Ennis is a city in eastern Ellis County, Texas, located 35 miles (56 km) south of Dallas. The population was 18,513 at the 2010 census, up from 16,454 at the 2000 census. It is the third largest city in Ellis County, with the county seat of Waxahachie being the largest and the city of Midlothian being the second largest. The city is also home to the National Polka Festival and the Texas Motorplex. Ennis is known locally as a historically significant center of trade and cotton farming. The city was founded and supported by the railroad, and the success of cotton production attracted significant wealth and prosperity to the community in the early 20th century.
Despite the onslaught of the Great Depression, the city continued to be economically viable well into the mid-20th century by its traditional means. Today, the community now serves as a manufacturing hub, a tourist destination, and a bedroom community serving the greater Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. The area that would later become the city of Ennis was first inhabited by the Tonkawa Native Americans. The area was also the hunting grounds of several Native American tribes including the Waco, Bidai, Anadarko, and Kickapoo tribes. These tribes frequented the area until Anglo pioneers arrived in the early-to-mid 19th century. When Ellis County was established and organized in 1850.
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