Frisco almost lost a favorite historian and beloved teacher before she ever grew up.
Ruth McCormick was a sickly baby born March 5, 1906, in an area that is now part of The Colony. She wasn't thriving and the family moved to West Texas to change climates for her mother’s health. There a doctor suggested feeding Ruth the milk drained from bowls of a new cereal - Grape Nuts. The Grape Nuts treatment did the trick and so did West Texas. The family came back to Frisco when Ruth was 12 years old. Miss Ruth's mother, Mattie McCormick lived to be 104, and Miss Ruth had celebrated 95 years when this building was dedicated in 2001.
Miss Ruth attended sixth grade in the one-teacher school – Erudia – located just west of town. In seventh grade she attended school in Frisco proper, graduating from Frisco High in 1924 with a class of 13 students. Her senior year was the first year of use for the two-story building that is today the main FISD Administration Building on Maple Street.
Ruth then attended Texas Women’s College in Fort Worth, which is now Texas Wesleyan. After a year, she received her temporary teaching certificate and began teaching at Hackberry School – a three-room country schoolhouse in the Frisco-Little Elm area. There, she taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades and attended North Texas State in the summers to finish her degree. While still finishing her schooling she taught in Frisco and then went back to Hackberry, which had consolidated with Little Elm, to teach and be principal of the elementary school.
In 1930, she married and became Ruth Borchardt. Then in 1932, during the Depression, it was decided that families should only have one breadwinner, so she lost her job. She went to Dallas and approached Draughon's Business College, offering to teach spelling and English in exchange for being allowed to take typing. She took shorthand, also, and was then offered a job to teach the course – that short-term situation lasted 12 years!
Her son, Mack Borchardt, Frisco’s Fire Chief, was born in 1948, and when he began first grade, she started school again also. There was a teacher shortage, and she felt it was a good time to get back in the profession – choosing Frisco over Little Elm because the schools had indoor plumbing! She taught middle school and then moved up to high school mathematics when Mack entered middle school. Miss Ruth taught for 21 more years, retiring in 1976. She substitute taught for 10 additional years upon retirement.
Like all good teachers, Miss Ruth never stopped learning or sharing knowledge. She was considered a leading authority on history in the area until she passed away at the age of 102 on April 20, 2008.