Collin County, Texas History

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When considering a place to move to in Texas, many people immediately think of the big cities. But for many, the big city lifestyle isn't all it's cracked up to be. Some seek a quieter life, but still desire all the beauty Texas has to offer.

Just north of Dallas lies Collin County – the Jewel of North Texas. A beautiful area for any family to live, Collin County has experienced a good deal of growth over the past few years, and boasts a population of roughly 700,000. The area is steeped in gentle rolling hills and a good deal of history.

The Caddo Indians inhabited the land before white settlers came – both were drawn by the beauty of the land and the fertile soil. The native Indians withdrew by the mid 1850's – the absence of any organized Indian resistance in the area drew even more settlers to the area. The population was only at about 150 when the area was named Collin County, after Collin McKinney in 1846.

Collin McKinney himself was one of the first settlers to arrive in the area. McKinney was a land surveyor, merchant, politician, and lay preacher. He is best known as an important figure in the Texas Revolution - he was one of the five who helped to draft the Texas Declaration of independence, and one of the eldest members to sign it. Many of the surrounding areas were named after him – including the county seat, aptly named McKinney.

Collin County settlers were mostly farmers from nearby regions. They preferred living near streams and lakes, where they could easily obtain important resources such as wood and water. Farms were established and run by families, with plenty of room for all settlers. Where many other southern areas usually profited from slaves or cotton, and were known for their large plantation, Collin County went a different direction. These farmers focused on growing wheat and corn, and kept the working of the farm to their family.

The age of the railroad brought great prosperity, as farmers could now ship and sell their goods outside of the county – by the 1890's the county had six railroads crossing through it. Growth continued, and while the county had some bumps along the way, it has flourished beautifully.

It's been almost 200 years since the founding of Collin County, and it has seen its fair share of growth. Collin County is on the way to becoming one of the most densely populated counties in Texas, while still maintaining its splendor and peaceful feel. Plano is the largest city in the county, now charted as the 9th most populated city in Texas. Education levels have been steadily rising, and the county has been prospering. There's no better time to become a Collin County resident!