Princeton Chamber arrow History

Community Events

2014 Spring Onion Festival
Vendors Wanted
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Princeton High School
www.princetononionfestival.com

Congressman Sam Johnson Mobile Office Hours

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

275 W. Princeton Drive, Suite 105

Princeton, TX  75407

    2014 Community Yard Sale
Saturday, May 24th
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
275 W. Princeton Drive / Hwy 380
Professional Building Parking Lot

City of Princeton July 4th Spectacular
Vendors Wanted
July 3, 2014
5:00-10:00 PM
www.princetontx.gov

 

 



Ribbon Cutting

To Be Announced 

 


 
  Networking Monthly Meeting
1st Tuesday of each Month
May 6, 2014
12:00 PM
Las Rocas /Hwy 380
Guest Speaker:  Phil Anthony/Superintendent PISD
Topic:  Bond Election on May 10th
Check out the new time!
Guests Welcome!


 
 

Partnership with Princeton

 Economic Development Corporation
and
 Community Development Corporation

Thank you for your support!




 
 
New Members

Dovie's Closet
Verona Networks
Carroll Foundation Repair
Cowboy Church of Collin County
Heavenly Hooves Therapeutic & Recreational Riding Centers
Princeton Independent School District
Progressive Health Family Medicine
Christi's Rustic & Western Collection
Windy Hill Ranch & Resort


 
Business of the Month
April  2014
Winslow's Custom Buildings, LLC
Frank Manners, Owner
1245 Audie Murphy Parkway
Farmersville, Texas 75442
972-782-4149
 
 
History
   
           
Princeton began in September of 1888, when Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway extended its line from Greenville to McKinney and created a railroad switch on the land (known as Wilsons Switch. When the post office was established, Wilson could not be used since there was already a town named Wilson, so Princeton was chosen in honor of Prince Dowlen, a promoter of the townsite.
Princeton flourished during the 1880 and 1890 and it became apparent that cotton and onion farming was going to continue this growth for years to come. For a short time, Princeton had one of the world largest market for bois d'arc logs. The first cotton gin was built in 1895 and by 1924 Princeton had three gins in operation. In 1936, (297) train cars of onions were shipped from Princeton. As years went by, onion farming was replaced by cantaloupe which has become a major crop for this area to date.
 
The first school building was erected on the northern part of the cemetery in 1898. The first church (Methodist) was built in 1895. The Baptists built their first church in 1900. In the early 1900's, there were two banks in Princeton, First National Bank and Citizens State Bank. These two banks consolidated under the charter of the Citizens State Bank in 1907.
 
Princeton was incorporated in May of 1912. By the 1930's the cotton and onion farming was so large, that Princeton representatives requested a migratory farm labor camp from the Farm Security Administration to be located in Princeton. This camp housed 300 to 450 migrants during the picking seasons until 1969 when the camp was closed. For a time in 1945, the camp was turned into a prisoner of war camp.
 
On May 3, 1948, a tornado struck Princeton causing an estimated $150,000 in structure and crop loss.
 
As the Princeton and the surrounding area continued to grow, so did the school system. From the 1940 to present, Princeton continued to build and expand its school system. Today, the Princeton ISD has (6) schools with an enrollment of approximately 2600 students from an area covering 60 square miles.
 
 
In 1939, a group of Princeton representatives met with regional Farm Security Administration officials to request that a migratory farm labor camp be located in Princeton. In 1940 a migratory farm labor camp was built west of Princeton where the Community Park is now located. It was built for the people who moved into the area to work during the onion and cotton seasons. It was estimated that there were 300-450 migrants at the camp during this period.
 
An overhead storage tank with the capacity of 30,000 gallons of water was the first unit erected on the campsite. The water tower currently stands to mark the site. Also, 76 cabins were built out of California redwood with shingle roofs and concrete floors. Each cabin was equipped with two beds, oil cook stove with oven, oil heater, and four chairs.
 
Concrete walks joined each shelter. Besides the shelters, there were 139 concrete slabs for tents. These slabs were set apart from the shelters. There were two utility buildings with 24 tubs, clotheslines, and shower baths for both men and women. The women had lavatories and facilities for shampooing their hair, and one room was equipped for ironing with electric irons. Also there was a sewing room equipped with electric sewing machines.
 
In February of 1945, the camp was turned into a prisoner of war camp for Germans captured during World War II. This operation was continued for eight months. Only 25 or 30 acres of the 170-acre site were fenced with a 10 to 12 foot high fence that consisted of 16 horizontal strands of barbed wire.
 
One main house was the residence of the Captain while the soldiers stayed in the redwood cabins. A large Community Center was located in the center. The prisoners could come to the center to play games and socialize.
 
The farmers in the Princeton area worked the prisoners hoeing and picking cotton. They would use one guard to 10 prisoners. When it was no longer used for prisoners of war, it once again became a migratory camp.
 
Under a special bill, the German prisoners of war were contracted to do the work on the City Park located across from the city hall. The park was built in memory of the men who served in the armed forces during World War II.
 
More information about the German prisoner of war camp is located in a book published in 1985 about Princeton.
   
 
 


             
 
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