• History

  • Mr. William Penn Aldridge was born in Plano, Texas on January 31, 1870. He was one of nine children of James Kennon and Mariah Lively Aldridge. James Kennon was born in Tennessee and came to north Texas in 1858, lured by the promise of a better climate for farming and fertile black soil. He married Kentucky-born Mariah Lively in Plano shortly after his arrival and began farming south of town. James Kennon, and neighbors Jacob Routh and R.W. Campbell, were the main contributors to the building of a school on the Campbell farm. James Kennon served in the Confederate Army as a Captain, returning home to his family farm after the Civil War. W.P. Aldridge joined his family in farming and married Alice Cochran, daughter of early Dallas settlers. They had one son, Charles, who was born in 1897. Mr. Aldridge raised cotton, grain crops, and livestock on his farm which was located where Aldridge Elementary School now stands.

    The Aldridge family members were very active and involved in the community, and were deeply committed to education. W.P.’s success as a farmer enabled him to spend time in community affairs. He was on the board of directors of the First Guaranty State Bank of Plano when it was chartered in 1910.

    He was elected to the Plano Board of Education and served faithfully for 25 years from 1921 to 1945. He was president of the Board for 16 years. William Penn Aldridge died on October 13, 1946 and is buried in Plano Mutual Cemetery.

    Aldridge Elementary School opened November 25, 1968. We are honored to be named for a man who gave such long and dedicated service to the Plano Schools.

  • William Penn Aldridge