Kentucky native Judge R.L. Waddill (1811-1865) came to McKinney with his stepson, George Shackelford Morris, in 1853, five years after the town had been established as the Collin county seat.
The two men bought large tracts of land in town, built a home, and then brought the remainder of the family to settle in McKinney. The family included Judge Waddill's wife, Sarah, and their children R.L., Joe, Ben, Gaston, and Fannie.
During the late 1850s, Judge Waddill made a major contribution to the field of education in McKinney by erecting a schoolhouse in his backyard and hiring a teacher from Bethany College in West Virginia to teach the children in the area. Waddill had a law practice in town and served as district judge, riding his circuit on horseback, from 1860 until his death in 1865.
This home was constructed for the Waddill-Morris family after a fire destroyed their original house. George S. Morris, who served in the confederacy during the Civil War and later studied law, served as a deputy county clerk in McKinney and as administrator of the Waddill-Morris Estate. This house has remained in the family for more than one hundred years. (1985) It received it’s National Register of Historic Places designation in 1985.
The estate was offered for public sale in 1991. It’s current guardians, the Randoll-Johnston family has painstakingly restored multiple buildings on the property.