About This Place
Gun Barrel City is a city in Henderson County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,145 at the 2000 census.
The town began as an unincorporated community known as the "Old Bethel Community" in the 1960s after completion of Cedar Creek Reservoir. It was incorporated in the late 1960s so it could legally sell beer and wine. The city takes its name from a former road, Gun Barrel Lane (which is now State Highway 198), as well as its motto, "We Shoot Straight with You" and its symbol - a rifle with two crossed antique pistols. Gun Barrel Lane got its name during the 1920s and '30s when outlaws frequented the area. It was considered a safe backwoods place during Prohibition when the likes of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker hung out in the area. A local resident, Mr. C. L. Wait, lived along the road and was known for sitting at the window of his house with a shotgun sticking out the window. It was his way of deterring those he deemed unwelcome on this back country road.
Despite having a name that evokes images of the Texas Frontier, Gun Barrel City is only forty years old. Not long after Cedar Creek Lake (a reservoir for the Tarrant Regional Water District) completed construction, the fledgling community that sat on its banks took steps to officially become a city.