Frankie McKinney Arts Alliance

Frankie Mckinney Arts Alliance 214-395-2249

The Mckinney Home and Furnishings:

    The Mckinney House presented a daring new style pf architecture to East Texas in 1912. The neoclassic house, a model of simplicity, practicality, & spacious elegance, departed from the gingerbread frills of the Victorian Era and moved with America toward the modern age and the steamline rage. 

    The Home's decor exemplifies the gracious living of the early twentieth century with lush red velvet draperies, cranberry and gold walls, amd emossed ceilings with splendid light fixtures. 

    The Mckinney Home displays many examples of Gustav Stickley's Misson Oak heavy line type furniture, including the massive grandfather clock, which highlighted the new, exciting ideas of 1913. The home conatins furniture pieces from 1890 to 1940 as well as handwork, dolls, glassware, and clothing. 


The Mckinney Family Story:

    The Story of Dr. John Mckinney and his family typifies the story of the nuilding of America, Texas and Cooper. 

    John Mckinney left his family home of Red Banks, Mississippi in 1895 and went searching for a better life. Marching westward, he came to Cooper, liked what he discovered, and raised a family in his new found home. 

    The young doctor soon met Frances Garrard, a beautiful and atllented piano teacher and daughter of prominent T.T. and Tennie Cowling Garrard of Tennessee. T.T. Garrard had lived in the Delta County area since 1858. A few years later, Garrard enlisted in the Confederate Army but was captured and thrown in a Union prison in Chicago. Garrard survived and retured to East Texas to help organize Delta County and establish Cooper as the county seat. He later participated in opening the First National Bank of Cooper, the first bank in the area, and joined others in guarsnteeing a bonus for a railroad stop in the town. 

    Dr. John Mckinney married Frances Garrard in 1990 and in 1902 daughter Frankie was born. Sadly, Frances died three weeks later, and Grandmother Tennie and Aunt May (Maymo) raised baby Frankie. Dr. Mckinney married his sister in law, May, in 1907 and completed their new home in 1913. 

    The young couple grequently hosted gatherings, functions, and church meetings. In 1921, Vice President of the United States Thomas R. Marshall and his wife spent the night in the grand home. 

    Besides hosting, May Mckinney enjoyed painting and adorned the house with her artwork which still remains in the home. Her paintings and sketches are treaured as reflectors of her time and her view of events happening around her. Look carefully and find Teddy Roosevelt as well as self portraits displaying important events in her life. 

    Meanwhile, Dr. Mckinney served two terms as Mayor of Cooper and also served as Director of the First National Bank. He acquired and farmed large tracts of land in the area, and both John and May were devoted servants to their church. 

    Like her parents, Miss Frankie was also active in all aspects of Cooper life. An accomplished pianist and a world traveller watching over the town from her front porch seing, it can be said that Frankie's family is Cooper and her church, her love.