Plano (/pleno/ PLAY-noh) is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, located approximately twenty miles north of downtown Dallas. The city of Plano is a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Plano lies mostly within Collin County, but includes a small portion that extends into Denton County.
The city's population was 269,776 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth most populous city in the state of Texas and the 69th most populous in the United States. The city is a hub for many corporate headquarters. Plano is also considered to be the safest city in the nation, according to Forbes.
European settlers came to the area near present-day Plano in the early 1840s. Facilities such as a sawmill, a gristmill, and a store soon brought more people to the area. A mail service was established, and after rejecting several names for the nascent town (including naming it in honor of then-President Millard Fillmore), residents suggested the name Plano (from the Spanish word for "flat"), as a reference to the local terrain, unvaried and devoid of any trees. The name was accepted by the post office.
In 1872, the completion of the Houston and Central Texas Railway helped the city to grow, and it was incorporated in 1873. By 1874, the population had grown to more than 500. In 1881, a fire raged through the business district, destroying most of the buildings. The town was rebuilt and business again flourished through the 1880s. Also in 1881, the city assumed responsibility for what would eventually become Plano Independent School District (PISD), ending the days of it being served only by private schools.
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