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Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle’s first City Hall was in city secretary’s home

When Argyle was incorporated in 1964, it was named the Town of Argyle. In 1973, when J. R. Schoppaul was mayor, Argyle became the City of Argyle.

Nellie Carty was hired as Argyle’s secretary in 1972, and after the town’s name change to the City of Argyle, an addition was done on her home on Old Justin Road to become Argyle City Hall.

“Before then, city council meetings were held in people’s homes or Meadows Store,” she said in an interview I had with her before her retirement for a story published in the Denton Record-Chronicle on Feb. 7, 1980.

Carty — Nellie, as she was affectionately known by most Argyle residents — said during her eight years as secretary, she had some interesting phone calls and requests. They ranged from being asked how to get a skunk out of a garage, to asking her to baby-sit, and once she was asked how to free some wolves caught in a fence.

She said her favorite story involved the local police.

“Oh, I guess the funniest thing that ever happened was when [Police Chief H.O. Franks] asked me to take the police car to Denton to be repaired,” Carty said. “Well, I started down the road with all those clattering things squealing [the squad car radio] at me, and I poked along trying to turn the things off. The oncoming traffic would nearly come to a screeching halt, and then the people would look really puzzled when they saw who was behind the wheel.

“When I looked in the rearview mirror, I saw a long line of cars following me. I finally got everything turned off, but I never did speed up. I sort of enjoyed what was happening.”

Before Argyle City Hall moved to 506 U.S. Highway 377 in 1979, Carty and her home were on 24-hour duty collecting traffic fines, building permits, filing plats, taking the minutes for the Argyle City Council meetings and answering phone calls at all hours.

After her retirement as Argyle’s city secretary, Carty planned to stay busy.

“Oh, I’ll dream up something. I’m still secretary of the Argyle Methodist Church, on the board of the American Red Cross, and a member of the Denton Business and professional Women’s Club, and I might have time to figure out how to get a skunk out of a garage,” she said with a laugh.

In 1981, a historical marker was placed on the front of Argyle City Hall.

In 2005, when Richard Tucker was mayor, Argyle’s name was changed back to the Town of Argyle. After Argyle’s town offices were moved to 308 Denton St., which had previously been the Argyle United Methodist Church, Argyle’s historical marker was moved to the new location.

The marker reads as follows:

ARGYLE, Marker #195, Location: 506 North US 377 in front of Argyle City Hall

City: Argyle, Marker Erected: 1981, Marker Text: This area was first settled in the 1850s by members of the Peters Colony. In 1881 the town of Argyle was started by Galveston developer James Morrill, when a rail line was built through the area. Early residents came from neighboring settlements.

Schools consolidated with Argyle included Beulah, Pilot Knob, Stoney Ridge, Lane, and parts of the Prairie Mound and Litsey Districts. An 1895 fire destroyed the business area, but it was soon rebuilt. The growth of nearby urban areas, which led to a decline before World War II, has resulted in recent population increases. (1981)

 

Organizations

The Argyle Lions Club board members will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday following a board meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St. For more information, email Deborah Cottle at dcottle@temporah.com.

The Argyle Chamber of Commerce will meet Tuesday for breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Lantana Golf Club, 800 Golf Club Drive. The chamber office is in PointBank, 302 U.S. 377. For more information, visit www.argylechamber.org or call 940-464-9990.

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. The ASC has a monthly luncheon on the third Friday of every month at noon.

Those attending are asked to bring a side dish. Anyone age 55 and older is welcome to attend. For more information, call Stella at 940-464-7438 or Karen at 940-464-0506.

Keep Argyle Beautiful meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Argyle Town Hall. Keep Argyle Beautiful preserves and enhances the town’s natural environment through educational and motivational programs and special events. For more information, visit www.keepargylebeautiful.com or email Deborah Cottle at dcottle@temporah.com.

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 atlynn@argylebooks.com.