The city was established March 16, 1848, due to a need to designate a central location for the county seat of Collin County, according to Paula Jarrett Nasta, planning manager for downtown development and historic preservation.
McKinney was named after Collin McKinney, a pioneer and land surveyor who participated in establishing Texas’ independence from Mexico, according to the city’s website. The city was incorporated in 1849 and reincorporated in 1859.
The 1850 U.S. census showed McKinney had 192 residents at the time, a fraction of the city’s over 200,000 residents today, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The city’s first nonresidential establishment was a church, followed by a store on the northwest corner of the downtown square.
To learn more about the founding and history of McKinney, visit www.mckinneytexas.org/122/history.
Editors note: This story has been updated to change Paula Jarrett Nasta's title. Nasta is the planning manager for downtown development and historic preservation.