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Dallas, TX 75252
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Article_bw About Frankford

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Contributed on February 09, 2012 10:48 AM

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Frankford Middle School has served the Collin County and part of Dallas County communities for 10 years. The school was named in honor of the old town of Frankford which stood not far from where the school is today.

Frankford community, including a still existing church and cemetery, developed in the mid-1800s in the southwestern corner of Collin County on Halls Branch, a tributary of White Rock Creek. In the 1850s and 1860s travelers detoured from Preston Road, oldest North-South route in North Texas, to camp in their covered wagons by a spring on Halls Branch on the Shawnee Trail. Residences and the Bent Tree Country Club near the present Dallas North Tollway and Weber Road now cover the area. A post office that served the community from 1890 to 1904 was built at the crossing of Addison and Weber Roads. Records state that" by 1890 the town had a population of eighty-three, a steam gristmill, a corn mill, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, two general stores, and three churches." The Post Office gave the community the official name of "Frankford" when it opened on May 11, 1880. Stories collected by Collin County historian Frances Wells speculate that the name Frankford described a "ford" or shallow crossing over the creek that was "frank" or free with respect to conditions or restrictions for crossing. Thus "Frankford" might mean a ford available for public use. Another story attributes the name Frank to the name of a settler’s son, Frank Cotton.

The history of the community’s cemetery and church is closely associated with Masonic Lodge 234, chartered June 15, 1858. Members of the lodge built a two story lodge hall in 1872 on land owned by Capt. William C. McKamy, a Tennessee immigrant who arrived in present Dallas County, Texas, in 1852. McKamy bought a land, home and mill on the White Rock Creek from Peters Colonists. McKamy was a member of the Masonic Lodge 234 and sold the lodge five acres for church and school uses in 1873 for ten dollars an acre.

The Hall, as the old-timers called the building, served as a religious, fraternal, and educational community center. The second floor of the Hall was reserved for lodge meetings while the first floor was used for school and non-denominational church services. One former student, William Furneaux of Carrollton, remembered going to school at the Hall in 1875 when W. H. Alexander and his wife taught about 75 pupils there. Since some of the students lived in Dallas County, Mrs. Alexander took the primary grades across the creek into Dallas County and taught them in a farm tenant house in order to collect Dallas County school money. Another teacher, J. S. Allen is listed in a record of Collin County free public schools as receiving $84.95 from the county in 1880 to operate the Frankford School.

The St. Louis southwestern Railway bypassed the town in the late 1880s, and many Frankford residents moved to Addison, Plano, and other nearby communities. In 1904 the Frankford post office was closed, and in 1907 its lodge hall, which had served as a church and school, was moved to Addison. A second church, built in the late 1890s, continued to serve a predominantly Methodist congregation until 1924. By the mid-1930s the town was no longer shown on the county highway maps. Frankford Church lay vacant and deteriorating until 1962 when Episcopal services of the Church of the Holy Communion began to be held in the building. Today the restored church and carefully tended cemetery are nestled in a picturesque setting which includes a wooden bridge across the creek at the entrance to the 13-acre grounds and a windmill. A parish hall that was originally the old Addison Railroad station sits next to the white church. New buildings constructed by the Episcopal Church are also on the original grounds. Both the church and cemetery have Texas State Historical Markers.

Amateur historians, genealogists, and the curious can visit the cemetery and see graves of area pioneers. The two oldest marked graves are those of John T. Coit, a lawyer who immigrated from South Carolina and Margaret McKamy, who came to Texas with her son, William C. McKamy. Sidney Noell, founder of the early town of Noell Junction, now Addison, and Addison Robertson, for whom it was later named, are also buried in Frankford Cemetery. Other Collin County family names seen on cemetery markers are Simpson, Stark, Huffman, Wells, Jackson, Bishop, Nance Cook, Collier, Dickerson, Fletcher, Foster, Armstrong, Cudd, Taylor, and Risenden. Frankford school teachers Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Alexander and Col. W. C. Bishop are buried here. Graves of fifteen Confederate veterans, and five World War I soldiers can also be found in now full Frankford Cemetery.

Dickerson, Sallie. "The History of Frankford Cemetery." [1978]
"Frankford, Texas" New Handbook of Texas, Vol. 2. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association, c1996.

Plano, Texas: The Early Years. Friends of the Public Library, c1985.
Stambaugh, Lee. A History of Collin County. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association, 1958
Wells, Frances. "Frankford Church History." n.d.

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