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Yesteryear

100 Years Ago

From October 1914

Lee School to purchase Victrola

Principal Park of the Lee School, assisted by the faculty, is choosing a fifty dollar Victrola for the use of the grades in the grammar department of his school.

This will be the fourth Victrola in Denton public schools, the Model school having used one last year and the West School having recently purchased one. The North School has had one since its opening.

Many of the fourth and fifth grade students at the Model school now have their “favorites” among the selection of Grand operas and concert music. Many can give the title of the piece and composer, often knowing bits of the musical history of the composer.

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Office on warpath; marriage licenses down

County Clerk Oscar T. Button announces that his office is waging war on a foe that has been causing considerable problems for some time. One of the peculiarities of the war is that no blood has been shed.

For several weeks the office has been bothered by bugs devouring the bindings of books. The office staff has been preparing poison in small amounts of glue and leaving it out at night. In addition to several dead bugs, it is reported that one mouse has succumbed to the solution.

Mr. Button also reported that his office has seen a big decline in work this past month, particularly in issuing marriage licenses. The office has not issued a single marriage license in over a week. Mr. Button stated that when people stop getting married it usually indicates that times are getting very depressing in money affairs.

75 Years Ago

From October 1939

Councilman changed vote on college location

A councilman who changed his mind changed the whole map of Denton.

Two tracts were offered, one south of downtown on Sycamore Street, the other in the “rural” district west of town — the present location of our North Texas Teachers College.

A council of five citizens voted on the location and three of the five voted for the Sycamore site. Six months later one reconsidered and voted for the location “out in the country” and the location was switched.

The first classes in 1890 were held in a building on the northwest corner of the courthouse square. By the 1891-92 school term, when classes were first held at the present campus then considered a rural area, it was not uncommon to see hunters stationed on the campus lawn to pick off wild deer who invaded the confines as they escaped dogs that had chased them from the creeks.

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Schools to be surveyed for scouting interest

Surveys to determine the amount of interest in Boy Scout work among boys and men of the communities are being conducted in the county’s larger rural schools, said Charles Silk, field commissioner for rural scouting in the county.

R.L. Proffer, district chairman, said Lyndon Grant, field executive, made surveys in Cooper Creek, Mayhill, Lake Dallas, Center Point, Argyle and Double Oak.

Reports indicate that the boys are showing much interest in the project. Silk is planning a rural scouting committee that will assist him in training the necessary men to lead the new groups.

50 Years Ago

From October 1964

Tower backs Goldwater at Denton stop

Sen. John Tower told a group of 350 Denton County supporters that presidential candidate Barry Goldwater offers “peace through strength” to Americans.

The crowd of county Republicans shivered through 2 1/2 hours of speeches in 43-degree weather at the Fairgrounds to hear Tower, the final speaker.

“The overriding issue that confronts this generation is whether this nation will continue to achieve victory over communism,” said Tower. His speech was interrupted 15 times by applause.

Tower also stated, “The president’s sole goal is to perpetuate the power and financial success of Lyndon Johnson.”

The senator added that the Berlin Wall, war in Vietnam and the Castro brand of communism in Cuba are “a result of a weak and vacillating policy towards a Godless enemy that the Johnson administration says we can coexist with.”

Girl Scouts have grown since 1917 beginning

On March 12, 1912, Mrs. Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Georgia, adapted the Boy Scout program for girls in her native town. Five years later, the first Girl Scouts troops were organized in Denton.

Beulah Harris organized the first troops in 1917 and by the end of the year 70 girls had completed their tenderfoot test.

Since that time, the Cross Timbers Council — which includes Denton, Wise, Cooke, Montague and Grayson counties — has grown to over 1,000 members.

In 1929, a few adults raised $100 to buy a house on Morse Street from L.L. Morse for future meetings by selling sandwiches and candy at North Texas football games. The house became known as the Girl Scout “Little House.”

Plans for a permanent camp for the Girl Scouts became a reality in 1961 when “Whispering Oaks” was dedicated one mile west of Aubrey. The camp, with its teepee meeting house, is known as the camp that cookies built. The girls started selling cookies to save money for the camp in 1947 and by 1959 they had raised $10,000. The land was purchased from Tom Harpool for $6,000 but bad weather delayed the opening until 1961.

Dr. J.W. Riddlesperger, Denton president of Cross Timbers Council, said, “The object of Girl Scouting is trying to make better girls. We aim to develop training and leadership and regard for their duties and responsibilities as women of the future.”

25 Years Ago

From October 1989

Rayzor-Graham House gets historic designation

The Rayzor-Graham House on West Hickory Street will be honored with a marker from the Texas Historical Commission on Oct. 29. State Rep. Jim Horn will speak at the event.

“It is protected now from real estate development and it will take an act of Congress to tear it down,” said John Kimmey Jr., the home’s current owner.

Kimmey compiled a history of the home for the Denton County Historical Commission that includes much about the life and times in the city of Denton during the years immediately preceding and after the house’s construction in 1912.

The house was built by one of Denton’s most influential families. J. Fred Rayzor was the son of the first J. Newton Rayzor, who came to the city in 1882. Previously a schoolteacher, Rayzor went into the milling and ice business and became a civic and church leader. His son, J. Fred, married the daughter of a Sherman mayor, Lucille Edmonds. The house was constructed at a cost of $2,600.

The couple chose a one-story, six-room version of American foursquare architecture. Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Graham bought the house in 1941 and Kimmey credits them for retaining the originality of the house. The Grahams kept the house until 1974 and it passed through a couple of owners who rented out the property before Kimmey bought it from fellow UNT professor John Miller.

Richard Rayzor and Charles Graham, descendants of the early owners, will unveil the marker and County Judge Vic Burgess will make the dedication.

The house is the fourth such structure in Denton to obtain the historic designation from the Texas Historical Commission, joining the Scripture-Davenport Home on Oak Street, the Courthouse on the Square and an old building at TWU.

— 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 djtaylortx@centurylink.net.