• History

  • Gulledge Elementary, an exemplary school, got its name from an early Plano pioneer, Joe H. Gulledge.

    Joe H. Gulledge was born in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, on November 25, 1857. Having lost everything in the Civil War, his family moved to Texas and settled in Lewisville. J.H. Gulledge began his career in the mercantile business with Adison E. Graham, before beginning a partnership and moving to Plano in 1882 when they opened the A. Graham and Company Store.

    By 1884 -1885, the store became known as Graham and Gulledge and was located one door west of the southwest corner of Main (currently Avenue K) and Mechanic Street (currently 15th Street). There the store remained, though the fire of 1895 burned much of the business district. After the fire, Graham and Gulledge dissolved their partnership, and Gulledge went into business for himself, establishing the J.H. Gulledge store downtown. In the rebuilt store, the business flourished and became one of the biggest dry goods establishments in Collin County.

    J.H. Gulledge remained a leading merchant of Plano until 1918 when he sold his business to Thompson and Hudson. From 1921 until 1931, he was president of the Plano National Bank, retiring when the Plano National and Farmers National Banks merged on January 1, 1931. He was a member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas No. 768 and a member of the Plano Fishing Club.

    In 1888, he married Linna Orvilla Barnett, daughter of George W. and Leititia Forman Barnett. They had four children: Vivian, born July 21, 1889, was a teacher whose career was spent at Hockaday School in Dallas. Aline, born June 1891, married I.D. Newsome of McKinney. They had one child Vivian Rhea Newsome, who passed away on August 2, 2001 at the age of 95. Joe Harold, born December 1894, died as a result of typhoid fever epidemic in Plano in 1913. George Davis, born July 13, 1897, died in 1899.