By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer
January 27 through February 2:
Support for a national symbol, the countys first newspaper, secession from the Union and tragedy in space highlight the events this week in our areas history.
In 1784, a little know event occurred at the national level. Benjamin Franklin, one of our fore fathers, in a written statement supported the wild turkey, a noble, intelligent bird in Franklins mind, to be our national symbol. As I have watched eagles soar around the stadiums during the playing of the National Anthem, I wondered what if Franklin had gotten his way?
In 1825, James W. Throckmorton was born in Tennessee. In 1841, his family moved to Collin County from Arkansas. He would serve as Governor of the state during the Reconstruction Period and later as a U S Congressman.
In 1848, a treaty was signed ending the Mexican War. The U.S. paid Mexico $15 million dollars for some southwestern lands that had been in dispute. The treaty permanently identified the border between Mexico and several states, including Texas. It also meant that the federal government would cease moving troops and supplies through the state and our area as it had done for several years to protect the southern border and fight the war.
In 1859, The McKinney Messenger, the first newspaper in Collin County was started.
In 1861, despite opposition in Collin and neighboring counties, Texas seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy.
In 1876, a post office was established in the community of Rhea Mills, northwest of McKinney. It operated until 1907 when it was closed by federal legislation and residents began receiving their mail through the McKinney office.
In 1887, the post office in Lake Mills was closed because the population of the community had decreased to the extent that the postal system could not justify the cost. Residents began receiving their mail through the Wylie office.
In 1901, the post office in Aleo closed and mail was delivered from the Farmersville office.
In 1902, the community of Rock Hill, west of McKinney, officially incorporated with Prosper and discontinued its city government functions.
In 1905, The 44s Club, an organization consisting of people born in 1844 and who served in the Confederacy, held its state meeting in Plano.
In 1914, six youngsters in knee-pants broke into the Boren & Stewart Mercantile Store, stealing cigars, chewing gum, 22 shells and cigarettes. Later caught, the boys were reported to be the first juveniles arrested by the City of McKinney law enforcement.
In 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit: Explorer I. Three and four decades later, the U S space program experienced tragedies. In 1986, the Challenger exploded 72 seconds into take off, killing seven crew members; and in 2003 the Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing seven crew members. Those of us of that generation, remember exactly where we were when we heard the tragic news.
TSB contributing writer Don Newsom is an avid historian and a former Superintendent of Schools for Celina ISD.