McKinney and Collin County History 1924
McKinney and Collin County History Written in 1924
Collin McKinney, land surveyor, patriot, one of the fifty-six signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and legislator, was honored in the naming of both Collin county and McKinney, its county seat. The first legislature, to meet under the constitution of the state in 1846, created Collin County with several others out of the territory of Fannin county which at that time embraced most all of Northeast Texas.
The first county seat was Buckner. But a couple of years later in 1848, the county seat was moved about three miles Eastward from Buckner to a point more nearly the geographical center of the county. The new county seat was named McKinney, in honor of Collin McKinney, a pioneer settler of the northern part of the county that had previously adopted for its name his given name.
Besides signing the Texas Declaration of Independence, perhaps Collin McKinney's most enduring impress upon the history of his adopted state was his authorship of the law creating the counties of the northern part of the state into political units with approximately straight line, uniform boundaries, one tier of counties upon the other, clear across the state from East to West.
Collin county contains 887 square miles of territory. Ninety-five percent of its surface is tillable land and under actual culivation East Fork of the Trinity river and its smaller tributaries drain the eastern half of the county from north to south.
The western half of the county is drained by the Elm Fork of the Trinity river. Elm Fork and its tributaries also have a northerly to southerly course. When the county was organized, few lakes were to be found in it. They were Grassy, Duck, Clear, Button and Snider. Some of these lakes have long since been drained and have disappeared.
Seven-eighths of the county is black waxy soil, rolling ridges, dividing the waters of the different small streams, but none of these ridges rise to the prominence of hills.
The first election held in Collin after the county was organized took place July 13, 1846. First county officers elected on that date were: Z. Roberts, Chief Justice, which office corresponded to that of county judge which it was called for the first time about 1866; Moses G. Wilson, District Clerk; Tola Dunn, County Clerk: King Custer, Sheriff; John Fitzhugh, Godfrey Baccus, Peter F. Lucas and John C. Wilson, county commissioners; Wm. W. Butler and Jacob Bacous, justices of the peace for Precinct No. 2. Lucas did not qualify as county commissioner. Nor Butler as justice of the peace Peter F. Lucas did qualify as justice of the peace of Precinct No. 2 to which he was elected.
Wm. Butler and Joel F. Stewart were chosen at an election and qualified as justices of the peace for Precinct No. 1.
The average taxable value of lands per acre in Collin county in 1849 was sixty-eight, cents. In 1850 it was seventy-five cents and rose to $5.75 average per acre in 1872. In 1923 the average taxable value of land in the county teas $25.00 to $50.00 per acre.
In 1923 crops were produced in the county as follows:
Ninety-three thousand bales of cotton that brought, with its seed, about sixteen million dollars to the farmers of the county; corn, two million five hundred thousand bushels, worth two million dollars; wheat, one million bushels, worth one million dollars; oats, one million five hundred thousand bushels, worth hundred thousand dollars; more than fifty thousand tons of hay, worth six hundred thousand dollars.