Keeping It Country
The Town of Fairview was incorporated in 1958 with a population of 50. Since that time, it has grown steadily to today's population of almost 9,000. The community is marked by large houses on large lots, expansive open spaces, numerous horse farms, excellent schools, rolling hills, vast hardwoods, beautiful creeks, and the extensive Village at Fairview shopping area and mixed-use center.
A petition to request an incorporation election for Fairview was submitted to the county judge and commissioners’ court on April 21, 1958. The petition contained the following thirty-three names: Edgar Bush, V. W. Glover, Joe Hooper, C. A, Ostrawn (sp?), M. E. Travillion, L. W. Bryson, Mrs. L. W. Bryson, Mrs. W. H. Ellenburg, W. M. Bush, Mrs. W. M. Bush, E. A. Hooper, Elsie Hooper, Mrs. V. W. Glover, P. L. Barksdale, Mrs. P. L. Barksdale, H. L. Lowry, Mrs. H. L. Lowry, L. M. Nelson, Mrs. L. M. Nelson, Mrs. J. F. Summers, H. J. Petefish, Mrs. H. J. Petefish, Mrs. Robert R. Miller, Mr. Robert R. Miller, Mrs. Clyde Geren, George Apple, Mrs. George Apple, H. L. Knight, Mrs. H. L. Knight, B. C. Knight (?), C. H. Murray, J. K. Wa(?)
Fairview came into existence following an election held at what was called the Fairview Grocery on May 7, 1958. Ordered by Collin County Judge W. E. Button after submission of a petition, the purpose of the voting was to determine whether or not the Town of Fairview would be incorporated as a town. The ballot choices were simple: “Corporation” or “No Corporation.” A total of fifty ballots were cast, with only two of those opposing incorporation. Judge Button signed the order incorporating Fairview on May 12, 1958.
According to accounts, the town’s name might just as easily have been Wetsel because there were two communities included in the incorporated land – Fairview and Wetsel. The latter community began when Henry Wetsel, a Pennsylvania immigrant and carpenter by trade, sold his grist and flour mill in McKinney (a three- to five-oxen operation described as a “first-class ox mill”) and head right a square mile of land four to five miles south of town. That land is memorialized today as the Henry Wetsel Survey. He built his cabin on the Fisher and Sawyer stage road that ran from Austin through McKinney on its way to the Red River. One account suggests Henry operated a new grist mill on the northwest corner of today’s Stacy Road and SH 5 beginning in about 1850. Either here or at his McKinney mill he lost an arm in a terrible accident. He also supposedly built a two-story house with large cedar trees in the front yard on the west side of the stagecoach road, and brought Bermuda grass back from East Texas and had the first lawn of its kind in the area. This story seems not to ring true, however. Lawns were not really “invented” for many more years, so the grass story may have more accurately described one of Henry’s descendants.
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