Wednesday , 25 April 2018

Collin Country Rewind: From Smallpox to Fire, This Week in History

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer


From an outbreak of smallpox to fire in Plano, the following occurred during the week of Feb. 5 through the 11 in our area’s history.

In 1857, Masonic Lodge No. 209 was founded in the community of Mantua. Two of its charter members were pioneers Younger Scott McKinney and James W. Throckmorton, who later served as governor of Texas. In 1872, the lodge moved into the new town of Van Alstyne. In 1976 the lodge moved to its current location south of Stephens Street near the city police department.

In 1884, an area newspaper, The Democrat-Gazette, began weekly publication.

In 1885, a Church of Christ was established in the Lebanon community south of Frisco by Elder Horn, an early settler in the community.

In 1897, a fire burned Floyd’s Opera House and Harrington’s Furniture store in downtown Plano.

In 1899, Farmersville, experienced its coldest temperature on record, -16 degrees and the post office was opened in Princeton.

In 1900, the post office in the community of Lieu was closed and residents began receiving mail through the Merit office.

In 1902, a robbery occurred at Stiff’s Saloon, a popular “watering hole” in McKinney. The crime netted $9.60. The same year after incorporating, town lots were sold at public auctions in communities of Blackland and Emerson. Before the end of the year, Blackland became a part of Emerson. The U S Postal Service rejected the name Emerson as being to similar to another town in Texas. In 1904, the residents chose Frisco City in honor of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad being built through the area. Later the name was shortened to Frisco.

In 1914, Plano experienced a smallpox epidemic. To combat it, the city health officer, Dr. Ellis, urged residents to continue to use large amounts of lime as needed. The same year, the Frisco Water Works Company was established, providing sanitized water to the town.

In 1929, a heavy light fixture at the Collin County National Bank, on the square in McKinney, fell onto a roll top desk. Although happening during business hours, no one was injured.

Don Newsom is a former Superientent of Schools for Celina ISD and an avid historian.

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