NEWCOMER BASIC INFORMATION
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF COMMERCE
Commerce was formally incorporated on September 25, 1885—which is why the Bois d’Arc Bash occurs on the nearest weekend. Starting with a population of 145, the town has grown to just over 9,600 with Texas A&M University-Commerce adding another 9,000 with its enrollment.
In 1873, William Jernigin erected a general merchandise store on his farm near the present downtown – only a mile west of the rival Jackson store, a grist mill that had been around since the early 1850’s, in the village of Cow Hill.
As commerce continued to flourish, Jackson finally moved his business to Commerce. Soon to follow was the Post Office, originally known as Ashland. When Jernigin generously gave a section of land for a town square, businesses thrived – the nearest competition being Greenville to the west, Ladonia to the north and Black Jack Grove to the south.
In 1919, store-front owners on the square were assessed so much per food to pay for paving, completing the project within a year. They did a fine job, too, as most of the historic brick was saved during the 1985 downtown refurbishing.
BOIS D’ARC CAPITAL OF TEXAS
The Bois d’Arc tree, known for the hardness of its wood and its distinctive green “apples,” is the focus of an annual community festival held each September.
The Bois d’Arc tree is indigenous to a total of 10,000 square miles in the rich bottom lands of Northeast Texas, Southeast Oklahoma and Southwest Arkansas. It has been spread by man across the United States and the world.
The tree is known for its hardness, flexibility, durability and resistance to contact with moisture and soil. Due to its many uses, it is an important part of the history and folklore of Northeast Texas, and thus the first festival in Commerce in 1985 was called the Bois d’Arc Bash.
Its many uses include fence posts, house foundation blocks, and hedges for fields of crops to keep animals out. The Chamber of Commerce at 1114 Main downtown has a display of many items made out of bois d’arc wood.
Commerce honors its heritage each year by hosting the Bois d’Arc Bash – a time of celebration, fun and entertainment. The Bash includes: Car Show, arts and crafts, youth pageant, parade, 5K run, children’s activities, wine tasting event, music and food.
CITY OF COMMERCE
City Hall, located at 1119 Alamo Street, is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The phone number is 903 886-1100.
The City provides water, sewer and garbage services. The utility window is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. When City Hall is closed, you may call 903 886-1139 for emergencies such as water or sewer stoppages.
Electricity is provided by Oncor Electric Delivery, 1-800-242-9113 or other whatever electrical sources you may choose. You can go to powertochoose.com, enter your zip code and determine what is available in this area. Atmos Energy at 800 460-3030 is available for gas service.
The Commerce Police Department is comprised of full-time officers as well as a strong police reserve. Their services include crime prevention, criminal investigation and traffic control. Call 903 886-1139 for information or 911 for emergencies.
The Commerce Fire Department is comprised of career and volunteer firefighters. Their services include fire emergencies, hazardous material emergencies, rescue emergencies and salvage emergencies. You may call 903 886-1147 for information or 911 for emergencies.
Parks and Recreation
Commerce has three parks for recreational use. City Park is located at 1907 Park Street, Eddie Moore Sports Complex and Bicentennial Park is located at FM 3218 and Oak Lane, and Ivory Moore Park is located at Ross and Pritchard Streets. Pavilions may be reserved by calling the Parks Office at 903 886-1150.
City ordinances on animal control are enforced by an animal control officer. All cats and dogs within the City must be vaccinated for rabies and have an approved license from a veterinarian. Dogs and cats are also required to have city tags which can be obtained from City Hall at 903 886-1160.
City Sanitation will collect your trash in approved plastic bags which must be durable and water repellent. They must be closed and top secured when placed at the curb. Bags should be placed out the morning of the collection by 7:30 a.m.
Telephone and Cable Services
Embarq Telephone Service is available. Call 800 788-3500 for new service. Cable services are provided by Times Warner Cable by calling 903-455-0012.
The following are internet services available in Commerce:
- Dialup 56K
- Broadband Wireless DSL
- Web Hosting
- Web Design
- Computer Repair
Renewal of driver’s licenses are necessary if the information changes on them, such as name, address or expiration. You must go to the Department of Public Safety, Driver’s License, Justice Center, 2801 Stuart Street, Greenville, TX., 903 453-6916.
Your vehicle must be inspected for safety once a year by any approved auto dealership, service center, garage or service station. For a complete listing, look in the yellow pages of the Commerce telephone book. After your car has passed inspection, a sticker will be affixed to the lower left corner of the windshield.
CAR LICENSE TAG REGISTRATION
Your vehicle must be registered once a year. This may be done at 2500 Stonewall in Greenville, 903 408-4000. Hours are from 7-5:45 Monday through Thursday
The Main Post Office is located at 1300 Park Street near downtown, 903 886-3986. The other is located in the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University-Commerce, 903 886-6965. Box rental and counter service are available at both.
- Administrative Office - Elementary Schools - 903 886-3755
- A. C. Williams, Washington Street- 903 886-3758
- Commerce Elementary School, FM 3218 - 903 886-3757
- Middle School, Commerce Middle School, Culver - 903 886-3795
- High School, Commerce High School, Loop 178 Sregit Drive - 903 886-3756
COMMERCE PUBLIC LIBRARY
1210 Park Street
- Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Saturday, 9 a.m. to Noon
- Preschool Storytime
Wednesday Mornings – 10:30 a.m. during school year
- Summer Reading Program for
Preschool through 5th Grade students
- Maude Noyes Johnson Room Available
For community meetings, during library hours
- Housing for an office for the Commerce Literacy Program
Application forms for a library card may be obtained at the Library. Proof of current address must be completed before a card will be issued. Library cards are non-expiring and there is no charge for initial card. Replacement card costs $3.00.
The Library is a member of the Northeast Texas Library System whose membership includes most of the public libraries in 32 northeast Texas counties. NET LS provides equipment, books, and tapes on a loan basis, plus consulting and programming services.
Small Business Counseling and Seminars on
"How to Start Your Own Business"
The Paris Junior College Small Business Development Center provides free counseling and seminars to those in our area who are interested.
“How to Start Your Own Business” Seminars will be held at the Chamber of Commerce Offices at 1114 Main on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 12, April 9, June 11 and August 13. If you know of anyone that might need this information, please pass it on.
Also on Thursdays, Larry Bellah from the same office offers free Small Business Counseling here at the Chamber of Commerce Office at 1114 Main from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for anyone interested.Please call the Chamber office at 903 886-3950 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org providing your name and phone numbers if you are interested in the seminars or counseling appointments.
- Presbyterian Hospital of Greenville, Loop 380 - 903 408-5000
- Presbyterian Hospital of Commerce, 2901 Sterling Hart - 903 886-3161
- Oak Manor Nursing Home, 2900 Sterling Hart - 903 886-2512
- Country Home Estates Retirement and Life Care Communities & Homes, 2927 Monroe Street 903 886-7754
- Live Oak Professional Medical Center, 1705 Live Oak - 903 886-8818
- Dr. Suzanne Monday , 1700 Washington - 903 886-9900
WHAT CAN THE CHAMBER DO FOR YOU?
IT ANSWERS YOUR MAIL……replies to scores of inquiries about Commerce and the surrounding area about your business and you, it answers every inquiry fully, promptly, courteously, creating favorable impressions and building esteem for your business, and you…..Truly the Front Door of our community.
IT’S YOUR SPOKESMAN…..your voice on questions of taxation and legislation. It represents you at legislative hearings and budget sessions…works for you to achieve the best possible price. It supports measures that are good for our area and opposes those, which are detrimental.
IT’S YOUR BUSINESS AGENT……always ready to lend a helping hand. It performs services to existing industries and business firms, conducts surveys and studies, helps create more payroll dollars for the area.
IT’S YOUR ADVOCATE…..improves community understanding of the free enterprise system face to face, frank exchanges of views between local businesses and their political representatives.
IT’S YOUR TRAINING AGENT….conducts seminars and workshops on subjects of concern or interest to business, equips business people with the tools they need to do business in the modern marketplace, provides small business management assistance through SBA representatives and the Small Business Development Center.
IT’S YOUR INFORMATION BUREAU...it furnishes you with up-to-the-minute data to help you conduct your business, facts on business trends, population, market potentials, taxes, employment practices, state and federal laws, sends you bulletins, reports, saves you time and money…keeps you posted on new developments affecting your business.
IT’S YOUR GOODWILL AMBASSADOR....…it tells the nation about commercial, cultural, convention and recreational facilities, brings new business to our area and increases your enjoyment of the city where you live…helps local businesses to obtain maximum benefit from tourism.
IT’S YOUR VOICE IN THE COMMUNITY…the rallying point for every civic movement whose objective is the benefit of the entire community…the central organization in which you and your fellow businessmen join hands to promote the projects that benefit you, your family, your business, and your community.
IT MULTIPLIES YOUR EFFECTIVENESS IN THE COMMUNITY…by providing the structure, volunteer leadership, and full time office operation to implement an effective program to meet the needs of a growing community.
Why Should I Be a Member of
My Chamber of Commerce?
- Because the Chamber of Commerce unifies the public spirits of my community and directs it into useful and constructive channels
- Because I have a business at stake in the community, which can be best, safeguarded by working with others throughout the Chamber of Commerce to protect and advance all businesses
Because my support is “plowed back” to yield many benefits in new industry, increased payroll, health, safety, legislation, business protection and community advancement
- Because through the Chamber of Commerce I can best discharge my obligations to this community in which I live and earn my living. I realize that every person owes a debt to the community that cannot be paid in taxes---a debt of personal service.
- Because an active membership in my Chamber of Commerce carries with it a sense of accomplishment and inner satisfaction for the knowledge that I am doing my share of an important job.