In 1853, Aetna "Etna" was established by Byron C. Rhome, William Pitt Loftin, Father Jeremiah Loftin, and Father in Law Joseph P. Douglas. Between 1869-1870, John Henry and Emma Eugenia Erwin Bullard acquired extensive acreage about 1 mile east of Aetna, part of it from William Loftin. In 1870 the Bullard family moved into the former Loftin Home, and engaged in large scale farming. When the Kansas and Gulf Short line Railroad extended from South Tyler to Lufkin, it passed through the Bullard property. In 1883, John Bullard established a town adjacent to the railroad and named it Bullard. The first post office as established completely ridding Aetna of existence, since all business was moving to Bullard. In August of 1884, the first railroad station was finished, and the first 3 streets of Bullard were created. The street in the center that crossed the track became "Main" street, the one to the North Mr. Bullard named "Emma" street, after his wife, and the one tot he south he called "Bois D'Arc" Street, because of the many bois d'arc trees that grew in that part of town. There was a community well at the intersection of Main and railroad streets used by man and beast. By the 1920's Bullard had quite a few businesses, including but not limited to, a published newspaper, several churches, a school, and a community band. Bullard also had a jail made from a 7 foot diameter tank with bars and moved on wheels, where different men took turns as jailer. The depression, a bank failure and a fire permanently closed several businesses, and for years the future of Bullard was uncertain. In the mid 1940's it seemed that Bullard would lose it's school. A house hadn't been built in years, but BULLARD DIDN'T DIE! Instead, the town pulled itself up, came together, and became one of the growingest small towns in East Texas. In 1948 the town elected a City Council and the first mayor, Jep Jones, whose hope was to steer the town to a more populous and prosperous future. The first project completed was the Bullard Water System, where they used spring water from Rhome Springs, and allowed residents and business to enjoy indoor plumbing. In 1955, the Bullard Volunteer Fire Department was organized. Since 1977, Bullard has seen many changes. The businesses have gradually grown and downtown Bullard was established. In October of 1986, the first issue of the Bullard Banner was published. The Bullard Library opened in June of 1980.
In 1891 the first school at Bullard was built principally of material from the church and masonic lodge building of old Aetna. it was used for both a school and church, and while all denominations used it, it was called a Methodist Church. In 1899 another school house was built, and several years later, due to crowded conditions, a new building was erected. In the 1920's Bullard High School was ranked as a High School of first class with 13 units of affiliation. As the school population grew, more buildings were added to accommodate the pupils. By 1981, the Bullard Independent School District had become a 2A school. By the end of 1997 school year, Bullard Independent School District was classified as a 3A District, with 606 elementary students, 294 middle school students, and 311 high school students.