100 Years Ago
FROM MAY 1912
Veteran walks 930 miles to reunion
James C. Williams, 72-year-old Confederate veteran from Waketon in Denton County, has completed his 930-mile walk to the United Confederate Veterans’ reunion in Macon, Ga. A public reception was held there in his honor.
His trip consumed 45 days of what he called “hard tramping” and 20 days of rest. He left Waketon on Feb. 25. He made the trip without any difficulty whatsoever. There were originally three in the party but two dropped out and Mr. Williams completed the journey alone.
Mr. Williams said, “I am so glad my tramp is over and I shall soon be home with my friends.”
NOTE: The citizens of Denton County who followed the veteran’s walk through his newspaper correspondence donated funds to purchase a train ticket for his return.
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Brick plant will double capacity
Extensive improvements that will eventually double the present capacity or more are in progress at the Denton Press Brick plant, recently purchased by the Acme Press Brick Company of Illinois. It is proposed to put on a double shift of men to increase production.
Four new kilns are about completed and at least another four are planned, giving the plant 16 kilns for the burning of bricks. Each kiln has a capacity of about 50,000 bricks, making it possible to burn nearly 1,000,000 bricks at a time if necessary. A second artesian well will be drilled shortly.
Explosives are being used to loosen the ground to get the clay for the bricks. Each charge heaves up the ground like an earthquake and the men load it onto wagons with only shovels.
Mr. Bennett is superintendent of the plant and Harry Brandenberg is the foreman.
75 Years Ago
FROM MAY 1937
County school library doubles circulation
With a total of 5,503 books circulated in the 1936-37 school year, the county school library more than doubled the previous year’s circulation according to Miss Pyrene Wilson, director.
Miss Allie Mae Bush, teacher at the Belew school, drew 239 books from the library; more than any other teacher. Her total was followed by Miss Pauline Rogers of Bolivar, with 174. Fourteen other teachers used 100 or more books during the year.
The most popular books for the first through fourth grades were Spunky, the Raggedy Ann books and The Cat Who Went to Heaven. The favorites for the fifth through seventh grades were Will James stories, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Pathways in Science. Eighth-graders favored Dobie’s A Vaquero of the Brush Country, Louisa May Alcott books and Edward Bok’s A Dutch Boy 50 Years After.
In other library news, the city-county library’s opening has been delayed from May 29 to Saturday, June 5. The planned opening had to be abandoned when it became evident the work for installing the library on the third floor of the courthouse would not be completed in time.
Bookshelves are being built and the floor leveled in what has been the courtroom’s balcony. Additional space will be in the former grand jury room.
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Ponder brings in first wheat, oats
Ponder wheat and oats were sold in Denton over the weekend, the first local purchases of new grain in the 1937 season.
Tom Harpool, Denton grain buyer, paid M.L. Swafford, Ponder farmer, a five-cent premium per bushel for bringing the first wheat. One hundred thirty-two bushels were sold.
The oats came from Ponder farmer Bill Coulter’s farm. Three hundred bushels were sold in that transaction.
50 years ago
From MAY 1962
Mayor resigns, cites conflict of interest
Denton was without a mayor today after Floyd Brooks unexpectedly resigned.
The Denton druggist, who was elected mayor less than a month ago, resigned as a result of the Denton County National Bank’s efforts to secure part of the city of Denton’s financial business. Brooks is a stockholder and director of the bank.
“It was a hard decision to make,” Brooks told the Record-Chronicle, “but it was a decision I felt to be in the best interest of the city and of the bank.”
Even though Brooks resigned to avoid any conflict of interest should the bank seek city money, the Record-Chronicle today could not detect any feeling that the council would change its present financial arrangement with First State Bank of Denton, which has been the city’s repository for many years.
NOTE: Ten days later, the City Council selected Warren Whitson to fill the mayoral vacancy.
Negro takes Demo post
A quiet, hesitant 31-year-old housewife unseated George Inman as chairman of the Precinct 18 Democratic Convention Saturday night by a vote of 13-8.
Mrs. Jewell James, active in Democratic Party politics for the past three years, became the first Negro to win a convention chairmanship in Denton County.
The convention elected delegates to next Saturday’s county convention. Selected as delegates from Precinct 18 are Mr. and Mrs. George Inman, Mrs. James, Eddie James, Mrs. A.C. Sullivan, Mrs. Mason Haggard, Mrs. Lena Snider, Mrs. Fred Truman, Mrs. James McCulloch, Mrs. Mae Della Gilbert, Mrs. Hank Mitchell and Mrs. Linnie McAdams.
25 Years Ago
From MAY 1987
Church faulted for cemetery cleanup
Members of a Pilot Point church used poor judgment when they cleared an overgrown cemetery with a bulldozer, but there was no criminal intent involved, a Denton County grand jury said Thursday.
The grand jury had been asked to resolve a dispute between the church and the Denton County Historical Commission, and said the two entities should meet to discuss methods to clear the 3-acre site.
“It was just one of those cases where good intentions had gone astray,” said grand jury foreman Brad Whitlock.
About six people from the commission and the church testified before the grand jury, Whitlock said.
The issue began when some church members used a bulldozer to clear Skinner Cemetery, a neglected cemetery on Debbie Lane.
Bullitt Lowrey, chairman of the historical commission, agreed with the grand jury’s ruling. “It seems like a largely sensible resolution. I agree there was no criminal intent.”
Cemeteries are protected by state law. Destruction is a Class A misdemeanor.
Narsutis ready to be first female Lion
Her membership in the Denton Hi-Noon Lions Club may not yet be official, but Dr. Jessie Bateman-Barns Narsutis says she feels as though she has been a member since supporting the service organization 14 years ago.
When the Hi-Noon Lions Club district governor asked her to be the first female member of the club, Dr. Narsutis did not hesitate to jump at the opportunity. The former dean of TWU’s household arts and sciences department will be inducted in a special ceremony next month.
She began attending meeting of the club in 1973 but was not allowed to join because of a female exclusionary rule. She may have been excluded but her commitment to Lions’ service philosophies had her heavily involved in the Lionesses, and she contributed extensively over the years.
“I believe in Lionism. It’s a great organization,” said Dr. Narsutis.
She predicted that the Hi-Noon Lions Club may soon have a lot of female members.
— Compiled from the files of the Denton Record-Chronicle by DJ Taylor
DJ TAYLOR resides in the Sanger/Bolivar area. He may be contacted at 940-458-4979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.