Collin County’s transformation from rural farmland to bustling urban hotspot may seem like a whirlwind affair when you look at the last 20 years. But the region’s roots have a rich, storied past with pioneer hardships – and even a little Old West gunplay — that hasn’t been completely buried with new development. Both Collin County and its county seat, McKinney, are named after one of the first settlers here: Collin McKinney (1766-1861). A land surveyor, merchant, politician and lay preacher at various times in his life, McKinney was born in New Jersey and had lived in Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas before he moved to northeast Texas in 1830-31 while it was part of a colonization grant from Mexico to an English empresario. When the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos approved the Texas Declaration of Independence, McKinney was six weeks shy of his 71st birthday. Being the oldest delegate to the convention, and one of five men asked to help draft the declaration, he received the pen used to sign the document by the 58 other delegates on March 2, 1836.