Plano is a chart-topping city. She’s called the City of Excellence for a reason, after all. But not long ago, Plano was less suburbia and more Farmville.
So what made Plano the great city she is today?
I want to express my deep appreciation for you. You have been my home for almost 30 years, and I am so fortunate to have served you as your police chief for the last several years. I came to Plano in 1994 from San Antonio after leaving active duty in the U.S. Army and rose from a police officer assigned to patrol your streets to my current position in 2020. As the police chief, I have witnessed the strong sense of community and care you have for each other. Your commitment to safety is unparalleled. Through this sense of community — of neighbors helping neighbors —we have been able to come together and make Plano an even better place to live.
I was filled with excitement and anticipation when I first arrived in Plano in 1994. I had heard so many wonderful things about this city, and I was eager to explore all it offered. And explore, I did! From the charming downtown area to the sprawling suburban neighborhoods, I found my perfect place to call home. I’ve lived in many cities due to my 10-plus years of active military service. However, Plano residents are some of the most passionate and dedicated people I’ve met, and it’s been my pleasure to serve you. From the small business owners to the service organizations, everyone has always had a smile and a willingness to help others. I have always appreciated your endless hospitality and kindness. I have watched this community grow and evolve over the years, and it has been so amazing to witness. The many new subdivisions, business developments, parks and trails built over the years have made Plano an even better place to live, work and play.
You have a police force dedicated to the community’s safety and well-being; I am proud to be part of it. I am also amazed at the diversity of people and cultures that make up Plano. I am inspired by the stories of people who have come here from around the world and made Plano their home. I am also proud of how you have welcomed them, treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude for your support of the police department. Every day, I am humbled by the outpouring of support from the community. Whether it’s through donations of time or resources, you have been a constant source of support for the police department, and for that, I am genuinely grateful.
Plano, you are truly a special place, and I am honored to serve you.
Chief of Police, Ed Drain
1873 – Plano is incorporated. It looks like any other western town, with cotton fields, tractors driving through town, and abundant sheep and mules.
We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to this beautiful city we call home! Year after year — for 36 years — you have filled the theater to see our dancers grace the stage. So many thrilling performances and so many tender memories will forever connect us together. Photos of smiles and hugs are just a taste of the joy we have shared. You have embraced our passion for dance with immense support allowing us to perform time and time again as our dancers grew up before your eyes. One generation gracefully made way for the next generation as the curtain opened continually. So many lavish costumes, so much wonderful music, so many beautiful dances! And so many proud dancers and happy families sharing cultural experiences that enriched their lives!
Plano Metropolitan Ballet
1900 – A school system is created, a newspaper started, and the Houston and Texas Central Railroad Station is built, turning Plano into a major stop on the way from Dallas north to Oklahoma. The railway paved the way for a population and business boom in Plano. The city has 1,304 residents.
As a native Plano resident, I grew up learning of all the fabulous things that our city has to offer. However, my awareness and appreciation of these things recently became heightened as I now have a family of my own and am raising young children in our great city! Safety, of course, is of utmost importance to us and the Plano Police Department is always very fast to respond, even for non-emergency calls. The officers are thorough in their investigations and truly care about their citizens -— they go above and beyond to fully embrace the motto of “protect and serve.” The Plano Independent School District offers award-winning campuses, great programs and helps prepare students for future success. My family is especially grateful for all of the beautiful city parks and playgrounds that encourage us to spend time outside together!
Today – Plano has more than 291,000 residents, according to the World Population Review. It is one of the 10 largest cities in Texas and in the top 100 cities by population in the United States.
Late 1882 – Plano is known for paying its teachers salaries rather than vouchers, attracting students from around the rural areas north of Dallas. County funds allowed for the opening of the Plano Institute at the site of the current Cox Administration Building.
Being a resident of your beautiful city for the past 19 years, and having lived in other places, I realize we are a little bit spoiled here. Driving down your streets, it’s hard not to feel pride in how clean and picturesque the neighborhoods here are. It’s a joy living in a city that constantly reinvests in itself.
Some of my favorite things in Plano are all the free entertainment our family has gotten from your public libraries and parks over the years, your beautifully maintained soccer fields (where we spent many a very early Saturday morning), and the numerous free concerts and festivals we’ve attended in your charming historic downtown.
There is so much to do here, but our family does have our favorite places. One of our most-visited eateries is the Taco Delite at Independence and 15th Street. We’ve gotten religious about picking up weekly curbside orders at your new H-E-B. And we find ourselves walking around Legacy West at least once a month, to try a new restaurant or shop.
I personally love the diversity of your residents. I’ve been lucky to meet so many engaged and passionate residents who never stop trying to make things better here and who have exposed me to so many different viewpoints.
I love your history and the people who take pride in preserving it, evidenced through treasures like the Heritage Farmstead Museum and Interurban Railway Museum. I am thankful for your organizations who make sure every Planoite has a chance to be enriched by the arts, like the ArtCentre of Plano and North Texas Performing Arts.
I’m mostly thankful for all the teachers and staff in our Plano ISD schools who started my kids out from the very beginning knowing that they were important, lovable little somebodies (Shout out, Shepard Patriots!).
Plano is my home, and I’m grateful for all the people who’ve made it such a great home.
Plano Magazine founder and former editor
Today – The names of early school board members Mendenhall, Schmelpfenig, Davis, Hendricks, Harrington and Wyatt can be found on Plano Public Libraries, celebrating education as one of Plano’s biggest draws. PISD ranks in the top 1% of the Most Diverse and Best Schools in Texas. PISD also ranks in the top 8.5% of the Best Places to Teach on Niche.
1895 – Downtown’s businesses grow around the railroad until a massive fire destroys almost 60 buildings, forcing residents to rebuild.
I wanted to take a moment to express my deep love and appreciation for this city that I call home. From the very moment I was little, I knew that I wanted to live in Plano. And now, years later, can finally say this is my hometown.
There are so many reasons why I love this city, from the Plano Balloon Festival and Oktoberfest to the Wine Walk and Dickens during Christmas time. I love exploring the city’s history through ghost tours and also enjoying live music at the new McCall Plaza. Plano has been the setting for some of my most cherished memories, including my engagement photos and the rehearsal dinner over at Urban Crust. And of course, my favorite bar in the world, Brix — RIP.
But my love for Plano goes deeper than just its events and attractions. This was the first city I ever lived in on my own, where I found love, and it’s where I decided to marry the love of my life. Plano has played a huge role in shaping who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the people who have poured into my life here.
No matter how many miles may separate us, I will always consider Plano my home. Thank you for being a wonderful city and for providing me with so many amazing memories. I look forward to more memories with you and I can’t wait to introduce you to more of my family members. You truly are a City of Excellence.
1900 – The first Plano Fire Department is created. Firemen would pull buckets of water to water wells with hand pumps and long hoses. Residents who need the fire department fire three pistol shots into the air to call for help.
Today – Plano Fire Department has 386 sworn firefighters, 13 fire stations and a state-of-the-art fire training facility.
Thank you for providing a foundation for my values, for educating me well and launching my career and for a lifetime of inspiring friendships.
I graduated from (the then one and only) Plano High School in 1973. There were about 350 in our graduating class, most of us together since elementary school (just four elementaries in town back then). We were an extraordinarily close class. Today, we are planning our 50th reunion. The years and wrinkles will fall away as we reminisce about the best growing-up experience ever.
As a cub reporter for my hometown newspaper, I covered the glorious welcome-home parade in 1973 for the late Col. Samuel Johnson, a POW in Vietnam for seven years. His heroism made the war real in our tiny corner of America. We went to school with his daughters, wore silver bracelets with his name inscribed (I still have mine) and rejoiced as a small community when he was released. It was the epitome of the hometown pride that characterized Plano, then and still.
The Friday night lights, the amazing teachers and coaches, our quaint downtown with the brick street, cherry limes and tater tots at Dude’s after school, and oh, the enduring relationships! I’ve lived many places since I moved away in 1980. But I will always be a Plano girl.
Teresa (Terri) Moore
1871 – Plano’s main businesses are plumbing and stove plants, a garment factory and an electric-wire factory.
Today – Many leading global corporations such as Toyota and Frito-Lay call Plano home, and there are more than 10,000 businesses in the city.