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Pat Brown

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Animals with rabies, distemper on rise

The number of animals with rabies and distemper is on the rise this year says Brian Hall, who is contracted by the town of Argyle to handle animal control duties.

Hall said when skunks are affected with the viruses, the nocturnal animals are seen outside during the day and that both viruses cause skunks to have strange behaviors, such as walking in a drunken state or running in circles.

He explains that there is a difference in the behavioral patterns between the two diseases. Rabies makes the animal aggressive, charging at objects or people, and fearless. Distemper makes the animal lethargic, with no energy, and consumed with weakness to the point of dying. Also, with distemper the animal’s eyes are matted and infected to the point of causing blindness while rabies does not affect the eyes.

Hall says wildlife becomes stressed when their habitat is destroyed, or after natural disasters and extreme winters. Since skunks like to burrow, people should check under their sheds, decks and houses. Pets need to be vaccinated annually, Hall said, suggesting that people contact a wildlife specialist if skunks are living on their property.

For more information, call Hall at 817-401-1861.

Argyle Senior Center

The Argyle Senior Center “Back-to-School” luncheon will be at noon Friday.

ASC president Stella McDaniel asks that women bring her photographs of their mothers and the men bring photographs of their fathers to the Argyle Senior Center on Wednesday. The Argyle Police Department will furnish the meat for Friday’s luncheon, while seniors are asked to bring a side dish.

At 9 a.m. Friday, the Argyle Senior Center Bible study will have refreshments at the beginning of the program. The public is invited. For more information, contact Larry Simmons at 940-464-3368.

Argyle Senior Center meets every Wednesday and Friday in the Argyle Town Hall Community Room, 308 Denton St. Bible study begins at 9 a.m., followed by exercise at 10 a.m. and card games at 11 a.m.

For more information, call McDaniel at 940-464-7438 or visit

Days gone by

The A.G. Schnably house was the oldest house in Argyle. Herman Fehleison and his sons built the house in the 1880s for Schnabley, the ticket agent for the Texas and Pacific Railroad.

The house had a front gable, a turret and a fancy wraparound porch. According to a 1952 article in the Denton Record-Chronicle, the house was built one room at a time. It took two days to haul the lumber by oxen and wagon from Fort Worth.

The house was located on a high point east of what is now U.S. Highway 377. Thousands of motorists passing through Argyle saw and admired the old house until it burned down in the 1950s.

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