Sunday , 24 September 2017

This Week in History: Streetcars Come to McKinney

theodore-roosevelt-pictureAugust 18 through August 24

Women gaining the right to vote; the last state added to the Union; and events pertaining to early automobiles were some of the happenings this week in our history.

In 1814, British forces invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol and the White House.

In 1842, Judge William Cornelius Andrews, Jr. was born in Tennessee. A veteran of Civil War, he came to McKinney in 1877 as widower with 5 children. Two years later he married Tobiathia Scott. They had nine children. In 1899, he and his wife and their eight moved to Indian Territory where their nine child was born. He was the first Justice of the Peace in Oklahoma after it became a state and later a school superintendent and preacher. His five older children stayed in McKinney where many of their descendants still live as seventh and eighth generation Collin County residents.

In 1882, Shack Culwell, an eighteen year old black man, was hung for the murder of W. R. Norvell, his employer. Culwell was committed the murder because he had been underpaid between $3.10 and $5.00 for work he had done. He confronted Norvell on his front porch and shot him. It was the last legal hanging in Collin County.

In 1887, Sam Houston, Jr., who had fought at the Battle of Shiloh for the Confederacy, became a medical doctor after the war; but chose writing as a profession, spoke at the Plano Institute on “Afoot in Mexico”, one of the adventures he had written.
In 1891, the West Shady Grove Baptist Church was started near the community of Desert, northeast of McKinney where the counties of Collin, Grayson and Fannin meet. One of the counties historic cemeteries is located there.

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. chief executive to ride in an automobile, in Hartford, Conn.

In 1904, a camp meeting was held at Walnut Grove, located eight miles northwest of McKinney on what is now Custer Road or FM 2478, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the community.

In 1905, the first sanctioned auto race in the county, began and ended at Old Settlers Park in conjunction with the annual picnic. The winning, average speed was 40 mph.

In 1910, a street car system began operations in McKinney.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the right of women to vote, was ratified when Tennessee became the 36th state to approve it.

In 1938 the Milligan School House burned. Though not in use at the time, the original school building, one of the earliest in the county, was erected in the late 1850’s in the community located east of McKinney.

In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force, saying, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

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

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