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Yesteryear: October 2017

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DJ Taylor

100 Years Ago
From October 1917

Denton shivers; fuel scarce during cold snap

The thermometers in Denton registered twenty-two degrees Tuesday morning—the coldest October day since 1871. At least the wind wasn't blowing at gale force like on Monday.

The extreme weather for this season of the year made a heavy demand upon local fuel supplies, which were very short. It was reported Monday that no coal was for sale in Denton to domestic customers, the supply having already been completely exhausted. Orders for coal have been out for some time but unusual conditions of transportation due to war preparations, it was uncertain when the coal might arrive.

It was also impossible to secure wood. Although there is plenty of wood in the country surrounding Denton, so far little has been offered for sale this fall, said to be due to the fact farmers and workers have been busy gathering crops.

The gas pressure was very low Monday night. In some parts of the city, stoves would not light at all for several hours. The new gas supply is not promised before November 15, although officials hold out hope that the new line to Oklahoma might be finished before that time.

Fire Department's horse falls into ditch

Henry, the big gray horse of the Fire Department, fell into a ditch dug for a sewer connection across South Locust Street Thursday night while being exercised by driver Woods, and it required a fire alarm calling out the department to secure the help necessary to remove the animal from the excavation, which was four or five feet deep. The horse stumbled and fell, alighting on his back in such a position in which he could hardly move. The department members and others succeeded after considerable hard work in getting the animal out with no injuries beyond bruises and scratches. Chief Clarence Smith was painfully bruised in the work.

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75 Years Ago
From October 1942

Glider training begins as another airport planned

That's a busy place out at the municipal airport northeast of Denton, with the aviation students of the 25th Army Air Forces Glider Training Detachment carrying on an intensive program of training. The field is under lease to the Harte Glider School and it's a continuous cycle of planes taking off, circling the field and gliding to a landing.

The reason no planes are seen over the city itself is that it is out-of-bounds for the flights. All their practice is done within a marked area in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

The recently announced funds in excess of a half a million dollars earmarked for Denton airport improvements will not go to this field. A new Army airfield planned west of Denton faces a problem with drainage. It will also be necessary to hard-surface some runways before others can be sodded and made ready for use. What final action the War Department will take is not yet known.

Noted actor Maurice Evans at TSCW tonight

Maurice Evans, a distinguished actor, whose Shakespearean characterizations have won him acclaim both in his native England and the United States, will be presented in lecture-recital tonight at 8:15 in the TSCW main auditorium. This is the third attraction on this year's Concert and Drama Series.

Ad: Where Are Those Junk Cars? If you own an automobile that for any reason has ceased to be transportation, our soldiers in Australia, in England, and on the deserts of North Africa want it. No! They don't want old jalopies for joy riding, but they need tanks and guns, and these can't be made without scrap metal. The War Production Board wants a record of every old car in Texas that is no longer serving a useful purpose. If you have one yourself or know where one is located, fill in the form, mail it to this newspaper and a WPB inspector will contact the owner and get the car headed for a junk yard.

50 Years Ago
From October 1967

Santa Fe to cut passenger service

The Santa Fe Railway announced Wednesday it proposes to discontinue all passenger service except for a few name trains. The move would sever all railway passenger service at Denton.

"With the loss of mail revenue from passenger trains, and faced with a sharply declining trend in passenger travel, there was only one course of action left open," said John S. Reed, president of Santa Fe Railway.

Denton's Santa Fe relief agent, L.E. Woods, said "We have a pretty good revenue on passenger service out of Denton, especially during Christmas season and holidays.

"This would be a pretty good loss to the City of Denton."

The other two remaining railways which run through Denton are the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and the Texas & Pacific Railroad. Neither have passenger service here.

Free parking downtown as meters removed

You can leave your pennies and nickels at home; free parking downtown will begin today in most areas. City of Denton employees began dismantling parking meters this morning.

The City Council adopted an ordinance which suspends the use of meters in the downtown area through next May on a trial basis as requested by the Chamber of Commerce. Meters will continue to be used on the Trade Square and at North Texas State University.

City employees are taking mechanisms out of the meter heads and leaving the shell atop the posts. Green stickers will be pasted around the meter heads to tell motorists the meters are no longer in use.

The sticker also warns that the area is limited to two-hour free parking and the overtime parking fine is $2.

Police Chief Wayne Autrey said that patrolman Carl Castleberry will mark cars with a chalk device and tag violators of the two-hour limit.

25 Years Ago
From October 1992

Hundreds in county welcome Perot's re-entry in race

Hundreds of Denton County volunteers are at the disposal of Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot in his bid for president, says Pete Hammerle, the county coordinator for United We Stand, Mr. Perot's campaign organization.

Mr. Perot announced his dramatic re-entry in the presidential race Thursday in Dallas, adding a new dimension of uncertainty to an already unpredictable election year.

The announcement came just 34 days before the election and 11 weeks after he announced he would not run.

"I would say we've got hundreds," says Mr. Hammerle. "We've got new people joining all the time."

Dropping out July 16 kept Mr. Perot from the negative glare of publicity for the past two months and allowed him to organize his campaign, according to Mr. Hammerle.

While building his fortune in business, Mr. Perot frequently dabbled in politics, not as a candidate but as a patron, using his money to gain access and influence.

Alliance Airport, on the Tarrant-Denton County line, for example, was built on Perot-owned land with some $200 million in government cash and tax breaks after intense lobbying of federal and Texas officials.

Some pundits have guessed Mr. Perot is in the race to influence the election in favor of Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, but Mr. Hammerle said he believed Mr. Perot really wants the job.

"He's going to be a third choice, and it's going to be a business choice, and it's going to be very much a business choice for voters.

"I still believe he has something to offer."

— 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.