To say the W.D. Smith home in McKinney, built in 1902, has been around for a great deal of North Texas history is an understatement — from its early beginnings as a farmhouse to its life as an abode for an alleged bootlegger and later as home to a McKinney mayor, the quintessential Victorian farmhouse has stood on College Street for seemingly forever.
And now the home where even the trees are historic (no lie — they were planted in 1908 and are recognized by the Texas Historical Tree Coalition) is on the market, listed just three days ago by Leah Graybeal Ashley with the Browne + Douglas Group.
“It was erected in 1905 by W. D. Smith, who was a well-known businessman, rancher, cattle trader, farmer and large landowner in Collin County,” Cathy Browne (the Browne in Browne + Douglas) told us last week. “At one time, the Mayor of McKinney lived there and there is also a story involving this house and the notorious gangsters, Bonnie and Clyde.”
Indeed, one can almost imagine its original owner walking up the porch and through the front door, hanging up his hat, and retiring to one of the sitting rooms. Close your eyes and imagine a little more, and you might be able to picture alleged bootlegger Royce Lynn buying the home in the 1960s, after a lifetime spent possibly on the wrong side of the law, including a time reportedly running with Raymond Hamilton and Ralph Fults after their fellow gang members, Bonnie and Clyde, were infamously gunned down by lawmen in the ‘30s.
Former owners read like a who’s who of Collin County history — Wysongs, Eldridges, Duggers, Balls, Grogans, Ledbetters, and Lackies fill out the roster, including former mayor Jim C. Ledbetter.
The iconic farmhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and sits on a .28 acre corner lot at 703 North College Street.
Although the home has been updated, the sellers (and previous owners) have been careful to maintain the home’s historic charms, too, from the pocket doors to the authentic millwork and trim, to even the bathroom fixtures.
The kitchen has received some updates to make it more friendly for the 21st-century cook, but the intentional finish and material choices help it blend seamlessly into the historic elements of the four-bedroom, two bath house.
A detached two-car garage was built in 2013 (so you don’t have to worry about those hailstorms), and a separate living area was built above as well.