FARMERSVILLE, TEXAS. Farmersville, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 380 and State Highway 78 in east Collin County, was founded about 1849 by settlers who named the community after their principal occupation. An earlier settlement known as Sugar Hill had been started in 1845 by the John Yeary family two miles northeast of the site of present-day Farmersville but was abandoned when its residents moved to Farmersville in 1854. The post office was established in 1857, with Thomas E. Sherwood as its first postmaster. William Gotcher donated the site of the present town square in 1859, and John S. Rike became the first mayor when the town was incorporated in 1873. The Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church was organized in 1855, the First Methodist Church in 1856, and the First Baptist Church in 1865. There were private schools in Farmersville as early as the 1860s. The public school system was established around 1890, and in 1988 the Farmersville Independent School District had over 900 students on three campuses. Both the First National Bank at Farmersville and the Farmersville Times, a weekly newspaper, were founded in 1885 and were still in operation in 1988, when First Bank was the oldest independent bank remaining in Collin County and one of the oldest in the state. Farmersville began as a trading center for the farmers who were rapidly settling the area. In the early days the settlement was a major railroad shipping point for cattle and bois d'arc posts. In later years cotton, corn, and maize became major crops, along with onions and cantaloupes. A number of dairies were established. In the late 1980s most agricultural production was in wheat, maize, and beef cattle. Many residents commuted to jobs in neighboring cities. Beginning in 1935 an Onion Festival was held each year in Farmersville until it was suspended during World War II. In the fall of 1980 began the annual celebration of an Old Time Saturday, a day that commemorates the pretelevision days when "the country went to town" every Saturday all over Texas. Audie Murphy was born near Kingston, not far from Farmersville. He lived and worked in Farmersville for a time before his entry into the United States Army and used his sister's address in Farmersville as his own while he was overseas. Farmersville is a charter member city of the North Texas Municipal Water District and owner of its own electrical system. In 1988 the community of 2,900, although growing steadily as a part of rapidly expanding Collin County, still retained much of its rural flavor. In 1990 the population was 2,640 and in 2000 it was 3,118.
Roy Franklin Hall and Helen Gibbard Hall, Collin County: Pioneering in North Texas (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1975). J. Lee and Lillian J. Stambaugh, A History of Collin County (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1958).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Edward E. Stuart, "FARMERSVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjf01), accessed December 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.