History of McKinney, TX

From the Beginning to Where We Are Today!

The City of McKinney and the county McKinney is in, Collin County, was named after Collin McKinney. Collin was of Scottish descent, and was born in New Jersey as one of ten children. In 1823 he moved to an area near Texarkana. In 1831 they moved farther west and settled on Hickman’s Prairie on the Red River. Around 1846 he moved his family near the line of what is currently Collin and Grayson counties.

Collin was a land surveyor, patriot, legislator, one of the five men who drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence, the oldest of the 59 men who signed it, and author of the law creating counties in the northern part of the state.

The first settlers came to what is now Collin County from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas around 1841. When the new county was formed from what was known as Fannin County in 1846, it was named Collin in his honor. When the county seat was moved from Buckner to the geographical center of the county in 1848, he was further honored through the naming of the county seat, McKinney.

McKinney is located an equal distance from Dallas, Denton, Sherman, and Greenville which are the surrounding county seats. In 1883 the first city hall was contracted to be built on South Kentucky street at a cost of $1,350.00. It was occupied in 1883 by the City Council consisting of the Mayor and six aldermen. In 1909, the citizens voted a $10,000 bond issue for the erection of the second city hall, and also voted in the commission form of government to replace the old aldermanic form.

The population of Collin County in 1850 was 1,950 which grew to 50,087 in 1900. Between 1970 and 1990, McKinney experienced moderate population growth, from 15,193 in the 1970 census, to 21,283 in the 1990 census. Since then, McKinney’s rate of increase has been much more dramatic. In the 2000 census, McKinney had grown to 54,369 and to 131,117 in the 2010 census. Currently, the population of McKinney is estimated at close to 170,000.

According to the census, McKinney was the fastest growing city in the United States from 2000 to 2003 among cities larger than 50,000 people. McKinney was chosen by Money Magazine in 2014 as the #1 Best Place to Live in the country. A diverse and thriving economy, a quality way of life and leadership and citizens dedicated to celebrating their roots serve the city well today and are paving the way for continued growth into the future.

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