Bridgeport's history began in February 1860 when William H. Hunt was granted a charter from the West Fork Bridge Company to build a bridge across the West Fork of the Trinity River. The bridge was located approximately one mile southwest of the present townsite. A Texas State Historical Marker alongside Farm To Market Road 920 denotes the spot of the original bridge today .
The wooden bridge was used for a portion of the Butterfield Overland Mail stage route. After the American Civil War began, the mail route was no longer used and the original wooden bridge was abandoned.
In 1873 a new iron bridge was built and a post office established, thus formally creating the city of Bridgeport, TX. Its future was assured in 1882 when Charles Cates discovered a vein of bituminous coal while drilling for water. The Wise County Coal Company was formed and was a leading producer of coal for the state until competition from natural gas and petroleum closed the coal mines in 1929.
In 1893 the Rock Island Railroad established a line east of the town, so the town moved approximately one mile east to its present site. In 1913 the town was incorporated. Gas and Oil production became a local industry prior to 1917. The 1920s census showed a town of 1,872. During the 1920s, limestone quarries that produced aggregate for road construction and a brick factory were established. In 1931, a dam was constructed approximately three miles west of town on the West Fork of the Trinity River, creating Lake Bridgeport. The lake was a local center for recreation and remains so today.
During the latter half of the 20th century, Bridgeport's oil, gas, and limestone industries continued to flourish and the town became the second largest town in Wise County. These industries continue to be the local economic leaders.