I learned what it is to be 80 years old Saturday and it isn’t even time for my latest birthday for two more weeks. Thirteen members of the Class of 1953 at the old Denison High School gathered at the Southern Grill and Kitchen for a joint 80th birthday party representing 960 accumulative years of life for those attending.
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Today’s column is a continuation of tidbits of information from the Denison Daily News in 1873 and 1874 that I took Sunday’s column from. There are a lot more interesting items from the Backward Glance column that Rose Englutt took from those early newspapers. I will start with Oct. 8, 1873 as follows:
While searching for information I needed for a column I had planned for Sunday, I ran across a booklet titled “Denison, Rough & Rowdy but Progressive,” that had been put together by John Crawford for Grayson County Frontier Village.
A lot of us in Grayson County, as well as the surrounding area, were “hunkered down” as we listened to weather forecasters telling us a tornado was headed our way Mother’s Day afternoon and evening. Fortunately in this area there were no lives lost, no injuries reported and some trees were uprooted and a few buildings were damaged.
I frequently search through some of my collection of news stories and other memorabilia in my files and on a recent hunt I came across an undated article by Claud Easterly, my mentor and the former long-time editor of The Denison Herald.
My latest treasure regarding Denison’s history came from C.J. Ransom of Colleyville, arriving in the mail Friday in the form of a program of the dedication ceremony of the Denison Dam in 1944.
I spent several hours Sunday reminiscing my childhood as I thumbed through a five-year diary that began in 1948 when as best I can figure I was 13 years old. I know that because on June 7 that year I noted “I am now a teenager. Today is my birthday, I went to Bible School.”
In Denison’s earliest days, there were two main ways to enter from the east or from the south. From the east there was Paw Hill and from the south, along what now is Highway 91 or Texoma Parkway, was Breezy Hill. Both areas have played an important role in the establishment of the town.
Any idea what you have when you put 500 to 700 excited former high school classmates together in a new high school cafeteria with friends that some may not have been reunited with for many years? It happened in Denison Saturday and it was called a “Spring Fling.”
Since its beginning in 1872, Denison has had its share of outstanding business leaders in order to build the city as it is today. One such person who is rarely mentioned is William B. Boss.
Since Hillary Clinton has announced that she is running for the nation’s top office, it brings to mind a column I wrote a number of years ago about her the connection her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton has with Grayson County.
This really isn’t a “Yesterday” column, but the happenings did take place 50 years ago. My husband and I have observed a 50th wedding anniversary at the end of last week and I have been thinking about all the things that took place about the time we said “I do” and spent out first year of married life.
The Oct. 4, 1925, issue of the Sunday Gazetteer in Denison carried a front page article about a brief visit by Jack Dempsey, champion prize fighter of the world. An article next to it told about The Denison News of September 9, 1877, reporting that the James Boys were in town. There was no connection between the two stories except that they were on the same newspaper front page.
Once upon a time there were two excursion boats on Lake Texoma. First was a wooden paddle wheel Wanderer that once was written up in Fortune Magazine. Second was the Idle Time, a steel excursion boat that was first on Lake of the Ozarks, then brought to Lake Texoma. Both made news in their time.
At one time the area around Denison was “cotton country.” Not only did we have the largest cotton mill this side of the Mississippi, but almost every farm in Grayson County had fields of cotton. Cotton gins were numerous and most every smaller town in the county had one.
In discussing female fashions of Denison’s earliest days in last Sunday’s Yesterday column, we also talked about an appearance on Main Street 40 years earlier of a young woman who attracted a lot of attention because of the way she was dressed. We all know her as the famous Belle Starr, who walked along Main Street dressed appropriately as a cowgirl.
Women in Denison are lucky today that a certain ordinance concerning misdemeanors written by the City Council shortly after Denison received its charter in 1873 is no longer observed today. Otherwise a lot of us could find ourselves in jail at hard labor.
Those of us who have lived in Denison for any length of time are aware that the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad actually founded our town. Several years ago when it merged with the Union Pacific Railroad, Denisonians were devastated when long-time employees moved from town to keep their jobs and many retired or changed from being Katy employes to become UP workers.
Last Sunday’s column about the brick, “Don’t Spit on Sidewalk” being returned to Denison City Hall 40 years after it was taken as a souvenir of a visit to Denison prompted a message to me that is similar, yet in a little shorter span of time.
A young man named Joshua West rode into this area in 1845, 27 years before Denison was established. There already was a need for law enforcement in the newly formed Grayson County.
I have heard of letters or cards being delivered many years after they were mailed, but a blog on the Internet took a very different twist recently involving a package from a Dr. Kim Roberts in Salt Lake City to the city of Denison.
Last week I attended a meeting and heard a review of the book, “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less).” The review brought back a lot of memories.
Lee “Red” Hall, our illustrious deputy sheriff at the time, stood with gun in hand defying the Denison police authority to place him under arrest one evening in September, 1879, according to a 1929 article in Judge M.M. Scholl’s monthly publication, “Historic Denison.”
In the late 1800s and early 1900s most towns the size of Denison had a wagon yard. A lot of people know what a wagon is and they know what a yard is. But if you put the two together it has a totally different meaning.
I spent all of Sunday afternoon looking for a plastic bag filled with treasures that my mother had kept in her cedar chest from the time that she was a child. Every year when Valentine’s Day approaches I get them out and display in a tray in my living room.
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