The historical events that have impacted our area in late May are varied, but significant.
In 1789, the formal development of our nation began, when a quorum of delegates began meeting at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
In 1859, the city of McKinney incorporated for the second time, due to a discovered error in the original document. The original incorporation had occurred ten years earlier.
In 1872, the first legal hanging in Texas was carried out in McKinney when Stephen Ballew was executed for the murder of James P. Golden. Both were from Illinois, but the murder occurred in Collin County while they were on a trading expedition. One of the jurist was Benjamin King of Farmersville. King, who was 28 years old at the time, was the father of Henrietta Harris who wrote the words to the song “Texas, Our Texas” and an unpublished history “The First Murder of Collin County”. King and Mrs. Harris are ancestors of a close friend of my wife and me.
In 1883, post offices were established in the communities of Anna and Culleoka. William Y. Barnett was the first postmaster in Anna and was followed by John F. Greer less that two years later.
In 1895, a post office was opened in Climax.
In 1921, the M. T. McGarr Boarding House on North Tennessee in McKinney, the temporary residence for most notables visiting the county, was destroyed by fire.
In 1940, the county hosted the state’s week long celebration of the cotton industry. In Europe the now famous evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France began. The same year, eleven students graduated from Doty High School. Because of the war, the next class to have a formal graduation would be five years later in 1945.
In 1943, ladies became a national focus of the war effort with the appearance of “Rosie the Riveter” on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post magazine.
In 1973, Farmersville dedicated a memorial to favorite son, Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in WW II.
In 1984, a federal report was issued linking second hand smoke to lung disease in non smokers.
In 2007, Melissa graduated its first high school class of 46 students. Prior to that, students had attended either Anna or McKinney high schools, even though Melissa has had public schools since 1882.
Article contributed by Don Newsom
Don Newsom is a former superintendent of the Celina ISD and a board member of the Collin County Historical Society. Don and his wife Carol have been residents of the North Texas area for over 30 years. For the last 20 years, they have resided in rural Collin County in a home built in 1890.