Collin County is located in northeastern Texas thirty miles south of the Red River, surrounded by Grayson County to the north, Fannin County to the northeast, Hunt County to the east, Rockwall County to the southeast, Dallas County to the south and Denton County to the west. McKinney, the county seat, is thirty-four miles northeast of Dallas. The county’s center lies at approximately 33°11′ north latitude and 96°34′ west longitude.
Cities, Towns and Communities
Allen | Anna | Blue Ridge | Buckner | Celina | Fairview | Farmersville | Frisco | Josephine | Lavon | Lowry Crossing | Lucas | McKinney – county seat | Melissa | Murphy | Nevada | New Hope | Parker | Plano | Princeton | Prosper | Saint Paul | Westminster | Weston | Wylie
Branches of the Caddo Indians inhabited the area before the arrival of the first white settlers. Occasional outbreaks of violence occurred between the two groups, but there was no extended period of conflict since the Caddos withdrew from the county by the mid-1850s. The absence of organized Indian resistance, combined with the county’s fertile soil and an offer of land grants by the Peters colony attracted settlers to the area in the early 1840s. Even with the offer of free land, the estimated population of the county was only 150 when it was demarked from Fannin County on April 3, 1846, and named for Collin McKinney, one of the first settlers of the county and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The original county seat was Buckner. Because this town Buckner was not within three miles of the center of the county, however, McKinney became the county seat in 1848. Like the county, McKinney was named for Collin McKinney.
The settlement of Collin County can be divided into two phases. The first occurred during the early period of the county’s history, from 1840 to 1860. The second phase took place during and after the arrival of railroads. The settlements established before the construction of rail lines seldom survived if the railroads bypassed them. The majority of the first settlers of Collin County were farmers who lived near streams, where water and wood were easily obtained. They established small, family-operated farms that produced mostly wheat and corn. The slave and cotton economy that characterized most of the South, with its large plantations, failed to take hold in the county. In part this was a result of the lack of navigable rivers and railroads to transport cash crops to retail centers. The nearest market was Jefferson, more than 150 miles to the east. In addition, the farmers who settled the county were from the upper South and had little experience in slaveholding or raising cotton. In 1860 only 1,047 of the 9,264 residents were black, and the cotton harvest was of no significance. Continue Reading Collin County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
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. Continue reading the History of McKinney and Collin County 1924 >>
Collin County: Pioneering in North Texas, 1975 by Roy Franklin Hall and Helen Gibbard Hall
A History of Collin County, 1958 by J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh
History of McKinney and Collin County, 1924, by Walter B. Wilson
Images of America: McKinney, 2010 by Ryan Barnhart and Ryan Estes. Limited Book Preview at Google Books.
Collin County Courthouse
Photos of McKinney