Ennis is a city in Ellis County, Texas, United States, and a southeastern suburb of Dallas. The population was 18,513 at the 2010 census.
In 1871, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad (H&TC) purchased 647 acres (2.62 km2) of land in Ellis County at a price of $5.00 per acre ($12.36/ha), establishing the line's northern terminus. On May 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 (1856–57), and as a director of the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railway and Houston and Texas Central Railway.
Intersection of Ennis Ave. and Dallas St., Downtown Ennis
Location of Ennis, Texas
The City of Ennis is home to the Ennis Independent School District, which consists of two early childhood centers, four elementary schools, two intermediate schools, one junior high, and Ennis High School. Secondary education offers several extracurricular programs, such as UIL (University Interscholastic League) Academics and Sports, TSA (Technology Student Association), and the National FFA Organization. Sports offered in either junior high and up or exclusively high school include baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, cross country running, track, powerlifting, softball, soccer, and golf.
St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church once offered a K-12 private school, but was shut down in 2008 due to low enrollment and a lack of profit. The curriculum focused on academics infused with Catholic theological teaching. Sports included softball, baseball, basketball, and soccer - all of which were part of other sports groups competing with other private schools.
The annual National Polka Festival which features Czech cuisine, polka music, dancing, and a parade is held on Memorial Day weekend. The festival started in 1967 by a group of men who thought their Czech heritage should be honored. There is also a contest to find who the Duke and Dutchess of Ennis will be for the year. During the 3 day festival, the Ennis Polka Run takes place to help fund the Rotary Club and the Children's Reading Club of Ennis.
Ennis has an annual Bluebonnet festival during the month of April. During this time, thousands of tourists come to see the bloom of these wildflowers. Ennis is also considered the "Bluebonnet Capital of North Texas".
Ennis is the only incorporated city in the United States that still elects its City Marshal. The election is held every two years with the winner being named Chief of Police by the City Council and City Manager. Currently the post is held by Chief John Erisman.
Ennis is home to the Texas Motorplex, a quarter-mile drag racing facility built in 1986 by former funny car driver Billy Meyer. It annually hosts the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals each September, when hundreds of professional and amateur drag racers compete for over $2 million in prize money. In March 21, 2009, the TV show Pinks: All Out hosted a contest at the Motorplex.