Melissa is a city in northern Collin County in Texas. The town is about eight miles north of McKinney and is accessible off the Central Expressway or US-75.
Melissa was formed in 1851 near the Texas Central Railroad. The town is named for the daughter of a railroad executive, although there has been a dispute about whether it is the daughter of George A. Quinlan or C.P. Huntington.
Melissa was severely damaged by a tornado on April 13, 1921. The tornado killed thirteen people and destroyed many properties. A fire would ruin many of the rebuilt properties in Melissa on August 8, 1929. People started focusing on developments closer to Dallas throughout the twentieth century, but Melissa would start to grow in the twenty-first century as people began looking for suburban sites for living and working.
Melissa is one of the fastest-growing cities in Collin County. The city’s population of about 12,000 as of 2019 is nearly three times the population in 2010. Melissa features many new neighborhoods surrounding the Central Expressway and the Sam Rayburn Highway.
Most of the commercial activity in Melissa is on the two highways that go through the city. McKinney Street is a busy road that goes through the middle of the city and features various commercial and meeting spaces.
Melissa features multiple park spaces, including a sports complex featuring various baseball and softball fields and tennis courts. There are also plans to produce more than forty miles of hiking and biking paths around Melissa. The first phase of these trials runs from Melissa Road on US-75 to Fannin Road to the north.
The Melissa Independent School District operates public schools in the city. Melissa High School enrolls nearly a thousand students every school year. There are also two elementary schools in town, the North Creek and Harry McKillop Elementary Schools.
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