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100 Years Ago

From February 1917

Truck in town mistaken for German Kaiser’s

“No, I’m not a bootlegger and neither am I the Kaiser of Germany,” said Rev. P.F. Morgan when accosted by our reporter while passing thru here en route to his Dallas home in his curious looking mobiliary conveyance. “Some take me for even worse things,” he continued, “but I’m just a plain evangelist and temperance lecturer.”

The conveyance in which Dr. Morgan was riding was made of very common material but in a very extraordinary shape. A little Ford chassis was seen to be snugly hidden beneath a ponderous frame which one might take to be a German war truck escaped from European soil. However, the curious conveyance served peacefully, containing all the necessaries and accessories of a true home. The doctor said almost every night of the past winter was spent under the shelter of its ample top in such comfort as is found in any home.

Dr. Morgan was accompanied by his wife, returning home after a six-week tour into East Texas and Louisiana. They gave a lecture Friday afternoon on the courthouse lawn in the interest of temperance.


Ad: “The Tea Room” Open every day 2:30 to 5:30 Special arrangements for teas, parties and small dances. Refreshments furnished for luncheons and parties. A gift shop in connection where a specialty is made of cards and favors. Also a choice of hand-made garments. MISS NOULEN, 154 1/2 N. Locust St. Phone 434.

County commissioners raise some salaries

The Denton County commissioners court Monday afternoon allowed increases in the salaries of ex-officio officers of the county aggregating $1,800. The raises were allowed because of the increased prices in all lines and because of the gains in business that the offices have shown for the past year.

County Judge Fred M. Bottorff was allowed a raise of $500, which now makes his salary $1,500 per year. District Clerk W. E. Durbin was allowed a raise of $300, making his present annual salary $800. Sheriff Pat Gallagher received the largest increase of all, his amounting to $800 and making for his salary for next year $1,300. County Clerk Roy Mays was allowed a raise of $200, giving him $500 a year now.

The salary of County Treasurer S. B. Beaty was fixed at $125 per month, the same amount paid for the past two-year period.

75 Years Ago

From February 1942

Air raid drills planned for Denton schools

Denton public school officials, with hope the awful emergency never comes but resolved Denton school children shall not be caught unprepared if it does, this week mapped out a program of regular air raid drills.

“We began plans some weeks ago,” said Supt. R.C. Patterson, “but could not start drills until we received full information from the Office of Civilian Defense. Those instructions have now come and Tuesday principals of all schools were given copies and the go ahead signal.”

When an air raid warning sounds the school fire alarm will sound in a special way (short rings, etc.) and each class will leave its room in order and be conducted to the air raid refuge — away from windows and open doors. The large inside halls in most schools are suitable for this. A school cellar is acceptable provided there are plenty of exits and if outside windows can be protected by sandbags.

Students will not be allowed to leave the building or go home. Parents are advised to seek shelter in their own refuge room and to not try reaching the school in case of an air raid.

It was also advised to organize first aid training for special groups and fire defense training for fire guards.


Carl Sandburg headlines Writers Conference

Carl Sandburg, famed American poet; Carleton Smith, music editor of Coronet and Esquire; and Hudson Strode, traveler and writer on South America and the Caribbean Islands, head an array of 15 writers scheduled for next month’s Writers Conference at TSCW.

Sandburg will talk on “The Laughter of Lincoln.”

Boyce House of Fort Worth, author of books and poems and the syndicated column “I Give You Texas,” will also address the conference.

Carleton Smith will lecture on “Our World After Hitler” and Hudson Strode will close the conference with “An Adventure in Understanding: The Importance of Friendship with South America.”

TSCW President L. H. Hubbard said “There will be no charge for afternoon sessions, and all visitors will be welcome.”

50 Years Ago

From February 1967

Local ideas vary on proposed liquor law

Denton’s state senator opposes liquor by the drink, its state representative is non-committal and Denton Police Chief Wayne Autrey says it probably wouldn’t increase the law enforcement problem materially unless Denton votes wet.

These were some of the local comments to Gov. John Connally’s proposal to legalize liquor by the drink on a local option basis.

Sen. Ralph Hall of Rockwall, who represents Denton County, told the Record-Chronicle Austin bureau that he agreed with much of the governor’s address on taxes, but opposes liquor by the drink.

State Rep. Alonzo Jamison of Denton said he was “quite pleased” with the governor’s proposals. As to the drink proposal, Jamison said, “I think it was a very courageous proposal.”

The Denton police chief said if Dallas should have liquor by the drink it probably wouldn’t increase law enforcement problems for Denton but added, “Of course, if Denton voted it into the city, we would need more policemen to control it.”

The Rev. Arthur Sargents, president of the Denton Ministers Association, said the ministers have not discussed the proposal as a group. However, he said his knowledge of the group led him to believe they would be divided on the question.

The Denton Chamber of Commerce had no immediate comment.

25 Years Ago

From February 1992

Old No. 14 to be restored

It was a head-turning, hard-working red fire truck with a dozen ladders and Carl Castleberry sat tall in 1935 when he drove the new Pirsch into Denton on its maiden trip.

But it was a tired-looking, stripped-down, faded-red old fire truck that Joe Harris loaded onto a flatbed trailer Monday for a trip to Huntsville where inmates at the Ellis unit of the prison system will restore the truck at a cost of $8,000, and the Denton County Historical Commission will raise the money to pay for it.

“I helped unload it from a flatbed train car in Dallas and I drove it home to Denton,” Mr. Castleberry, a retired fire captain, said. “They stretched their necks down here a little when we drove into town.”

Officially called a service truck, it is 38 feet long. It holds 12 ladders. It was built to hold all the firefighting equipment of the day, like axes and battering rams, and a 100-gallon tank of water.

Battalion Chief Jim Dolgener drove it when the fire department was in the current police building and recalls it wasn’t easy to maneuver out of its bay at the station.

“The secret was to get to the middle of the street with the front wheels before you started turning,” Chief Dolgener said. “Then if you turned like crazy, it would miss the building by a couple of inches and you could go to the fire.”

After getting newer equipment, the fire department decided to sell the old truck at auction. Some firefighters appealed to the Historical Commission to buy it and Yvonne Jenkins of that group prepared to bid on it but lost out. She told the successful bidders of her wish to return it to Denton and they sold it to her two days later.

The old engine was smoked and singed a few years ago when the building it was stored in caught fire. Recently, it has been stored at the new Fire Station 5.

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