History & Culture
On March 24, 1849, William Davis, who owned 3,000 acres where McKinney now stands, donated 120 acres for the town site. Ten years later McKinney was incorporated, and in 1913 the town adopted the commission form of government.
For the first 125 years of its history, McKinney served as the principal commercial center for the county. The county seat provided farmers with flour, corn and cotton mills; cotton gins; a cotton compress and a cottonseed oil mill, as well as banks, churches, schools, newspapers and, from the 1880s, an opera house.
Business & Population Growth
Businesses also came, including a textile mill, an ice company, a large dairy and a garment-manufacturing company. The population grew from 35 in 1848 to 4,714 in 1912. By 1953, McKinney had a population of more than 10,000 people and 355 businesses. The town continued to serve as an agribusiness center for the county until the late 1960s.
Both the city and the county were named for Collin McKinney, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and a congressman for the Red River District of the Republic of Texas. He was the author of a bill establishing counties in the northern part of the state.
Living in McKinney
A Place to Call Home
For housing, McKinney offers unique neighborhoods for every lifestyle and income level. McKinney schools, from the school district to Collin College, have earned a reputation for excellence.
Historic homes wrap around McKinney's downtown, one of the oldest authentic and thriving historic downtowns in Texas. The downtown commercial district offers more than 100 unique shops and more than a dozen unique restaurants. The original Collin County Courthouse, now the McKinney Performing Arts Center, stands at the center of McKinney's historic downtown square.
Retail and dining establishments are also located throughout McKinney, including El Dorado / U.S. 75 and S.H. 380 / U.S. 75. For a very unusual treat, visit the retail shops and restaurants at Adriatica, McKinney's own replica of a Croatian sea village.
Parks & Recreation
Outdoor and sports enthusiasts will also find much to love in McKinney with more than 1,000 acres of parks and outdoor venues. The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary is a 289-acre outdoor preserve and nature museum. Erwin Park offers one of the most demanding mountain bike trails in the area.
The picturesque Towne Lake recreation area, one of McKinney's beautiful city parks, features a lake with swan paddle boats, trails, picnic pavilions and playgrounds. Many golf courses and other sports complexes dot the city. And for fitness, McKinney is home to the Cooper Fitness Center and the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Craig Ranch.