Triptych Mural Restored and Reinstalled |
Photo courtesy Jo Payne – Pierce
triptych mural depicts a scene in 1864 that was witnessed by the artist’s grandmother
on the McKinney Courthouse Square – a block from the museum. Klepper painted his
grandmother into the foreground of the main panel.
Confederate Company Leaving McKinney, 1934
In the mural the mounted
men were volunteers for a Confederate spy unit - a group formed by orders from
Brigadier General Ben McCulloch. As the men leave – a casket containing the remains
of the same General McCulloch is being transported to Austin
from Little Rock.
McCulloch had been killed in action at the Battle of
Pea Ridge in Arkansas in 1862 and his remains exhumed and sent to the State Cemetery
It is one of
the few post office murals based on a particular event.
was moved to the 1960 post office, but after restoration it was placed back in
the foyer of the original 1911 post office building – back in its former place.
Your Hotel Here & Save: McKinney
panel of the post office mural|
Photo courtesy Gerald
Kleppler, born in Plano,
Texas, in 1890, entered The Art Institute of Chicago in 1914. His studies
were cut short when he enlisted in the Army in 1917. His artistic talents were
put to use painting camouflage for the 36th Division in France.
Frank Earl Kleppler, 1890-1952
Another U. S. Army camouflage painter was Grant Wood – the Iowa-born artist who
painted the ultra-familiar American Gothic.
In 1920 Kleppler opened
an art museum in McKinney,
taught art and ceramics in the Dallas County school system for 20 years.
In 1934 he was commissioned to paint a mural for the McKinney post office through
the auspices of a Treasury Department program which was later administered by
His work was also shown at the Texas
Centennial in 1936. A bronze bust of Klepper is displayed in the museum next
to the mural.
1911 Post Office building as it appeared before the sparkling restoration. TE
1911 Post Office building is now The North Texas History Center. |
North Texas History CenterThe 1911 post office building
sat vacant for many years, in danger of meeting the same fate that befell so many
other noble buildings. While it may not have been accessible to the public - it
was certainly saved by members of the Collin County Historical Society who fought
hard to preserve it.
(Formerly McKinney Post Office),
The building, after many years of use as a storeroom
is now The North Texas History Center
300 E. Virginia St. McKinney, TX 75069
Phone: (972) 542-9457
The various collections on exhibit include Native-American
artifacts from the tribes that inhabited the vicinity of what is now Collin County,
relics, tools and equipment from the county’s once-important dairy industry, and
even a display of items from the post office itself.
Civil War display in the museum |
Photo courtesy Jo Payne-Pierce
McKinney Post Office Historical Marker|
Photo courtesy Gerald
McKinney Post Office Historical Marker TextDesigned
by architect J. H. Suttle, the 1911 McKinney Post Office is a characteristic and
well-preserved example of an Italianate post office. The tile roof, ornamental
columns, eaves and window configuration are common to the American post office
after 1910. These elements and the three-bay arched recessed entry define the
facade. The fourth post office to serve the area, the structure was deeded to
Collin County by the federal government in 1959 and in 1982 became a Collin County
The Texas Post Office Murals: Art for the People