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Marker honors city’s heritage

Denton’s rich heritage will be recognized yet again today when the James Newton and Eva Tabor Rayzor House receives an official Texas Historical Marker.

The Texas Historical Commission has designated the structure, completed in 1909, as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, the highest honor the state bestows to structures for architectural integrity and historical associations.

A public dedication ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. at the home, located at 1003 W. Oak St.

The house is the latest in a long line of structures, houses and other landmarks in the county to be preserved and recognized for historical significance, and it is the third designation on Oak Street, which once was the central corridor of a neighborhood known as Silk Stocking Row.

“A lot of the well-to-do merchants and businessmen and leaders in town built houses on those streets; we’re very fortunate that street has been preserved with all those beautiful historic houses,” said Beth Stribling, chairwoman of the Denton County Historical Commission.

The narrative of the home was written by Salty and JoAnn Rishel, who sponsored the marker, working closely with the Rayzor family.

The narrative’s details include James Newton Rayzor’s 1866 move to Texas, where he settled with his family in Collin County. He eventually moved to Denton, and he and Tabor married in 1884. An active man in the community, Rayzor was involved in several businesses and community organizations. The Rayzors purchased the property on which their home would be built in 1906, and descendants owned the home until 1978.

One of those descendants, the oldest living grandchild, Lucile Rayzor Hutchinson, is scheduled to attend today’s ceremony and speak at the event. Hutchinson said the historical designation for the home means a great deal to her and likely would to her grandparents, as well.

“One thing I will say in my talk is they had the foresight to invest in Denton. They knew it was the community they wanted to settle,” Hutchinson said. “It was not only a viable community, but there would be growth there. I think that their choice was very good.”

The home built by James Newton Rayzor and his wife, Eva Tabor Rayzor, more than a century ago is not only beautiful but also historically significant, and we applaud its designation by the state as a local landmark. The status comes with a measure of protection for the structure’s preservation, which is richly deserved.

The designation should help guarantee that the house will retain its rightful place in local history and will long stand as a tribute to the confidence and sense of community felt by those who built it and those who have worked through the years to ensure its survival.