Sunday , 20 August 2017
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The Week in History, April 7: Civil War Ends, Severe Weather Part of Local Scene

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer

Severe weather and the beginning and end of the Civil War highlight the events that occurred this week in our history.

In 1852, five inches of snow fell in McKinney, the latest reported snowfall in the area for that time of the year.

In 1861, the Civil War began as Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Four years later, in 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

In 1876, a post office was established in Saint Paul. It operated until 1894 when it was closed and residents began receiving their mail through the Lucas office. In 1903, mail distribution for those two communities was moved to the Wylie office.

In 1883, county commissioners approved a contract for a bridge to be built over the East Fork of the Trinity River in the area south of present Melissa on Highway 5. Seen by some as a political move to appease some prominent families, the bridge gave access to the county seat for those living north of McKinney who were isolated when the East Fork was out of its banks.

In 1890, a street commission was established in Plano and immediately began overseeing the quality and layout of the roadways within the community.

In 1898, the leaders of the Chambersville community, approved the organization of a band under the leadership of well known local musician, Professor W. S. Smith. For nearly two decades, musicians from across the nation came to play in the band, which became nationally known. The organization was praised as the best in Texas.

In 1899, a cotton gin was erected in Plano. Prior to that construction the closest gins for local farmers were in Sherman or Greenville.

In 1902, the first edition of “The Celina Record” was published. The newspaper has survived through the years and is still published weekly. The same year, two relatively new but important service companies in McKinney, McKinney Electric Light and McKinney Ice and Coal consolidated.

In 1909, the community of Celina, which had incorporated, organized and conducted its first City Council Meeting.

In 1919, a tornado destroyed the majority of the business area in Blue Ridge.

In 1921, a tornado stuck Melissa and McKinney. Eight persons were killed in Melissa. In McKinney, thirteen were killed, fifty-four were injured and several buildings were damaged or destroyed.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration was approved by Congress. The program, developed to create construction jobs, was responsible for many of the public buildings in our county and across the nation built during that period.

Photo from old-picture.com

Contributing writer Don Newsom is an avid historian and a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD.

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