downtown mckinney 1800s
Downtown McKinney in 1800s. Photo provided by The Collin County Historical Society & Museum.

Have you ever thought about the people behind the names of our county and cities? It’s time to celebrate Collin McKinney’s 250th birthday!

In conjunction with the official Collin McKinney 250, the Sestercentennial Celebration of Collin McKinney’s Birthday, the Collin County Historical Society & Museum is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, “Collin McKinney and Early Texas” on Wednesday, March 2, Texas Independence Day. Regular exhibit hours will be 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturdays through the end of May. Don’t miss this opportunity to see what life was like for our county’s namesake.

This is your chance to see items rarely on display including documents signed by Collin McKinney, Republic of Texas money signed by Sam Houston, Francis Lubbock and Mirabeau Lamar, the original map of the Town of Buckner Collin County’s first seat of government, plus items used on Collin McKinney’s homestead. Visitors will have a chance to learn of Collin McKinney’s life and role as a settler, surveyor, church founder and member of the committee that drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence. Additional displays will feature maps showing county land grants in 1852 and 1860 and pioneer life from wagon to bedroom and kitchen. Our display on Texas’ battle for Independence includes a photo of George Smith, resident of Collin County and one of three men who fought alongside Sam Houston at San Jacinto.

The centerpiece of the exhibit will be a large scale model of Collin McKinney’s home, photographs of the family on the farm and the guest book from the home’s exhibition in 1936 during the Texas Centennial. Plan on bringing the entire family to visit March 11–12 during Spring Break and return April 15–16 to enjoy a free movie, The Birth of a Nation about the fight for Texas Independence, and take a look at student digital history projects and artwork. On April 16 at 1 p.m., listen to area school choirs sing Texas songs on the front steps of the museum, and enjoy a slice of Collin McKinney’s birthday cake.

On Saturday, May 14, the Collin County Historical Preservation Celebration will be presenting the significance of Collin County’s rich heritage and fascinating history. Events are being planned throughout this celebration, so visit our website frequently for updates and the Sestercentennial county website.

Many Collin County Historical Societies and Historical Commission have partnered with The Collin County Historical Society and Museum to make this exhibit possible. The Collin McKinney 250 and the Sestercentennial planners were also very involved in making this countywide celebration possible.

For all countywide event details surrounding Collin McKinney’s birthday/Sestercentennial, check out his birthday party site. For additional museum information, click here.

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When: March 2–May 31.

  • Regular exhibit hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Where: The Collin County Historical Society & Museum, 300 E. Virginia St., McKinney, Texas 75069


  • General Admission: $7.50
  • Senior/Vets: $5
  • Children: $3
The Collin County Historical Society & Museum

Established in 1957 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1984, the Collin County Historical Society is dedicated to increasing understanding of North Texas history through exhibitions, public programs, online outreach and research that reveal our collective history. They are located one block off the historic downtown square in a 1911 Federal Post Office building at 300 E. Virginia St. McKinney, Texas.