The History of Wylie Texas

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Wylie, Texas is located in the Southeast corner of Collin County sixteen miles south of McKinney, Texas (The County Seat). It is located on State Highway 78 (N. & S.), and intersects with Farm Road 544 (E. & W.), one quarter mile south of Ballard Avenue or, Main Street as it were.

Wylie was originally organized in the early 1870’s as Nickleville, Texas and it is said to be the name of the first store founded.

In 1886 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway laid track about a half mile north of the original town site. Within a year the Nickleville businesses moved to take advantage of services provided by the railroad, and in doing that renamed their new location Wylie. The name Wylie was for W.D.Wylie, a Civil War veteran, and Right-of-Way agent for the railroad. The city is now situated one half mile north of the original center.

In that same year it was granted a post office, and incorporated, with an alderman form of government.

In 1888 the St. Louis Southwestern railway came to town. The rich agricultural region, and the two railroads contributed to the town’s growth. In 1890 the population of Wylie was 400, and grew to 773 by 1900.

Prior to 1920 the city had over thirty five businesses, including two Banks (Current banking is now Capital One, Chase, Inwood National, and The American National Bank of Texas). It also included a school, and a weekly Newspaper (Wylie now has multiple schools including elementary, middle and High Schools), and (It still has a newspaper by the name of the Wylie News. I’m not sure if this is the same paper or not).

In 1920 Wylie received electrical service and streetlights, and in 1923 the main street (Ballard avenue), was changed from dirt to a graveled street.

Unlike many rural Texas town’s, Wylie grew during the depression years through 1940, and this was a result of increased dairy production to meet the growing demands of the Dallas area. And, by 1940 reached a population of 914. Wylie as well, enjoyed the self-proclaimed “onion capital of the world” title in the 30’s and 40’s. “Wide Awake Wylie” became the city’s nickname in the late 40’s and 50’s for the late night get-together’s of citizens in which businesses stayed open until midnight on some nights.

Following World War II the population continued to increase. The construction of Lake Lavon five miles north of town and the selection of Wylie to house the offices of the North Texas Municipal Water District, designed to provide water for towns in four counties, pushed the population to 1,804 in 1960. In the next twenty years the population more than doubled as a result of the growth of the Dallas urban area.

In the late 70’s, Wylie began to receive some of the D/FW growth. Specifically in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Wylie’s population grew significantly. In 1980 there were 3,152 residents and ninety businesses in Wylie. In 1990 the population was 8,716, and Wylie had spread into Rockwall and Dallas counties.

The 1990’s also saw two major catastrophes. On Mother’s Day in 1993, a tornado hit Wylie. In December 1998, two fires (one on the 9th and another on the 11th) destroyed and/or damaged a dozen or so businesses. The city and it’s citizens used this to revitalize the downtown area. By the year 2000 the population was 15,132.

In the 21st Century, Wylie has become one of the fastest growing communities in Collin County, DFW metropolis and the State of Texas. In fact, it is listed number 8 in fastest growing cities nationally. With that growth, the City has made a transition from a “bedroom” community to a “balanced” community combining quality residential living with a healthy business climate.

So there you have it as far as I know.


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