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100 Years Ago

From September 1913

Fire claims Quakertown school building

The fire Sunday night in Quakertown was the Negro schoolhouse, discovered by passers-by and members of the congregation of the church nearby. The flames had already burst through the north windows when discovered. Considerable excitement prevailed among residents of that district, and the alarm was turned in some minutes after the shouting and fire began.

The fire department could only manage to prevent a spread of the fire, which took the old building almost in one sweep of the flame, and one or two nearby houses and the church opposite were saved a number of times. The church front was badly blistered and a nearby telegraph pole or so was burned.

Where the fire started was a mystery, as there had been, to the knowledge of the Quakertown residents, no fire in the schoolhouse since last spring. It seemed to have caught along the floor from the inside on the north side of the building, as when first discovered it had crept up and was bursting out the windows on that side.

School was to have opened Monday morning, and many children from the southeast Negro district, not knowing of the fire, were sent to school. A meeting of the board was called to decide what preliminary arrangements should be made until another building is erected, and it was thought Monday morning that the offer of the church house in the southeast district would be accepted, and school held there for a time.

Insurance in the amount of $500 on the building and $100 on the furniture was carried with W.T. Bailey.



For the man who picks cotton — it is a pad that goes over the knee, giving comfort and rest to the wearer who crawls on his knees through the field. You can get these pads at Pruitt’s.


The Local News in Brief

The pretty new bungalow of Will Stewart, 48 West Sycamore, has been completed at a cost of about $1,800. I.N. Burgoon was contractor.

Springside Jersey Farm is preparing to ship 20 head of its Jerseys to the Dallas fair for exhibit, Manager Will F. Parks said Friday.

75 Years Ago

From September 1938

Music instruction offered by WPA at Argyle

Instrumental music instruction was offered by the WPA Recreation Project to Argyle for the first time in a meeting Friday night, and similar meetings will be held each Friday night hereafter at the Argyle school building. Instruction is given by Oscar Sloan of Pilot Point, WPA music director.

Sloan is meeting other music groups in Sanger every Monday night, in Roanoke every Tuesday night, and in Lewisville every Thursday night. Sloan has initiated music classes for children in each of those three towns on like afternoons.


County schools open, many discontinued

All of Denton County’s independent schools and 13 of its common schools are now open with the rest scheduled to open in the last two weeks of September or the first week of October, according to R.L. Proffer, county superintendent.

Nineteen of the common districts have been discontinued or their students transferred to other school districts this year, Proffer said. Annie Blanton pupils have been transferred to Double Oak, Litsey to Justin, Elizabeth to Roanoke, Beulah to Argyle, Walnut Grove to Roanoke. Pecan has been discontinued with pupils coming to Denton, Pilot Knob to Argyle, Hawkeye to Krum, Helm to Justin, Cannon Creek to Slidell, Bernard to Sanger. Brown discontinued with pupils coming to Denton, Christal to Ponder, Drop to Justin. Prairie Mound discontinued with pupils going to Argyle and Justin, Lane to Center Point, Sunnydale to Teachers College Demonstration School in Denton, and Robertson to Frisco.


WPA approves creek improvement project

The city of Denton’s $2,796 creek improvement project has received final approval from the WPA, City Engineer W.N. Harris has been notified.

The project will concrete the bottom of North Pecan as a similar improvement program recently did South Pecan, and will rip-rap banks of both creeks, Harris said.

Work will begin in the winter but the date is indefinite.

50 Years Ago

From September 1963

H.L. Harrell, 54 years

a letter writer

H.L. Harrell of Argyle is still reaping the harvest from a patch of corn planted on a dusty Oklahoma farm in 1909.

He wrote a letter to the editor of the semi-weekly Farm News about that corn crop, the first time he ever wrote to a newspaper, but he’s been doing it now for 54 years.

The 85-year-old retired farmer has reaped a lifetime of pleasure from writing to newspapers and his name has become well known in the Denton-Dallas-Fort Worth area.

He didn’t write much in the early days but has turned out a lot of letters in the past 20 years. He writes on many subjects — memories of his younger days, farming, walking, politics, flowers, birds.

“People like my letters on gardening, and they’re very interested in birds, too,” said Harrell. “I’ve met a lot of mighty nice people through letters.”


Denton rules on pool halls emphasized

Denton Police Chief Andy Anderson has issued a reminder to anyone who might be planning to open a billiard hall in Denton.

“Before taking any action on making arrangements,” Anderson said, “check the city ordinance.”

The ordinance Chief Anderson refers to is the city’s Code of Ordinances, Article 10.01A, and it establishes procedures by which pool halls and billiard parlors will be licensed and regulated.

Anderson said separate rooms within the building will not be allowed and card games and dominoes are banned.

Floor plans must be approved by the chief before a license will be issued.

Pool halls must close between midnight and 8 a.m. except Sunday when they cannot open before 1 p.m.

No one under the age of 16 years will be permitted inside billiard halls unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

25 Years Ago

From September 1988

Country sage remains unchanged by time

Call them old-timers, storytellers or feed store philosophers — every town has one. They’re not famous in the greater sense but everyone in town knows them — and everybody respects them.

At the Lewisville Feed Mill the resident sage is Harlee Hare, a 75-year-old black man who mixes the feed. Hare has seen Lewisville and the world change. He has lived through a Great Depression, two World Wars, two police actions and a civil rights movement.

But while the world around him has changed, Hare himself is largely unaffected.

He was born Nov. 14, 1912, in the small community of Garza, now Lake Dallas, one of five children to a poor farming couple.

His mother died when he was 4 and he was raised by his grandparents after his father left for work in Oklahoma.

“My grandpa used to borrow $100 to make a crop every year,” he said, sitting under a shade tree at the mill. “We raised corn and maize to feed the hogs and cows. As long as you could feed your [livestock] you would always have something to eat.”

Hare added that the family was also dependent on their cotton crop. “You had to get the cotton while it was ready. You had to make money to live through the winter when there wasn’t no jobs. The principal would let us out to pick cotton because he knew that was the only living we had.”

Hare lamented that the growth of Lewisville — and the passing of many older longtime citizens — has changed things. “Now you don’t know nobody.”

Changes and all, Hare says it has been a good life. His only regret is not getting an education beyond the seventh grade, the highest grade at his old school near Lake Dallas.

“Couldn’t go nowhere else to school. Couldn’t get from here to Denton, didn’t have no money to go up there.” Hare added, “But it don’t bother me now. Besides, I learned a whole lot without school.”


— 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