Co-Chair: Brian Hander
Co-Chair: Kanita Larkins
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Historical Essay Contest
Grayson County has an unusually rich heritage, one which has evolved since the inception of the county in 1846. Through the years many individuals and organizations have contributed to the recognition and preservation of the county's history. The Grayson County Historical Commission has played a leading role in marking and preserving history for future generations.
In the years immediately preceding the period of the Republic of Texas, settlers and traders began migrating to the rolling prairie now included in Grayson County. With a slow but steady increase in population, in the early days of statehood the legislature created (1846) the county out of territory thereto for included in Fannin County.
Prior to the coming of the railroads in the 1870's, the local economy centered upon agriculture. The rolling blackland prairie contributed to the emergence of cotton as a dominant product, while elsewhere diversified agricultural and livestock pursuits were observed. Subsequent to the introduction of the iron horse, industrial activity commenced to expand, a trend which accelerated during the twentieth century.
Early in the life of the county, settlers evidenced concern for churches, schools, and cultural activities. Before the inception of the public school system, private schools abounded. At one time, because of the number of institutions of higher learning, the county seat was known as the Athens of Texas. Throughout the county many churches were established, many of which have long held their centennial celebration. In the latter 19th century, perhaps the finest opera house southwest of St. Louis was located in Sherman. The County has produced it's share of men and women who have risen to national prominence, most notable of whom was General Dwight D. Eisenhower.