Confederate monument

The figure of a soldier tops the Denton County Confederate Soldier Memorial, shown earlier this year. The monument, erected in 1918, still stands today on the Courthouse on the Square lawn — though not without some controversy.

100 Years Ago

From June 1918

Confederate monument dedicated in Denton

Monday was a big day in Denton and marked an epoch in the city’s and county’s history — a culmination of long years of work for the cause commemorating the deeds and sacrifices of Denton County patriots during the days of ’61. It was a fitting recognition to the veterans of the gray and a fitting observance of the natal day of the South’s great leader — Jefferson Davis.

The Hon. Alvin C. Owsley introduced former Senator James R. Wiley as an eminent public servant and a true son of the South. Senator Wiley declared it fitting that the monument to the Confederacy should be placed where it was on a spot made sacred by the feet of Denton County boys who had drilled there and by the feet of those who had left the courthouse for the nation’s call.

The speaker briefly reviewed the causes of the war, showing that it was not slavery which was the real issue — that the real cause was states’ rights.

“I don’t want to be understood as defending slavery,” Senator Wiley said. “But I do want to be understood to say that these were true-hearted men who were supported by words written and embedded in the Constitution of the United States.”

Acceptance by the city was made by City Attorney H.R. Wilson. County Judge Fred M. Bottorff accepted for the county.

The statue was draped in Old Glory and the Stars and Bars. As these were released showers of red, white and blue confetti fell over the figure.

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Alien German women not yet registered

No alien German women were registered at the local post office during Monday, and only one inquiry was had. It is expected that very few women will register as there are few unnaturalized Germans in this section.

During the period June 17 to June 26, all German females above fourteen years of age are required to register or be subject to severe penalties. Affidavits giving much of the personal history of the registrant must be filed, together with recent photographs. Fingerprints are taken and other means of identification established.

75 Years Ago

From June 1943

Beans canned for Denton public schools

Some 75 members of PTAs in Denton canned 1,087 quarts of beans for use in Denton public school lunch room projects next fall in the community canning plant Tuesday. This is the second canning of beans for the schools, the first netting 892 quarts.

The beans were canned Tuesday from the 35 bushels picked in the school victory garden Monday afternoon by about 50 persons including representatives of the three schools, the Texas Defense Guard, students from TSCW (Texas State College for Women) and others.

A number of students from the junior and senior high schools and PTA members snapped beans Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Beans will be picked next Monday afternoon at 5:30. Supt. R.C. Patterson urged as many as possible to assist.

The plant is a rock building at the corner of Avenue B and Highland Street. Residents of Denton and Denton County may use the equipment for free. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the plant is supported by federal funds under the rural war production training program.

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Many furloughed men at USO Center

Some 300 men per day are using the facilities of the local USO Center, G.E. Berthelon, director, estimated.

Berthelon pointed out that men from Sheppard Field at Wichita Falls in large numbers use the USO Center facilities during the week, as much, if not more than men from Camp Howze at Gainesville. A staggered training schedule at Sheppard Field is probably responsible for the weekday visitors.

In a prominent spot at the center is a large cookie jar made by Miss Norma Sederholm, with material furnished by the TSCW art department. An appeal is now being made by Miss Virginia Hicks, assistant director, for some 50 women to provide two dozen cookies each weekend for the cookie jar.

Women who will contribute cookies, either homemade or bakery, are asked to contact Mrs. R.W. Bass, chairman of the refreshment committee.

50 Years Ago

From June 1968

Locals concerned for future as RFK killed

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, shot minutes after his victory in the California primary, has died. Kennedy, 42, never regained consciousness after a burst of revolver fire sent a bullet plunging into his brain.

Dentonites expressed shock and concern over the future of the United States in the wake of the shooting.

Dr. J.C. Mathews, president of North Texas State University, said, “It is of course a very tragic thing. This is not the way for us to conduct ourselves as a nation.”

W.C. Orr, president of First State Bank, said, “It’s just a thing that’s hard to believe. It worries me from the standpoint of what can happen in this country now.”

County Judge W.K. Baldridge added, “I think the most terrible aspect is the continuing trend of some people to engage in violent acts against persons in authority or prominence.”

Mrs. Ralph Dowden of W. Sycamore St. said, “I feel great horror about this, that it can happen in this country. It is terrible that a thing like this can happen to any good, outstanding leader.”

Several persons contacted had not yet heard the news and were shocked and speechless when told.

25 Years Ago

From June 1993

Sheriff and residents meet after jailbreak

Sheriff Weldon Lucas agreed Monday evening to ask county commissioners for a warning siren that would alert residents when an inmate escapes from the jail.

The agreement came during 90 minutes of questioning at a meeting in the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.

Most of the talk focused on jail security in the wake of a June 1 escape, the third jailbreak this year.

“I was scared to death,” one resident said.

“Yes, you should have been scared,” Sheriff Lucas replied. “We did not do the best job of keeping them in.”

But the sheriff said escapes are inevitable and that overcrowding at the jail made attempts even more likely and that it was a mistake to try to house so many inmates in the jail before the escape.

Residents said it was difficult to predict what a cornered inmate might do to gain leverage.

“A criminal doesn’t make good choices,” one said. “That’s why they’re in jail.”

Addressing concerns regarding the opening next year of the Tomas Rivera Elementary School, which will be less than a mile from the jail, Sheriff Lucas said the department has made plans to inform school officials whenever an inmate has escaped.

— 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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