100 YEARS AGO
From July 1914
Burglary of Pilot Point store frustrated
Constable W. G. Starr and Squire E. C. Barton frustrated the burglary of the Russell & Co.’s Dry Goods at Pilot Point Saturday night after the burglars had loaded about $300 worth of goods and were apparently in the store making their final selections before making their get-away. The officers had been called to hold an inquest over the body of a man killed near Aubrey earlier that night. As they crossed Main Street they noticed a horse and buggy standing in front of the store. Its being there at such a late hour raised their suspicion.
They went to the buggy to find it loaded with all manner of dry goods. The officers waited some time for the return of the burglars who probably got “wise” and made their exit out the back door. The proprietor was notified and the goods returned to the store.
Maxwell 25-4, “All the Automobile Any Man Needs” $790 Delivered. Holloway & Bishop, agents for Denton and Cooke counties. At P. & O. Building, Denton. Phone 79.
County schools educate 8,812 pupils
For the school term of 1914-15, Denton County will have 8,812 pupils who are eligible to draw funding for their education, according to the scholastic census of the county taken in May under the direction of the County Superintendent.
This does not include those eligible for school between the ages of 18 and 25. Denton, Lewisville, Pilot Point, Sanger, Krum, Justin and Aubrey operate independent school districts with each having schools for whites and another for coloreds. Of the 75 common schools in the county, 35 also operate colored schools. The county has 8,106 white pupils and 706 colored pupils.
75 YEARS AGO
From July 1939
Rapid growth brings trouble for county library
The Denton County Public Library is celebrating its second birthday, but already the two-year-old toddler is suffering growing pains from 11,000 books jammed into the space meant for only a few hundred!
The library is tucked away in spare space on the top floor of the Courthouse, three long flights of stairs from the ground. In spite of the effort needed to reach the library, over 6,000 persons each month climb the stairs to take advantage of the library’s services according to Mrs. Bess McCullar, librarian.
Another reason why library officials are anxious to find a new location is that the present location is the balcony of the district court. Often the court is disturbed by persons in the library and the supposed quiet of a library is often interrupted by the proceedings of the court.
Also the nature of several court trials are such that children should not hear and the library has a large number of patrons in this age group at all times, according to Mrs. McCullar.
The library staff’s birthday wish this year is for a building of its own, large enough for all the books, workrooms and equipped to be a real benefit to the county and city.
Repair of courthouse clock is predicted
The courthouse clock hasn’t been forgotten. A capable workman has the job in hand and the repairs will proceed as soon as the necessary parts arrive.
“We don’t want citizens to think we have forgotten the clock is not keeping time and needs repair,” said Commissioner Joe B. Boydstun of Sanger.
“The parts that had become defective from around a half a century of usage and which must be replaced have been ordered,” said Boydstun, noting that it might be a month to six months before they arrive. He added, “But that clock is undergoing the necessary work to put it in condition again and it is going to be in as good as ever when that is done.”
He added an expression of appreciation from the Commissioners Court for the patience of citizens waiting for the work to be completed.
50 YEARS AGO
From July 1964
County plans $12,000 dorm to save $60 yearly
Any plan you have to spend $12,000 to save $60 a year is at least unusual. Yet the Denton County Commissioners Court plans to do just that.
Sometime this fall the Commissioners Court will call for bids to remodel the 75-year-old Courthouse when the sheriff, constable, game warden, highway patrol, justice of the peace courtroom and drivers license examination room move to the new County Annex on McKinney Street.
The cost for housing juries since 1959 to the present is $344, but $276 was spent last year and could increase if crimes increase.
County Judge W. R. Baldridge cited fears of housing jurors in motels might lead to overturning cases on appeal. “With motels now, it is just difficult to see that jurors are kept away from everybody else. We must comply strictly with the law,” he said.
Baldridge added that many jurors are women or older men who might need to rest or take a nap when proceedings outside the presence of a jury are conducted. “With a dormitory in the basement they could go down and wait,” he said.
25 YEARS AGO
From July 1989
Lake Lewisville closed during holiday
Unlike normal summers, Lewisville Lake won’t be swarming with boaters during the July Fourth holiday.
All parks on the lake are expected to remain closed until September due to the heavy rains in May and June. Many park picnic tables, shelters, road and boat ramps remain under water according to A. J. Martin, assistant reservoir manager for the Army Corps of Engineers.
Marin said lake visitors are allowed to walk through the parks but cautioned that facilities are under water. Five park rangers patrol the 10 parks on the lake during each shift. Federal citations will be issued for operating a vehicle in a restricted area or moving gates and damaging federal property.
Local history publication launched
Denton now has its own historical journal, a quarterly publication of the Historical Society of Denton County called The Denton Review.
The Society hopes the little booklet will grow in size and readership to promote and disseminate information and create appreciation of local heritage.
“Our heritage around here is just as valuable as anyone else’s,” said Mike Cochran, president of the 250-member non-profit organization devoted to research and preservation. The group extends support to the Denton County Museum and the Denton County Historical Commission but is not a part of those organizations.
John Kimmey, a UNT professor of philosophy and the Society’s vice president, said, “We want to make people aware of the past. There is continuity here. This is not Irving. Continuity means stability. I believe we must set aside parts of the city as historic districts to maintain that continuity. Historic preservation is economically good for a community. Look at Fredericksburg; think how much is pumped into its economy by tourists.”
Cochran said, “There is more here now to preserve than if we do nothing,” in retort to those who say the city has nothing to preserve.
The Society has gathered a lot of stories for future publications. The first issue was given out for free, but future editions will cost about $1.50. Annual memberships of $10 include a subscription to the journal.
— Compiled from the files of the Denton Record-Chronicle by DJ Taylor.
DJ TAYLOR resides in the Sanger/Bolivar area. He can be reached at 940-458-4979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.