McKinney Favorite Tips by VeronicaG Top 5 Page for this destination
McKinney Favorites: 13 reviews and 15 photos
Favorite thing: The Old Collins County Courthouse is a three story structure, which was redesigned in the Neoclassical Revival style in 1927.
Architects of this style were inspired by the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, which had a classical theme and the classically inspired architecture of Andrea Palladio. This architect inspired many English and American architects of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Neoclassical is known for its monumental buildings using giant pedimented porticoes, columns and elaborate cornices. It is said that this style brings forth the dignity called for in public buildings.
The original facade of the building created in 1876 was a Second Empire style. There are some people who think this style incorporated more beauty and grace than the present Neoclassical Revival design and regret the change.
The old Collins County courthouse is no longer being used for municipal purposes, but contains a theatre and rooms to rent for special occasions. The theatre has a wonderful old organ that accompanies silent films on special nights. A new government building has been erected.
Rear of the Old Cotton Mill with Smokestack
Favorite thing: We spotted this huge abandoned structure outside of McKinney as we were entering the town.
This 1910 Cotton Mill is a part of McKinney's Historic Cotton Mill District, which comprises 300 acres and 70 buildings.
This district is bounded by the railroad tracks, Burrus, Fowler, Amscott and Elm Streets.
It's important to note that McKinney was one of the principal cotton cities before the Civil War. At one time, this certainly must have contributed to the towns thriving economy.
FYI: This photo is taken from the rear of the building to include the smokestack.
Favorite thing: Smith Drug Company has operated for 146 years and is one of the oldest drugstores in Texas. It still sports a neon sign from the 1920's.
The drugstore was opened in the 1880's by Dr. B.M. Smith and has been in continuous operation since then. Today it's a part of the two-story Jesse Shain Building, circa 1900.
Notice the round arched double-hung windows at the upper story and corbelled masonry cornice.
*The business is now owned by Kaylei and Michael Mosier. The drugstore became internationally known in 2005 when the owners decided to make generic medications available at cost to those who could not afford insurance. The store became the salvation of many, and the bane of fellow pharmacists.
*Info. came from an article in The Dallas Morning News, 1/22/05
Old Collin County Jail
Favorite thing: As my husband and I were familiarizing ourselves with McKinney's streets, we discovered the Old Collin County Prison. As we rounded a corner, it's white stones of ashlar limestone gleamed in the sun.
The prison is an example of the High Victorian Italianate style, constructed in 1880 and designed by architect, F. E. Ruffini. The structure was used as a prison for ninety-nine years. Originally built as a "t" plan, it was modified by adding a rear addition in the 1920's and renovated in 1938.
This building is one of the few remaining designed by Mr.Ruffini, who was apparently used quite frequently in Texas.
The plaque on the old prison noted its' "bracketed cornice and arched windows". I imagine this is one of the reasons it has been used as a movie location by Hollywood filmmakers. It is currently housing a business at 115 Kentucky Street.
Info. take from Downtown Historic Walking Tour of McKinney,Texas
Favorite thing: McKinney (1841) is one of the oldest North Texas towns. It was named for Collin McKinney, who was born in New Jersey in 1766. His family moved to Kentucky while he was still a child.
In 1794, McKinney married Amy Moore and they had four children, but two of them died in infancy. After his first wife died in 1804, he married Betsey Coleman who birthed seven additional children. During this time he was named magistrate, holding this position until moving to Texas.
When Collin moved his family to Tennessee, Senator George Washington Campbell hired him to manage his estate after the Senator was appointed Minister to Russia. This position gave McKinney the opportunity to meet influential people and when he moved to the Red River District a few years later he was acknowledged as a political figure.
At a convention meeting at Old Washington-on-the-Brazos several years later, Collins and four representatives were asked to write a declaration of separation from Mexico. This became known as the Texas Declaration of Independence and bears McKinney's signature.
Here are some highlights from his life:
*He later went on to serve the Red River District in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Congresses of the Republic.
*Served as a guide from 1844-46 for settlers in North Texas who were moving from Kentucky and Arkansas, making this trip 11 times on horseback.
*Moved his family to the area near Anna, Texas around 1846 and soon after the county was renamed Collin County*
*In 1848 the county seat moved from Buckner and was renamed McKinney in his honor.
Collin McKinney died on September 8, 1861 at the age of 95 and is buried in a marked grave in a cemetery at Van Alstyne.
Information came from mcKinneytx.com
Old Bank Building
Favorite thing: There are numerous historic buildings surrounding McKinney's town square, including this old bank building. It's currently occupied by a shop called Another Time and Place.
Here are some interesting and fun facts about McKinney:
1841 The first pioneer settlers came to Collin County
1848 The US Post Office Department changes the name of the new county seat from Buckner to McKinney
1866 Outlaws, Jesse and Frank James are frequent visitors to McKinney when they visit their cousin Tuck Hill
1872 The first railroad comes through Collin County. The East line links McKinney to Jefferson, Texas
1878 McKinney organizes its first fire company, complete with a small, hand-pulled pumper and hose cart
1889 The city of McKinney gets electric lights
1910 Street cars come to McKinney
1912 Professor C.F. Walsh flies the first airplane flight in Collin County, taking to the skies over the McKinney Fair Grounds
1915 The County Federation of Women's Club is organized to include women's literay and service clubs from around the county
Collin County Government Building
Favorite thing: The Collins County government building is located at 210 S. McDonald Street and replaced the old Collins County courthouse, which is located in the town square. Although not particularly attractive, it serves the town well.
Here are some facts about McKinney,Texas:
*It was founded in 1841 on a 120 acre stretch of land donated by William Davis.
*The town is on the Trinity River and sits 32 miles North of Dallas at the intersection of U.S. highway 380 and I-75. It is the county seat of Collins County.
*Collins County comprises 885 square miles and has a population of 700,000 people.
*According to census records, 15% of the population is of German descent; 11% are of Irish ancestry.
James W. Throckmorton--Collins County Courthouse
Favorite thing: The gentleman honored by this memorial is James W. Throckmorton, governor of Texas from August 6, 1866 to August 8, 1867.
Throckmorton was born in Tennessee in 1825 and was the son of a doctor. The family moved to Arkansas while he was a boy, then to Fannin County, Texas in 1841 and finally to Collin County. Below are highlights from his life of service--
*He joined the Rangers, but left in 1844 to study medicine with his uncle in Kentucky. This led to serving as an army surgeon in the Mexican War, eventually receiving a medical discharge.
*Deciding to follow law and politics rather than a medical career, he served five years as a state representative and five years as a state senator.
*He was elected to the Secession Convention of 1861 as a delegate. He joined six other delegates in voting against secession. He was a Unionist, but joined the Confederate army when war came.
*Throckmorton was appointed brigadier general in charge of troops responsible for guarding the Texas frontier and was appointed Confederate commissioner to the Indians.
*He served as president of the Constitutional Convention of 1866 and was elected governor that same year. When he and the U.S. military disagreed on the deployment of troops, he was removed from the governorship by General Philip Sheridan as "an impediment to reconstruction".
*Throckmorton was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974-1888 and ran for governor in 1878 and again in 1890.
James Throckmorton died in McKinney, Texas on April 21, 1894.
info. from www.lib.utexas.edu
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