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In this undated photo, two horse-drawn hearses are shown in front of the old Schmitz Funeral Home in Denton. In 1969, the funeral home permanently loaned the hearses, as well as a motor-driven hearse, to the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum at Fair Park in Dallas.

100 Years Ago

From May 1919

Alliance Ice building large swimming pool

Work begins Monday on a swimming pool, costing about $5,000 and having a capacity for a large number of people, it was announced by J. Fred Rayzor of the Alliance Ice Co. The pool is to be built on the lot just west of the ice factory and will be supplied by the surplus water from the factory’s deep well. It will be made of concrete with dimensions of 100 by 60 feet.

The pool will be modern in all respects and will have bath houses which will entirely surround it. The well will furnish a live stream of 225,000 gallons of water per day; the depth of the pool will range from two to ten feet.

Mr. Rayzor said he expected the natatorium to be completed and ready for use June 1 or June 15 at the latest. After the season opens a number of entertainments will be provided and special days for groups will be set aside. A contest for the best name submitted for the pool is now on, ending Monday. The winner will be given a season ticket to the pool.

Note: “Cascade Plunge” was the winning entry.

Electric fire whistle likely for Denton

Denton will probably install an electric fire whistle to replace the steam whistle which has been used for many years to call the firemen out when an alarm is turned in. The installation of gas engines and the discarding of the boilers at the city’s power plant has deprived the city of any means of sounding an alarm that the firemen working in various parts of town can hear.

The question of buying an electric siren to place at the power plant was being considered by Mayor Beyette during his term of office, and Mayor Hennen said Thursday that probably some arrangement will be made soon; the city commission may consider this matter at the meeting Friday night.

Air squadron and tank here for bond campaign

A flying squadron and a whippet tank will support a talk by Congressman Finley H. Gray here Monday in the Victory Liberty bond campaign. The planes are scheduled to be at the landing ground in the northwest part of the city. They will drop literature over the city advertising the loan, and it was announced that prizes will be given those persons who find certain pieces of the literature that are dropped.

Bond drive chairman J.R. Atchley announced that subscriptions amounting to $1,000 were received through the mail Saturday.

Chairman Atchley announced, “We offer a medal made of captured German cannon to everyone who has bought or sold, or will buy or sell, $1,000 worth of bonds.”

After its appearance in Denton on Thursday, the whippet tank will be taken to Aubrey on Friday and will be shown there throughout the day, and on Saturday will be shown at Pilot Point.

75 Years Ago

From May 1944

County Democrats back FDR and Rayburn

The Denton County Democratic Presidential Convention, meeting Tuesday afternoon, instructed 45 delegates named to the State Democratic Convention in Austin May 23, to vote as a unit for the re-nomination of Franklin D. Roosevelt for president and for the nomination of Sam Rayburn for vice president.

A resolution was passed that in part said: “In this war our Allies are praying for the re-election of our commander-in-chief, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Germany and Japan are praying for his defeat. History has revealed that the American people have always deemed it safe, wise and expedient to retain a trusty, tried and experienced leader in times of great crisis.”

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TSCW cannery will open soon

The TSCW community canning plant, one of two canning centers to be operated this summer for the people of Denton under the sponsorship of the colleges and public schools of Denton as a part of the rural war food production program, will open about June 1 in the rural arts building. The other center is located on the Teachers College campus.

H.D. Roberts, vocational agriculture teacher at the Senior High School, will direct the work at both centers.

50 Years Ago

From May 1969

Jack Schmitz donates hearses to museum

The Southwestern Historical Wax Museum at State Fair Park is about to add three new exhibits to its collection.

The new additions will be on permanent loan from Denton’s Jack Schmitz and Son Funeral Home. The new exhibits are three hearses owned by the Schmitz family and are valued at $27,000.

The hearses have been in possession of the Schmitz family for as far back as 1880. The three are the remainder of a collection of seven that the family owned until World War II. The others were donated by the family to the scrap drive in the early part of the war.

The oldest of the three is a casket carriage. John B. Schmitz offered handmade caskets as part of his furniture business and used the carriage to carry caskets to the family of the deceased in the days when there were no funeral homes and the families took care of the burying.

The other horse-drawn hearse dates to 1898. It originally cost $3,500 and is now valued at $10,000. It is the customary black but is ornately carved and has full length windows with the original black curtains and silver urns that came with it.

The third hearse is a motor driven one from 1923. It is off-white in color and is ornately carved oak on the outside. The interior is solid mahogany and it has the unique feature of a flower tray above the casket area.

Southeast Denton streets due for paving

Robert Pearce, Denton’s city engineer, and his staff are now in the process of drawing specifications on the Southeast Denton paving project. He said construction could start as soon as this summer.

“Within 90 days, they [the contractor awarded the bid] should be started. Then, they will have nine months to complete the work,” Pearce said.

About 5 1/2 miles of paving, around 24 streets, are involved in the largest single paving project the city has undertaken.

25 Years Ago

From May 1994

Former VP pushes book during Lewisville stop

If Thursday could have been Election Day 1996, former Vice President Dan Quayle would have carried the vote from Vista Ridge Mall.

Hundreds of Quayle supporters and fans crowded Center Court to catch a glimpse of former President George Bush’s wing man as he signed copies of his autobiography, Standing Firm.

The mall’s Family Bookstore sold between 600 and 700 copies of the $25 book in less than two hours Thursday, and many visitors bought four, five and six copies.

The book details Quayle’s rise from the Senate to the vice presidency and highlights his accomplishments during the Bush administration.

Mr. Quayle, who endured the local press with a smile, said the book is the ideal avenue to tell his story and test the waters for future political endeavors.

“I wanted the American people to know the real story about Dan Quayle, the unvarnished version,” said Mr. Quayle after the book signings, adding that he had yet to decide about running for president, but added, “I’ve had a lot of support and encouragement today.”

— 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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