Collin County had only three legal hangings before the state took over that responsibility in 1922.
- Stephen Ballew - for killing James Golden in 1870. The trial was held in the Christian church because the courtroom was too small. This would have been during the time of the two-story wood-frame courthouse, before the stone courthouse with the towers was constructed. He was hanged at the south edge of McKinney.
- Shack Culwell - an 18-year-old black man who killed his boss, W. R. Norvell, in a dispute over $5. He was hanged from a tree north of McKinney near the current VFW hall. He was taken to the site in a wagon, sitting on top of his coffin and was buried at the foot of a tree.
- Ezell Stepp - for killing Hardy Mills, 1921. He was hanged on a scaffold at the county jail. This was one of the last legal hangings in Texas.