You see our City of Frisco logo on water towers, city vehicles, flags and almost anything that involves official city business, events or facilities. If you have lived in Frisco for a while, you have probably heard the story of how our logo came to be and how it ties to our history with the railroad.
In 1902, the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway came to North Central Texas. The railroad was being built about three miles northwest of the town of Lebanon, and to have a city closer, a town called “Emerson” sprang up by the railroad and the adjacent fast-growing farming community. The U.S. Postal Service wanted to change the name of this new town because it was too close to “Emberson,” a town in Lamar County. So, our town changed its name first to “Frisco City,” and then the first postmaster shortened it to “Frisco.” The tie into the Frisco railroad’s logo began here.
The city is now 114 years old, and over the years, it has had many official city logos, but how did we get to the bright red logo with the unique design we have now? It all relates back to the history of the railroad, which became known as the “Frisco Lines” in this area, and you will see just the word “Frisco” on old pictures of engines and railroad cars.
A story documented in a railroad publication titled “100 Years of Service” tells how we got the unique design of our city logo. It centers on a Frisco Lines logo created when an executive of the railroad, Mr. G.H. Nettleton, was making an inspection tour of the rail system back in the late 1890s. The train stopped at a station in Neosho, Mo., and Mr. Nettleton’s car got a view of a stretched raccoon skin hanging on the station wall. The story goes that Mr. Nettleton called the station agent and asked why the skin was hanging on railroad property. Sam Albright, the agent, said he made so little money that he had to catch, tan and sell the skins to make a living. The railroad vice president then bought a skin from the agent and took it with him back to the railroad office in St. Louis (with the name “Frisco” scribbled on it). The drafting office turned it horizontally, added the word “Frisco” and that soon became the logo of the Frisco Lines.
For years, the railroad logo appeared on the Frisco water tower and items being used by the Heritage Association. The City of Frisco always had other logos, including a 1942 letterhead with an “F” that become the first letter of five words including “Frisco,” “friendly,” “folks,” “fertile” and “farms,” which described the city. When I became a council member, in 2000, the city had a logo with a blue “F” that had been used for some time to portray a forward-thinking city.
With the city growing at unsurpassed rates, City Council and staff began to discuss a new logo that would define Frisco. In May of 2006, the communications department, managed by Dana Baird, began to talk with consultants who were to find us a new logo. In August of 2006, at the conclusion of the study and after interviews with hundreds of leaders and businesses, a recommendation was made to use the logo that we have today. The guidelines were that the logo have a primary color, a unique shape, incorporate the name and have historical significance. The old Frisco railroad logo met those standards. The city had to go to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway in March of 2007 to get permission to use the logo, which they have owned since 1980, after the Frisco Lines became part of the BNSF.
In May of 2007, the Frisco City Council approved the logo that has become the brand, image and one of the most recognizable city logos in the state of Texas. Our logo is even now known in many cities throughout the world!