HISTORY OF EARLY SETTLEMENT IN COLLIN COUNTY
Part II Communities
From the The McKinney Advocate, April 3, 1880 Vol. 4, No. 1, Whole No. 157 Quoted from The American Sketchbook
Note from the Publisher of the Advocate: We hope that no one will accuse us of partiality because some neighborhoods have been spoken of in more glowing terms, than others. We ...failed to secure the necessary assistance to write up each community as we had desired to do, and this alone accounts for our seeming partiality.
Situated between Honey and Wilson Creeks, five miles north west of McKinney. Sod mostly of the black waxy kind, so common throughout the county. This community can boast of a little over most portions of the county, of its nursery and fruit advantages: The Peachwood nursery, Mr. A. W. KERR, proprietor.... The WILMETH nursery, M. W. WILMETH, proprietor....
The county has apples, cherries, pears, plums, raspberries, blackberries, and gooseberries are very successful. Strawberries aren’t too easy to grow but grapes are a success.... Hackberry school house is near the centre of the community, where a regular day school is kept, and also a flourishing and permanent Sunday school. Preaching once a month by R. C.. HORN, Christian brother. Once a month by Rev. W. P. CLOYD, C. P. Also once each month by a baptist minister.
Blue Ridge Community
Located sixteen miles north east of McKinney is a flourishing little village, made so by the energy of her enterprising citizens. We have a large school community, numbering one hundred and seven pupils within the scholastic age, and a fine school in progress under the control of two comptant [sic] teachers. The school house is a very large building with a Masonic hall above. We have two stores, two gins, one of which is a large steam gin.
Our citizens are genial, social, hospitable people. They are not forgetful to entertain strangers. This portion of Collin is the richest of the rich, the land is black, waxy and loamy, also black sandy, all very productive and well adapted to farming. The seeds sown are always upon good ground, and as a consequence, we reap an abundant harvest. The well water is free stone of the very best quality. We have no running springs, but several creeks, which afford plenty of stock water. The timber is the finest in the county. It consists of ash, oak, elm, hackberry, and Bois d’arc, the last named is considered the finest in Northern Texas, and the timber the most valuable, it being extensively for wagons, fencing and farming purposes, and then the Bois d’arc apple is another item of considerable interest, the seeds being one of the exports of this section. The exports are cotton, wheat, oats and Bois d’arc seed as mentioned above.
Last year there were eight hundred bales of cotton ginned here on the Ridge. North of here, five miles, there are two gins and mills, south, four miles, there are two gins with mill attachments also and there is a good school house in each of the adjacent communities.
Game is not so plentiful in here as it was a few years ago, there are a good many deer, turkeys, and birds of every description, but really the hunting grounds has been turned into magnificant [sic] farms and the rude wigwams have been removed and replaced by nice beautiful white houses, standing here and there, looking like so many twilight stars dotting the dark bossom [sic]of the black waxy. The people of this portion of good old Collin county have arisen, Phoenix like and have thrown off the leathargy [sic] and are coming right up to the front, determined to keep pace with the improvement of the age and the march of civilization.
Respectfully, L. W. GRAVES
It is often said that the black waxy district of Texas is superior in point of fertility and diversity of production to any other portion of the great state. Experience and observations, for twenty-five years, confirms its truth and I will here venture the assertion that in proportion to area, there is scarcely to be found anywhere other districts of the same extent that will equal it in production of all the cereals, viz: wheat, oats, barley, and corn..... Churches, schools, and comfortable homes, indicate the civilization and prosperity of the community. .... a flourishing Sunday school, and day school with a season of from five to ten months during the year, bringing the advantage of a common school education within the reach of all. As a community, we furnish, comparatively, a very small per cent of the aggregate crime, and are regarded as a lean source of revenue, to the criminal lawyer.
Respectfully, W. A. R.
This busy active little village is located in the eastern portion of Collin county, and is in magistrate precinct No. 2. It is near the center of a rich black waxy agricultural belt. The soil is of sufficient depth to render it simply inexhaustible. This section of the county was not settled until the fall of 1849. Among the first to come in and take possession of this beautiful country were John McKINNEY, Ben WATSON, Harris and Hiram HANFORD, Thomas BAREN, John HENDREN, H. M. MALKAM, and A. H. NEATHERY, many of these exhausted their means in reaching the county. Uncle Bob RIKE says he only had 6 bits left. They however, by industry and economy, have generally raised large families and gathered around them a sufficiency of this world’s goods to spend the evening of their lives in the enjoyment of peace and plenty.
The town of Farmersville was not settled probably until about the year 1856. It is now a town of about 250 inhabitants. There have been many causes to retard its growth. The principal blighting influence however has been the suspense attending railroad projects and the apprehension of their running near by and building a rival town in this vicinity. Capital has been and ever is continous, and the citizens have thus been prevented from investing their money in beautifying and enlarging our town.
At present we have three large dry goods establishments; one hardware and tin store; two drug stores, five dealers in family groceries, two saddle and harness houses, three blacksmith shops; two wood shops, one hotel, two livery stables, seven boarding houses; one Masonic hall and school room; one Odd Fellows hall; one large grist and flouring mill; two gins, one town hall, and one artist’s gallery, etc. It is a peaceable, busy little burg, and we extend a cordial invitation to those seeking a home where they can have good school and church advantages, to call and examine our section. No richer land, or more sociable, liberal-hearted people can be found anywhere.
Plano is one of the most beautifully located of towns on the line of the Central railroad. It is near the line between Collin and Dallas counties, fourteen miles south of McKinney. The people are wide awake to the interest of their local affairs and the business showing is as good as any town of its size in the state. The population is estimated at about seven hundred and fifty.
The business of the town consists of six dry goods houses, five grocery establishments, two hardware stores, three drug stores, one tin store, one saddle and harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two carpenter shops, three restaurants, one hotel, one boot and shoe store, two flouring mills, one livery stable, three gins, one millinery establishment, three good schools, four churches, Baptist, Methodist, Christian, and Presbyterian, each having good Sunday schools. Owing to space we are compelled to omit interesting statistics of the various churches.
The professions are represented by four practicing physicians and five lawyers. Since the vote on and adoption of local option, the liquor business has no representatives in Plano. Plano is an incorporated town and has a rigorous set of officials who seem disposed to keep good order in their community.