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100 Years Ago

From April 1912


Belew calls for county primaries

Levi G. Belew of Pilot Point said Tuesday that he is heartily in favor of the proposition to instruct the Denton County state convention vote by a preferential primary and, moreover, that he believed the other committeemen would grant a request to that end.

While Mr. Belew is rather favorable to Judge Harmon for the presidential nominee, he says that he is anxious that the Denton County vote at the Democratic Party convention in Houston be cast in conformity with the wishes of the majority of democratic voters of the county.

“The only way to secure that,” Mr. Belew said, “is by the primary route. I’ve seen too much of the precinct convention methods to have much faith in their acting in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the voters of the precinct.”


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School board makes needed salary cuts

Radical reductions in almost all teachers’ salaries were made for the coming school year by the Denton school board Monday night. The cuts aggregate between $1,200 and $1,300 per annum.

The reductions were made necessary, the school board announced, by reason of indebtedness incurred by the fire that destroyed the Central building several years ago. Since that time, they say, the board has worked at a serious disadvantage and the steps were needed to put the schools finances on a safe footing.

The debt stands at about $3,800.

The following new salaries were set: high school mathematics and physics teachers’ pay was reduced to $90 a month, from $100 and $95, respectively; and Latin, English and history teachers’ pay was reduced to $85 a month, from $90. The grade school teachers will be paid $50 to $55 a month and the principal will be reduced to $85, from $95. The Negro school principal’s salary of $55 a month and the two assistants, at $30 and $40 a month, were unchanged.

The salary of the school janitor at the Central school was reduced from $55 to $50.


75 Years Ago

From April 1937


McCurley School pie supper aids library

Last Friday, the McCurley School gave a pie supper to raise money for the county library.

In spite of the rain, more than 100 attended and a liberal donation was made to the fund.

Part of the money was made from a “prettiest girl” contest, won by Miss Mamie Howard. The rest came from the sale of pies, popcorn and candy.

McCurley School has 41 students. Mrs. Wilbur Yarborough and Miss Dorothy Sargent are the teachers responsible for the success of the project.


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Anti-drug ‘Marihuana’ screens at Ritz

The effects of smoking marihuana cigarettes and the efforts of authorities to curb the use of this illegal weed is the subject of the motion picture Marihuana at the Ritz Theatre this week.

The weed grows wild throughout the southwest and is cultivated in Mexico and secretly in the United States. Many police officials attribute a great percentage of juvenile delinquency and crime to its use.

The picture shows the devastating effects of this drug upon the mind and body of a beautiful girl who took a “puff just for the thrill.” It is produced with the cooperation of federal authorities.


50 Years Ago

From April 1962


J. Newton Rayzor plans large summer home

Denton native J. Newton Rayzor, one of the wealthier men in Texas, is building a summer home on the 289 acres he owns at the northwest corner of Bonnie Brae and Scripture streets.

The $51,000, nine-room house, expected to be completed by July, will face south from its vantage point on a high hill across from McKenna Park. Builder Harry Down, Rayzor’s son-in-law, said that 500 pine trees will be planted on the property and that if they live, 20,000 more will be planted. If that comes to be, the pine forest would be the biggest west of East Texas.

When the house is completed, Mr. Rayzor can look down to the intersection of Scripture and Bonnie Brae at the site of his first business. It was at that intersection that he sold cold drinks to travelers on the old Decatur road, many in horse-drawn vehicles.


Farmer succeeds in spite of blindness

Watch Frank Faught and you will notice the ease with which he goes about his twice-daily milking chores.

Not impressed? Take another look. This dairyman, who lives west of Argyle, has never seen the cows on his 224-acre farm because he is blind.

He married neighbor Ruth Lyles in 1938 when both were 18. Total blindness struck from an eye disease two months later. Faught remembers the first thought that came to him: “Will my wife still want me?”

That question has been answered many times over the past 24 years. With the help of Ruth and his oldest son, Charles, 13, Faught has won much recognition for his successful farm practices and conservation efforts.

In addition to Charles, who has won the county 4-H dairy award the past three years, the couple has three other children; Susan, 10; Brenda, 11; and Larry, 2. Each has a daily chore on the farm. 

Faught is also a winning 42 player. The others tell him what has been played and he knows which dominoes he has by feel.

It took a lot of love, devotion and hard work, but the Faughts have made their farm a success.

“Anyone can overcome a handicap,” Faught says. His achievements in farming despite his world of darkness readily prove the statement.


25 Years Ago

From April 1987


Civil rights activist speaks at TWU

Virginia Foster Durr, who bailed Rosa Parks out of jail after Parks was arrested after initiating the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, told a crowd at TWU that black people have only begun to acquire the basic rights assumed for so long by most Americans.

“They have a long way to go and they know it,” she said.

According to Mrs. Durr — who knew Eleanor Roosevelt, President and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. — what many blacks still need is jobs, economic stability and banding together to complete social change.

Mrs. Durr’s activism began in the 1930s when she fought for women’s rights.

“We had no future at all but to get married,” she said.

She later fought against the poll tax, which made it more difficult for women, blacks and poor whites to vote. She recalled paying her poll tax and the required poll taxes from previous years. But when she arrived to vote, she was not allowed a ballot. The reason given was that she had not paid interest on the past years’ poll taxes.

She also recalls a day in Montgomery when she greeted a black man she knew and extended her hand. The man later approached her husband to request that she not do that again. That was when she learned that such incidents had led to lynchings.


Commissioners OK freeway, airport plans

County commissioners on Monday approved two resolutions supporting the construction of a proposed freeway and airport, which, when built, will boost the economy of southern Denton County.

The proposed freeway would link State Highway 114 and Interstate 35W, providing easy access to the IBM facility planned in Westlake.

The airport is being developed by Ross Perot Jr. and will be adjacent to I-35W. Perot says it will be similar to Dallas’ Redbird Airport for business and other private planes.


— 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