Venus Texas was originally named Gossip, until its development in the late 1880s. A man by the name of J.C. Smythe purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) of abandoned cornfields in the northeastern corner of Johnson County and began to plan a townsite. He named his new town Venus, after the daughter of a local doctor. By 1888 the new town had a post office and a population of around ten residents. Being at the junction of two major railroads, Venus prospered and for a time was one of the fastest growing communities in Johnson County. By the 1920s, Venus had its own schools (including a small college), several businesses, a weekly newspaper (Venus Express), and a population which exceeded 800.
The Great Depression had massive negative impact, however, and in the 1930s the town began to decline. Growth of the D/FW Metroplex just to the north hastened its decline, with many of its residents relocating to the growing urban area in search of work. By 1940 the population had fallen to 200 and the only remaining operating business was the drug store.
Venus began to recover somewhat in the late 1940s however, and the population soon increased back to over 300. Growth was slow but steady throughout the remainder of the 20th century and by 1990, there were 977 residents and the town had spread into neighboring Ellis County. The 2000 census listed the population at 910, but recent estimates suggest that this figure has more than doubled and Venus now has a population of over 2,100; due largely to the southward expansion of the Metroplex.