The Argyle homes once owned by citizens who paved the way to establish Argyle as a city are now gone, opening the way for The Highlands of Argyle.
The new housing development runs parallel with the railroad track from Old Justin Road to Harpole Road West. The 111-acre project will have 139 single-family homes with an average building lot size of 15,000 square feet. The tightly knit community will have a park, ponds and street outlets at Old Justin Road and Harpole Road West.
The familiar landscape that once held the homes of those who shaped Argyle’s history and made it possible for Argyle to become a city are gone, but the owners’ achievements will be remembered. Prior to 1960, the Argyle community was unconcerned about neighboring cities annexing land, but as local areas grew and established more boundaries it became necessary for Argyle to vote to incorporate in order to maintain its territory.
Therefore, on Sept. 19, 1960, the citizens voted to incorporate, but the election was challenged by the city of Denton and ruled illegal by the courts. Another election was held in 1962 and in a vote of 43-25, the Argyle townspeople voted to incorporate a two square-mile area with a population of 200.
The first house, on the south side of Old Justin Road, etched with Argyle’s history was the home of Elmo Smith. He helped to organize the Argyle Volunteer Fire Department and was one of the town’s aldermen when Argyle became incorporated in 1962. Smith was the Argyle mayor in 1964 and 1965. His house was built in the early 1900s and was first known as the Fenton house.
“Later, Mr. Fenton sold the house to Mr. Noah,” said 99-year-old Mary George Sullivan in a 2007 interview.
She said, “Since the schoolhouse was nearby, right at the corner [of Old Justin Road and West Front Street], Mrs. Noah’s rooming house was a popular living quarters for the principal and a few of the women school teachers.”
After Smith bought the house, he turned his garage into an auto mechanic shop that also housed the Argyle Volunteer Fire Department’s pumper truck known as the “traveling fire plug.” After the AVFD bought the Old Baptist Church on Dallas Street, the fire truck was kept in the garage under the church.
A few years ago, Smith’s house was torn down and another one was built in its place, but it is now gone, along with the smaller house next door.
The next house to vanish was where former Argyle Mayor Yvonne Jenkins’ mother, Georgia Bell Meadows Allen, and her aunt, Lillian Meadows Thompson, lived. There was a sign in the front yard that read “Restless Acres.”
The sisters were the owners of Meadows Store. Thompson was also the Argyle postmaster from 1944 until she retired in 1968, and Allen was appointed Argyle clerk and assistant postmaster in 1945.
The neighboring house at the top of the hill was where H.D. Brearley lived. He served on the Argyle Town Council from 1967 to 1973 and then became the town of Argyle’s electrical inspector. Next to his house was where Ellwood Harrell lived. Harrell helped to organize the Argyle Volunteer Fire Department in 1963 and served on the Argyle Town Council from 1964 to 1966.
L.R. and Nellie Carty lived in the house next door. L.R. Carty was one of the town’s aldermen when Argyle became incorporated in 1962. He served on the Argyle Town Council from 1963 to 1971 and was Argyle’s mayor in 1966. Nellie Carty became the Argyle town secretary in 1972. Since there wasn’t a place to hold the town council meetings except in people’s homes, a room was added to the Carty’s house to become Argyle Town Hall. All of the city’s business was done there and it remained as Argyle Town Hall until the city bought the building at 506 U.S. Highway 377 prior to the 1981 Argyle Centennial Celebration.
After Nellie Carty moved to Denton, the Taschners bought the house. Nancy Taschner served on the Argyle Town Council in 1989.
The homes are gone now, but the people who owned them will always be remembered for making it possible for the citizens of Argyle to have a town and — a place called Argyle.
The Argyle Lions Club meets at noon on the first Tuesday of every month at Coffee Tree Café, 144 Old Town Blvd. For more information, email Deborah Cottle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Argyle Senior Center meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Community Room at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St., with exercise beginning at 10 a.m. followed by card games at 11 a.m. For more information, call Stella at 940-464-7438 or Karen at 940-464-0506.
LYNN SHEFFIELD SIMMONS is the founder and past president of the North Texas Book Festival Inc. She is the author of 10 children’s books and two history books on Argyle. Her website is www.argylebooks.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.