This video was produced by Grace Products for Collin County and the City of McKinney, Texas. It is free to view at no cost. Grace Products is dedicated to the goal of highlighting those little known heroes that have made our nation great. The "Nation Builders" project will continue to add regional heroes from across the country. All will be available to view at no cost as part of the Online Library.



Collin McKinney

Collin McKinney was a citizen soldier, a pioneer, a businessman, a preacher, a statesman, and a patriot.

Born on April 17th, 1766, he only became a Texas legend after he turned 70 years old.

Already well-known throughout Kentucky and Tennessee before he came to our great state, Collin McKinney's utmost fame was still ahead of him when he arrived in Texas in his mid-sixties.

He was a delegate at the Convention of 1836 and was one of five men who helped draft the Texas Declaration of Independence, a certain death sentence for such rebellion against the Mexican dictator Santa Anna. He was the oldest man to sign the Declaration and was given the quill used that day out of the tremendous respect the other delegates had for him.

McKinney was a member of the committee that drafted the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, and continued working on that document knowing the Alamo had just fallen and that his life was in danger from Santa Anna’s advancing army. Later he served the Republic of Texas in the First, Second, and Fourth Congresses. He also took up the cause for Texas statehood and was determined to see Texas become a part of the United States of America.

As a lay preacher, he ministered to people and treated them well because of his faith and Christian beliefs. Yet he had the heart of a lion. When secession threatened to tear Texas apart before the Civil War, McKinney, in his nineties, gave fiery speeches against the secessionists who were inflicting some of the worst violence ever seen in the state. Yet he only said what he needed to say. Otherwise, he was a quiet hero.

Collin McKinney was the type of great leader that is needed today. In the Flood of 1843, when he was in his late seventies, his business was wiped out, and he had to start over. He made eleven trips to Kentucky on horseback to bring settlers back to our part of Texas. By then, he was in the eighth decade of his life. With his faith to strengthen him, he demonstrated the true grit to overcome major obstacles that would have crushed most people.

The Texas Legislature named Collin County and the city of McKinney after him. The people of McKinney and Collin County should to be proud of their name. It reflects a matchless servant leader who consistently demonstrated courage, positive moral character, and tremendous physical, emotional, and spiritual resilience. He would be proud to know that these character traits are still the backbone of the city and county that bear his name.

Because of legendary men like him, Texas survived enormous challenges to emerge as the remarkable state it is today. Collin McKinney is a Texas legend and an inspiration for anyone aspiring to be the next great Texan.

Collin McKinney lived to the ripe old age of 95 years. He lived through the American Revolution, the Texas revolution, Texas statehood and the beginning of the Civil War.

The Famous River Boat Captain W.W. Withenbury paid homage to Collin McKinney with these words:

Mark the perfect man,

And behold the upright,

For the end of that man is peace.

During his lifetime he was a subject of six different governments: England, Virginia, the United States of America, the Republic of Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the Confederate States of America. He died on September 9, 1861, at his home in Collin County and was buried at Van Alstyne.



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