Arch Weatherford was born in Houstonville, Kentucky, on February 5, 1876. His father brought his family to Texas where prospects looked brighter. In 1884, the Weatherfords settled in Ennis where they established the Farmers and Merchants Bank.
Arch Weatherford came to Plano in 1895 to establish a jewelry business. He immediately took an interest in civic activities. Arch Weatherford served on the Plano City Council, the Plano School Board, and helped organize a bucket brigade, which became the town's first fire department. As a member of the Plano Park Board, he helped bring into existence the first city park. A commission of citizens including Arch Weatherford was charged with providing the city a civic auditorium. When the city decided not to pay for the auditorium with tax resources, he and other members of the commission raised enough money to pay off the note.
Along with his friends and business associates, he became active in the development of commercial buildings in the downtown area, the cotton business, and the organization of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, where he served as vice president and a member of the board of directors. When the bank merged with the First National Bank, he continued to serve in the same capacities.
The evening he first arrived in Plano, Arch Weatherford attended the prayer meeting at the First Baptist church. There he saw Mattie Mae Moreman for the first time and asked to be introduced to her. That began a seven year courtship. They were married in 1902 and had two children, John Arch Weatherford and Katherine Sue Weatherford. The Weatherfords were active, lifelong members of First Baptist Church, and Arch Weatherford served on countless committees and as a deacon for more than 55 years. He also was a Mason, proudly possessing a 50 year pin.
Arch Weatherford died in 1965, only nine years before the dedication of Weatherford Elementary School. He left behind a legacy of service to and pride in his community. He treated people honestly and fairly. His word was his bond, and good will towards all men was his philosophy and guide to business.
In 1974, A. Weatherford Elementary School, designed by Jarvis, Putty, Jarvis Architect Company and constructed by Emcon Incorporated, General Contractors, opened with 500 students enrolled in K-6 in what was referred to at that time as far west Plano. All students lived within a two-mile radius of the school, and no bus transportation was needed.
Mr. Weatherford had died in 1965, but his family including his wife, son, daughter, grandson, and great grandchildren all participated in the September 22, 1974 dedication of the school named in his honor. The family was greatly devoted to education.
The first principal of Weatherford Elementary School, Dr. Janice Havard, had served in Plano ISD for two years as an educational diagnostician. She had held various instructional positions in Texas schools for 15 years. The Superintendent of Schools was Dr. H. Wayne Hendrick, and President of the School Board wad Rutledge Haggard.
The open-concept, team-teaching school with the library in the center surrounded by grade levels was decorated with brightly colored walls and a broad expanse of orange carpet extending outward from the atrium at the entrance of the library. Alcove rooms surrounded the grade levels. The selection of the school colors of orange and blue was inspired by the decor of the building. The building included a school cafetorium which was transformed into the kindergarten instructional area after the first 11 years because of increased enrollment and need for instructional space. Walls between and within grade levels were added every few years during the first 18 years because of the movement away from the open-concept instructional theory of large group instruction, small group instruction and individual study.
In 1975, Weatherford became a K-5 elementary school. During the past twelve years, instruction has been expanded to incorporate increasingly extensive use of computers and other technology. Team teaching has continued to be of great importance throughout the entire history of Weatherford in order to offer the best instruction for students and to demonstrate and to share the most effective teaching methods possible.