Plano, Texas, is the ninth-largest city in Texas and is growing every year.
The booming economy, proximity to Dallas, solid education systems, and safe suburb lifestyle are all factors that come into play to make this city a great place to live.
Once one of the top three places to live in America, Plano is still one of the most popular suburbs for families and young professionals.
To learn how this city came to be the growing city it is today, continue reading as we sort through its early settlers, growth and development, and where Plano stands today.
In the 1840s, European settlers migrated from Tennessee and Kentucky, seeking new opportunities of their own.
These pioneers endured attacks from surrounding Native American tribes in a battle over the land, making many of the settlers scared to call this place home.
A man named William Foreman bought a great deal of land in the area and established a sawmill and gristmill to provide the necessities for the people who occupied the land. His mills brought a new wave of settlers to the town and encouraged future businesses to open here.
There was no doubt that this area had the potential to become a thriving city.
In 1850, Foreman established the first snail mail operation — out of his home — and this became the first unofficial post office.
The Name “Plano” Is Born
The area remained nameless for about a decade.
In the 1850s, Dr. Dye (the city’s first physician) felt strongly about the area being named and sent a request to Washington. His first proposal was to name the area Fillmore after the president at that time.
However, this request was denied.
The second name proposal was from the townspeople; they wanted their new home to be called Foreman, but he declined the notion, so back to brainstorming they went.
Dr. Dye then came up with the name Plano, which means “plain” (as in the type of terrain) in Spanish. The name was deemed a perfect choice for the area, and thus, Plano was born.
Plano’s Development and Expansion
During this time in the late-1800s, Plano was known for its livestock raising and cattle farming. This was a great starting point for the economy, but the people in Plano soon discovered the rich, black soil the land had to offer. This soil gave them an excellent opportunity to grow crops.
Around this time, new schools, churches, and local businesses began to pop up as well.
In 1872, the Houston to Texas Central Railroad was built, further supporting the town’s growth.
The railroad opened access to new markets — people in Plano could now easily take a train to Dallas and Houston. This multiplied Plano’s agricultural efforts and allowed for the establishment of ranches and cotton operations. The town had a population of 500 by 1874.
In 1881, the town endured a significant setback when most of the buildings — 52 of them to be exact — burned to the ground from a devastating fire.
The city became a town of tents.
Plano was fully rebuilt by 1888 thanks to its determined residents. The new construction was built from bricks instead of wood to protect against fire in the future. This signified a new beginning for Plano.
The completion of the St. Louis Arkansas and Texas Railway Company railway also helped the town get back on its feet.
This railway intersected with the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. These railroads established Plano as a retail market and encouraged new markets to flood into Plano.
The Turn of the 20th Century to Today
During the 1900s, the town slowly began thriving even more, and the city saw a major boom by the 1970s. However, agriculture became stifled after new city tax regulations were imposed.
By 1980, the city saw another jump in population and reached 72,000 citizens.
This growth called for the building of new communities, water lines, and schools. Compared to previous efforts, this expansion happened at a breakneck pace.
Plano saw many companies move their headquarters to the new business park that featured 2,700 acres, and this is still home to many companies today. Some of the companies that moved to Plano included J.C. Penny and Frito Lay.
By the 1990s, Plano was recognized as the most prominent suburb in Texas. No surrounding areas were as established as they were.
Plano Has Come a Long Way
The city of Plano was once nothing more than a few pioneers with hopes and dreams of new beginnings.
It has since evolved into one of the biggest suburbs in Texas and is seen as a prime spot to move.
If you’re in the market to move to Texas, Plano is an ideal location. It offers great educational systems and job opportunities.
Still not sure if Plano is right for you? Here is a list of fun things to do in Plano, Texas.