Collin County: Pioneering In North Texas - Capt. Roy F. Hall and Helen Gibbard Hall. This excellent and highly sought-after county history and collection of over 200 genealogies has been in constant demand since it was first published in 1975. It is a virtual encyclopedia of information about Collin County, Capt. Hall having used his resources as a local newspaper columnist and historian to gather material from old newspapers, archives, and personal acquaintances with some of the old pioneers. The book contains more than 100 photographs of pioneer people and scenes, thumbnail biographies of several hundred pioneer settlers, a list of old post offices, and a county map showing thirty-three historical sites including ghost towns, early villages, and Indian massacres, plus the locations of 127 early schools. It was during his career in the 1950s as a newspaper columnist for the McKinney Examiner that Capt. Hall began to collect material and write a history of his county. He and Mrs. Hall spent two years "on the road," researching and locating the site of every battle fought on Texas soil. Well-known and admired in the community (he was later elected mayor), he received letters from readers who sent him biographies and treasured family photographs. After Capt. Hall died in 1970, Mrs. Hall, a retired school teacher and local history enthusiast, took on the huge task of organizing the accumulated information into this first-rate book. Penned in the narrative style of a good feature writer are the stories of Spotted Tail, the Kiowa chief who protected area towns from Plains Indian attacks during the Civil War; the life and customs of the early settlers; the Dallas-Sherman Interurban; and of course, the county's pioneers and prominent people: from Collin McKinney, for whom both the town and county were named, to Audie Murphy, Hollywood hero and highest decorated U.S. soldier of World War II. It is hard to imagine a more complete county history. A book could be written about the colorful life of Capt. Hall, who was born in 1884 in his great-grandfather's house just north of McKinney. He served in the army before and during World War I, was a bodyguard for President Teddy Roosevelt, played professional baseball for the Cincinnati Red Legs, was a motorman on the old Interurban in McKinney, worked on a ranch in West Texas, and taught school. He became a feature writer for the San Antonio Express, and later a columnist for the McKinney Daily Courier-Gazette and the McKinney Examiner. He belonged to several civic associations, and he organized the Collin County Historical Committee in 1956. (1975), 2004, 8½x11, paper, 316 pp.