Burrus Flour Mill

Maker of White Billows Flour
407 E Louisiana St

One of the earliest mills was the Collin County Mill and Elevator Company located just outside of McKinney. It was established in 1892 by W. C. Burrus and son, John Perry Burrus. John Perry along with E.W. Kirkpatrick co-owned the Collin County Mill by the turn of the 20th century. The mill burned in 1899 and was rebuilt as the Burrus Mill & Elevator. The mill grew and moved to new facilities located at 407 E. Louisiana St. The mill remained in operation from 1914 until the 1970s, producing White Billows Flour.

The history of the Flour Mill is significant because of its association with the local cotton and grain industry, which was the basis for the town’s commercial development. The City of McKinney contributed significantly in making Texas one of the nation’s largest cotton and grain producing states in the nation. The Burrus Mills were the largest flour operation in the southwest.

Today the Flour Mill has been renovated and is the Mill at East McKinney. It serves as an events venue and an office space.

Burrus Flour Mill Read More »

Rail Yard

When the railroad came to town, McKinney experienced unprecedented growth. The railroad provided reliable transportation for people and goods.


“Farmers and manufacturers were able to ship their goods on the Houston and Texas Central Railway, which reached McKinney in 1872, and, beginning in 1881, on the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad. From 1908 to 1948 the Texas Electric Railroad, running from Denison to Dallas and Waco,
served McKinney.”[1]


“In 1908 the Texas Traction Company, or Interurban, an electric rail service began operating in McKinney. Running north and south serving towns between Dallas and Sherman. Powered by McKinney’s electric plant, the Interurban was the greatest success of the McKinney Commercial Club, formed in 1907 by over one hundred businessmen. This club, a forerunner of the Chamber of Commerce, replaced the Board of Trade and other groups of local businessmen trying to attract industry in earlier years.”[2]

When cotton was king. Cotton bales at McKinney railyard, ca 1900
Photo Gallery • McKinney, TX • CivicEngage (mckinneytexas.org)

“Cotton production was the primary driver of the Texas economy in the first half of the twentieth century. In an effort to support the local economy, The Cotton Mill was built with local investment money and exclusively purchased locally grown cotton. It was one of only two textile mills west of the Mississippi that manufactured colored print cloth, and by the early 1960’s it was the largest denim mill in the world.”[3]


“Over the next 50 years, cotton became a major source of revenue in Collin County. In 1860, the yield was 16 bales, and in 1870 it was 4,371 bales. In 1870, there was one cotton gin in McKinney, but by 1876, there were four. A cotton compress began operation in 1892 and was still in operation until the mid-1980s. The first textile mill – The Texas Cotton Mill Company – was opened in McKinney in 1910. It was one of only two mills west of the Mississippi that manufactured color-print cloth. It later became a major manufacturer of denim.”[4]


Cotton comes to town

Cotton Buying Day Looking South on Tennessee

Looking West on Louisiana Street

“The railroad, while seldom used today, is scheduled to accommodate a future expansion of the Dallas area rail transit system. A proposed transit stop in the vicinity of Louisiana and Virginia Streets is expected to act as a focal point for denser, mixed-use redevelopment around the station area.”[5]

“The vision for a transit village, an urbanized State Highway 5 corridor, and the preservation of the surrounding neighborhoods establish a philosophy of balance in terms of destination activities, relationships, walkability, transitions, scale, connections, location within the region, transit, housing and growth opportunities. The vision recognizes four redevelopment opportunities, along with a strategy for the redesign of Highway 5 itself so it becomes the connective tissue between the Historic Downtown Square and Old Settlers Park—the heart of the neighborhoods to the east of State Highway 5.”[6]

The tracks today on the east side

There are discussions by “The North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Regional Transportation Council is working to convince city officials to support a new rail line system that would connect Plano and McKinney.”[7] 

Rail Yard Read More »

Historic Concrete Silos and Grain Elevator

The origins of the silos and grain elevator trace back to the Collin County Mill & Elevator Co. and the 1870s when M.C. Burns and his son J. Perry Burns operated a flour mill just outside of McKinney. In 1892, they purchased a mill close to the silo site. The red brick millhouse was built in 1914 and the grain elevators and 100-foot concrete silos were erected in 1927, near the intersection of East Virginia and Main streets. The millhouse closed in the 1970s, but the grain elevator continued to operate as a feed mill until summer 2020.[1]

The city of McKinney plans to use the silos as a backdrop for the new Municipal Community Complex.

“Not only will this mural be one of the largest works in North Texas, but the international reputation of the artist helps build an attraction that spotlights our community,” said Amy Rosenthal, director of the McKinney Performing Arts Center and McKinney Main Street, in the release. “It serves as a catalyst for development in a section of our downtown rich with cultural history and helps increase the visibility of our own local artists.” [2]


“The city of McKinney recently announced that a contract has been signed with Australian-based artist Guido van Helten to transform the 100-feet-tall historic concrete silos and grain elevator in the Historic Downtown McKinney Cultural District.” [3]


To read more about the project visit https://www.mckinneytexas.org/926/Silo-Mural-Project.


Historic Concrete Silos and Grain Elevator Read More »

McKinney Cotton Compress Plant

300 blk. Throckmorton

Perry Burrus built a cotton cleaning factory, Burrus Cotton Company, on the east side of McKinney. This plant would clean the cotton after ginning but before compressing, reducing the amount of time the cotton would spend in the carding room being cleaned of dirt, leaves, stems, bugs and other materials. Since the textile mill included a carding room for cleaning cotton after the bales were opened, the construction of a separate cleaning factory demonstrates that the textile mill was not using all the cotton produced in Collin County.

The McKinney Cotton Compress Company began operations by 1892, boosting the local cotton industry. It originally stood on block 47 of the original town site, in the 400 block of East Hunt Street and was serviced by the Houston and Texas Central and Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroads.

The company abandoned its original site in 1914 and relocated to the 300 block of North Throckmorton Street. The new site provided significantly more space and allowed for expansion. The property now is a sprawling six-acre complex that includes the compress, warehouses, a water tower, and offices.

This massive complex includes a series of adjoining warehouses that were used to store cotton bales. They are of frame construction and are sheathed with sheets of corrugated metal. Gable roof, sometimes with industrial clerestories, cap the structures.

It’s continuous operation since that time illustrates the significant role that cotton production and processing has had to the growth and development of the city.

Today the warehouses are utilized by different companies but a future multi-family development will be erected on this site.

It’s continuous operation since that time illustrates the significant role that cotton production and processing has had to the growth and development of the city.[3]

Today the warehouses are utilized by different companies, but a future multi-family development will be erected on this site.

McKinney Cotton Compress Plant Read More »

Hill and King Grain

400 E. Louisiana

Also know as the Hill – Webb Grain Elevator/McKinney Grain/McKinney Feed and Grain

The grain elevator located at 400 E. Louisiana is one of the oldest buildings in McKinney and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has housed many businesses since it was constructed around 1892.

Located across from the old flour mill, east of square and near the train depot, it opened as the Hill and King Grain Company by Ben Hill and C.M. King.
[1] In 1906, J.W. Webb, a prominent citizen, bought into the business and it became the Hill-Webb Grain Company. It was in continuous operation until a spectacular fire razed it in January of 2008. The elevator was made of heart of pine lumber from East Texas, which was transported on wagons to McKinney.[2] In the 1930’s it was transformed into a feed mill known as the McKinney Elevator Co. It was in continuous operation until a spectacular fire razed it in January of 2008.[3]

McKinney’s cotton-processing structures played a significant role in the town’s history and development during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Much of the area’s vast agricultural potential was realized through the construction and operation of these facilities. Their establishment aided the town’s commercial development because area farmers came to McKinney to sell their crops and then purchased goods at downtown stores. These property types also laid the foundation for the town’s industrial development and supported the establishment of a textile mill.

TUPPS Brewery Project

In July 2020, TUPPS Brewery announced it will relocate and expand its campus to the historic Mill District of downtown McKinney. The campus will include a tasting taproom in the original grain milling building, a state-of-the-art production facility, retail shopping featuring local craftsmen, and an entertainment venue. The 
McKinney Community Development Corporation (MCDC) and the McKinney Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) are contributing to the project.

How will this project benefit the city?

MCDC works in partnership with businesses to promote and fund cultural and economic development projects that maintain and enhance McKinney’s quality of life. The TUPPS Brewery relocation and expansion project is an example of great things that come from collaboration and public-private cooperative efforts.

The TUPPS project, which will rehabilitate and revitalize the former McKinney Grain property, will:

  • Accomplish MCDC strategic goals of fostering the redevelopment of the Downtown Historic Cultural District and East McKinney and creating destination retail, dining, and entertainment.
  • Serve as a catalyst for redevelopment on the east side of the city.
  • Create a world-class cultural and entertainment destination for residents and visitors.
  • Facilitate the growth and expansion of TUPPS Brewery. 

What is the timeline for this project?

The project is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2021 and be fully completed by the third quarter of 2022.

[1] Smith, J. Frank. The Democrat (McKinney, Tex.), Vol. 23, No. 19, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 7, 1906, newspaper, June 7, 1906; McKinney, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth291945/: accessed November 11, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Collin County Genealogical Society.
[2] McKinney Feed and Grain | Facebook and McKinney Feed and Grain, 402 E Louisiana St, McKinney, TX (2021) (foodbevg.com)
[3] Historical Agricultural Processing Facilities in Texas (txdot.gov) Pg. 24
[4] a7549700-ead0-4e30-b03f-68bdd5d4b363 (nps.gov) pg. 9
[5] TUPPS Brewery Project | McKinney, TX – Official Website (mckinneytexas.org)

Hill and King Grain Read More »

McKinney National Airport

1500 E. Industrial Blvd.

McKinney National Airport was formerly known as the Collin County Regional Airport at McKinney. The first flight was in 1912.[1] The City of McKinney has owned the airport since it opened in 1979.[2]

As DFW Metroplex continues to experience explosive growth and will need a third commercial service airport in the future. McKinney National Airport is in a strategic position to provide that service when the demand and market are ready.[3]

To view the city’s master plan please visit TKI: About Us | McKinney, TX – Official Website (flytki.com).


McKinney National Airport Read More »