Located in northeast Hunt County
between the South and Middle Sulphur Rivers, commerce is approximately
fifteen miles northeast of Greenville, the county seat of Hunt County.
First settled under the name "Cow Hill," a settlement about one and one-half
miles from present Commerce, the area was first settled by Josiah Hart
jackson about 1856. Cow Hill had a grist mill, a race track, and
a general store. Around 1869, the community was given the name "Ashland"
when a United States Post Office was established there.
The town of Commerce was actually
established in 1872 when Josiah Hart Jackson's brother-in-law, William
Jernigin established a store on what is now Washington Street with his
son James. The name "Commerce" is attributed to Jernigin because
legands indicate that when he bought goods for his store from East Texas
towns, he instructed merchants to bill it to "Commerce." Other stores
soon grew up around the small, wood-frame general store. When the
town began to grow extensively, Jernigin moved his store to Main Street.
William L. Mayo's East texas
Normal College was moved to Commerce in 1894 after a fire in cooper.
The school, presently Texas A&M University-Commerce, has undergone
several name changes since its sale to the State of Texas in 1917.
The Cotton Belt Railway came to Commerce in 1887.