Nike Missile Base

A 1964 photograph shows an aerial view of the Nike Missile Base in Denton. The facility was shuttered in 1969.

100 Years Ago

From August 1918

Love Field aviators entertained at Denton

Love Field aviators are once again landing in Denton, as the community hosted many flyers.

From the moment that the first of thirteen planes bearing twice as many aviators from Love Field landed on the local aviation grounds Saturday evening until the last had risen for the return Sunday morning, Denton citizens considered the aviators their special guests and treated them accordingly. A full evening had been planned for the visitors and this was carried out as per schedule.

Immediately upon arrival of the aviators under the command of Lt. Sam B. Rayzor of this city, they were taken to the J.N. Rayzor home on West Oak Street which was the scene of the evening’s entertainment. There they were welcomed by the reception committee of Mmes. Rayzor, Owsley, Coit, Garrison and Edmonson and were shown their places at the dinner table by Mmes. P. Lipscomb, Poole, H.F. Schweer and Fred Rayzor. One long table was arranged in the dining room and living room. The menu, the material voluntarily contributed by citizens, consisted of fruit cocktail, fried chicken, cream gravy, potatoes au gratin, peas, hot biscuits, ice tea, tomato salad, peach ice cream, and cake.

After the dinner the guests were tendered a smoker by the Chamber of Commerce, and then were seated on the lawn where a short program of song and speeches was given.

The evening’s conclusion was a watermelon feast donated by local citizens and the watermelons chilled by the Alliance Ice Company.

Troop 1, Denton Boy Scouts, guarded the planes during the night and camped at the field.

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Lewisville fire a $200,000 loss

Lewisville suffered the greatest loss in its history Sunday night when fire was discovered in the rear of the old First National Bank building which was occupied by the B.B. Cafe. The flames spread with great rapidity until six brick business houses and their contents were a total loss.

The town had no fire-fighting apparatus and the citizens were handicapped in their valiant efforts to subdue the flames by the bucket brigade. Calls for help were sent to Dallas and Denton and both cities responded but were not able to render any effective service because the fittings on Lewisville’s hydrants were not standard and the apparatus from the other towns could not be used. Dallas sent a chemical engine which was used to good effect.

The loss may be $200,000, it is safe to say; in no case was the insurance more than fifty percent of the loss.

75 Years Ago

From August 1943

Denton USO program lauded

Miss Eleanor Wilson, in charge of women’s work for the YMCA-sponsored USO Centers, Friday echoed the expressions of other YMCA workers who have visited here, in being favorably impressed with the USO program and the cooperative spirit of the community, as well as the location and decoration of the building here.

She stated that it was especially creditable to “the community and to the USO program that men in service would come as far as they do to participate in the program.

“You offer the things here that our surveys have found that the men want,” she said. “They first ask for girls, then a variety program, competition in the programs and refreshments.”

In connection with refreshments, she said that the brown crock jar here, which will hold 54 dozen cookies, is the largest she has seen in USO Centers over the U.S. which she had visited for the past three years.

Also, in the contribution to the war effort, it was noted that 72 members of the Denton Senior High School Victory Corps have contributed 475 hours to helping with the war effort, time usually devoted to summer play. They have assisted at the Red Cross rooms at the Teachers College and TSCW, the two federally-aided nurseries for children of working mothers, the community canning centers and some Denton County farms. Franchon Long, daughter of Mrs. J.E. Long, was champion of the war workers, contributing 40 hours.

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Polio outbreak cancels park program

No directed recreational program will be carried out in City Park this summer, it was decided at a meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners Tuesday afternoon.

The conducting of such a program for children during the summer had been contemplated but was held in abeyance after the outbreak of infantile paralysis in the state. Under advice of health authorities, no program had been undertaken so far and it was decided to abandon the idea for this summer.

The wading pool in the park has been closed since early in the summer because of the polio situation.

50 Years Ago

From August 1968

Nike Missile Base to close

The Denton Nike Missile Base, Texas’ No. 1 National Guard unit for the past two years, is scheduled to become a memory on March 31, 1969.

The Pentagon announced that 23 Nike-Hercules missile sites would be closed along with seven headquarters units in an effort to cut spending.

The impact in Denton will be 91 full-time employees of the missile base will have their jobs eliminated — which means the loss of a $680,000 a year payroll.

The United States Army turned over the Denton base operations to the Texas Army National Guard in 1964. That move cut the annual cost by about $400,000. Fourteen men in the unit are remaining from the original group of 60 which started here in February of 1964.

The missiles, radars and other equipment will be turned into the Army through regular channels and the land the site is located on will be turned over to the General Services Administration if there is no further military use for it.

Bolivar to receive ‘namesake’ plaque

This tiny community will host dignitaries from all over the state Saturday, including one or more Venezuelan dignitaries, as a huge bronze plaque is placed near the town’s main street.

The plaque will be presented by the Venezuelan government as a tribute to the man for whom the town was indirectly named — Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan liberator.

Since Bolivar no longer maintains a post office, and since most official business is transacted in Sanger, Sanger officials will preside during the ceremony.

Bolivar — but for a mug of rum — might have been called New Prospect.

Records, according to Mrs. W.B. Chambers of Sanger, show the town was founded in 1852 by a man who settled there from Bolivar, Tenn. He wanted to name the community in honor of his hometown, but a preacher-doctor in the community, a Mr. Daley, insisted that it be named New Prospect.

An election was called. The Tennessean exchanged mugs of rum for votes; the settlement became known as Bolivar.

25 Years Ago

From August 1993

Sheriff Lucas again pushes for raise

Weldon Lucas

Lucas

Sheriff Weldon Lucas hopes to convince a 10-member salary grievance committee Wednesday that he should get a $10,000 raise.

The sheriff wants the extra money saying his responsibilities have doubled since he first decided to run for the job in 1992.

County commissioners rejected a similar request made last year while Mr. Lucas was still a candidate. The commissioners decided Aug. 18 that they could not stomach giving raises to themselves or other elected officials.

Lucas will ask that his salary be increased from $50,000 annually to $60,000 — a 20 percent increase. He also receives $4,800 a year in car allowance.

— 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.

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