Tuesday , 12 December 2017

This Week in History: March 24, Storms and Fire Ravage Parts of Collin County

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributing Writer

March 24 through March 30

Among the events during the last week of March in our history, the U S Navy was created; black men were given the right to vote; Texas was readmitted to the Union after the Civil War; and long time businesses began operation in the county.

In 1794, President George Washington and Congress authorized creation of the U.S. Navy.

In 1837, Santa Anna and his Mexican forces continued their slaughter of rebelling Texans when they killed 330 prisoners at Goliad.

In 1861, the Farmerville Cavalry Company, # 1, 15th Brigade was established and moved eastward to join the Confederate forces.

In 1870, the 15th amendment to the Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, was declared in effect. The same year, Texas was readmitted to the Union.

In 1873, Eli Murphy, a founding father, sold his hardware store in Plano to two “newcomers”, Lee and Oglesby, who expanded it into a general merchandise store.

In 1874, the Elm Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church was established near Westminster.

In 1893, fire destroyed several buildings in the business district of Plano on Mechanic Street. Rumors were that the fire was the result of a dispute between competing businesses in the area.

In 1902, a severe hail storm hit the Wylie area. The most extensive damage was to the agricultural products.

In 1904, a tornado hit Lebanon, near Frisco, damaging most of the few businesses and homes in the community.

In 1905, the W. S. Knight opened department stores in Collin and Grayson Counties. As years passed, the focus of their sales moved more to furniture, but they still remain a stable business in our area, particularly Grayson County.

In 1908, the Woodmen of the World, a fraternal benefit organization committed to helping families, sponsored a “Log Rolling” competition in McKinney. Several years later, my wife’s father spend many years managing the farm at their orphanage west of Sherman.

In 1910, The Opera House on the west side of the square in McKinney burned and the First Guaranty State Bank of Plano was chartered.

In 1924, Frisco began receiving electrical service from Texas Power and Light.

In 1973, the last U.S. combat troops, including many from Collin County, left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr.

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

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