weren't immune to the changes it brought. Ellis County saw protests and sit-ins in support of equal rights for African Americans, and Ferris was a part of that movement.
7. The restoration of the Ferris Cemetery: The Ferris Cemetery is a historic site that dates back over a hundred years. Unfortunately, over time the cemetery had fallen into disrepair, with headstones broken and grave markers missing. In recent years, however, the community has come together to restore the cemetery and preserve its history.
Ferris may be a small town, but it has played an important role in the history of North Texas. From battles and train wrecks to the founding of a university and the Civil Rights movement, these seven events all helped shape Ferris into the town it is today.
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