Wednesday , 20 June 2018

This Week in History: Nov. 4, Fountain Vance, T.A. Coleman, Grover Cleveland and More

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributor

This week in our history has produced some historic political events and some significant events in the development of the area.

In 1775, the U.S. Marines were organized under authority of the Continental Congress.

In 1805, even though Collin County and several other area counties were decades away from being established, Fountain Vance was elected as the first County Surveyor with the prior responsibility to began planning.

In 1841, the second Peters’ Colony contract was signed. The colony was an impresario grant awarded by the Republic of Texas earlier in the year to twenty American and English investors led by William S. Peters. The original boundaries of the colony ran south sixty miles from the Red River northeast of present Denison, then west twenty two miles, then north to the Red River, then east to the origin. The founders had to settle 200 families from outside the Republic over a three year period who were given 320 acres for a single man or 640 for a family. Lack of available land in less than a year resulted in the second contract, which extended the boundaries forty miles southward and increased the number of families over the three year period to 800. Over the next twenty years, the colony that helped settle North Texas required nearly twenty legislative enactments from the Republic and later the State of Texas to resolve issues between the administrators of the grants and the settlers.

In 1888, T. A. Coleman was elected the first County Superintendent of Public Instruction in Collin County. The election of a county school board and Mr. Coleman was the beginning of the consolidation of all the private, home and small community schools in the county into one entity and one governing board.

In 1890, half of the north side of the square in Farmersville was destroyed by fire. Fifteen businesses were lost.

In 1892, former President Grover Cleveland beat incumbent Benjamin Harrison, becoming the only president to win non-consecutive terms in the White House.

In 1893, passage of a referendum made Colorado the first state to grant women the right to vote in state elections.

In 1896, a resolution was passed in Plano to suspend school for Thanksgiving.

In 1904, the survey was completed for the McKinney-Bonham Interurban by W. S. Millikin. The Eastern Traction Company later constructed the electrical powered line that stretched 77 miles through towns in North Central Texas. It began operations in 1907 and merged in 1916 with the Southern Traction Company to become the Texas Electric Railroad. The operation was closed following WWII. The same year, Plano passed an ordinance against lemonade stands on public streets as the result of the creation of a town Health Department and policies related to serving foods to the public.

In 1905, cotton gins in Wylie and St. Paul were destroyed by fire. Many believed that it was arson to eliminated some of the competition in the booming cotton processing market in the area.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt won an unprecedented third term in office, beating Republican challenger Wendell L. Willkie. Four years later he was elected for a fourth term.

In 1952, Texas born Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, defeating Adlai Stevenson. Four years later he was re-elected.

In 2009, the U S house passed landmark health care legislation. It quickly became know as “Obama Care”.

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

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