In 1871, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad (H&TC) purchased 647 acres of land in Ellis County at a price of $5.00 per acre, establishing the line's northern terminus. On June 8, 1872 this site was established as the City of Ennis. The namesake of the town was Cornelius Ennis, an early official of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. Ennis served as Mayor of Houston (1856-1857), was an incorporator and director of the Great Northern Railroad, and served as director of the H&TC Railroad.
The railroad was the key to the development of Ennis as an agricultural, commercial, and later, an industrial center. In 1920, a total of 152,601 bales of cotton were ginned in Ellis County, the most in any county in America. By 1930, Ennis was known as the place "Where Railroads and Cotton Fields Meet."
For over 140 years, Ennis has successfully repositioned its strategic business focus from railroad, to agriculture, to modern industry and commerce. Ennis continues to embrace the rapidly changing business environment and enthusiastically looks forward to a very dynamic future.