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Mc. Kinney, Texas A Rich Heritage
The History Begins • Mc. Kinney is one of the oldest towns in North Texas. • 1 n 1841, settlers arrived from Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. • Collin County was named five year later. • In 1848, the United States Post Office named Mc. Kinney as the county seat of Collin County. The first postmaster was named Joel F. Stewart. • Also in 1848, Mc. Kinney’s first church was organized by J. B. Wilmeth. • The city was incorporated in 1849. • Mc. Kinney was a thriving agricultural center.
By 1856 Mc. Kinney was a small farming community. During this year, Joseph P. Stewart opened the first grocery store downtown. Abraham Rhine opened a dry goods store and James W. Thomas published the city’s first newspaper, the Mc. Kinney Messenger Dry goods stores mainly sold yard goods, thread, ribbons, buttons, handkerchiefs, stockings, various notions (findings) like needles, pins, snaps and hook-and-eyes. The stores had long shelves that were filled with bolts of all kinds of materials. Dress material included: ginghams, calicoes, percale, lawns, batiste, sateen, nainsook, bleached and unbleached muslin and India linen. Many of the wash materials had to be "shrunk" before making them up. The long counters had round-headed nails on the edge of the counter spaced for measuring the yardage (today we have a meter measuring machine. ) The counters also had small round stools, fastened to the floor, for the customers to sit on while selecting patterns or materials. http: //www. kckpl. lib. ks. us/kscoll/lochist/thennow/TN 43. htm
• 1860 – The Tucker Hotel is built. • 1866 – Jesse and Frank James and their James Gang are frequent visitors to Mc. Kinney where their cousin “Tuck” Hill lives. Tucks’ house that still remains today was built in 1877 and is located at 616 w. Virginia. • 1872 – The Houston and Central Texas Railroad comes to Mc. Kinney and with it portable shops and five hundred rail workers. In October of that year, passenger service begins with the East Line connecting Mc. Kinney with Jefferson.
• Mc. Kinney swiftly moves from rural town to a commercial and social center of North Texas. The prosperity of the town was apparent in the numerous Victorian style homes that were built in the area around the downtown square. Many of these homes are still in existence today. Some of the pictures are on the following slides. The years they were built are typed under them if that information was available. To see drawings of other historic homes click here. 1880’s 1907
1904 1894 1920
In 1874, Charles Wheeler of Sherman was appointed courthouse architect and C. J. King was named the contractor to build the building. He was paid $49, 800. The stone used to build the courthouse was brought in from 3 miles away and hand carved. The courthouse when finished was an amazing structure and was the tallest building in Texas north of San Antonio at that time. http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldpostcards/olddow ntown. jpg The Courthouse as it looks today after it was remodeled in 1927. http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldpostcards/ collincountycourthouse. jpg
1878 – Mc. Kinney’s first fire company was established. They had a small hand-pulled pumper and a hose cart. Taken from The First 150 Years, Mc. Kinney, TX. Julie Vargo, Author
1880 – The Collin County Prison was built. Claude West was the jailer, and the son of a Collin County Sheriff. For many years a jailer's job was seven days a week - 24 hours a day. Mrs. West cooked for family and inmates alike, although Mr. West got more syrup on his hotcakes. Claude wore a medium brim Stetson hat, carried a long barreled. 38 and was proud of the fact he wore dress shoes instead of boots. Another personality was "Uncle Bud", who would arrive unannounced and park his "coach" in the alley. He was sent to transport those prisoners who had graduated to Huntsville. A considerate man, Uncle Bud would wait while prisoners sent a messenger to their families, so they could be properly sent off. (This also gave him time to enjoy Mrs. West's cooking and a visit with Claude). Some famous inmates of the prison were Frank James, Ray Hamilton ( a member of the Bonnie and Clyde gang) and Charles "Tex" Watson of the Charles Manson Group (spent time here awaiting extradition to California for his part in the Tate. La. Bianca killings. ) Collin County Prison Photo by Charles Schuler http: //www. texasescapes. com/Preservation/Mc. Kin ney-Prison/Prison. htm Click here for more pictures of the inside of the Collin County Prison.
In 1883 the first telephone exchange to come to the whole county was put in Mc. Kinney. By 1885, Mc. Kinney had three weekly papers, two banks, gristmills, flourmills, an opera house, six churches, an ice plant, a water system and a population of 2, 000. 1889 the city received electric lights. http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldpostcards/Mc. Kinn ey 1929. jpg http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldpostcards/ba ptistchurch. jpg
1889 – W. M. Abernathy, E. A. Newsome, F. P. Brooks and Henry Herndon organized a volunteer fire department. It was called “The J. W. Throckmorton Engine & Hose Company. ” To read more about how Mc. Kinney’s fire department got started click here. Taken from The First 150 Years, Mc. Kinney, TX. Julie Vargo, Author
The Turn of the Century In 1900, the First Methodist Church of Mc. Kinney was built. It is the oldest existing church in town. http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldpostcards/methodistchu rch. jpg
Early Transportation In 1910, street cars came to Mc. Kinney. This is a picture of the Dinky in 1911. This streetcar traveled along Virginia, College and Morris streets. It made a mile loop every 15 minutes. The service was discontinued in 1926. Here is picture of the Mc. Kinney Texaco Station from that same year. It looks a little different from the gas stations of today. Photo and information courtesy of The First 150 Years, Mc. Kinney, TX. Julie Vargo, Author http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldtexaco. htm
TORNADO! On May 4, 1948 a hugely destructive tornado with winds estimated at over 100 miles per hour came through Mc. Kinney. At least three hundred homes and businesses were damaged. http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/1948 tornado. h tm
Here is picture of the telephone book from the year 1959. http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/images/1959 mckinneyphonebook. jpg
The Progression of Downtown 1907 1906
1920’s 1945 1950’s Present Day All pictures form this page and previous taken from http: //www. mckinneytx. com/
History meets Present Day http: //www. chestnutsquare. org/ Click here to see all the Historic Homes that are at Chestnut Square http: //www. mckinneytexas. org/ Click here to a take a current tour of Mckinney
Across the street from Finch Elementary on Tennessee Street sits a house that was built in 1870. It is known as the Dowell House. Years ago, before it was fixed up it was used as the haunted house in the movie Benji.
1912 Progression of Mc. Kinney High School 1950’s ? Boyd HS http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldpostcards/19 12 mckinneyhighschool. jpg 1958 - 1986 Now Faubion MS http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history/oldpostcards/highscho ol. jpg MHS - 1986 – present MNHS - 2000 – present http: //www. mckinneyisd. net/faubion/ Timeline of Mc. Kinney Schools
Collin Mc. Kinney http: //www. mckinneycvb. org/ • Collin Mc. Kinney is the man for which our city and county are named. • He was born in New Jersey and lived part of his live in Tennessee. • In 1831 he moved to the Red River area. • From 1844 – 1846 he served as a guide for people settling in North Texas from Kentucky and Arkansas.
• In 1846 he moved his own family to an area near Anna, Texas just north of Mc. Kinney. • Collin Mc. Kinney was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. • Collin died on September 8, 1861 at the age of 95. He is buried in a marked grave in the cemetery at Van Alstyne. Taken from The First 150 Years, Mc. Kinney, TX. , Julie Vargo, Author Collin Mc. Kinney’s homestead that was built in the 1840’s in Grayson County. It was moved to Mc. Kinney in 1936 and burned by vandals in 1980.
Bibliography • • The First 150 Years Mc. Kinney, Texas by Julia L. Vargo Mc. Kinney Convention & Visitors Bureau - http: //www. mckinneycvb. org/ Mc. Kinney Online - http: //www. mckinneytx. com/history. htm United County Real Estate - http: //www. unitedcountry. com/mckinneytx/areafax. htm • Texas. Escapes. com - http: //www. texasescapes. com/Preservation/Mc. Kinney • Prison/Prison. htm http: //www. mhna. org/downtown/klepper. htm • Heard-Craig Historic Center - http: //www. downtownmckinney. org/dma/Heard-Craig%20 House. htm • Chestnut Square Historical Park - http: //www. chestnutsquare. org/
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