about all that remains of old downtown Richardson."
Price, January 2008
| History in
a Pecan Shell
Settled as part of the Peters colony in the late 1840s, a town named
Breckinridge had formed. In 1873 when the arriving Houston and Texas
Central Railroad bypassed the town, a new community formed, drawing
off Breckinridge’s population.
The railroad has a right-of-way and townsite donated and the following
year a post office was granted.
Richardson is thought to be named after E. H. Richardson, a railroad
contractor. The 1904 population of Richardson was only 147 residents
although it it had grown to 400 by the mid 1920s.
Richardson was included on the route of the Sherman
to Dallas Interurban. The
town was struck by a tornado in 1924 which destroyed residences but
spared the commercial district. The “Red Brick Road” was paved in
1924 – later to be called Greenville Avenue. Richardson and Addison
High schools were consolidated in the late 1920s. From a population
of 720 in the early 1940s, it had increased to 1,288 by the early
1950s. But ten years later it had swelled to 16,810.
When Highway 75 was built in the 1950s, Richardson became a Dallas
suburb. The city expanded by annexation and encouraging industry
to relocate there. The population in 1970 had climbed to 43,900 and
has since grown to the current 91,802.
400 S. Greenville Ave.
Richardson, Dallas County, Texas
Photo courtesy of Mike
Price, January 2008
J. (Uncle Billy) Wheeler came to this part of Texas soon after the
end of the Civil War. In 1870 he deeded land to the Houston and Texas
Central Railway for the townsite that became the city of Richardson
and for the railroad right-of-way. In 1880 Wheeler provided a public
school just northwest of this site for Richardson area children.
After the Wheeler Schoolhouse burned in 1900, classes moved into a
new, two-story, four-room, structure on this site. By this time the
Richardson Independent School District had been created.
In 1914 the frame schoolhouse was replaced with a two-story, red brick
structure. The eight-room schoolhouse was staffed by five teachers.
In 1927 two wings were added to house the increased enrollment brought
about by the consolidation of the Richardson and Addison High schools.
Further consolidation of surrounding common school districts in the
1930s and a population boom in the 1950s expanded school enrollment
and created the need for other facilities. The red brick schoolhouse
served only elementary grades from 1952 until 1960, when it began
to serve as the district administration building.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986
Subject: Old downtown Richardson
"There has been a lot of rebuilding in that area such that most
everything old has been torn down, or so remodeled that it's impossible
to recognize the old buildings. Richardson for some reason has attracted
large blocks of ethnic groups over the years. First it was the Vietnamese.
Now it appears to be a mixture of Arabic and Indians. The signs in
that part of town are frequently a mixture of English and the native
language of the [newly arrived] group."
| "This building,
before it was turned into this featureless nightmare, was a red brick
building with the raised area being the main entrance to what was
the first building in what is now know as Telecom Corridor in Richardson.
(I'm ignoring the Texas Instrument complex to the south as I believe
it is in the Dallas city
limits.) The building was the first building of Collins Radio Company
in Richardson. The complex that grew around it comprised about 10-12
buildings that at one time employed around 7000 people. They eventually
set up a second complex about 3-4 miles northeast of this one. I'm
reasonably sure these were two initial anchors of the electronics
businesses in Richardson.
I threw this in as I spent 35 years working in those complexes. Twelve
years in this building, before they destroyed its personality."
Price, January 2008
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