It is rumored that the last shot of the Civil War was fired in Fannin County in 1871 and Lewis Peacock of the now famous Lee-Peacock feud was the target of that shot, which took his life.
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Wednesday’s column shared some of the remembrances of Tom Anderson, who at one time wrote down everything he remembered about early Denison.
Tom Anderson was an early-day Denisonian. He wasn’t as early as Dr. Acheson, Col. McDougall and a few more of our founding fathers, but he was born in 1904 and died in 1983. He had a phenomenal memory and knew stories about the town from even before he was born. At one point in his life, he wrote down memories of the downtown area, people he remembered and shared the written words with his niece Betty Brodie of Dallas.
World War I was a long time ago and survivors, if there were any, would be few. I just learned of a story about a World War I private that spent his last years in Denison and is buried in Fairview Cemetery.
I never thought, even when I was in high school, that I would be doing something like “tweeting.” I’m still not sure that I will figure out the use for it, but I signed up for a Twitter account recently and I’m going to try.
During my lifetime I have heard about a lot of “old wives’ tales” that I guess you might consider superstitions. I’ve never thought of myself as superstitious, but one day while driving home, I turned the corner at Main and Houston and a black cat ran across the street in front of me. I almost slammed on the brakes to turn around and take a different route home.
A pastime of many people today seems to be “eating out.” If you don’t believe me, try walking in and being seated immediately on a Friday night in most any restaurant in Denison or Sherman.
The weather seems to dictate our lives now days. First we spent our Memorial Day with more than six inches of rain, then we went without the needed moisture for several weeks.
Whatever happened to the old characters that once made the history of this area so colorful? A few this writer remembers, but Claud Easterly, who went to work at The Denison Herald in 1925 with a salary of nothing and retired in 1972 as editor, wrote stories about and knew many of these interesting people personally.
Last week, I received an email from Ross Stoddard III, an attorney-mediator at Williams Square in Las Colinas, concerning a picture of his father’s seventh grade class of 1932-1933 at Central Ward School. He had seen the picture, along with an article that I had written, on the Denison Alumni Association website. Ross III is a distinguished alumni.
A recent column talked about a Black teacher, Clara Franklin Williams, who in 1878 had just resigned as teacher of Denison’s only school for African Americans to move to Waco with her new husband, George Franklin. George owned a barber shop there. Today’s column talks about the remaining 67 years of her life until she died in 1945 at the age of 89.
Two Denisonians were honored Tuesday afternoon at a celebration at Southeastern Oklahoma State University when a Ruth Lance Wester and Jackie Mayor Scholarship endowment was announced.
As early as Denison had school teachers, we heard of Alice McLean, Allie George, Mary Moore and Jennie Jackson, all whom were maiden ladies who taught in early schools for white students. But I recently learned, thanks to Jim Sears, that the African-American students also had a teacher, Clara Belle Williams, from 1875 through 1887, and according to what we’ve read, she was a good teacher.
Anyone who makes a trip across the country knows how many familiar names of towns, rivers, roads, etc., there are from state to state.
Thirty years ago in 1985 while attending a conference of Texas Press Women in Wichita Falls I heard a rumor that, with a little investigating, turned out to be a pretty good story.
Wednesday I wrote about where many of Denison’s street names got their names . Most of them came from officials with the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the founder of the town. Most of the others were early leaders in the actual beginning of Denison. We ran out of room Wednesday, so today we will continue the list as far as we have been able to learn.
Back in 1985 and possibly again sometime later, I wrote a column about where Denison streets got their names. This might be a good time to rewrite some of that information for the benefit of younger Denisonians who now are adults and for newcomers to our city.
Every day we read or hear stories with tragic endings. So many that we become almost unconcerned of the fact that lives are lost. Then one day, a tragedy takes place that comes close to home and hits you in the heart.
About 30 years ago when I was taking a sociology course at Grayson County College our instructor, Helen Leatherwood, told the class that we would be surprised if we took time each morning to open our eyes and look around on the way to work or to school.
While working on my never-ending project of reorganizing my little home office recently I found a chronology of the history of Grayson County. If I have written about it previously, it was a long time ago and locals may be like me and forget such information. Newcomers might like to know what’s been going on in Grayson County since about 1858 when the Butterfield Stage Line crossed Red River at Colbert’s Ferry into Texas. That’s a long first paragraph and I like shorter sentences.
Recently in this column we wrote about the first babies born in Denison . Today we are going to talk about Katy’s child. We’re talking about the Katy Railroad’s baby and its name is Denison.
In 1967, Claud Easterly, then editor of The Denison Herald, answered many questions of “Who were the first boy and girl born in Denison?” with a story showing that Texana Denison McElvany was the first girl and Denison Nelson possibly was the first little boy. Both carried the name “Denison.” There was a baby named Sam Hanna born in Denison in 1872, but that was before the city had been chartered in April 1873.
A short item in the Look Back at History column that runs frequently in the Herald Democrat caught my eye a couple of weeks ago and answered a question I have wondered about for a number of years. It was the 50 year ago portion of the column.
Last week while prowling around in an antique store I found a copy of a book that looked interesting. The title of the book is “Texas…the way it used to be” and it was written by Bill McClanahan, a cartoonist for the Dallas Morning News. It was published in 1968 and wasn’t expensive, so I bought it just for the novelty of it.
We began talking about Lee Simmons in our Wednesday column with a promise that we would continue today with information about how he progressed in law enforcement to become general manager of the Texas Prison System.
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