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100 Years Ago

From April 1913

Denton County Jail

is empty of inmates

There is no more conclusive proof that Denton County is improving morally than the fact that the county jail is vacant.

For the past several days the jail has had only two occupants, both of whom pleaded guilty to their charges and were sentenced to two years in the state penitentiary. They were taken to Dallas Sunday by Sheriff Pat Gallagher, where he was met by Huntsville authorities who took the prisoners in charge and escorted them to the state penitentiary.

The jail’s only residents the past week have been jailer Garret Wells and his family.

Owner says

Blue Hole closed

I have posted Blue Hole pasture to all campers, vehicles and trespassers, who must keep out. During the ten years I have owned this pasture I have practically lost the use of it on account of trespassers cutting my fence down, turning stock loose while camped there and many other things too numerous to mention. This notice is intended for you, so save me the embarrassment of a refusal to go in by not asking.

— S.A. Gibson

Socialists protest against declaration of war

Denton Socialists, forty in number, met at the courthouse Sunday afternoon, with W.W. Smallwood chairman and M.A. Anderson secretary, and adopted a resolution against the United States declaring or carrying on any war except in case of invasion. The resolution concluded:

“Therefore we, the socialists of Denton, protest against this government declaring and carrying on a war with Mexico or any other nation except in case of invasion.”

75 Years Ago

From April 1939

Grand jury condemns county jail as firetrap

Terming the present Denton County Jail a firetrap, the spring term of the grand jury used emphatic language in filing its report with County Judge Ben W. Boyd Friday afternoon.

In presenting the report to the judge, the grand jury verbally requested it be given to the Record-Chronicle for publication, recommending the feasibility of purchasing and converting the Masonic building on East Hickory into a county jail.

“We condemn the present county jail as a firetrap and dangerous to the lives of the inmates in case of fire. It is poorly ventilated and so arranged that segregation of different classes of prisoners is practically impossible.”

The grand jury also recommended “that the attention of the State Highway Department be called to unsatisfactory conditions regarding the control at the intersection of Northwest Highway and Highway 10 at Roanoke.”

Liszt program presented at club meeting

Meeting with Mrs. C. H. Hancock and Mrs. John E. Lawhon Thursday afternoon in the Hancock home, the music department of the Ariel Club presented an all Liszt program.

The short biography of Liszt was prepared by Mrs. W. C. Bain and read by Miss Gladys Kelso. Mrs. Lawhon was joined by Mrs. C. A. Williams, Mrs. Lee R. McDonald, Mrs. J. Earl Selz, Mrs. G. F. Bryant, Mrs. M. L. Hutcheson, Mrs. Amos Barksdale and Miss Gladys Kelso in the musical portion of the program.

Dallas Highway work progresses

Work on the new Dallas Highway route below Lewisville, which will straighten the road south of Lewisville into Dallas County is progressing satisfactorily.

The road leaves the present highway one mile south of Lewisville and eliminates a number of curves by a fairly direct route into Carrollton. It will enter that town on the west side of the public square, just one block from the present highway on the east side. The road then goes south through Farmers Branch and will see other curves straightened out in that portion of the road.

50 Years Ago

From April 1964

First lady gifted after getting honorary degree

Texas Woman’s University’s giving to Lady Bird Johnson didn’t even take a recess for lunch.

After she received her first honorary degree Tuesday morning, Mrs. Johnson, accompanied by Gov. and Mrs. Connally, Dr. John A. Guinn, Lt. Gov. and Mrs. Preston Smith and other dignitaries, went to Hubbard Hall where students from TWU and North Texas State University made additional presentations.

Jeff Crosland, president of NTSU Young Democrats, gave the first lady a bouquet of roses. Jane Sullins, a TWU student, gave Mrs. Johnson a necklace crafted by the school’s fine arts department, and Mary Lynn Disiere gave her a set of cufflinks for the president, and Moneete Anderson presented gifts for Mrs. Johnson’s daughters.

At this point, Karen Russell presented the governor with a pair of cufflinks, but inadvertently referred to them as “handcuffs.” Suddenly aware of her mistake, Miss Russell began to laugh; the audience and governor joining her.

Opening the gift, Connally commented, “I’ll remember this day a long time, and I trust you will, too.”

Mrs. Johnson thanked the students and said, “It has been a grand day, every foot of the way.”

Bush brings Senate campaign to Denton

George Bush, the 39-year-old Houston oil man, brought his campaign for the Republican senatorial nomination to Denton in a whirlwind tour of three meetings late Tuesday.

After a 4 p.m. coffee at the Denton County National Bank, he spoke at the Republican Women’s meeting at 7:30 p.m. and to the Young Republicans at 9 p.m.

Bush campaigned on a “reasonable conservative” philosophy that he described as a progressive approach to world problems.

For example, Bush advocates a “stronger foreign policy.” “We’ve tried to buy friendship of people who really aren’t our friends — Poland, Yugoslavia and Sukarno’s Indonesia. We’ve got to start supporting our friends,” he said.

He feels the “civil rights” bill now pending in the Senate should be defeated, saying, “It is a violation of the constitutional rights of all the people. We do have a racial problem in this country, but I do not think this bill is a solution to anything.”

25 Years Ago

From April 1989

PCH winner determined not to change

Since becoming enormously rich Wednesday evening with the gift of $10 million from Publishers Clearing House, Robert Castleberry of Denton finds himself the hero of optimistic contest entrants everywhere. In restaurants, he’s received applause; in department stores, people stop to offer congratulations.

Castleberry seems determined to keep his life as normal as possible. In fact, one of the first things he did after returning home from the party given him by Publishers Clearing House was to take out the garbage.

So far, the daily routine hasn’t changed much for the never-married salesman at Moore Business Forms. Thursday he showed up for work just as he’s done for 33 years, though he couldn’t get much done with well over 100 calls and telefax messages pouring in all day.

“The reaction was just overwhelming. In our company, the word spread fast and I began to receive telephone calls and faxes from many, many places. It has been very interesting and very rewarding. In addition to the money aspect, it’s the reaction of the people — so many say, “I’m so happy for you, this makes me very happy.”

Although he has received solicitations to invest his winnings, Castleberry plans to take a cautious approach. He will get with his accountant and brokerage firm in Denton to plan the best investment strategy. “I plan to take my time. I’m in no big hurry,” he said.

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

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