McKinney Elementary was named after W. Verne McKinney, who founded the Hillsboro Argus newspaper in 1923. Mr. McKinney was very active in community projects, benefiting the residents of Hillsboro and Washington County. Once such project was the construction of McKinney Elementary; the school was dedicated to him on October 21, 1971, for 48 years of distinguished service to his community. Mr. McKinney died November 22, 1976.
To honor Mr. McKinney's memory there is a large photo of him and some former students of McKinney Elementary hanging in the Entryway.