Thomas Franklin “Frank” Birmingham was born in Bebee, Arkansas in 1869. After moving to Uvalde, Texas for his dad to practice medicine, Frank graduated from high school and decided to attend college at Baylor University. He graduated at the young age of 20 in 1889, and moved to the new little town of Wylie, Texas. Though his father wanted him to be a doctor like he was, Frank wanted to be a business man.
After moving to Wylie for a job, Frank started a courtship with Hattie Housewright, who would later become Mrs. Frank Birmingham in 1893.
In 1901, Frank Birmingham helped found the tax district that created the Wylie Independent School District. He served as the first Wylie ISD School Board President. He funded the construction of our first high school, Birmingham High School, which cost over $100,000 in the early 1900’s. He donated a manual arts building and created a memorial scholarship in honor of his late sister, Pearl Birmingham. Additionally, he printed and put in each classroom, copies of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
In 1940 on this 50th wedding anniversary, he and his wife created a land trust in memory of their son, Ovid, who died in the 1911 west Texas oilfield epidemic. Ovid was returned to Wylie and buried in the town's cemetery. For all of his generosity, all Frank asked was that students who benefited from the programs he helped to create, place flowers on his son's grave each year. The Birmingham Land trust has given Wylie ISD over $10,000,000 during the past 70 years. In the spring of each year, students from Wylie High School and Wylie East High School still place flowers on the grave of Ovid Birmingham, 100 years after his death.
T.F. Birmingham Elementary, named in honor of Frank Birmingham, is located on the property that was a part of the original land and trust.