Dallas may have a “West End,” but at one time Denison had one too. And yes, it was in the west part of Denison.
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I just learned that a former Denisonians who graduated from Denison High School in 1921 is discussed in a best-selling book in 1942 that inspired a 1945 movie staring John Wayne.
In Wednesday’s “Yesterday” column, a writer in 2006 had asked if the old Sand Springs/Waterloo cave still was on the bluff. The writer, Tom Kellough, had visited Denison for a class reunion and thought about, but didn’t, hike to the cave, where as a youngster, he and a friend had played. I had surmised that the cave was gone. Boy, was I wrong.
After writing a series of three articles on an event that took place in Kentucky Town, I was wondering what I could write about that people of Grayson County would find interesting. Usually, when I get to this point, something comes up about Denison’s earliest days.
The seven men were hanged by a self-designated posse for the attempted robbery and unsuccessful hanging of a farmer in the area after three tries. An account of the robbers being captured was given in the first column and of them being hanged was covered in the second column. Today we will talk about the aftermath of the hangings.
In Sunday’s column the attempted robbery of a farm family that resulted in the husband’s near death at the hands of the robbers when they tried to hang him three times and failed, led to the capture of the wood-be robbers by the home guard a few nights later.
A town first called Ann Eliza that is 25 years older than Whitewright and Tom Bean, the towns to the east and the west, is the area of a crime in 1864 that this writer wasn’t aware of until this week. That community now is known as Kentuckytown, the townsite of which was laid out in 1852, six years after the founding Sherman and 20 years before Denison was settled.
Once a year the Old Settlers Association of Grayson County meets to plan the distribution of funds earned during the past year. These board members aren’t among the original old settlers, but they do have an interest in Grayson County and want to do what’s best for the groups who receive their funds.
I received an email this week about a “True West” magazine cover picture of Olive Ann Oatman Fairchild, who will be remembered as the lady with a blue tattoo on her chin, put there by Indians who massacred her parents.
You might be interested to know that the seven story Hotel Denison (now an apartment complex that stands at the corner of Chestnut Street and Barnett Avenue in Denison) is the third hotel for Denison to stand on that spot.
Very often someone will ask me what I know about Jesse James spending time in Denison. A lot of rumors and some factual information have been recorded about his appearance here.
It’s a sure thing that when the Denison city physician delivered a baby boy on Oct. 14, 1890, to a couple who had only lived in Denison a short time, he had no idea that his name would be attached to a future president of the United States.
There probably isn’t a person in Denison who doesn’t know whose birthday the town has been celebrating this past week. There were all kinds of things last weekend and yesterday to honor the person born here 124 years ago. But I probably wouldn’t have thought about writing a column about it, except that I was asked to mention it and give a short talk about it at the Grayson County Historical Society meeting last night.
“It’s Great to be a Yellow Jacket!” was the sentiment expressed Thursday night when the Denison Alumni Association honored the 1984 Denison Yellow Jacket Football Team by inducting the entire team and their coaches, headed by Marty Criswell, into the Denison High School Sports Hall of Fame.
We read, during the last several days, about the Texan who scaled the fence around the White House and actually made his way pretty far inside before being stopped.
Had a popular Denison street not undergone a name change in the town’s earliest days, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church would not have been at the corner of Rusk Avenue and Sears Street. It would have been at the corner of Rusk Avenue and Leon Street, yet at the exact location where it is undergoing renovations today.
When I returned from my recent trip to South Carolina and Georgia, I brought home a souvenir that I would have preferred to have left in behind. The day after our conference ended in Greenville, I began feeling ill about the time I arrived at my granddaughter’s house near Atlanta for a short visit.
When little Annie Laurie Williams was a student at Peabody Elementary School in Denison shortly after the turn of 20th century she sat at her desk and dreamed of someday being an actress and seeing her name up in lights.
Today it’s not unusual to find a woman in a leadership role in a company, a city, a county, a state or even the national government. Women have been told for many years that they can do anything they set their minds to do. Today they believe it.
I read recently of the death of Billie Letts on Aug. 2 in an Oklahoma City hospital after a brief illness. Billie was a former Southeastern Oklahoma State University English and creative writing professor whose book, “Where the Heart Is,” was made into a movie by 20th Century Fox starring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing and Joan Curak.
Denison got its first school building in 1874. Forty years later in 1914 that school building was replaced with the one we all know as the “old high school building on Main Street”. This year, 2014, Denison high school students will begin the new school year in a brand new, state of the art building. Is that a coincident or what?
One of Denison’s early characters, Mort MJ. Scholl, who called himself a historian in the 1929 edition of a little tabloid-sizes “Historic Denison” newspaper, had some pretty good stories in his monthly paper that sold for $1 a year and was officed upstairs at 221 West Main.
Only twice in my life did someone actually let me know that they wanted my job. There have been times that I would gladly grant them that wish, but fortunately, I never did.
Newcomers to this area and sometimes those who have been around a few years occasionally ask about and are surprised that a Prisoner of War Camp was located just west of the Denison Dam beyond the present spillway area at the end of World War II. The camp was built to house 150 prisoners.
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