Whiffletree Villas is located in Plano, Texas, Collin County. In the early 1840s, settlers migrated to the area around Plano. Several nearby facilities, including a sawmill, gristmill (a mill for grinding grain), and a store, brought more people to the area. Mail service was established and after rejecting multiple names for the budding town, the locals suggested the name Plano, from the Spanish word for “flat,” a reference to the terrain in the area. The name was accepted by the Post Office and Plano was born.
Among the early settlers was William Henry Lafeyette (Bill) Wells. Born in Bedford County Virginia, on September 4, 1840. William was the oldest of eleven children born to David J. and Florentine Morgan Wells. After fighting in twenty major battles for Southern Independence, he decided to leave his ravaged home state and move to Texas. In the fall of 1871, W. H. L. Wells, his brother James M. Wells, his cousin Albert Latham, and a neighbor boy Jim Pulein, set out for Texas.
By 1874, Bill had saved enough money to purchase 250 acres for $8.00 an acre. The land he purchased today runs from Legacy Road south just past the two-story historic home (formerly a residence of the Wells family and now known as Patty's Place) on the southwest corner of Coit and Lorimar. The land stayed in the Wells family for three generations and was farmed with corn, oats, wheat, and cotton. They built grain silos where the present-day Villas park is located. Bill died unexpectedly in 1939 at the age 98. He and his wife are buried in Frankford Cemetery in Plano.
As west Plano began to develop, William Wells, the grandson of Bill Wells, began selling parcels of the family’s land, and the property that is now known as Whiffletree Villas was sold to a developer.
In the mid 1980s, Larry Collins of Castlegate Homes envisioned building zero lot line neighborhoods. A zero lot line places the lot so one-side rests directly on the lot’s boundary line increasing the usable yard space. Larry was way ahead of the then current market trends because zero lot line homes were perceived to be something the traditional buyers of Plano would never accept. Undaunted, in 1988 he purchased our land, put in streets, and began platting lots. He built nine or ten houses before encountering financial difficulties. Unable to resolve his financial situation, he signed a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure in October 1991 giving the property back to the bank. The home at 4020 Fiser Place was the last one Larry completed. Five or six other homes that were partially built were left abandoned for five years and became prime targets for vandals.
In 1992, Murchison Development assumed the note for our neighborhood, and Talon Curtis and Goodman Homes began building models and finishing the houses that were left abandoned. In 1994, Avery Edwards took over the inventory in Whiffletrees with the goal of completing the subdivision. He built the last home in the Villas at 4041 Cornish Place, and sold it to one of his salesmen.
Shortly after the completion of all 113 homes in our subdivision, the Plano real estate market discovered that zero lot line homes were a good investment after all. Today Plano has many zero lot line neighborhoods, but only one has a park and gazebo – and that’s our Whiffletree Villas!