Wills Point Texas

The Rose Monument in Wills Point, Texas
The Rose Monument in Wills Point

Location

The City of Wills Point is located in northwestern Van Zandt County Texas on U.S. Highway 80 (South Commerce Street) and Texas Highway 64.

The city is situated northwest of Canton, southwest of Emory and west of Grand Saline. It lies about 50 miles east of Dallas.

History

Founded in 1873, Wills Point gets its name from an early American settler, William Wills, who arrived in the area around 1848. In 1856 Wills purchased from the state 320 acres on the Dallas-Shreveport Road, built corrals, kept supplies, and furnished his log cabin as a resting place for travelers.

Wills Point Today

It is designated "The Bluebird Capital of Texas" and often called the "The Gateway to East Texas".

The structure in the center of North 4th Street is the Rose Monument. German brothers B.W. and Isaac Edward “Ike” Rose came to nearby Cedar Grove in 1873 and the same year moved to Wills Point where they opened Rose Dry Goods Store. The monument has tiers of basins for plants, a center projection that extends to a height of about 12-15 feet and attached to the projection are four light posts. The concrete fountain has a circular base with steps, water trough, vases and a central column with globe lights and finial. The iconic fountain serves as a gathering spot, a focus for celebrations, and a welcome to the city’s commercial district.

The log cabin in Bruce Park is the original residence of William Wills, the founder of Wills Point. Bruce Park is designed to resemble the stage stop as it would have looked in 1848, when the Wills Family ran it. 

Wills Point’s historic district has brick streets, a railroad depot museum known as Mitchell Hall.

The Texas & Pacific Railway depot in Wills Point ... the locale of Mitchell Hall

The Texas & Pacific Railway depot in Wills Point, Texas ... the locale of Mitchell Hall

 

The restored red T&P caboose in Wills Point
The restored red T&P caboose in Wills Point

The Texas and Pacific (T&P) railway built the brick depot in Wills Point in 1927.  It was the last brick depot built from Dallas to Marshall for the T&P.  A restored T&P caboose is located at the corner of Highway 80 and 4th Street.

In 1991, Veterans Memorial Park was established on Highway 80 by the American Legion Post 303 and VFW Post 7837 to honor veterans who live or have lived in the Wills Point area. The park includes a 105 MM Howitzer cannon, benches, decorative fencing and an American flag that can be seen throughout the city.

The Van Zandt County Regional Airport (76F) is located about 3 miles southeast of downtown Wills Point.

The Wills Point Business Park is located on 146 acres of land fronting on U.S. Highway 80 about one mile east of downtown. Union Pacific dual tracks run the length of the park. It is situated within two miles of Van Zandt County Regional Airport and 8 miles from Interstate Highway I-20.

Wills Point Texas City Limit

City of Wills Point

Wills Point Economic Development

Wills Point Chamber of Commerce

Wills Point Independent School District

Van Zandt County

Van Zandt County Regional Airport

Lake Tawakoni

Population 3,747 residents in the 2020 Federal Census
Area Code 903
Zip Code 75169

 

Interactive Map of Wills Point Texas (courtesy of Google)


Map of  U.S. Highway 80 from the Texas-Louisiana state line near Waskom to Dallas showing the location of Wills Point
Map of today's route of  U.S. Highway 80 from the Texas-Louisiana state line near Waskom to Dallas

Map of East Texas

Map of East Texas Counties and Larger Cities

Lake Tawakoni

Lake Tawakoni, also known as the Iron Bridge Dam and Reservoir Project, was the first major project built by the Sabine River Authority of Texas. The lake has a surface area of about 36,700 acres. The dam is located about 10 miles northeast of Wills Point, and the reservoir lies within parts of Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt Counties.

Lake Tawakoni Dam in Texas
Lake Tawakoni Dam (photo courtesy of the Sabine River Authority)

The project's primary purpose is one of water conservation and supply. The reservoir as-built storage capacity at conservation pool elevation of 437.5 mean sea level .

The South Fork, Cowleech Fork, and Caddo Forks that all formed the Sabine River headwaters are now submerged under the lake and the lake now serves as the headwaters of the Sabine River.

Nearby is the Lake Tawakoni State Park which offers fishing, boating, camping, hiking, birding and other outdoor activities.

Read more about Lake Tawakoni

 

More East Texas Attractions

While visiting the Wills Point area, you may want to take other interesting day trips in several directions:

    • Jefferson - antiques, Jay Gould's railroad car, Jefferson Carnegie Library, steam train rides, steamboats on Caddo Lake, B&Bs
    • Gladewater - antique capitol of East Texas, Gusher Days, Roundup Rodeo, Helen Lee Daffodil Gardens
    • Gilmer - East Texas Yamboree, Historic Upshur Museum, Lake Gilmer
    • Kilgore - home of the East Texas Oil Museum and Kilgore College
    • Longview - Gregg County Fair & Exposition, Longview Museum of Fine Arts, R.G. LeTourneau Museum, Great Texas Balloon Race, historic buildings, shopping, restaurants
    • Marshall - Michelson Museum of Art, Starr Family home State Historic Park, Harrison County Historical Museum, The Weisman, Ginocchio Hotel, T&P Railroad Museum, Christmas Wonderland of Lights
    • Henderson - Heritage Syrup Festival, Howard Dickinson House Museum, Depot Museum, antique shopping, Historic Downtown Square
    • Canton - First Monday Trade Days, Texas Horse Park, Splash Kingdom Water Park
    • Athens - East Texas Arboretum, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Cain Center and the Athens Scuba Park
    • Gun Barrel City - Fishing, boating and outdoor activities around Cedar Creek Lake
    • Palestine - Texas State Railroad, Davey Dogwood Park, Dogwood Trails Festival, Anderson County Courthouse