February 19 through February 25
Many events have occurred during this week in history and many of them have had long term impact on residents in our area.
In 1792, the U. S. postal service began when President George Washington signed the legislation. Mail delivery up to 30 miles was free; 30 to 150 miles cost 6 cents and over 150 miles cost 12.5 cents, but with no guaranteed delivery. In 1908 postage stamps were introduced at a cost of 1 cent.
In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began. The same year Samuel Colt received a patent for his revolver, the gun that was later used extensively in subduing the Indians and in the Civil War.
In 1852, W. S. Forman was born. He is reported to be the first child born in the incorporated city of Plano.
In 1854, the founding fathers of Mantua, a community on the Collin and Grayson County lines, submitted a town map to be recorded as the official site.
In 1876, Frederick Schimelpfenig and Louise Rammer married in Kentucky and two years later moved to Plano. Frederick was the Mayor of Plano at the turn of the century. He was the owner/operator of a lumber company, and a dry goods store. He began the first Plano Music Conservatory and spent 66 years as the Superintendent of Sunday Schools at the Plano Methodist Church. Louise was active in church work and the temperance movement. She operated the first lending library out of her home by lending books to girls in the community. Descendents of family still live in the area. In 1980, a middle school, named in his honor, opened in the Plano ISD and the public library, named in honor of his wife, opened in Plano.
In 1878, the first recorded train robbery recorded in Texas occurred in Allen. The robbery was one of four trains and two stage coaches that Sam Bass and his gang robbed that year within 25 miles of Dallas. As a result they became the focus of a continued manhunt by the Pinkerton agents who were joined by a special company of the Texas Rangers headed by Captain Junius Peak. The pursuit ended five months later in Round Rock, Texas when Bass was shot by Ranger George Herold. Bass died the following day. He was 27 years old.
In 1889, during a week long blizzard in the county the temperature dropped to -16 degrees.
In 1900, striking clocks were installed over the court house built on the square in McKinney in 1867. In 1927, during a remodel, the towers housing the clocks were removed.
In 1913, the 16th amendment giving the federal government power to collect income taxes went into effect.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first radio broadcast from the White House.
In 1934, the Civil War mural in the lobby of the post office, currently the North Texas History Center, on East Virginia was unveiled. Frank Earl Klepper, an artist born in Plano, was commissioned by the U S Treasury Department. The WPA oversaw the project which is a three panel mural depicting a scene in 1864 witnessed by his grandmother on the square. Klepper painted his grandmother into the foreground of the center panel. The mounted men were volunteers for a Confederate spy unit formed on the orders of Brig. General Ben McCullough. The casket containing McCullough’s remains on its way to Austin from Little Rock is part of the military procession. He had been killed at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. After the completion of the post office on East Hunt Street in 1960, the mural was moved into that building. Later it was restored and returned to its original site.
In 1935, Raymond Hamilton and Ralph Fults, members of the infamous Barrow Gang and associated with Bonnie and Clyde were on FM 455 between Anna and Weston. They were suppose to meet a couple of bootleggers west of Anna, Fults‘ hometown. Instead they encounter a group of lawmen led by Collin County Precinct 1 Constable, Johnny Record. After some gunfire, the two abandoned their stolen car and hid in the home of the Mayes family near Weston. When they left they took three hostages and another stolen car. Three months later, Hamilton was dead at the age of 21. Fults, who had served time prior to his nineteen birthday and whose father worked at the post office on Virginia Street, later was pardoned in Texas. After his pardon he spent 20 years as a security guard at an orphanage. He died in 1993 at the age of 82.
In 1942, during WWII a scar on our culture began when President FDR authorized the military to relocate and intern U S residents, including native-born Americans of Japanese ancestry. In 1983, a federal investigation condemned this action as a “grave injustice”. That same year, an oil refinery on the California coast was fired on by a Japanese submarine.
In 1954, inoculation of children against polio began. I remember this well. My brother and I were the first in our community to receive the inoculation because our father had contracted polio as a child and one of the theories was that it was hereditary.
In 1957, the Alla School on Highway 289 consolidated with the Celina school district. Celina’s current high school is located on the site north of Celina where the Alla School was located.
In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth when flew in the spacecraft Friendship 7.