Prosper is near State Highway 289 ten miles northwest of McKinney in west central Collin County. It was built in 1902 as a stop on the St. Louis, San Francisco and Texas Railway in the agricultural region known as Elm Valley and was one of the last towns established in Collin County. A post office opened in 1893. Railroad officials are credited with naming the town Prosper because of the prosperous living conditions the area provided. Soon after the tracks reached the area the residents and businesses of nearby Rock Hill moved to the new railroad community. Prosper incorporated in 1914 with the commission form of government and a population of 500. It served as a farm market center for area farmers, who produced primarily cotton and corn in the rich agricultural region of the Blackland Prairie. Just twenty years after its origin Prosper provided electricity, natural gas, water, paved roads, a high school, a bank, and twenty-five businesses to its estimated 400 residents. The Great Depression, however, halted the growth of the community. The population dropped to 271 by 1940 and continued to decline until the late 1950s. The number of residents did not surpass that of the mid-1920s until 1970, when it reach 501. By 1980 the population had increased to 675. Eleven businesses served the small number of farmers who lived nearby in 1986. In 1990 the population was 1,018. The population increased to 2,097 in 2000.