From time to time I run across items about Denison that are too short for a column, but interesting information about the early town. I have accumulated several and when they are put together, they make a pretty good story.

From time to time I run across items about Denison that are too short for a column, but interesting information about the early town. I have accumulated several and when they are put together, they make a pretty good story.


One article appeared in the 1916 Yellow Jacket annual from Denison High School. It is a full page advertisement, so it must have been a popular place in those days.


I had never heard of Denison Deer Park Swimming and Bathing Pool.


The pool had all the modern conveniences, including shower baths, electric lights and a gravel bottom. It was located at RFD Route No. 4, one mile west of the city on a good road, according to the ad. You could take a single bath for a dime and a round trip conveyance and bath for 25 cents. I’m assuming here that transportation was available to get you there and back home again. A season’s privilege would cost you $5 and a dozen swims could be purchased for $1.


F.H. Tempelmeyer was proprietor. I would love to hear more about Deer Park Pool if anyone knows more about it.


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Another item was published in the Dallas Morning News on Jan. 23, 1938, and was a special to the News datelined Denison, January 22. It seems that 300 crape myrtle trees had been planted in Denison by the beautification committee of the Garden Club. Miss Jennie Jackson was chairman. The last hundred were distributed from the Jackson home to citizens, carrying out the slogan of a crape myrtle tree for every yard in Denison.


The article said that if the plan of the committee matured, Denison might become known as the city of the crape myrtle, in addition to the name already established - the City of Roses.


Now that "City of Roses" Moniker is a new one to me and I thought Tyler had that name all sewn up. However, there are still hundreds of crape myrtle trees around Denison and the "City of Crape myrtles" might still have a chance of materializing here. I even have five of them in my yard.


Keith Hubbard Sr., who headed a daffodil distribution in Denison 15 or more years ago, also had a hand in a few crape myrtles, including some at Eisenhower Birthplace. He and members of the "I Like Ike" Friends Group acquired a lot of young trees from a nursery that was no longer in operation and planted them in back of the Red Store building at the birthplace.


Miss Jennie Jackson will be remembered as the Denison school teacher who rocked a very young Dwight David Eisenhower on the front porch of her home near where the Eisenhower family lived when Ike was born. After he became well known, she wrote to him, starting the events that led up to establishing his birthplace as a state historical site. It now is operated by the Texas Historical Commission.


It’s funny how what goes around, comes back around.


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Another item appeared in the Dec. 17, 1913, Denison newspaper headlined "Fog and Red Lanterns Produced Wierd Effect." Spelling here is as it was published.


The story goes that because the storm sewers at the corner of Houston Avenue and Main Street were not large enough to carry off the water after a heavy rain, city officials had once again found it necessary to "operate on the thoroughfare and again amputate a few bricks from the rugged surface of the street."


The story continues, "From one of the holes, which are very prominent at night time because of the multitudinous array of red lanterns hanging around it to warn the passing drivers of vehicles that it contains length, breadth and depth, there was issuing a cloud of steam last night, caused from hot water that came from a locomotive standing near the station, and the red lights through the vaporous mists produced a rather weird (there’s that word again) effect when viewed from the distance."


The story goes on to tell about a youth and a young lady passing the place where the "post mortem investigations" were being conducted and they noticed the colored effects discussed above. The young lady said "Goodness me, what is that?" pointing to the weird light of the lanterns through the cloud of steam.


The young man answered after observing the spectacle, "that looks like a part of hades has broken through the street, doesn’t it."


"Well," the girl confessed. "I don’t know just exactly what that would look like, but I’m pretty sure if it broke loose anywhere in town it would likely be in this neighborhood"


Advertisements prominent on the page with the story were Tony’s Palm Garden, Gate City Laundry, Home Steam Bakery, Fred Sherburne the Shoe Maker and C.J. O’Maley, who warned "Don’t let a smooth talk interfere with your judgment. If you want a diamond, you naturally want the best for the money. Use judgment. Get prices from others. Come to us last, and then decide.


Donna Hunt is former editor of The Denison Herald. She lives in Denison and can be contacted at d.hunt_903@yahoo.com.