by Judy Isbell, Frisco, Texas -2008

The first public auction of town lots in Emerson under the auspices of Black Land Townsite Company, were held on February 7 and 8, 1902.

The McKinney Democrat newspaper ran an article on March 6, 1902 describing “Flourishing Emmerson”. Under residences that will be built, E.C. Chappell’s name is printed.

The St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (“The Frisco”) commenced operating regular trains on March 29, 1902.


E. C. Chappell purchased Lot 5, Block 58A, part of the Norris Austin Survey, in the town of Emerson (soon called Frisco City), from Black Land Townsite Company for the sum of $200.00. Payment to be made in the form of two promissory notes at $100.00 each with 8% interest due in one and two years, respectively. Taken from original Trust Deed dated July 7, 1902

Emory Cravens Chappell was born April 12, 1853 in Center Township, Dade County, Missouri. He died at the age of 85 of a cerebral hemorrhage on October 25, 1938 in City Hospital in McKinney, Texas. The attending physician was Dr. Scott Wysong.

He married Dora Smith on September 26, 1877 in Denton County, Texas.

Dora Smith Chappell was born February 13, 1861 in Denton County, Texas to A.F. Smith and Elizabeth Griggs. She died March 13, 1938 in Frisco, Texas due to heart and kidney complications. The attending physician was Dr. W.L. Saye, Jr.

The Chappell’s are buried in the Little Elm Cemetery with 4 of their 6 children. The Chappell’s had 6 children all born in Denton County, Texas

Child Relation Born Died Comment
Ednie Daughter 1879 1880-1900  
Wille Vera Daughter 12-11-1880 4-30-1917 Married L.G. Shelton between 1910 and 1917…died of acute nephritis at age 36 in Frisco, TX..attending physician was Dr. W.L. Saye, Jr….buried in Little Elm Cemetery
Emory Son 3-1883 1900-1910  
Lizzie Steller Daughter 5-4-1885 2-17-1908 Died of tuberculosis at age 23 in Frisco, TX..attending physician was Dr. J.D. Carpenter….buried in Little Elm Cemetery
Bethel Cuby Son 2-11-1887 11-12-1938 Died of a heart attack at age 51 in Frisco, TX..attending physicia was Dr. W.L. Saye, Jr…buried in Little Elm Cemetery (marker has name spelled as Cube)
Wilford Eugene Son 10-20-1889 7-17-1908 Buried in Little Elm Cemetery with a Woodman of the World marker

The 1900 census shows the Chappell family living in Justice Precinct 6, Denton County, Texas and owning a farm.

Frisco residents voted to become incorporated on March 3, 1908 and the first City Council election was held on March 27, 1908. Mr. E.C. Chappell was elected the first City Marshall of the new town of Frisco and he held this position during the years 1908 and 1909.

The 1910 census shows the family living in Frisco, Collin County, Texas and owning their home free and clear with no mortgage. Only two of the Chappell children were still living in 1910. Both Willie and Cuby, resided with their parents in Frisco. The other four children had died. Emory Chappell’s profession was listed as laborer—odd jobs, Dora was a homemaker while Willie was a telephone operator and Cuby was a farm laborer.

The following excerpt was taken from The History of Frisco 1902-1976 which was published by the Frisco Bicentennial Society.The first telephone operator in Frisco was Miss Willie Chappell. The Collin-Denton County Telephone Company was situated in the northwest upstairs corner of the Jackson-Clayton Building at 4th and Main Streets. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company purchased the Collin-Denton County Telephone Company in 1912.

The 1920 census shows the family residing in Frisco, Collin County, Texas and owning their home with no mortgage. Emory’s profession was listed as Salesman for insurance company. Cuby was working as a laborer on a farm and Dora was a housewife.

In an article written by A.L. Shelton, dated May 9, 1927, entitled “History of Frisco” and taken from The History of Frisco 1902-1976 which was published by the Frisco Bicentennial Society, the following excerpt was taken…The first homes built in Frisco were: Dr. Rogers, C.T. Hill, E.C. Chappell, Tom Duncan and Bill Cole. E.C. Chappell and Tom Duncan still live in theirs.

The 1930 census shows Emory Chappell as 76 with no profession, Dora was 69, and Bethel C. was 42 and still working as a farm laborer.

On March 24, 1939, George Robertson, Administrator of the estates of Mrs. Dora Chappell, E.C. Chappell, and B.C. Chappell, all deceased, sold the property including household and kitchen furniture to E. Smith of Denton County for $497.00.

All the subsequent owners of the property are listed below:

November 19, 1941 W.L. Watson
October 25, 1943 Edwin W. and Bertha Davis
September 6, 1967 S.R. Kemp purchased the South 60’ of original lot
January 4, 1972 Melvin M. and Bobby Ann Mann
December 14, 1976 G.G. and Edna Lucille Garner
March 31, 2004 Judy Isbell


The 1946 Frisco Community Club Book has the following article:Builds First ResidenceThe late Thomas Roach, father of E.D. Roach, erected the first residence and also founded the first lumber ward in Frisco. Chas. T. Hill erected the second residence in the city and established the first livery stable and ice delivery. E.C. Chappell, the first resident of the old fashion kind—tent in the northeast part of Frisco. Frank Witt opened the first grocery store near the old Howard School House.