One of the fastest growing cities in the US!
Frisco is a city in Texas and part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Downtown, the Heritage Museum displays antiques, vintage cars and railroad memorabilia. The National Videogame Museum has rare gaming consoles and arcade machines. Next door, Sci-Tech Discovery Center offers hands-on exhibits for kids. To the northeast, Commons Park features playgrounds, a fishing pond and an amphitheater.
by Bob Warren, Former Mayor of Frisco
In February 1902, the town was formed from the fertile black soil of west Collin county’s beautiful rolling prairie land. However, to get a true picture of the history of our city, we need to look much further back in time, perhaps to the early 1800s.
At least 3 vital ingredients were present in the birth of the city. An abundance of rich soil made excellent farmland, but two other things were needed, transportation and water. Let’s see how these three ingredients worked together to grow the city we know today.
As with any successful city, transportation has been key to the development. Settlers first came to this area while traveling the Shawnee Trail.
In 1838 the Congress of the Republic of Texas appropriated money for the construction of a north – south road, there by opening northern Texas to trade. The Shawnee Trail from Austin to the Red River was followed for this route. This road, for which our Shawnee Trail Sports complex is named, ran through the heart of what later became the city.
A military post near the Red River was named for Captain William C. Preston, a veteran of the Texas Revolution. The Shawnee Trail, which would ultimately become Preston Trail, then Preston Road, was used by wagon trains moving south bringing immigrants to Texas and by cattle drives going north from Austin. The town, Lebanon, then a thriving a cattle town and now a part of the city served as an assembly point for the cattle drives. South of this area in 1841, John Neely Bryan began the settlement of Dallas.
Next came another mode of transportation, the railroad, which gave birth to this city. The origin of railroads in this area began in 1849 in the state of Missouri. The Pacific Railroad Company was granted a charter to build a line from St. Louis to this western boundary of Missouri. Fifty- three years later the line had become a part of the St. Louis, San Francisco Railroad. Men at depot stations along the line soon shortened the name of the line to Frisco.
By 1869 the laying of track, which would become part of the the city’s line, was being completed in Texas. In 1902, one such line was completed from Denison to Carrollton through the center of the city. The thirst of the steam locomotive brought the need of watering holes about every twenty to thirty miles. Since water was not as available on the higher ground along Preston Ridge, the railroad looked four miles west to lower ground. There they dug a lake called Frisco Lake, on Stewart Creek to provide water, (the second ingredient in our growth story) for the engines.
Soil or Land
In 1902, the city was originally a piece of land owned by the Blackland Town Site Company. The property was subdivided into lots and sold to potential settlers. The auction, which was held on February 13 and 14, 1902, was advertised up and down the rail lines as far away as Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas city. The sale also attracted residents and merchants from surrounding communities that had no rail access. Businesses and residents began moving here from Little Elm to the west and from Lebanon, which was seeing fewer and fewer cattle drives.
With the decline of Lebanon, some of the houses were physically moved from Preston Road to what is now in downtown. One was the T.J. Campbell home which was rolled on logs where it now stands, a historical monument, at the corner of Main and 5th Streets. It has become the home of Randy’s Steak House.
The settlement was first called Emerson, named for Francis Emerson, owner of the farm where the town site was located. However, when application was made for a post office under the name Emerson the application was refused. There was a town called Emberson in Lamar county, and authorities ruled that the names were too similar.
An existing post office called Eurida was transferred to the new town site from a community only two miles to the northwest. The postmaster, Tom Duncan, came along in the move. For some time the office continued to operate under the name Eurida.
Later, in 1904, the people selected the name Frisco city for their town in honor of the railroad that founded the young city. It was soon shortened to Frisco, and the Post Office Department approved the new name.
Frisco became a thriving town, serving as a trade center for the surrounding farming community. It was not until 1908, however, that the residents elected to make their community an incorporated city. On March 27, 1908 the citizens elected their first municipal government which included four alderman, an alderman at large, a town marshal and Dr. I.S. Rogers, the town’s first physician and mayor. Dr. Rogers, for which Rogers Elementary is named, served as mayor the first 3 years of the city’s incorporated life.
The census of 1910, showed a population of 332 pioneers. By the next census in 1920, the count was 733, and the town’s population remained near that level through the 1950 census (736).
Quadruple digits were recorded in 1960 when the count showed 1184. Slow but steady growth continued, bringing the total to 3,499 in 1980 and 6,141 on 1990. The 1990s ushered in a population explosion, bringing an estimated 21,400 people as of January 1, 1997.
Today our 3 ingredients are still working to build the city. With 69 square miles of land (soil) within its boundaries the city is seeing a diversified crop produced. Where wheat, cotton, corn and feed once grew, we see people, houses, businesses, churches, schools, offices, and parks.
Frisco Lake served its purpose as a railroad lake (and a swimming hole), then went the way of the steam locomotive. But water continues to be a key factor in our growth. Once served by water wells, today we have a contract with North Texas Municipal Water District to furnish up to 29 million gallons of water per day. In 1996, we consumed as mush as seven million gallons per day, so the contract provides ample water for the future growth.
Though rail continues to be very important, automobiles and trucks, and how to keep them moving now claim our attention. The city is blessed with a toll road and major State and Federal highways, but they all need to be completed or widened, new streets and thoroughfares are being built as fast as practical. Within the next three to five years an estimated $61.2 million is to be spent on highway, toll road, street and thoroughfare improvements within the city.
The once small village has reached perhaps adolescence. Its mother, the railroad, hardly recognizes her child. But, what of the future? The city’s Master Plan says when the city develops fully into its 69 square miles, it may house as many as 350,000 people.
We will be challenged to keep our ingredients in order!
Four school districts serve the residents in this city:
Frisco Independent School District
Lewisville Independent School District
Little Elm Independent School District
Prosper Independent School District
The Public Library houses more than 38,000 book titles. The library is located adjacent to City Hall inside the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center. For hours and more information, call 972-292-5669 or visit the library’s website.
Parks & Recreation
The Parks and Recreation Department manages 43 park sites totaling 1369 acres that are open from sun up to sun down. The city also owns more than 744 acres of undeveloped land, which will be planned and constructed in the near future. View the complete list of the city’s parks and trails. The Parks & Recreation Department also manages the Public Art Program, with more than 70 installations throughout the city. A variety of recreation programs and classes are also available, for a fee, through the Athletic Center.
Senior Center at Frisco Square
Current Population Estimate: 170,922 (as of December 1, 2017)
- Monthly Population Estimates and Projections
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|Current Area:||68.2 square miles (includes everything currently annexed)|
|Area at Build out:||70.2± square miles; 44,950 acres (includes ETJ)|
|Build out Percentage:||62% Built or Platted (as of January 1, 2016)|
Median age: 37 years
Housing Units: 60,750 (as of August 1, 2017)
Households: 58,052 (as of August 1, 2017)
Median Household Income: $123,055
Median Family Income: $128,912
Per Capita Income: $47,766
Students: 53,323 (as of October 30, 2015)
Educational Attainment (adults 25 years and older):
- 5% – high school graduates or GED
- 58% – bachelor’s degree or higher
* Estimates listed above are rounded