Wednesday , 25 April 2018

This Week in History, Aug. 26: Fire Destroys Area Settlements

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer

August 26 through September 1

This week has been very eventful at all levels of our history.

In 1844, George Washington Ford married Parmelia Langston. Based on official and unofficial records, this is believed to be first marriage in the area that would become Collin County in 1846.

In 1846, Henry Cook left Illinois for Texas. He and his family first settled near Carrollton, but soon moved to Plano near the Baccus Cemetery. The Cooks were one of the original families of the Peters Colony

In 1855, the Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church of Farmersville was formed. It was the first church of the Baptist denomination to meet in Collin County.

In 1881, the entire business section of Plano, except for a saloon, burned to the ground. Destroyed in the fire were all the official records beginning with the town’s settlement in 1845. The records were stored in the Mayor and City Clerks’ offices, located in the back of Kellner’s Saddle Shop. As a result of the fire, on the same day the city fathers passed ordinances making it illegal to drop flammable materials on public streets and a requirement that all devices used for containing fires be inspected regularly by the Town Marshall.

In 1882, a Cumberland Presbyterian Church was established at McMinn Chapel, a community 3 miles north of Nevada.

In 1887, the post office at Lint was discontinued after one year.

In 1903, the Donna post office was discontinued. It was one of nearly 50 post offices that were opened in communities in Collin County, but later closed because finances or dwindling population in the communities. Patrons began receiving their mail through the Anna office.

In 1904, the first legal horse race in North Texas other than at the State Fair Grounds was held at Bowman Training Track in Plano.

In 1906, the paperwork was signed for the building of the Texas Traction Company or Interurban, which passed through McKinney. The route was closely aligned to that of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad from Denison to Dallas. It began operation in July 1908 and was discontinued in December 1948. In McKinney, it entered on the west side of Pecan Grove Cemetery and veered west following Kentucky Street to the courthouse square. The station was just south of Louisiana Street. The garage was north of the square and south of the old library. There was also a power station north of town near the Ashburn Hospital, where the Job Corp is now located. One could ride the Interurban to Dallas and connect with other routes to Denton, Fort Worth, Corsicana, Cleburne, Waco and Terrell.

In 1908, Lyndon B. Johnson, the thirty sixth president was born in Stonewall, Texas. Fifty six years later, he was nominated for president after completing the term for the assisnated John F. Kennedy.

In 1913, the south side of the square in Altoga, northeast of McKinney, burned. Most of the seven businesses and post office were destroyed or damaged.

In 1932, the Security State Bank in Blue Ridge was robbed by 4 bandits. Two of them were reported to be, although never proven, the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. They or members of their gang had been reported to be in the area prior to the robbery.

In 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during a civil rights rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Louisiana coast, overwhelming the levees protecting New Orleans and causing massive flooding. More than 1,800 people died.

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

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