Brief History of Plano, Texas

There is alot of stuff people don’t know about Plano, TX which is situated in Texas in the USA, has a great history that helped lead the town into the prosperous place in which it is today. However, before people moved to the area of Plano, it was merely a Blackland Prairie which was covered mostly by tall grasses, wildflowers, and herds of bison.

Beginnings of Plano

The recorded history of this town started in 1840 when European settlers relocated themselves from Tennessee and Kentucky to the surrounding land, which is known today as Plano. The reason for the relocation of the settlers was to take advantage of the land grant in this area. At first, the colonists had a bad experience that caused them to be unorganized in their new location as local Indian Tribes continually attacked them.

William Foreman was a merchant that bought a huge land tract in the area in 1846. Foreman established a new sawmill and gristmill business in the area, which helped to support the basic needs of the people living there. The potential of Plano grew and therefore more settlers moved into the city. Later on, Foreman also established the first mail service in Plano during 1850 which was used as the unofficial post.

Naming the City

The name Plano was not given to the area until after 1850 as many of the name suggestions got rejected. The first physician, Dr. Dye, who was an early settler, sent out a request to Washington DC to have the area named Fillmore. The name Fillmore was selected after the American President. However, this name got rejected. The locals in the area wanted the city name to be Foreman, but William Foreman declined this name proposal.

Dr. Dye made it his mission to search for a unique name that can become the official name for the town and therefore chose the name Plano. The word “Plano” is a Spanish word that means “plain” and that describes a type of terrain of a flat, sweeping landmass that in general does not change elevation much. Therefore, the name Plano was accepted by the post office as it was a perfect fit because it described the physical appearance of the area itself.

Expansion of Plano

In these early years of the city, the town remained a small rural farming community. However, the city started to expand during 1872 when the Houston and Central Texas Railway got completed. The railway linked the town to new markets because it formed a connection to Dallas and Houston. Cotton and cattle ranches were also established, which helped the farming industry to amplify. The population of Plano grew to more than 500 by the year of 1874.  

The city of Plano got reduced in size as a fire broke out and destroyed fifty-two buildings in 1881. At this time, Plano decreased to a tent city. However, the town was quickly rebuilt after that. By 1888, the St. Louis Arkansas and Texas Railway Company intersected the Houston and Texas Central. This intersection encouraged new markets to open and productive Blackland prairie farmers were able to use Plano as a retail outlet.

From the 20th Century Until Today

The population of the city grew slowly towards the 1900s and by 1970, Plano felt somewhat of a boom. The overall population increased during this time when some public works projects took place and when a change in taxes led to the farming community being removed from the town.

The population exploded over the next coming years and by 1980, the population reached 72,000. Thanks to the flat topography, grid layout, and planning initiatives of Plano, the development of sewers, schools, and streets were constructed rapidly and smoothly.

Many large corporations also moved their headquarters to Plano during the 1980s. For example, the founder of EDS, Ross Perot, bought 2,700 acres in Plano to create the Legacy business park. Frito-Lay also relocated their headquarters to this area. Plano became the prime business location after J.C. Penney also relocated their headquarters to Plano after 1987.

During the 1990s, there was an increase in heroin abuse among young people which lead to the authorities of Plano to create an anti-drug campaign, Operation Rockfest. Plano was also recognized as an All-American City during 1994 and by 2000, Plano was the largest suburb in Dallas. Unfortunately, the city of Plano could not expand further in areas as there was not much undeveloped land remaining within city limits and also because other municipalities surrounded it.   

A company based in Toronto, AreaVibes, which specializes in national data, including the livability of cities, rated Plano in 2013 and placed the city on top of the list when it comes to livability index in the U.S. That same year, Plano ranked number one on the chart of Best Places to Live in 2013.


Today, Plano, TX has a population of 281,566 where the business is booming and family life is secure. In Plano, one will also find several operations of technology giants, including Dynamic Roofing General Contractor LLC Ericsson, McAfee, CA, Nokia, etc., which continues to attract people with high skills throughout the U.S. and internationally. Furthermore, the low taxes, affordable housing, top schools, and great work opportunities make Plano one of the most attractive metropolises to live in.