• Forman History

  • William Forman I, his wife, four sons and one daughter came from Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky in 1846 and settled on a farm one mile east of the town of Plano, Collin County, Texas. This was the same year that Collin County was organized. William Forman I was married to Ruth Chenoweth, a granddaughter of Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, founder of the Colony of Maryland and the city of Baltimore. The four sons were William II, Joseph, James and Clint. The only daughter, Letitia, was later married to George W. Barnett, son of another pioneer of South Collin County family.

    Mr. Forman acquired a considerable body of land in South Collin County. In addition to their farming activities, the father and sons built a grist mill, a gin, a still and a cooperage. The early settlers from a wide area patronized these enterprises and they continued to flourish until the coming of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad through the country in 1872. After the coming of the railroad, the mill and other activities were discontinued.The town of Plano was established, a mile west of the Forman farm and it became the supply center for the settlers. The mail facility at that time was an old mail pouch carried on horseback once a week each way between Austin and Clarksville. Mr. Forman lived fourteen miles south of McKinney and sixteen miles north of Dallas. There was no post office between the two places. Mr. Forman applied in the spring of 1881 for a petition to get a post office established in his home. The establishment of a post office in his home was recommended by the postmaster in Dallas and the postmaster in McKinney. These documents were sent to Washington, and in about six weeks, an answer was returned stating "that the office would be established" and requesting that it be given a name unlike any other office in Texas and that a suitable person be named postmaster. There was a consultation over the matter. Mr. Filmore was then president and it was concluded to name the office Filmore and recommend Mr. Forman as postmaster.The neighbors in Rowlett and Spring Creek objected to the post office being called Filmore. They said they would not patronize it and they would have their mail sent to Dallas or McKinney. They would not have a Whig from Kentucky come into the neighborhood and name a post office Filmore. Mr. Forman's little clipboard cabin was on the highest part of the "back section." No other house was in sight and Mr. Forman looked out on the vast prairie and decided to put a little Spanish into the word "plain" and call it "Plano." The name was changed from Filmore to Plano by order of the post office department and Mr. Forman was duly installed as the first postmaster.The Forman's retained and developed their land and improved their place to be one of the best found in North Texas. They were thrifty citizens and have continued to play an important role in the life of the county throughout its entire existence. In 1851, William Forman and his sons built a seven room farm residence. The house stood as the family home for many years and was later moved to another location on the farm and used as a tenant house by William Forman III. A beautiful ten room, two story house was erected on the original site and it stood until 1951, when it was replaced by a more modern home.There have been four William Formans and all have lived inside the same yard fence, William III and William IV having been born there.Located on the northwestern part of the Forman farm is the Forman cemetery, in which the first interment was made in 1852. The owners of the four sections of land that cornered together within three or four hundred yards of the grist mill decided to locate the graveyard where each of the four could contribute an equal portion of land for the cemetery. This is the location of the Plano Mutual Cemetery. Interesting markers to be found in the cemetery are:

    William Forman II - Born September 7, 1820 - Died August 27, 1886

    Abby Howard Forman - Born August 16, 1823 - Died January 20, 1897

  • Mr. and Mrs. Forman