TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
McKinney Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in McKinney, Texas
Book Today and Save
 
 Texas : Architecture : Museums - McKinney

McKinney's Post Office Mural
1911 McKinney Post Office - Texas Historic Landmark
The North Texas History Center

McKinney, Texas

The Mural >
The Artist >
The North Texas History Center / McKinney Post Office
>

Book Your Hotel Here & Save
McKinney Hotels

McKinney, Texas post office mural – Confederate Company Leaving McKinney, 1934 by Frank Klepper
The Triptych Mural Restored and Reinstalled
Photo courtesy Jo Payne – Pierce

The Mural:
Confederate Company Leaving McKinney, 1934

The 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.

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 in Austin.

It is one of the few post office murals based on a particular event.

The painting 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.

Book Your Hotel Here & Save: McKinney Hotels
McKinney, Texas post office mural – Confederate Company Leaving McKinney, 1934 by Frank Klepper, center panel
Center panel of the post office mural
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2009
Left panel
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2009
Right panel
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2009

The Artist
Frank Earl Kleppler,
1890-1952

Frank 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.

Note: 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, Texas and 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 the WPA.

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.
The 1911 Post Office building as it appeared before the sparkling restoration. TE Photo 2000
Collin County History Museum, McKinney Texas 1911 former Post Office
The 1911 Post Office building is now The North Texas History Center.
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2009
The North Texas History Center
(Formerly McKinney Post Office),
McKinney, Texas
The 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.

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.
Collin County History Museum Civil War exhibit, McKinney Texas
The Civil War display in the museum
Photo courtesy Jo Payne-Pierce
1911 McKinney Post Office Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2009
1911 McKinney Post Office Historical Marker Text
Designed 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 museum.
An incomplete list of towns with former post offices put to new uses include Alpine, Caldwell, Del Rio, Gonzales, Hearne, Lampasas, Victoria, and Waxahachie.
Related Topics:
Texas
Post Office Murals
Post Offices
Museums
Online Magazine
McKinney, Texas
McKinney Hotels
More Hotels
Book
The Texas Post Office Murals: Art for the People
McKinney Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in McKinney, Texas
Book Today and Save
 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright ©1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: November 24, 2009