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100 Years Ago

From July 1916

Troop trains pass through Denton

With a sounding rumble of their big brass band, merry greetings and laughter from every head thrust out of the windows to inspect the “burg” through which they were passing, the militia companies I, F and M, second regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry, their hospital corps, band and Mounted Scouts passed through Denton Friday night on their trip from the far eastern route to Fort Bliss in El Paso to “help make it hot for the Mexicans” and keep Mexico’s fighting from spilling across the border. The soldiers ranged in age from very young to middle-aged.

The soldier boys were undeniably light-hearted in spite of being on the train the past four days. There were a number of college girls at the depot waiting to leave on the Limited for a weekend visit back home. They were accosted gaily and respectfully by the khaki-clad Massachusetts boys; the girls responding just as gaily in the passing flirtations.

Another troop train moved through in Saturday’s early hours and others are expected later in the day.

NOTE: A later article told of a “bridge guard” being accidentally killed, stating that guards were stationed on all railroad bridges by the railroad companies to prevent sabotage as the troop trains passed.

Ad: Do You Want to Learn to Swim? I can teach you. I will start a class at Taylor’s Lake Thursday afternoon. Ten lessons, $5.00; Single lessons, 75 cents. For particulars phone 306 or see William Banks.

U.S. highway through county proposed

Something new in the road bond district suggested by O.M. Curtis would be an important link in the national highway.

“If we could lay out a district along the joint track from the county line north of Pilot Point to the county line south of Roanoke,” said Mr. Curtis, Friday, “we could vote a $100,000 bond issue to build the thirty-odd miles that would put Denton County on the national highway south.”

The road would pass through Pilot Point, Aubrey, Denton, Argyle and Roanoke.

“It would give us a start,” said Mr. Curtis, “a road clear across the county and I believe other road districts would be formed to connect with the trunk line.”

Mr. Curtis’ suggestion will probably be laid before the Chamber of Commerce and later on at a meeting of the citizens of the proposed district.

75 Years Ago

From July 1941

CAA trains commercial, Army pilots

Students enrolling for the Civilian Pilot Training instruction at the Teachers College next fall will see charted ahead of them a series of flight lessons by which they can take a straight path to a commercial license.

The cross-country course offered for the first time this summer, will be made the finishing school to turn out students graduated as commercial pilots. This rating offers an opportunity into commercial aviation including an instructor’s ticket, by special examinations, with the chance to enroll in either the Army or Navy Air Corps still remaining.

“After this emergency,” says a current magazine, “there will be an undreamed of surge in civilian aviation. There will hundreds of thousands of jobs in it, and jobs are the chief problem of young people today.”

Ad: Get in the swim! Swim suits, 1 and 2 pc. Styles; all colors. $1.95 to $3.88. The Boston Store, “Air Conditioned for Your Comfort.”

Colored Boy Scout troop formed in Denton

Several boys and parents were present at the organization meeting of the colored Boy Scout troop held at the Fred Douglass School Thursday night, Lyndon T. Grant, field executive, said.

The troop is being organized with A. Tennyson Miller as scoutmaster.

The boys present were James Alexander, M.C. Bell, Carl Jones, Robert Earl, H.C. Mitchell, Lester Broadus, James Williams, H.W. Ponder, Roscoe Ponder, Lewis Ellis, Fred Wells, Joe Hill, Albert Charles Robinson, Charles Johnson, Marshall Jackson, Timothy Haynes and Sam Haynes.

A tenderfoot candle lighting ceremony was conducted by Grant and the scouts took the scout oath and scout law together.

50 Years Ago

From July 1966

Urban renewal rejected by 5-1 margin

Denton voters, by an overwhelming margin of 5-1, turned down urban renewal for Denton Saturday.

The vote, 2,993 against and 561 for, marked the end of a hard fought campaign which saw organizations formed to fight for and against the controversial program.

The city council had asked that the election be held to clean up slum areas in the largely Negro section of southeast Denton. Anti-urban renewal forces had charged that federal urban renewal was not needed to do the job.

Beer stores are gone following election

“Gone But Not Forgotten…”

A large sign with a black bow and ribbon proclaimed this message to thousands of customers who had frequented Bill’s Place for the past two months and two days.

Bill’s Place and Joe and Joe’s Place, Denton County’s only two beer stores in the last 31 years, closed their doors at midnight Wednesday and thus ended a very profitable spree.

A June 4 election in old Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 voted out beer after an attorney general’s opinion ruled the old precinct wet. The stores had 30 days to close after the election was certified.

Joe Zipper, co-owner of the store that operated just off Pilot Point’s square said, “The final total on the beer we’ve sold will be close to 15,000 cases.”

He added, “I’m glad it’s over with; I’m all pooped out.”

Robert Mayer, who operated Bill’s Place with his brother Billy J. Mayer, said his store did about $4,000 worth of business on the final day.

Thirsty Denton County citizens will now have to cross the county lines once again to obtain beer since the two stores, which profited a little over $40,000 between them, closed.

25 Years Ago

From July 1991

Commissioners retreat on smoking ban

County Commissioners avoided a showdown with district judges Tuesday over a smoking ban at the Carroll Courts Building by agreeing to consider creating specific smoking areas.

Commissioners voted July 2 to ban smoking in courtrooms and all public areas of the building, excluding the offices of elected officials and department heads. The ban goes into effect on Aug. 1.

The county’s five state district judges sent a letter to commissioners this week challenging commissioners’ authority to ban smoking in courtrooms. Two of the five judges smoke.

Although judges insist they have final authority in their courtrooms, the law is not clear, said Robert Morris, the county’s staff attorney.

Mr. Morris said state law gives the county commissioners authority over county property. The question is whether that overrides a judge’s authority to regulate “decorum” of the courtroom.

Mr. Morris said he thought it did.

Commissioner Sandy Jacobs said the issue of authority was secondary to protecting the public from the effects of secondhand smoke.

One still unanswered question is how the policy will be enforced.

Mr. Morris said the sheriff has authority to enforce policies enacted by commissioners.

Mrs. Jacobs asked, “If one of the judges decides to light up in the courtroom, what authority do we have to stop him?”

Mr. Morris said commissioners would have difficulty arresting someone violating the ban.

“As a practical matter, when somebody is smoking in a no smoking area, and you ask them to put it out, they generally do,” he said.

— Compiled from the files of the Denton Record-Chronicle by DJ Taylor