Saturday , 20 January 2018

This Week in History, Sept. 9: So Long, Wilmeth School

By Don Newsom, TSB Contributor

Many significant events occurred this week in our history, but for Americans the attack on our nation ten years ago changed our way of life forever.

In 1788, the Congress of the Confederation authorized the first national election and declared New York City the temporary national capital.

In 1846, the first congregation of the Christian denomination in North Texas was formed in the home of Collin McKinney, namesake for the county and city.

In 1853, a post office was established at Highland, a community north of present day Melissa, on the stage line from Buckner to Bonham. The office was closed twenty years later.

In 1869, Joseph Baines married Ruth Ament Huffman at Rowlett Baptist Church. Their grandson, Lyndon Baines Johnson, later became President of the United States.

In 1871, the First Presbyterian Church of Plano organized. The congregation still worships at its present location on Jupiter Road.

In 1895, the Plano City Council approved a request to raise funds for a school library. At that time most of the public schools in Texas were overseen by town or city governments.

In 1903, the post offices in the communities of Rhymer and Chambliss were closed and residents began receiving their mail through the Anna office.

In 1904, one could purchase a round trip ticket from McKinney to St. Louis on the Houston Texas Central Railroad for $13.05 and attend Texas Week at the World’s Fair.

In 1910, the Bethel Baptist Church in Celina organized. The church is still operating in its facilities northeast of Celina.

In 1912, a general merchandise store, the largest and one of only five business in the community of Murphy burned.

In 1916, the first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tennessee by Clarence Saunders.

In 1925, the Wilmeth School, located north of McKinney was discontinued. The school had been opened in 1846 by the J. B. Wilmeth family for their children and others in the community. It was run continuously for 79 years in school buildings and homes except for a period during the Civil War when it was suspended.

In 1940, Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act, providing for the first peacetime draft in U.S. history.

In 2001, al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four passenger jetliners in the United States. They flew two into the World Trade Center in New York City, causing the 110-story twin towers to collapse. Another plowed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa. In all, nearly 3,000 people were killed.

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

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