A handful of quiet acknowledgments took place in May all over Collin County, with no fanfare or media hyperbole. The annual Preservation Celebration hosted by the Collin County Historical Commission was canceled due to concerns with the current virus pandemic.
Typically each May, recognized as Preservation Month, five achievement award winners would have been recognized for their contributions to historic preservation. Instead, the winners were simply shipped their plaques. There were no crowds, applause or even a high-five for the honored individuals. Plano Magazine wanted to recognize one of the awardees who has done much for our city.
Clint Haggard was awarded the 2020 Leadership in Preservation award for his life-long love of saving and renovating historic properties and structures. His achievements in preservation make up a long list, only some of which are well known. He may be most recognized for his role in rescuing and relocating the 1861 house previously known as Collinwood. The house had once been owned by Clint’s ancestors, Nannie Kate and C.S. Haggard, and is the oldest existing home in town.
A four-year battle to save the house from demolition resulted in it being uprooted and hauled to new digs in September 2018. The large home was moved from its original location along Windhaven Parkway to a spot about a half mile northwest along Parkwood Boulevard. The ensuing months have seen the house, now known as the Fox-Haggard house, set on a new foundation. The 1940s cloak of shingles have been removed and new paint and porches added. The old barn to its north is also getting a facelift, with new board and batten siding painted a traditional barn red.
But Clint’s been a champion of historic preservation long before the Collinwood house. His own home was relocated from its original spot along the Preston Trail. Adele Rogers Clark was a noted local writer and educator whose father’s house sat along the West side of Preston Road near the boundary between Plano and Frisco. Clint had the early 1900s’ craftsman style house and its barn moved to Frisco in 1997. The structures were joined by other buildings once used as a jail and mess hall in Collin County. The creek to the West of the house is spanned by a pony truss bridge previously located in Comanche County.
Clint is also connected to the 1918 Aldridge house in Plano’s historic district near Haggard Park, and not just because he bought and restored it. The house was the residence of C.C. Aldridge, whose brother, James Shelton, was married to Annie Belle Haggard. Annie Belle was the sibling of Clint’s great grandfather, and she owned the Fox-Haggard house from 1904 until she left it to her daughter who kept it in the family until 1938. The Aldridge house just received the coveted Recorded Texas Historic Landmark status from the Texas Historical Commission. You can drive by and see this beautiful residence on the Southwest corner of 17th Street and H Avenue.
As both a Haggard and a Carpenter descendent, Clint has also committed to maintaining the beautiful historic Bethany Cemetery located along Custer Road north of Legacy Drive, long ago known as Carpenter Road. The monuments within the two-acre memorial park honor early settlers to North Texas, beginning in 1877. For many years, Bethany church and school also occupied the grounds, but now it is a flowery place of repose for those who have gone before. An arched span relocated to Bethany was once along 15th Street near where Vines High School now stands. It marked the grounds reserved for missions held by the First Christian Church and was donated for that use by W.O. Haggard, Sr. and his wife, Rosa. Clint held on to the relic until it was renovated as an Eagle Scout project and erected at Bethany.
Clint Haggard received the Leadership in Preservation Award from the Collin County Historical Commission for his dedication in preserving and reusing remarkable historical assets, including what is considered the oldest house still standing in Plano’s city limits.
His reaction to this recognition is typical of Clint’s reserved approach to most things. “I’m not an award person,” he confessed, “but it’s nice to be acknowledged every now and then.” Now we can all congratulate him on this well-deserved honor. For his lifelong efforts, he himself has become a significant figure in our city’s history.Collin County Historical Commission >