Traveling west of State Highway 289 just three miles southeast of Frisco and fifteen miles north of Dallas in southwestern Collin County is where we will be stopping today to check out the town of Lebanon.
Settlers traveling to this area of Texas after it opened for settlement as part of the Peters Colony from Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The settlers found free land, clear spring water and plenty of timber.
It was first named Shahan’s Prairie. Shahan was a rancher who settled there in the 1840’s. Although the exact date of the change is not known, the name became Lebanon in honor of the native city of Danson Clark and other settlers who moved from Lebanon, Tennessee, around 1845. (Side note, interesting that it was after a town in Tennessee not the country)
For the first fifty years of its history, Lebanon was a promising farming community. A post office opened in 1860.The town grew in the 1880’s and 1890’s to include a blacksmith shop, dry goods store, a saddlery, churches, doctors’ offices, a hotel, tavern, cotton gin, flour mill and other businesses. A two-story union school was built in 1885 to serve the schoolchildren in the community. By the 1890’s, the village had an estimated population of 450.
In 1902, however, the St. Louis, San Francisco and Texas Railway bypassed Lebanon to relocate to Frisco, just three miles east. In 1905, the post office was closed, and by the 1940’s the population had decreased to fifty. The number of residents has not increased since that time.
No longer a town, Lebanon remained a farming community of a dozen houses, a school, and a church. The school closed in 1947 and by 2000 only the church and a couple houses remained from the original town. In 2003, the Lebanon Baptist Church closed after 120 years of services in that location (the current building dating from 1904 after the original 1883 church was destroyed by a storm).
- Lebanon is one of Collin County’s Oldest Settled and best farming areas
- The original town site had been annexed into the growing city of Frisco and Preston Road (now a state highway) was being widened to six lanes.
- The Lebanon Church was donated to the City of Frisco and the building was moved to the Frisco Heritage Center where it is now part of the museum as well as being used as a wedding chapel.
- The Crozier-Sickles House (built in 1895) was also moved to the Frisco Heritage Center.
Stop by tomorrow when we travel to Mt Vernon, Texas!!