Westminster, Texas History and Information

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Westminster Texas, a History


Starting out

  Westminster was established in 1860 and was named Seven Points.

Location

  Westminster is located at 3321'19"N, 9626'50"W (33.355228, -96.447358). For us that don't understand that, Westminster is at the intersection of Farm roads 3133 and 2862, twelve miles northeast of McKinney in northeast Collin County.

Through Time

  By 1885 it had grown to include the nearby communities of Prospect and Graybill. In 1888 J. M. Harder opened a private school in the town. Seven years later Harder sold the school building to the Methodist Church, which established Westminster College. The college, a preparatory school for ministers, was named after Westminster, Maryland, a stronghold of Methodism in that predominantly Catholic state. Within a year of the school's opening Seven Points residents decided to change the community's name to that of the college.

  In 1899 a post office branch was established, and in 1914 the town incorporated, choosing the commission form of government. The following year the Greenville and Whitewright Northern Traction Company built a line from Anna to Blue Ridge through Westminster. From the early 1900s to the 1920s Westminster served as a cotton market and retail trade center for area farmers. By 1920 the population was 600, and the town had ten to twelve businesses and a high school. The Greenville and Whitewright Northern Traction line was abandoned in 1920, and major railroads bypassed the town.

  With the beginning of the Great Depression the town's population dropped to 268. Employment opportunities in the Dallas area following World War II further contributed to the decline. In 1950 Westminster had 192 residents. By the early 1970s the population began to recover, and in the late 1980s the community had 320 residents and two businesses. The population was 388 in 1990 and 390 in 2000.


Disincorporation

  At this time, Westminster is an unincorporated community in Collin County Texas.

  Twice, the city of Westminster sought to declare for bankruptcy; the first effort, in 2001, failed after creditors rejected a payout plan. In early 2004, the state agencies agreed to relinquish their claims, provided that Westminster disincorporate.

  Since then, the issue had been a debated topic in Westminster. That summer, the city council started a petition drive to gather enough signatures to place the matter of disincorporation on the ballot for the May 2005 elections. The council then proceeded to fire the city administrator, who opposed disincorporation. Those in favor of the matter, including then-mayor Phil Goplin, stated that disincorporation would keep the city from stagnating; without any cashflow or a sewer system, it is unable to attract the development of its neighboring municipalities.

  The residents of Westminster voted to abolish their town charter on May 7, 2005. The disincorporation of the city of Westminster, was only the eleventh such occurrence in Texas since 1975. With the loss of its charter, the city retains its name as a community, but is officially unincorporated Collin County. Therefore, maintenance and other services of the former city are now the responsibility of Collin County. Through an agreement with the city's creditors, the debts are considered void.

  Had Westminster remained incorporated after the election, the city's sales tax receipts would have been withheld until half the debt was repaid. A former city mayor was running for election, in case the vote failed. Opponents of the decision worry now of the loss of Westminster's history, as well as possible annexation from neighboring Anna.

Education

  In 1988, Westminster ISD the Texas Education Agency cited several deficiencies in the school's operations, causing it to no longer be accredited. District voters in 1989 chose to disband the district.

  Westminster is served mostly by the Anna ISD.


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Sources: Wikipedia Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. Collin County, Texas Texas Education Agency U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Lavon Lake Flags of the World Texas Association of Counties Key to the City The Shadowlands

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