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Dr. Larry Simmons - Courtesy photo

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Five seniors win contest to earn $1,000 scholarships

The Place is Argyle

The Argyle Parent, Teacher, Student Association (Argyle PTSA) scholarships were announced recently, with five graduating seniors earning the top awards of $1,000.

The $1,000 award winners are Jared Cole, Bailey Suttone and Ray Earnest Pool IV, all of whom will attend Texas A&M University; Catherine Read, University of Texas at Austin; and Savannah Wilson, The American Academy.

The runners-ups, who will each receive $300 scholarships courtesy of Cross Texas Realty owner Payton Inge, are Margeret Stein, Texas A&M University; Shelby Low, Texas A&M University; Colton Katzen, University of Texas at Austin; Kimberly Strelke, Southern Methodist University; and Bailey McClure, Texas A&M University.

The winners will receive their awards at commencement on June 4.

To qualify for the scholarships, students had to fill out an application, have one teacher’s recommendation and write a 400- to 500-word essay on, “Is it always essential to tell the truth or are there circumstances in which it is better to lie?”

After the applications were received, the essays were distributed to three judges who read and rated them according to scoring criteria. The top 10 essay applicants were interviewed individually by each judge, and then the selection of the five winners and five runners-up was made.


Lions Club sets celebration

The Argyle Lions Club will have an event to celebrate its year at 6 p.m. June 14 in the Argyle Community Room at Argyle Town Hall, 408 Denton St.

The club will honor Lions Club district governor Suzie Schneider during the event.

The public is invited to attend. Tickets are $10, which includes fajitas and drinks. For more information and tickets, contact Susan Curry-Langston at North Star Bank in Argyle at 940-464-4200.


Days Gone By: Pilot Knob

Prior to 1881, when the Texas and Pacific Rail Line was built through southwest Denton County and before Argyle became a town, it was hard to distinguish between the Argyle and the Pilot Knob community.

The tall hill rising above the flat prairie floor south of Denton along what is now Interstate 35W and three miles west of Argyle was known to early settlers as Pilot Knob. Indians used the oblong hill with an elevation of 838 feet stretching above the prairie floor for a lookout.

Early settlers used it as a reference point — a marker for wagon trains and settlers to follow.

Supposedly, the famous Robin Hood-type outlaw and train robber, Sam Bass, used the historic landmark for a hiding place and lookout station.

According to Mary Jo Cowling’s book Geography of Denton County, Pilot Knob’s geological formation is the most significant in Denton County. The sandstone knob, “in geologic language, it is called a ‘woodbine out-lier.’ Centuries of running water have removed the woodbine in areas of lower rocks around Pilot Knob. The Knob has remained because of the presence of three conspicuous cement-like sandstone ledges formed in the Woodbine at this spot. Between the ledges are formations of less hard sandstone, clay, and loose sand.”

Besides being known as the highest point in Denton County “the Knob,” as it was referred, marks the end of the Eastern Cross Timbers and the beginning of the Grand Prairie.

“Our farm was called the Long Point Farm because that was the last of the timber,” 92-year-old Marcella Stewart Henderson of Denton said in an interview with me in 1994 as she told me about her years growing up on the 400-acre Stewart farm situated on the south side of the knob.

“The northeast, about a fourth of it [Long Point Farm] was all timber, the northwest corner was pasture, the southwest was heavy black land, and the southeast part of it was sand and all around the house, garden, and orchard was sand. So we had wood, water from the deep artesian well, and a tank at the edge of the timber that I never did see go dry,” said Henderson, who was born in 1901 and was the mother of Martha Len Nelson of Denton.

A neighbor to the Stewarts living on the west side of “the knob” was Reuben Newton Bullard, who was appointed postmaster of Pilot Knob in 1879 by David M. Key, postmaster general of the United States of America.

“He kept the mail in his house in a bonded room with a lock on the door,” his great granddaughter, Dorothy Hickingbottom of Denton, said when I interviewed her for the Denton Record-Chronicle article “High on the Knob,” published Jan. 19, 1994.

Hickingbottom’s grandfather, Lindsay Isaac (Bud) Bullard, became foreman for John Paine, the first owner of the Pilot Knob Ranch. Hickingbottom remembers the stories told to her by her mother about her life growing up.

“On Sunday afternoon after church, we would go to ‘the knob’ to look for Sam’s gold,” her mother told her.

Bass was a notorious outlaw well known in Denton County for his horse, “the Denton Mare,” who rarely lost a race making Sam rarely lose a bet. Sam sometimes raced “the Denton Mare” on a track in Denton where the North Texas fairgrounds are now located.

LYNN SHEFFIELD SIMMONS is 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 she can be reached at