The development of these small communities was expedited in 1876 when County Courts ordered small tracks of land to be established for quick sale. These tracts, each approximately 160 acres in size, were sold for $3.50 per acre. Dr. A. T. Bryant of McKinney purchased one of the tracts, which later became the geographic nucleus for the Town of Prosper. The establishment of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad in March of 1902 created the change that forced the communities of Rock Hill and Richland to merge forming the Town of Prosper. For years, Prosper was the central stop for the railroad between Dallas and Sherman. When community officials applied for a Post Office with the name ''Richland'', they were informed that city name was already taken. Postmaster B.J. Naugle asked for an alternative name and J.C. Slaughter suggested the name Prosper, because crops that year had been very prosperous. The Town of Prosper was incorporated in 1914 with a commission form of government and a population of 500. U.N. Clary was Mayor and served in that position for the next 49 years. From the mule drawn wagon and horse drawn buggy, the automobile evolved. Thus began the evolution of people moving in and out of the rural community. Surviving the war and the depression, the mechanization of farming provided the next big impact on Prosper's population. In 1980, the introduction of light industry, combined with the growth of the Metroplex, led to a comeback for Prosper. Today Prosper is the home to more than 100 businesses and hundreds of new families.