By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer
December 30 through January 5
In our history as one year moved into another, Collin County began; the world was introduced to electric lighting; the nation’s most significant piece of civil rights legislation was signed; and a state was added to the Union.
In 1842, the Throckmorton wagon train arrived in Collin County and established the first settlement.
In 1854, the first recorded homicide occurred in McKinney. Alfred Johnson killed Joe Peake in what he claimed was self defense.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free.
In 1873, the town of Russell officially changed its name to Melissa and the wedding of Flex Bush and Frances Elkin united two of the original founding families of Collin County.
In 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
In 1882, the Chaddick and Brinson Gin located between Louisiana and Virginia Streets, east of current McDonald Street was destroyed by fire. Although never proven, it was suspected that the cause was arson by some of their competitors.
In 1885, the Pendleton, Yeary and Rike Drug Store opened in Farmersville, the community’s first.
In 1886, the post office in the Stiff community closed because of a lack of clients. Federal regulation closed post offices in Sedalia, Roland, Chambersville, Branch, Biggers, Bishop and Vineland in 1903.
In 1898, Mack Abbott, a second generation pioneer, relocated his family within the county to Copeville.
In 1904, despite the temperature being -20 degrees, the community of Plano held its annual rabbit chase.
In 1906, the buildings on the south side of Louisiana Street in the block where “The Pantry” is now located were destroyed by fire.
Although it is no longer in existence, in 1923 there was a school in the community of Chambersville. The new year started with hot lunches being served. It was the first school in Collin County to furnish that benefit to its students and staff.
President Truman officially proclaimed an end to WWII this in 1946; believing it was a time to forgive, and to heal, so that the coming year could be better than the past. That’s a good advice 66 years later.
In 1948, the Texas Electric Railroad, a regional transportation system, which my wife remembers riding as a child, discontinued service.
On New Years Day in 1957, the City of Plano appointed its first police chief.
In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state.
TSB contributing writer Don Newsom is an avid historian, a member of the North Texas History Center Board of Directors, and a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD.