100 Years Ago
From August 1916
Denton has its first apartment house
The first apartment house in Denton has arrived. It is the remodeled home of Mrs. L.T. Fowlkes, 39 E. Sycamore St., and includes four two-room apartments for small families. Each of the apartments has an outside opening, each has separate water, gas and light meters and all have a common living porch 18 x 28 feet.
“I thought I saw a long time ago that Denton was about ready for an apartment house,” said Mrs. Fowlkes, “but I never felt able until recently to arrange for it.”
Mrs. Fowlkes added that all apartments are rented and that since others have asked about vacancies, she is considering building a two- or four-room apartment house on the lot adjoining hers.
Ad: Big Balloon Ascension! Saturday afternoon, August 5 at 3 o’clock on the Court Square. Featuring Aviator Arnold descending in a parachute. Under the auspices of Denton Business Men. Do Not Miss It.
City traffic ordinance now in effect
The recent traffic ordinance passed by the Denton City Commission became effective after it was published in last week’s Denton Record-Chronicle. Thru an oversight, Mayor S.G. Gary did not know it was published until Thursday of this week.
The ordinance requires all vehicles or animals, ridden or driven, to proceed on the right side of any street they may be moving, to keep to the right in turning corners and to not turn or round corners at a rate of speed exceeding 8 miles per hour.
It also requires that all vehicles be stopped at the right curb along any street which they may be passing. A penalty of at least $1 and not more than $25 is provided upon conviction for violation of any of the provisions.
The city will purchase and place dummy policemen in the center of the street at the four corners of the square to divide the traffic at those points but the purchases have not yet been made. The absence of the dummy policeman will not prohibit enforcement of the ordinance.
75 Years Ago
From August 1941
U.S. Army troops camp at Orr Ranch
The first contingent of U.S. Army troops en route to maneuvers in Louisiana marched away Monday morning after passing through Denton Saturday afternoon on the way to camp at the ranch of W.C. Orr on Highway 24 east of Lake Dallas.
The troops, over 3,000 strong and with full equipment, came in trucks and passed through town without a hitch.
The street intersections in town were guarded by local police and Texas Defense Guard members, as well as military police, and the Army moved through like clockwork.
They arrived at the Orr Ranch about 20 minutes later and made camp quickly. Many local folks visited the camp during its visiting hours. Hundreds were given leave Saturday night and Sunday and many spent their time in Denton.
A second contingent is expected to pass through Monday afternoon.
Club to gather silk hose for defense program
The Shakespeare Club has taken the initiative here in collecting old silk hose for the defense program. A committee composed of Mrs. L.H. Moore, president of the club, Mmes. R.L. Proffer, Lee E. Johnson, W.E. Graham and E.D. Criddle has been named to complete plans and to solicit the cooperation of organizations and individual women in Denton County.
The movement is to collect old hose to be re-woven for powder bags, and information given out is that unwearable old hose of any type or color may be used for making powder bags.
50 Years Ago
From August 1966
Doyle sisters continue family farm
The three Doyle sisters — Gertrude, Hassie and Nola — decided they would keep the family farm after their mother passed away in 1932.
All were grown women at the time. Now, 34 years later, they still live on the farm, 1 1/2 miles east of Slidell on the Bolivar road. Gertrude is 80, Hassie is 78 and Nola is 76.
Hassie who is still doing all the work on the farm, said they are “not old maids.”
She laughed. “You could say we are maids of long standing.”
Gertrude is presently in the Sanger hospital and Nola is bedridden. Hassie takes care of her sister at home, cooks and takes care of a herd of cattle.
Their parents, originally from Kentucky, bought the 231-acre farm in 1886 for $5 an acre.
The sisters attended school at Slidell when the schoolhouse was half in Denton County and half in Wise County, about a half mile east of the current school.
Slidell was a bigger town in those days. The 78-year-old woman remembers a bank, three dry goods stores, two blacksmith shops and several garages.
Hassie begins her day at 5 a.m. with a glass of apple juice before going out to turn the calves in with the cows.
“We just can’t milk anymore,” she said.
During the day she will chop Johnson grass to feed the cattle.
The sisters, until a few years ago, drove into Denton weekly.
“I quit driving to Denton so much,” Hassie said. “The way they drive over there. And they’ve got that street all torn up.”
The active life, as long as it isn’t too active, is a good one Hassie believes. “If you give up, you won’t last long.”
Court facetiously favors downtown plan
Denton County Judge W.K. Baldridge, with his fellow commissioners nodding agreement, said Thursday they were in favor of doing anything that would improve Denton. He was referring to the plan submitted by Dallas planner Marvin Springer that would make significant changes to the downtown area, including the Courthouse Square.
Baldridge later admitted in an informal setting, that he was being facetious since none of the Commissioners Court members had seen the plan.
The judge said, “We knew nothing of this until we saw it in the paper.”
“We live with the conviction,” he said, “that there was only one time we failed to cooperate with the city.” That was about 10 years ago, when it was proposed to cut up the courthouse lawn for parking.
As an example of how the county cooperates with the city, Baldridge pointed to the new jail on McKinney Street, several blocks from the courthouse. The county wanted to add it on to the courthouse on the square, but Denton’s city leaders persuaded them to build it at the new Civic Center location.
“If you were going to add on to the Record-Chronicle, would you build it two or three blocks away?” asked Baldridge.
NOTE: In a June 29, 1956 editorial, the Denton Record-Chronicle called for the Denton County Courthouse to be “relocated” to make way for a parking lot to entice shoppers to the downtown area. Attitudes changed over the years.
25 Years Ago
From August 1991
County officials reverse salary pledge
Three county commissioners reversed an earlier pledge to not raise salaries of elected officials.
The new proposal, submitted by Commissioner Sandy Jacobs and supported by County Judge Jeff Moseley and Commissioner Don Hill, would increase elected officials’ salaries by 3 percent. None are up for re-election this year.
Commissioners Buddy Cole and Lee Walker, both who face re-election next year, declined to support the proposal.
The revised plan also cuts a proposed 5 percent merit pay hike for county employees back to 3 percent.
The pay hikes for the commissioners and county judge would cost the county approximately $36,000.
“The elected officials’ salaries are rather insignificant in the big picture,” said Judge Mosely.
Commissioner Cole added, “I don’t believe we should do it. It’s not good for us to sit up here and give ourselves a raise when there are 80,000 to 100,000 people out of work in the metroplex area. We’re acting like Congress if you ask me.”
— Compiled from the files of the Denton Record-Chronicle by DJ Taylor