The Collin County Historical Society began in 1957 with Roy and Helen Hall who saw a need for preserving local history. They began collecting stories of past events by interviewing people and collecting family papers and photographs. Roy would write up his research in articles submitted to local newspapers. In later years, Helen wrote several books about Collin County pioneer families, schools, churches, communities, and the history of the city of McKinney. By 1975, the collection had outgrown not only their home but also the collecting efforts of other historically minded folks from Plano, Frisco, McKinney, and other communities around the county.
Under the leadership of Elizabeth Pink, the society began working to build a museum so that citizens of CollinCounty could experience history through the public exhibition of the collection. In 1979, the society reached an agreement to use the 1911 Federal building in McKinney, known as the Old Post Office as a permanent home. Built in 1912 and opened in 1913 this building had long served the citizens of Collin County as a post office, postal saving bank, civil service examination site, congressional staff office, and a recruiting office for all branches of the service during World War II. Even after the post office moved in 1957 it was the place where generations of county residents took their driver’s test.
It took four years to raise the money to restore the building to serve as a museum. Since 1982 the Collin County Historical Society has served the community with exhibits and presentations ranging from the Vietnam War, Cowboys and the Preston Trail, the Civil War, African American history, early schools and vanishing towns, and the life and legacy of Collin McKinney; pioneer, man of faith, surveyor, and statesman. Part of our proud past is our work with students and teachers to teach history. Helen and Roy Hall were both teachers and made their passion for teaching and preserving history a core value of the society.
Stop by the museum to purchase a copy of The Way It All Began: McKinney Texas a History by Hellen Gibbard Hall.