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Yesteryear

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DJ Taylor, For the Denton Record-Chronicle

100 Years Ago

From April 1917

Immense crowd at courthouse as America heads to war

The courthouse lawn was packed on all sides Thursday evening in support of President Wilson's request for a declaration of war against Germany.

Students from the public schools as well as Denton's two colleges made up a large part of the crowd that was estimated between 7,000 and 8,000 people. The Normal college students marched four abreast from the college down Oak Street to the courthouse, headed by a large American flag.

The little school children formed in a body on the south side of the speakers stand and sang "The Red, White and Blue" followed by "the Star-Spangled Banner."

Speakers included T.H. Matieson, pastor of the First Christian church, ex-County Attorney H.R. Wilson and Judge Charles F. Spencer.

Judge Spencer referred to the large crowd present by saying, "I am led to believe that the spirit of Paul Revere has come out of the historic past and has been making a few midnight rides thru Denton County."

After word was received early Friday morning that Congress has declared war, requests for American flags were in great demand as hundreds were purchased from local businesses. The R.E. Lee school is seeking someone who has patriotism and nerve to shin up the school's flag pole and replace the cord so Old Glory can be flown to save the teachers and pupils from humiliation.

Ad: WAR and FOOD. The price of cotton is an uncertain quantity during these war times but it is certain that never before in the history of the country will feed and food be so high as during the next year. Prospects are that unheard of prices for all kinds of food will prevail.

Raise all the stock and food crops that you can. Save every bit of hay and feed you can. It will be money to you. A garden will make a most important aid to you this year.

If we can help let us know. Exchange National Bank.

Denton County Germans refute rumors; profess loyalty

Fred Triesch, one of Denton County's substantial German-American citizens, was in the city Thursday morning and said, "When I came to this country from Germany back in 1890 I liked the country and the people and expected from the very start to make my home here and to live and die in this country. I expected to be an American and expected for my children to be Americans."

Mr. Triesch expressed regret that the countries are now at war but added, "I believe every German in Denton County expects to be loyal to the country of their adoption."

A report of a German flag being flown appears to be just rumor. D. Winkelman of the Blue Mound Community said as far as he knew there was no truth to the report. Mr. Winkelman said, "I believe a man would be a fool to raise a flag of that kind here."

Sheriff Pat Gallagher sought to assure the county's German-Americans that they need not fear "any invasion of his personal or property rights so long as he goes peaceably about his business and conducts himself in a law-abiding manner." The sheriff added that all foreign-born residents "will be protected in the ownership of their property and money" as long as they obey the laws.

75 Years Ago

From April 1942

Every person must register for war ration

Every person is expected to register next month for the first war ration booklets. This registration will be the basis for all future rationing by the federal government. The first booklets will be issued for sugar rationing. In the future, however, when other war booklets for other commodities to be rationed are issued, another registration will not be required.

Every person from every family must be registered at the elementary school district in which they live. Supt. R. C. Patterson made the following statement:

"One member of the family, who is over 18 years of age, may register for the entire family. It will be necessary for the one registering to have the following information about each member of the family: height, weight, color of eyes, color of hair, age and sex, and the total amount of white and brown sugar in any form that is owned by the family units or its members."

Water over spillway sets record as flooding continues

Overflowed creeks and a steady rainfall for almost a week were pouring a great volume into Lake Dallas, and eight and a half feet of water was reported going over the spillway at noon Saturday.

Extensive crop and other damage has been reported for this area.

An overflow of water temporarily closed all highways heading out of Denton, but only Highway 10, the Sherman pike, remained inaccessible Saturday morning between Denton and Aubrey. The road was completely washed out at Clear Creek. Fishtrap Road was underwater last night and the water continues to rise. A detour by way of Grapevine is still necessary en route to Fort Worth.

The water over the highway from Gainesville to Denton has begun to recede. The road, though passable, was still flooded in many locations.

50 Years Ago

From April 1967

University Drive finally opens after delays

It could not be said that construction of Denton's University Drive proceeded without a hitch.

The $526,000 project that began nearly a year and half ago was scheduled for completion last September, but suffered delays when the contractor left last July for a job in Amarillo, contending the City of Denton had failed to clear utility lines in the path of construction.

Mayor Warren Whitson denies this, saying that a contractor had completed moving water and sewer lines.

Meanwhile merchants fumed about lost business and motorists felt their blood pressure rise because of bumpy, dusty and crowded conditions on the roadway.

With the new four-lane portion of the road now complete, motorists and merchants are apparently unanimous in their approval of the new thoroughfare.

One service station operator said his business has improved not only over the period of construction but over that before work began.

25 Years Ago

From April 1992

Lucas captures sheriff runoff

The hottest political race in the county ended Tuesday with a new sheriff for Denton County.

Weldon Lucas, a Texas Ranger, won the Republican run-off election with 2,816 ballots, or 53.52 percent of the vote.

Incumbent Kirby Robinson received 2,446 ballots, or 46.48 percent of the votes cast.

Still, only four out of every 100 registered Republicans in the county — 5,262 out of 129,869 — took the time to vote in the race, show figures from the Denton County Clerk's office.

No Democrats filed for the office, so Ranger Lucas faces no opposition in the November general election.

The election was filled with accusations and name-calling. Ranger Lucas accused Sheriff Robinson of raiding two "adult" video stores for purely political reasons, while Sheriff Robinson accused Ranger Lucas of not being willing to fight pornography. Each candidate denied the other's charges.

Sheriff Robinson said the loss was unexpected.

"We're disappointed, not just for myself, but for the employees who work for us," he said. "Evidently, not enough folks got mobilized.

The changing of the guard shouldn't be too tough though, Sheriff Robinson said.

"I just talked to Weldon and told him whenever he's ready, we'll work out a transition."

Ranger Lucas will take office January 1. He said he planned to retire from the Rangers and take some time to rest before that date.

DJ TAYLOR resides in the Sanger/Bolivar area. He can be reached at 940-458-4979 or djtaylortx@centurylink.net.