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High School #11 to Be Named Emerson High School

Oct 08, 2019

Rendering of Emerson High School Entry.Frisco ISD’s eleventh high school will be named Emerson High School after the original name of the City of Frisco.

Construction for the school began this summer near the intersection of Stacy Road and Collin-McKinney Parkway in west McKinney. It will open to students in the fall of 2021.

When FISD purchased land for Emerson in 2015, officials worked with Allen ISD on a boundary swap to provide more flexibility for the layout of the site. The architectural firm Stantec began design work in 2016. Lower than projected student enrollment growth allowed the District to leverage existing schools and push out the projected opening date from 2019 to 2021.

The District will draw attendance zones for Emerson High School in 2020 in anticipation of the 2021 opening. For the second year in a row, the District will not modify school boundaries this fall. The 2020-21 school year boundaries will remain the same as the 2019-20 boundaries. Click here to learn more about the boundary modification process. 

Planning is also underway for high school #12, which will be built near the corner of Rockhill and Teel parkways. Architect Corgan Associates, Inc. has started preliminary meetings with the City of Frisco to ensure coordination with adjacent developments. Construction will begin in the summer of 2020 and the campus is anticipated to open in the fall of 2022.

The Story of Emerson

Before Frisco was named Frisco and before the people of Lebanon, Texas rolled their homes to Frisco, the town was named Emerson. In 1902, the first plot of land was purchased to establish the town of Emerson.

Emerson was named for McKinney businessman Francis Emerson, who owned the farm where the townsite was located. He owned large tracts of land, including a lake, which were renowned as some of the most beautiful ranches west of McKinney. 

In 1902, a line of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway was being built through the area, and periodic watering holes were needed along the rails for the steam engines. 

At the time, the settlement of Lebanon was located on the Preston Ridge and was too high in elevation, so Emerson’s lake was perfectly placed about four miles to the west on lower ground.

The Blackland Townsite Co., a subsidiary of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, bought the land from Emerson in 1901. Emerson sold his land for $30 an acre, much less than the current $200K an acre now. 

The land was subdivided into lots, and a public auction was held in February 1902 to sell the lots to potential settlers.

A community quickly grew around the train stop.

The original town of Emerson was bordered by what is now known as John W. Elliott Drive, North and South County Roads, Ash Street and Walnut Street.

However, the name was short-lived.

When the application was made for a post office under the name Emerson, the application was refused. There is a town called Emberson north of Paris, Texas, in Lamar County, and authorities ruled that the names were too similar.

In response, the railroad station took the name Frisco City in March of 1902. Frisco was a combination of FR, which derived Francisco, IS, which came from the latter part of St. Louis, and CO was for company, in honor of the St. Louis, San Francisco and Texas Railway Company.

The town itself was without a permanent name until May 15, 1902 when the local paper proudly announced, “The name of our town is finally settled.” Frisco it was. 

When the town officially became Frisco, the railroad company immediately dropped the “City” in Frisco City and changed the station name to Frisco as well. 

It is fitting that this Frisco ISD high school, located in the City of McKinney, pays tribute to the original name of Frisco, which was inspired by a businessman from McKinney.

To learn more about the early history of Frisco and Frisco ISD, click here.

Members of the Frisco ISD community are welcome to suggest names for upcoming campuses, including high school #12. Please email Susan Dye with a suggestion and rationale.

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