100 Years Ago
From July 1913
New buildings, homes going up in Denton
In the past few months there has been more building work going on than at any previous time in the city’s history.
The new Exchange Bank building is about finished on the outside, but a lot remains to be done to the interior. When finished, it is said its beauty will rival any in the state. Across Hickory Street from that new structure, work on the Denton County National Bank building has been delayed by the late arrival of materials, but is now pretty much under way. The exterior already gives promise of great architectural beauty.
Several new homes of substantial size are now in course of construction, the smallest being eight rooms. A partial list is as follows:
W.C. Orr, a two-story home on North Locust Street
J.N. Rayzor, a $6,000 home on West Oak Street
Joe Gambill, an eight-room home on South Locust Street
J.W. Underwood, a $5,000 home on Avenue C
Dr. Fullingim, a modern home on West Sycamore Street
Local man tells of Gettysburg reunion
“Those Yankees nowadays are about the finest people I ever met,” declared Dr. James Edwards, a Confederate veteran, upon his return to Denton from the reunion of Gettysburg veterans who marked the 50th anniversary of the battle.
Although Dr. Edwards didn’t see any of his old 9th Alabama on the grounds, he was gratified to see the friendship evidenced by the victors in that great battle toward their erstwhile opponents. The northern veterans spared no effort possible in making the southern vets feel at home and among friends.
There were about 800 Confederate veterans at the reunion and about 15,000 Union men.
75 Years Ago
From July 1938
Softball craze lights up county diamonds
With the softball craze invading every city, town and village of the country, Denton County proves to be no exception. Nearly every community has a team and within the past two weeks Lewisville, Sanger, Justin, Sand Hill and Corinth have installed floodlights on their diamonds.
While each town has several softball teams — women’s teams, girls, young boys, young men and old men — the fields are also being used as community centers in the evenings when softball isn’t played.
The lighting was financed through community drives and the fields will be turned over to the schools for their use during the school months.
O’Neil Ford named architect for chapel
O’Neil Ford of Dallas was chosen as the architect for the State College for Women student chapel at a meeting of the committee in charge of arrangements for its construction, according to the school’s president, L.H. Hubbard.
While no definite plans for the structure have been made, Hubbard stated that the building will probably seat around 300 people. Ford is to submit plans to the committee in the next few weeks and work on the chapel will begin soon after, he said.
The chapel will be located north of the college’s wildflower garden, just east of the rock gardens in back of Fitzgerald dormitory. No estimate of the cost of the structure was made.
At the spring commencement, Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Nicholson, Longview philanthropists, donated $18,000 to help pay for construction of the chapel, and students, ex-students and faculty have donated around $2,000 to the chapel fund.
Library adds shelves
Workers in the Denton County Public Library are preparing books to go on special interest shelves, said Mrs. Bess McCullar, librarian.
One shelf will be home to the A.C. Owsley collection of over 200 books given to the library by the family of the late judge and well-known attorney. Other shelves will be an antique shelf, a foreign language shelf and a professional shelf.
The antique shelf will include books donated by E.F. Proffer, a retired educator. Many of those books are from the 19th century. The books on this shelf may not be taken from the library.
50 Years Ago
From July 1963
Lewisville and Decatur schools to integrate
The Lewisville Independent School District announced racial integration plans to be in effect at the start of the 1964 term.
The school district had planned to integrate this September but delayed combining the Negro school for a year due to a lack of classroom space. A new elementary school should be completed during the upcoming school year.
Grades one through six attend the Lillie B. Jackson School for Negroes in Lewisville and about 30 seventh through twelfth graders attend Fred Moore School in Denton.
Earlier this month, Decatur announced plans to racially integrate its school. The Decatur board also announced that students who previously attended Fred Moore School could continue to do so if they so choose.
Denton’s Fred Moore School currently has transfer students from the following school districts: Lewisville, 30 students; Sanger, 75; Pilot Point, 26; Carrollton, 18; Krum, 7; and Ponder, 2.
Gary Moore named coach at Pilot Point
A 1957 graduate of Pilot Point has returned home as the new football coach. He’s Gary Moore Jr., who will replace Willie Alderson, who resigned.
A 1962 graduate of NTSU, Moore was coach last year at Bryson.
A native of Pilot Point, he will teach social studies and physical education in addition to his coaching duties.
NOTE: Gary Moore became better known in the area as G.A. Moore, longtime winning coach at Pilot Point, Sherman, Celina and Aubrey.
25 Years Ago
From July 1988
Long-neglected area gets city’s attention
The sounds of the neighborhood mix with the conversation inside the American Legion Hall on Lakey as the single air conditioner blows its heart out but it cannot rescue the building from the evening heat.
But the seven people from the predominately black neighborhood in southeast Denton keep asking questions. They keep lodging complaints with the city, such as trash dumped beside the railroad tracks, about runoff from a concrete plant, about noisy car stereos and about people cutting across the cemetery near Fred Moore Park.
“And I’ve got blood in there,” Ruby Cole says.
The unleashing of pent-up frustrations is coming from this neighborhood, considered to have been neglected for too long.
The police chief, director of parks, the director of community services, the assistant to the city manager, the executive director of planning and community development, a code enforcement officer, an urban planner and a library employee all pulled up chairs at the meeting and took notes.
So far, this initial try is succeeding.
“Because for the first time, I can surely say in the last eight years, I’m positive the community is able to feel a stronger relationship with city management,” said Birdell Carstarphen. “Before, we were just screaming.”
Kaisner found guilty, gets probation
Suspended Denton County Sheriff Randy Kaisner has been found guilty of bribery and sentenced to two years probation.
The 11-man, one-woman jury in Beaumont, where the trial was moved on a change of venue request, took two hours and 10 minutes to decide Kaisner devised a plan to win the GOP runoff election by trading a job to his opponent, Kirby Robinson, in return for dropping out of the race.
Kaisner’s attorney, Frank Jackson, characterized his client as a victim who was being “ramrodded and railroaded” because of the “petty political squabbling of a couple of young politicians.”
Throughout the trial Jackson characterized the charges against Kaisner as being politically motivated by District Attorney Jerry Cobb.
Jackson later said he believed the handing down of the minimum sentence of two years probation meant the jurors didn’t really believe Kaisner had committed a crime and the conviction was a compromise between jurors who believed him guilty and those that didn’t.
Jurors didn’t seem to bear that out as they talked after the trial.
“We just took all the testimony into consideration,” said juror Dwayne Hermann of Nederland. “It just couldn’t go any other way.”
— 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.