Third Graders Learn About
Sulphur Springs' History & Government
by: Bobby McDonald
Approximately 45 students in two of Mrs. Amanda Thompson's third grade reading and spelling classes are studying about the history and government of Sulphur Springs. On Tuesday afternoon, they invited Hopkins County historian, Bobby McDonald, to their classroom and asked a series of questions pertaining to the formation and inter-workings of our community. The session began with how and when was Sulphur Springs formed?
McDonald told them of how the community began as a campground as people moved westward from the Jefferson, Texas, area and the camping grounds had also been used by the Indians. The campgrounds at the "sulphur springs" was soon a favorite spot and a trading post developed. Soon, the sulphur springs campground evolved into a little village known as Bright Star and then, Sulphur Springs was eventually officially formed in 1854. He also told about Old Tarrant being the original Hopkins County Seat and the formation of the Union Army Stockade following the Civil War, in Sulphur Springs, and the records being moved "across the creek."
The students were extremely excited about the noted landmarks of Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs and shared some of their own stories about the Hopkins County Courthouse, that they learned was probably the most noted building in the city.
McDonald also shared with them that one of the early founders of the city was Dr. Houston and how his name had been "pronounced wrong" in the naming of Houston Street and that he had property north of the present street.
With loads of questions and learning about the city government being one of a Mayor, City Council, and City Manager, and Hopkins County being operated by a County Judge and four precinct Commissioners, the students were ready to do some more research in the coming weeks. McDonald left each class copies of his three books, "A Place Called Hopkins County," "Plowin' Deep," and "Out of the Darkness, the Black Face of Hopkins County."
Students will begin readings in the books and have plans to write a number of essays concerning the history of Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County, as they learn more about their community!