Sunday , 20 May 2018

This Week in History: April 8 – 14 Saw Tornados, Civil War and the Death of a President

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer

During this week in history, April 8 through April 14, a variety of significant events happened in our history, but none as impacting as the beginning and ending of a war between Americans and the assassination of a President.

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

In 1861, the Civil War began as Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

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 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

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.

In 1904, many of the building on the northeast side of the square in McKinney were destroyed by fire.

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

In 1912, the British liner Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began to sink.

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 jobs during the Great Depression, was responsible for the construction of many of the public buildings in our county and across the nation during that period.

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



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