Friday , 25 May 2018

This Week in History: Murder, Weather and the Telegraph Make History

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributor

May 20 through May 26

Many historical happenings that changed our lives occurred this week in our history.

In 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened in Philadelphia.

In 1832, the first Democratic National Convention got under way, in Baltimore. Their first Presidential candidate was Andrew Jackson.

In 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message, “What hath God wrought!” from Washington to Baltimore as he opened America’s first telegraph line.

In 1846, a post office was established in Buckner, the original county seat of Collin County.

In 1851, a post office was organized in the community of Millwood. It closed in 1907 and residents began receiving their mail from the Royce City office.

In 1857, the community of Sugar Hill was renamed Farmersville.

In 1872, the first legal hanging in Texas was carried out in McKinney when Stephen Ballew was executed for the murder of James P. Golden. Both were from Illinois, but the murder occurred in Collin County while they were on a trading expedition. One of the jurist was Benjamin King of Farmersville. King, who was 28 years old at the time, was the father of Henrietta Harris who wrote the words to the song “Texas, Our Texas” and an unpublished history “The First Murder of Collin County”. King and Mrs. Harris are ancestors of a close friend of our family.

In 1893, the Prosper post office established.

In 1895, a post office was opened in Climax. It served the community until 1901 when it was closed and mail was delivered through the Farmersville office.

In 1896, tornado hit Sherman in Grayson County, killing and wounding over 200. The same year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was published for the first time. The average price of the 11 initial stocks was 40.94

In 1908, the Central Christian Church in Frisco was organized and still serves the community.

In 1921, the M. T. McGarr Boarding House on North Tennessee in McKinney, the temporary residence for most notables visiting the county, was destroyed by fire.

In 1939, regular trans-Atlantic air service began as a Pan American Airways plane took off from Port Washington, N.Y., bound for Europe.

In 1940, the county hosted the state’s week long celebration of the cotton industry. In Europe the now famous evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France began.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked the nation to do what many thought was impossible: work toward putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It happened.

In 2007, Melissa graduated its first high school graduating class of 46 students. Prior to that high school students had attended either Anna or McKinney even though Melissa has had public schools since 1882. 

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

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