A Look Back
A Look Back
Submitted by contributing writer Don Newsom
Historically, the end of March and early April is the beginning of Collin County. In 1846, Collin, along with Denton, Hunt and Grayson Counties, were created from the territory then known as Fannin County. Collin County was named for Collin McKinney, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Each county created from Fannin is approximately the same size, with the center and county seat of each being about 15 miles from the county lines and about 30 miles from each other. The county namesake suggested this so the citizens could travel to their county seat, which from 1846 until 1848 was Buckner, located near the current location of Third Monday Trades Day, and back home in one day from anywhere in the county. In 1848 the seat was moved three miles eastward to a more central location, and was renamed McKinney.
April 1, 1848, the First Christian Church, McKinney’s first church, was established by J. B. Wilmeth, who had created the first church in the county two years earlier. The initial meetings of First Christian were held in Wilmeth’s blacksmith shop, but later moved to an upstairs room of his home. The group then met at the present site of the courthouse square and formally organized in an unfinished barn and later in Collin County’s log courthouse.
Three years after the county was created, William Davis, who owned 3,000 acres where McKinney is now located, donated 120 acres for a town site, which was also named after Collin McKinney. In 1870, a Methodist Church was organized in Celina by the Reverend John Noble.
In 1873, J. B. Plemmons started a bus line in McKinney, the first in the state of Texas. In 1879, Charles Stibbens, who is the only veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto buried in Collin County, died.
In 1910, The Opera House in McKinney burned and the First Guaranty State Bank of Plano was chartered.
In 1917, the Order of the Eastern Star # 93, which is still a functioning organization, began meeting.
In 1921, the McKinney City Hospital, located south of the downtown area on S. College St. was dedicated.
In 1924, Frisco began receiving electrical service from Texas Power and Light.
In 1973, the final U. S. combat troops, including many from Collin County, left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct involvement in the Vietnam War.
Did You Know?
First Christian Church, established in 1848, was McKinney’s first church?