The first bond issue for the City of Plano was in July 1891. It was to raise $7,000 for school building improvements. At this time the city was in charge of the schools in Plano. The mayor and aldermen were the board of directors of the school. One of the rules for the students – the playground was set up to be separate for the boys and girls. They were not allowed to communicate with each other unless the superintendent gave permission.

In 1892 the streets needed to be repaired. An ordinance was passed that those owing fines and could not pay them would work on repairing the streets. In 1893 the council was trying to pass ordinances to control how the businesses and buildings in downtown were built to avoid any more fires. This was probably the first of the building and zoning codes of Plano. The Plano Fire Department was formed in March 1894. In June 1895 you could be fined $100 for riding a bicycle or tricycle on the public sidewalks.

Plano’s first true water supply came from a small lake created by damming up Spring Creek in June 1897. The first electric plant and lights were begun in May 1899. In January 1900, the Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Company constructed poles and wires in Plano. In September 1901, the office of the scavenger was created. He cleaned the closets (outhouses) in the city both residences and businesses.  He also kept the calaboose clean. He was paid $.35 for residences and $.50 for hotels, businesses and such. I think this would be the worst job ever.

April 7, 1908 J. M. Willis was the mayor. In 1909 the Interurban electric car could only go 8 mph within the city and had to stop every 4 blocks to pick-up passengers. The City began collecting trash from residences in 1909. Also in 1909 a sewage system was started. One of my favorite ordinances to find was the speed limit was set for 7 mph for automobiles. Then in 1910 it was “modernized” to 8 mph. A person riding or driving a horse still had the right of way. All automobiles had to have a bell and a lighted lamp on front and back of the car.

April 2, 1912 J. D. Harris becomes the mayor. In 1914 the city was in a crisis and had to borrow $150 to pay some bills. It would be repaid from first taxes collected. April 1914 R. H. Crawford was mayor; then April 30, 1915 J. D. Cottrell; April 1916 was J. R. Dickerson; April 4, 1922 G. E. Carpenter; and April 8. 1924 J. T. Horn was mayor for 8 years.

Come back next week to see what happens to J. T. Horn and how the City Council and Plano faired after its first 50 years.


  • Genetic Genealogy In Practice
  • Significant Tornadoes, 1880-1989 – vol. 1-2
  • Census Substitutes & State Census Records Vol. 1-3
  • Scottish Soldiers in Colonial America Vol. 1-3
  • Researching Hispanic Family Records
  • Special Presidential Pardons of Confederate Soldiers Vol. 1-2
  • All Our Born Days – A Lively History of New Brunswick’s Kingston Peninsula
  • The National Guild of St. Margaret of Scotland – Membership Directory 2015-2017
  • West Memphis/Marion Crittenden County (AR) 2004-05 Telephone Directory – Including Blackfish Lake, Crawfordsville, Earle, Hughes, Parkin and Turrell
  • Atlas of Bartholomew County, IN 1879
  • 1890 Personal Property Tax – Kosciusko County, IN
  • Register of Funerals Ira Rothenberger Mortuary Records North Webster, IN
  • 1844-1920 Index to the Early Wills Kosciusko County, IN
  • An Enumeration of Males Above the Age of 21 Years for the Year 1866 Residing in Kosciusko, Indiana
  • Kosciusko County, IN Cemetery Records Vol. V – Harrison & Etna Townships
  • Atlas of Shelby County, IN 1880
  • Sullivan County, IN Cemetery Records Vol. 1 & 3
  • Johnson County, KS Marriage Records 1857-1905
  • An Atlas of Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties, KY from Actual Surverys under the direction of B. N. Griffing 1883
  • Whispering Waves and Walking Conchs (MS)
  • Cass (Van Buren) County, MO Marriage Records 1836-1881
  • Genealogical Research in Nebraska
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo High School (NY, NY) Alumni Directory 1994
  • Craven County, NC Marriage Records 1780-1867
  • Davidson County, NC Marriage Records 1823-1868
  • Gates County, NC Marriage Records 1782-1868
  • Northampton County, NC Marriage Records 1812-1867
  • Randolph County, NC Marriage Records 1785-1868
  • Rockingham County, NC Marriage Records 1785-1868
  • South Carolina’s State Grants Volume Six: Grant Books 25 Through 28 – 1788-1791
  • Some South Carolina County Records Vol. 1 & 2
  • Campbell County, TN Register’s Book “C” 1817-1820
  • Dickson County, TN Will Book A 1804-1856
  • Robertson County, TN Marriage Records – Vol. 1, 1839-1861
  • Czechs in Uniform (TX) Vol. 1-3
  • The Feud That Wasn’t – The Taylor Ring, Bill Sutton, John Wesley Hardin, and Violence in Texas
  • Camp County, TX Cemeteries Vol. II
  • Orphan Journey (Dallas County, TX)
  • Gonzales County, Texas and Southwest Texas History
  • Oral Memoirs of Hajrudin “Dino” Jusupovic – Special Project: Survivors of Genocide – Baylor University Institute for Oral History
  • Somervell County, TX Anniversaries, Engagements, & Weddings
  • Somervell County (TX) Obituaries Vol. 1-3
  • Cemeteries in and around Somervell County, TX Vol. 1
  • Springhill Cemetery, Titus County, TX
  • Abstracts of the Mt. Ararat Primitive Baptist Church (Pittsylvania County, VA), Pittsylvania County (VA) Cemetery Records Vol. 1-2
  • Tombstone Inscriptions of Pittsylvania Co., VA Vol. 3
  • Cemetery Records Pittsylvania County, VA Vol. 4 – Includes Gretna Burial Park
  • Pittsylvania County (VA) Cemetery Census – Full Name Index Vols. 1-2
  • Jefferson County, WI Bride & Groom Index Vol. A – C; 1833; 1840-1856
  • Jefferson County, WI Bride & Groom Index Vol. E & F; 1848-1868
  • Index to Wills 1851-1949 Jefferson County, Wisconsin

The City of Plano was incorporated on June 2, 1873. The first city council minutes were from 1881. On April 22, 1881, Mayor C. J. E. Kellner’s saddlery shop became the place for the City Council meetings, the Mayor’s office, and City Court. Kellner was paid $10 a year in rental fees. T. R. Keene was the city secretary and the Aldermen were Daniel O. Williams, Joseph C. Hudson, Joseph Forman, and John Bench Klepper. In 1881 ordinances began to be passed. One big problem in the town was the obstruction of passage on the sidewalks. Those who blocked the path with boxes or articles from stores, hitching horses, or other means would be fined $2. The finances were lacking so the Aldermen created some fund raising by charging businesses, persons selling spirits, lawyers and more an occupational tax. There were 36 categories.

In August 1881 parts of the city ordinances were lost in a fire in Kellner’s back room. An ordinance was created requiring the city marshal to inspect chimneys, fireplaces, etc. in use for necessary repairs. There was also an ordinance not throw paper, sawdust, or any material into the street. It would need to be burned with watchful care to prevent any fire damages.

George F. Thomas, attorney, was elected mayor on April 19, 1882. The city purchased a “calaboose” (jail) on July 18, 1882 for $50. Most of the elections for mayors were in April

W. B. Blalack (Blaylack) was elected 3 different times. J. B. Klepper and Olney Davis were elected in between Blalack. W. D. McFarlin was elected April 5, 1898. He became the Justice of Peace later and known as the “marrying judge”. Fred Schimelpfenig was elected in 1902. He was known for laying the water mains and distribution of water to homes and businesses in Plano. The Interurban Railroad was built. The council and he urged the county to build good roads throughout countylivery stable during his time as mayor.

Comeback next week, to learn what other early mayors did for the City of Plano. The photograph of the firemen and livery stable is from 1905. The livery stable for the horses and wagon was also the City Hall and the Calaboose.

collin county 1851

When Texas became a republic in 1836, there were 180 million acres of unoccupied land. Texas needed to attract volunteers to the Texas army and bring in settlers. The government provided land grants as bounties to soldiers, headright to settlers, premiums to colonizers, and “land script” to individuals. Public lands were used to entice industries to come to Texas. Veterans of the Texas Revolution were eligible for land. If married they received 4,605 acres and if they were single they received half that.

In 1841, Congress of the Republic gave large land grants to immigration agents if they would establish colonies in Texas. One such group was the Peters’ Colony later called Texan Emigration and Land Company. They brought settlers into the Collin County area. Texas population grew from 30,000 in 1836 to about 135,000 in 1846 (100,000 whites and 35,000 slaves). In this area the Indians were not so hostile as in other parts of Texas. The soil was easy to cultivate and there was sufficient timber and water. There was large amount of wild game, fish, nuts, fruits, and honey. Collin County was also accessible by routes going through Texas.

Red River County was created on March 17, 1836 at the time it included 39 present day counties of northeast Texas. Fannin County was created December 14, 1837 out of a portion of Red River County. Its county seat was Bonham. It included five counties which would later be carved out. On December 29, 1945 Texas became a state of the Union. Between March 17 and April 11, 1846 Collin, Grayson, Dallas, Hunt, and Denton Counties were created.

Collin County was created by an act of the legislature on April 3, 1846. On January 24, 1848 defined the northern boundaries. Buckner was chosen as the first county seat but the legislature did not approve. It was changed to McKinney on March 16, 1848.

The population of Collin County in 1850 was 1,950 including 134 slaves. In 1860 the population had grown to 9,264. The Civil War slowed down the growth. In 1870 the population was 14,013. In 1900 the population was 50,087. The towns in early Collin County were Allen, Anna, Blue Ridge, Celina, Copeville, Farmersville, Frisco, Josephine, Lavon, McKinney, Mantua (until about 1873), Melissa, Millwood (until about 1907), Murphy, Nevada, Plano, Princeton, Prosper, Renner, Westminister, Weston, and Wylie.

This information was pulled from A History of Collin County, Texas by Stambaugh and Stambaugh. For more information on Collin County and the towns visit the Genealogy Center at the Haggard Library. “This map is part of the collection entitled: GLO Historic County Maps and was provided by Texas General Land Office to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries.”

florenceshapiroFlorence Shapiro was a first-generation American born in 1948 to two Holocaust survivors in New York City. The family moved to Dallas, Texas and she graduated from Hillcrest High School. Florence and her husband, Howard, came to Plano in 1972. Before her time in politics, she founded the Plano Service League. It is now known as the Junior League of Collin County. Florence served for six terms on the Plano City Council from 1979-1990. She was the first female Mayor of Plano from 1990-1992. Next, Florence was elected to the Texas Senate in 1992. In 2005, she was elected President pro tempore, which would be second in the gubernatorial line of succession behind the Lieutenant Governor. On April 9, 2005, while both Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst were out of state, she served as Governor for the day. This was the sixth woman in Texas history to do so. She retired in 2011. She remains active in the community. She serves on several boards – Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, AT&T Performing Arts Center, and Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Information was gathered from Plano Profile, November 23, 2016 written by Brit Mott and Wikipedia.

During both the California Gold Rush and the Alaska Gold Rush, miners were continually searching for the gold nugget or big strike.

Genealogists and family historians are not unlike those gold miners of old. We seek after nuggets of clues seeking for the gold mine of family information that adds to our tree. In some cases this information breaks down previous brick walls.

I was continuing my search for the marriage document of my 3rd Great-grandparents – William Robbins and Agnes Sloan – from Pennsylvania. I entered a parent search at http://www.familysearch.org. I found the marriage document of their son Morrison.

The document shows M. Robbins from Pennsylvania with parents Wm Robbins and Agnes Sloan married in June 1876 to Mrs. E. Ranger from London England with parents George Goodman and Frances Chambers.

To verify that I had the correct Morrison Robbins I did a search in http://www.ancestry.com of the 1880 Federal Census.

Sure enough, Morrison Robbins and wife Elizabeth were together as a family.  Morrison was from Pennsylvania and Elizabeth from London.

From a hint at http://www.ancestry.com I found a link to http://www.findagrave.com. A picture of the monument to both Morrison and Elizabeth Robbins follows.

There is verification of Morrison Robbins birth and death dates along with the note carved in stone “A Native of Westmoreland Co., PA.”

On the side of the stone with Elizabeth’s information I found my own “gold strike!”

The information on her stone states Elizabeth Ranger Robbins – born London, England on Dec.24, 1832. She married Richard Ranger Sept. 19, 1850. She married Morrison Robbins June 30, 1876. She died in New Orleans, LA. Feb. 13, 1912.

During my search I found verification of Morrison’s birth date & place and parents (to include mother’s maiden name) and death date. THE GOLD STRIKE was Elizabeth’s birth date & place and parents ( to include HER mother’s maiden name); both of her marriages including full names of husbands and dates of marriage and her death date and place.

I have been researching my family tree for over 30 years. Seldom have I found so much information, including photos of source documents, in such a short period of time. With the resources available today, both in libraries and online, family history gold nuggets and gold strikes are obtained easier and in a shorter period of time than ever before.

If you are searching for the missing clue to break down your brick wall, do not despair. Keep searching. The marriage record that started this search had been added online 8 March 2017. (Only 20 days ago!)

While the photos of the headstones had been added 26 Dec 2012, I was not aware that New Orleans cemeteries was where I should be looking. The 1880 Census has been available either on microfilm or digitally for several years, again I would not have had a reason to look at Jefferson Parish, Louisiana for any Robbins ancestors.

If  the information you seek does not appear in library material or online, check back from time to time. Genealogy and family history materials are being published – in print or online – at an amazing rate. Your information may be available today or in the near future.

Having trouble? Seek out assistance here at the Genealogy Center. We are always glad to assist you in your search.

Good Hunting!


Louise Ernestine Rammers Schimelpfenig was born in Kentucky in 1857. She arrived with her husband Fred Schimelpfenig in Plano in 1878. Louise was involved in many facets of Plano and Collin County. She was president of the Collin County Women’s Christian Temperance Union and secretary of the state organization. She was influential in ridding the town and county of liquor during her life. Collin County voted the largest majority for prohibition of a county in Texas. She was a leader in the Methodist church and was the first organist. She worked to improve the cultural life of Plano. She had the first lending library in her home in Plano. She helped acquire the civic auditorium for Plano. Fred and L. E. R. (how she signed her name) had 8 children. The Schimelpfenig Library is named after her for all her contributions to Plano.
Gladys Bishop Harrington was born in 1901 in Texas. Her mother, Nannie Bishop, was daughter of early pioneer of Plano, Clint Haggard. She moved with her Mother and family to Plano when she was 16. She was a member of the First Christian Church and graduated from Plano High School in 1919. She married Fred Harrington instead of going off to TCU. She had 2 sons. When her husband died in 1948 she moved into town and began to be involved in Plano. She worked with Federation of Church Women to collect donated books and open a library for the community. Donations and volunteers helped keep the library open. In 1965 the library had a permanent place on 18th Street named after Gladys Harrington. After the library was established she traveled. She became involved in politics and supported her son, Connor with the Collin County Republican Party. She could play the mandolin and piano. Her love of music helped her to be involved with the Plano Symphony Orchestra and the Young Artist Competition. She was involved in many clubs and organizations in Plano and Collin County. She lived to be 103.
To read more about these ladies see “Plano, Texas the Early Years.”