Terrell is a city in Kaufman County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,816. In 2017 the estimated population was 17,842. Terrell is located 32 miles (51 km) east of Dallas.
Terrell developed as a railroad town, beginning in 1873 with construction here of the Texas and Pacific Railroad line. The town was named for Robert A. Terrell, a pioneer European-American settler whose farm lay on its western edge. He built an octagonal house on his property, called a “Round House”, to provide better defense against attacks by Native Americans. They had occupied this territory for thousands of years. His house was later fitted with the first glass windows in the county. The community was incorporated in 1875. The first automobile appeared in 1899.
As of 1892, Terrell was a sundown town that largely prohibited African Americans from living there.
The Terrell Military College was established in Terrell, operating until after World War II. Its campus was sited on part of the former Terrell farm and incorporated his historic Round House. In 1949 the Southern Bible Institute, based in Dallas and affiliated with the Churches of Christ, bought the military college property and transferred their operations here, renaming their institution Southwestern Christian College. It is a private, historically black college. The Round House has been preserved on campus, and is one of 20 such structures in the nation.
The headquarters of the 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard is also located in Terrell.