The City of McKinney, and greater Collin County, exist today as a result of the ideas, actions and fortitude of the early settlers of the area. Here is a listing of some of the events that took place in the history of the McKinney area as November ended and December began.
In 1782, Great Britain signed an agreement recognizing independence of the United States.
In 1845, J. B. Wilmeth, a founding pioneer, organized a Christian church in the home of Carroll McKinney in the northern part of the county near Grayson County.
During this week three families, the Rheas in 1855; the Bounds in 1858; and the Farleys in 1881 migrated to Collin County and became a core part of the pioneering foundation of our area.
In 1901, as the result of federal legislation, the postal service began free rural mail delivery in Collin County and began closing the post offices in small communities including Parker, Dump, Climax, Arnold, Ardath, and Verona. At the same time free rural delivery began for the residents of the Foote, Rock Hill, Lucas and Altoga communities.
In 1902, free city delivery of mail began in McKinney. Prior to the change, most people picked up their mail at a local post office in their community. If mail was delivered to a home or business there was a delivery fee. The amount and manner in which the fee was paid was determined by the post master, but the most common practice was the fee had to be paid at the time the mail was sent or received. Some post master’s allowed a credit system, paid monthly. This was the first step in the process used today: a standardized rate based on weight of the mailing or a stamp cost.
In 1927, the only bank in Weston was closed mainly for two reasons: the recession that was impacting the nation and lack of business because of the opening of banks in McKinney, Celina and Anna.
In 1949, television station KRLD, now KDFW, a CBS affiliate began broadcasting from the Dallas, Fort Worth area. For those living close enough or with an antenna high enough to receive a signal, it was a life changing experience. News stories, sporting events and entertainment could be seen as well as heard.
In 1963, President Lyndon Johnson created the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
In 1979, the McKinney Lions were in the state football playoffs in class AAA. They had won bi-district, beating Fort Worth Northside 7 – 0. Twenty years earlier, they were in the district with Mt. Pleasant where I competed against the McKinney Lions in District 6 AAA. In 1959, the Lions were picked by many to win the state championship based on their success the previous year and the return of some outstanding athletes with names like Crutcher, Carroll, Jenkins, Carter, Justice, Frazier and Chapman, to name a few. Mt. Pleasant upset McKinney that year and prevented them from reaching that goal, but they were not denied in 1979. Under the leadership of Ron Poe, the Lions beat my Tigers 26 – 14 this week and, two weeks later won the coveted class AAA state football championship.
By TSB contributing writer, Don Newsom. Newsom, a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD, is an avid historian and serves as a member of the Collin County History Center’s Board of Directors.