Grayson County TXGenWeb
Denison Memories

Tom B. Anderson Remembers
Biography of the Anderson Family and How Well I Know Denison
August 1975

This is the history of my family as I know it. Written in the year 1975 A.D., parts of it told to me by my mother and father in years gone by and what I know of it on my own.
Howdy folk[s] and hope you can enjoy all or even a part of this. 

My name is Thomas Benjamin Anderson. I was born here in Denison, Texas, January 8th, 1904, at 229 West Monterey Street. I am the youngest child of six boys and two girls. Our last home place was at 1031 West Bullock Street, from 1911 to 1949. Our mother died in 1944, and our father died in 1949.
My home is at 622 North Chandler Avenue. I drew the plans for the home I live in, had it built, and moved into it on February the 1st, 1935. 

My Parents and Their Children
Now my father, Robert Lee Anderson, known all his life as "Bob", was born in Shelbina, Missouri, July the 12th, 1864. He came to Texas at the age of six years with his father, mother, three brothers, and two sisters in two covered wagons. He also was the youngest of six children. Denison was not here at that time, but they came through a little town known as Red River City, located one mile south of Red River at what is now the M.K.T and Frisco railroads. Neither of these railroads was here at that time. They traveled on to Dallas, Texas, where my Grandfather Anderson got a job hauling the red rock to build what is now the old courthouse, which one thinks of as a castle and which the city is contemplating tearing down, I guess to make way for progress.
They returned two years later, as talk was going around that a new town was being laid out south of Red River City, and my Grandfather Anderson wanted to be one of the first to be here if that was true. And it was. The new town was named "Denison", after a Mr. Denison, an eastern railroad man and financier. 
My grandparents moved into a two-story house with a dog trot through the lower floor. (A dog trot was an open space about twelve feet wide and the length of the house, for coolness.) It was located in a cotton field where the Saint Xavier's chapel and junior school is now. The location would be about 324 West Morton Street. 
My father remembered a log cabin located about what is now 527 West Gandy Street with a large oak tree in the one-way dirt road in front of it. The tree divided the road going on either side of it. This log cabin remains today with a house built around it . 

He also remembered well a log cabin of two rooms with a dog trot between them, way out in the country where he would go to hunt. These two log rooms are still there with a house built around them and are located at 1401 West Walker Street today. These log rooms have a basement under them, and this place was built as an Indian fort. The Carlat family lived in this house from 1918 to 1961, forty-three years. This place had a good spring [Miller Spring] just down the hill west, which was a good spring and also a good well for drinking water.
My father was a barefoot boy, standing in front of the first city lot sold in Denison, at 201 West Main Street. As time passed on, my grandmother kept boarders, and one man owned her $35.00 and told her he didn't have the money at that time, but would give her two deeds for two lots on Main Street. She would not accept them and said they would never amount to anything and she thought the town would not amount to anything either. The man finally paid her. These deeds turned out, in years to come, to be 315 and 317 Main Street or at this date and time to be K. Wolen's Store. 
My father was sent to a meat market just across the alley and avenue behind the National Bank, 230 West Main Street, which was a store at the time, to get some meat for breakfast. As he stepped off the wooden sidewalk to the alley, he fell over a dead man. Being just at daybreak, it frightened him so, he ran home without the meat.
As time went on, his oldest brother ran a dairy, and he worked for him and delivered milk to what was known then as the Nelson House, later to become the State National Bank, and the old building was torn down to build what is now [1975] there [since demolished and replaced by Nations Bank]. 
Then time went on, as years do, and he went to work for Mullens Grocery Store, 325 West Main Street, and I have a picture of him standing in front of this store with some other men. He was quite a young man then. At this time I own this building at 325 Main Street, the one I have the picture [of] with my father in it. 
By 1875, Red River City was all but gone. That vicinity was then known as Duck Creek for many years after that. That was the name of the little creek that ran along there and still does. A store was on the west side of the creek and road then and was known as the Duck Creek Store. It was there until 1956. In 1908, the river got so high the water came up to this little store. The store was operated by the McCoy family and last by their daughter, Neva McCoy. She worked also for years at the Waples-Platter Grocery Company.
Now about my mother. She was born in Shelbyville, Kentucky, Lucy Ann Bodkin, April 28th, 1867. She came to Denison on the railroad in 1879 at the age of twelve years. She came with her father, mother, three sisters, and six brothers. Mother was the fourth child.
My Grandfather Bodkin first bought land which is now the two square blocks from Hull Street to Monterey Street, from Mirick Avenue to Barrett Avenue. He built a house at 630 West Texas Street, which was located on just a dirt road, and the only house close to their house was a two-story brick stucco on a lot at 630 West Hull Street, the only part of the two blocks he did not buy. At this time the house is still there. The house at 630 West Texas was always known as the Old Home Place. It had four rooms with a lattice-covered walkway about ten feet long out to a separate room that was used for the kitchen. Besides my grandfather and grandmother living in it as their home, two of the boys and one of the girls lived in it as their home. In later years it was owned by this girl, Sadie Stanford, and used as a rent house and sold in the middle thirties.

Grandfather Bodkin gave all of his children a lot in this block, and these were all sold. My Aunt Sadie bought the Old Home Place from her mother and father around the year 1904. My Grandfather Bodkin had bought a farm around 1895, west of Denison where Loy Lake is and extending about a mile or more farther on out the road on both sides. This was known as the Old Eighty-Foot Road. About a mile or more beyond the lake is the last part of this land he owned. It is on the left side of the road, and you can still see the little log cabin which was their kitchen and dining room, and you can see how small it was. Then they had a wood-covered walkway from it to a living room and a bedroom, a large barn, smoke house, and a deep well of good water which was also used as a place to keep milk and butter. I have eaten many good meals in this little cabin! They lived on this farm until 1911, when my grandfather died. My grandmother went to live with my Aunt Sadie at 201 West Sears Street until her death in 1926. There was only one hundred and eighty acres left in the farm, and it was rented out until the early 1930s, when it was sold.
Well, my father and mother met and were married October 1st, 1884. Father was twenty years old, and Mother was seventeen. They had a family of six boys and two girls. Their names were as follows, from oldest to youngest: Geno Manard, Richard Deboe, Nettie Emagene, Robert William, Ray Alexander, Joe Marion, Daisy Marie, Thomas Benjamin. Geno had one daughter, Gevevieve. Richard had one girl, Dixie Ray, and two sons, James and Robert. Nettie had two children, Betty Jane and James. Joe had one son, Joe, Jr.
Around the year 1900, my father went to work for the M.K.T. ("Katy", as it became known as) Railroad. He was a fireman. Our brother William died when he was nine years old, but all [the rest] of us boys, at one time or another, worked also for the Katy Railroad. Geno was a brakeman; Richard (or "Dick", as we called him) was an air brake man; Ray worked for Kellogg's office in Parsons, Kansas; Joe was a car inspector; and I was with the freight department.
It seems we lived all over town in the early years. We lived in the 600 block Texas Street, on a lot given to my mother by her father. A small house was built on it by my father, only four rooms, and this is where my sister Nettie was born. This little house, in years gone by, was moved to the 1100 block South Scullin Avenue and is there as of today. 

Then we lived in a two-story house at what is now the entrance to Munson Park. Then [we moved] to a house in the 100 block East Walker Street - a long house fronting the street with dormer windows in the center of the house. This is where my brother Robert William (or Pete, as the family called him) died in 1903. This house is there today but is about to fall down. 
Then we moved to 229 West Monterey Street; this is where I was born. We lived there two or three years, then moved to 215 West Heron Street and lived there until 1911, when we moved to 1031 West Bullock Street. That was our last home place until our father died and that place was sold in 1949.
A Katy engine turned over at Greenville, Texas, and my father, being the fireman, was hurt, and that ended his railroad career. This was in 1913. He did other things as I will tell about later on, but the last thing he did was run a little grocery store at the homeplace for a number of years, until he retired in 1930. 

Memories of Denison
Now I will try to tell you all I can remember and know about Denison. I recall things that happened since I was about five or six years old. Many things that happened there is no use to try to tell about, as it is all kid stuff and does not matter.
I remember well Haley's Comet in 1910, it was truly something to see, it will appear again in 1986, or so says the World's Almanac.
I remember the first filling station in town, operated by W. E. Harris at 630 West Main Street. A little wooden building on an angle with the corner. He lived in a five-room house facing the avenue, on the alley.
I remember the big Campbell Grocery Store at 830 West Chestnut Street.
All the streets were either dirt or gravel. Main Street was the first paved with brick, and I helped my father haul the brick to pave the 600 block Main Street.
I remember a monument works was in the middle of the 600 block and was first located at 601 West Main Street. It was called Chamberlings Monuments.
I remember a lumber yard at 600 West Main Street which later became the Ford Motor Company, owned by H. E. Pearce.
Across Mirick Avenue at 530 West Main was the Brooks Tone Airdrone [sic], all open air and you sit on boards as bleacher seats. It was a rowdy little place, and at the time the main headline girl was Ruby Darby. This was when the chorus girls did what they called "Balling the Jack", quite entertaining to the menfolk, and that was about all there was there.
Across Main Street north of there was a large vacant lot or lots with a tent skating rink and a small art gallery (photographer). These vacant lots went to the three-story building that is still there, and this was the Brooks Tone Opera House.

The large building now on that corner, known as the Barrett Building or Drug Store, was built at first as our Y.M.C.A. and was later sold or taken over by the Praetorian Insurance Company. I could have bought it at one time for $17,000; this was about 1935 or '36. The Kraft Cheese Company bought it later and made an office building out of it. When Kraft left here, Barrett bought it, and I know of its selling to a California buyer for $120,000, and Barrett took it back. At this writing [1975], his widow still owns it.
At 508 and 510 Main Street was the Halton Undertaking Parlor, who later sold to John Swank. He sold to Short & Murry, and it is now Bratcher Funeral Home on Woodard Street. I, at one time, owned these two buildings, 508 and 510 Main Street, and sold them to Walter Jennings in about 1959 or 1960.
Across the street from Halton's was a picture show, 507 and 509 Main Street, and it did not have a top on it, it was an open air show.
The Denison Hotel was on the corner of 500 Main Street, and it burned in 1919.
At 501 Main was the Esler Paint Shop.
At 430 Main was Hickey and Whitten Undertakers. (Hickey in later years became my brother-in-law.)
At 431 Main was a drug store and confectionary.
At 424 Main (now the Rialto Theatre) was Mosse and Company Harness and Buggy Shop. The sidewalk was large white stones about 2 x 5 feet. There was a water well about where the front of the stage of the theatre is now. The water was fine, and I have had many good drinks from this well.
At 420 Main Street, upstairs, was the office of the Southwestern Telephone and Telegraph Company. The phone was then called the "new phone". Where the phone office is now was a vacant lot. The "old phone" office was upstairs across the alley behind the State National Bank.
At 425 Main was George Shields Undertaker.

At 410 and 412 was S. H. Kress and Company.
At 413 Main was the Aladdin (later the Rex) Theatre.
At 400 Main was the Palace Hotel, and [at] 401 and 403 was the Charles H. Jones Furniture Company.
At 328 and 330 was James Boyd Clothing Store.
At 331 was the big Security Building. The front part of the main entrance was the First State Bank. It was first built five stories high and was the tallest building in Texas. The entrance to the main building and elevator was on the side and toward the back. It was an office building of all sorts. The fifth floor was taken off before I was born, about 1900. They thought it might fall, as it was only fifty feet wide. It was cracked in time, and people thought it might fall down at any time and should be condemned. It was torn down in the fifties (1958 to be exact) and they could hardly knock it down with a crane and large iron ball.
We will go back to the 700 block Main Street. All the north side. This was where the first free school in Texas was built, and I have a picture of same. It was built long before I was born, but I remember seeing it. The school that stands there now was built in 1911 and opened in September 1912.
The Queen Theatre was the west half of the K. Wolens' Store at 315 Main. The east half of the store, 317 Main, was an eight-chair barber shop run by Louis Thayer.
At 309 Main was a confectionary known as "Tony's Palm Garden". This was the finest of its kind in the town. If you had a date or even with your wife, you had to go to Tony's.
Madden's Department Store was from 301 to 307 Main Street. [It was] a two-story building and was the largest store in town. The men's department of Madden's was 307 Main. This was closed and moved into the big building, and Esler Paint and Paper Store was there for several years, until closed and now occupied by Texas State Optical.
The State National Bank was and still is [1975] at 300 West Main Street, but the west twelve feet of the old building was an open-front fruit stand and confectionary run by the Balsano Brothers. Later this was the Cafe DeLuxe. One of our ex-mayors, Clarence Scott, ran it for awhile. The last ones to own it were Louis Boarey and Albert Linden. Then the bank took it over for enlargement.
The National Bank of Denison was at 230 Main Street, and Walter Hibbard was the president. He also owned the Denison Grocery Company.
At 231 Main Street was the Denison Bank and Trust Company. This building was three stories high and used for office space.
The McDougall Opera House was in the middle of the 200 block Main Street, on the north side, upstairs over the Reynolds and Tinsman drug stores and the U.S. Clothing Store. Later it was made into a dance hall. I have danced there a few times also.
At 204 Main was the Mackey Telegraph and Cable Company, and 212 was the Western Union Telegraph Company.
At 217 was Fred Marcus, Jeweler.
A five-cent picture show was at 210 Main Street, the Arcade.

A drug store was at 200 Main, and a grocery store was at 201 Main Street, Akers Grocery.
At 130 West Main Street was a picture show and vaudeville house, the Majestic.
At 128 was the Texas Traction Company or the Interurban Station. This electrical car ran to Dallas and Waco. These cars made their last run in January 1949. The station was last located at 100 West Woodard Street.
I can remember the Old Denison Opera House at 114 West Woodard Street where the Babcock office building is now. I remember and knew the two Babcock brothers, F. O. and J. E., when they opened their first store across the alley from the Madden's Department Store, in a very small building.
Stegar Lumber Company was at 131 West Woodard Street.
A coal and wood yard was at 231 West Woodard, where the post office is now. It was [then] across the avenue at 301 Woodard Street.
I remember in the 300 West Woodard Street, known as the Munson Block, when the post office was on the corner, Chris Waltz next, the Herald office next, the Denison Light and Power next, the City Water Company next, and the Y.M.C.A. and rooms in the three-story part.
A wagon yard, or to make this plain to young people, a wagon motel, was at 331 Woodard Street, where the Denison Herald is now.
I remember the large McCarthy home at 401 West Woodard Street, now a funeral home. I remember the Doctor Alex Acheson home on the complete 1400 block Woodard Street.
[I remember]:
When the St. Patrick Catholic Church burned in 1911.
When Dr. Booth lived at 501 [West] Crawford Street.
When the XXI Club was at 901 West Gandy Street.
When the big Charles H. Jones home was at 1103 West Sears Street.

I remember the John L. Higginson Livery Stable was at 300 West Woodard Street. For the young folk, this was a place where they kept horses and rented you a horse and buggy. It was later destroyed by fire. The Higginson house is still located at 1002 Morton Street.
The Elmer E. Davis Livery Stable was at 230 West Chestnut Street. There was a fire here one time, desroying some of the finest horses in town.
The G. A. Jones Hardware Co. was at 321 West Main Street. (I own this building and the one at 325 West Main Street also.)
[I remember] when the Old M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church South was at 430 West Chestnut Street.
[I remember] when my Uncle John Anderson owned a wagon yard at 431 West Chestnut Street.
I remember the big Vorwarts Hall (a German lodge) was at 400 West Chestnut Street. This at one time was used as the National Guard quarters.
[I remember] when the Crystal Ice Company was owned by Pat Tobin in the 100 block East Woodard Street. Pat Tobin was the engineer on the first train ever to come into Denison, Christmas night 1872; and his grandson was Tobin Williams, and he was the brakeman on the last passenger train to come into Denison from the north in July 1965.
I remember when the Diamond Ice Company was at 100 West Crawford Street and was owned by S. C. Knaur.
The Hall-Leeper Hardware Company was at 101 West Chestnut Street.
When Forest Park had a large ball park, the (T.O.) Texas-Oklahoma League started. Here is where Rogers Hornsby started his baseball career. Roy Finley, a lawyer, was the manager of this baseball club, and I saw Ty Cobb play ball here.
I remember when the John Holden Blacksmith Shop was at 204 West Chestnut Street. His son, Charles Holden, is still living and worked all his life with his father and continued with the shop after the death of his father. Charles retired in 1950. They shoed more horses and sharpened more plows than any blacksmith in North Texas. I don?t think there ever was a horse born that Charlie could not shoe. To the young folk, this was "have a horse shod".
I remember [that], from Acheson Street north to almost the Cotton Mill south, from Fannin Avenue on the east to the Frisco Railroad on the west, was the T. V. Munson nurseries.

I remember when the fire station was in the 300 block Chestnut Street, where the Chevrolet garage is, and horses were used to pull the wagons. They had a steam pump engine that was a thrill to see the horses run with, while the smoke poured out. On top of the station was a large bell. It could be heard all over town. It would signal the fire, then ring one at a time to signal the ward it was in, as l, 2, 3, etc.  John Cooper was the fire chief, and Don Freels was chief of the south side station at 114 West Texas Street.
I remember Forest Park well. A large colonial bandstand where a concert was held at least once a week. A spraying water fountain in a large fish pond, and a nice little zoo with quite a number of animals. I remember seeing and saying hello to William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) and Lucille Mulhall. They were here with the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Show in Forest Park. They were in the back seat of a big rubber-tired carriage with the top down. The seats faced each other, and [it was] pulled by two white horses. It was parked in front of the main entrance of Forest Park, waiting for the parade to start. I was with my father, and he talked to them awhile. That is when he [Buffalo Bill] said to me, "Hello, little boy, how are you?" This was in 1912, and I will remember it all my life. His white hair down to his shoulders, his mustache, and his goatee. He died in 1917 in Denver, Colorado, and was buried with his wife on top of Lookout Mountain. I have been to their graves several times.
I remember when a little streetcar ran from the Depot to the West End at 1500 West Bond Street and out to the Madonna (or, then, the City) Hospital.
I can remember when Randell Lake was built in 1910. I remember going out there with my father in a buggy.
I also remember Woodlake, about five or six miles south of Denison on the Interurban. This is where everyone went. It was a summer picnic place for all. You could swim [and] boat, and it had a large casino where you could dance and they had shows, they had tree and lawn swings and just about everything you wanted for entertainment. On Sundays they would run excursion cars to the lake, and everybody, almost, in town was there. It closed around 1920, or maybe a year or so sooner or later.
I can remember the Liberty Bell coming through Denison in 1915 from the World's Fair in San Francisco, California. In 1951, I went through Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I touched the bell then, as it was not encased in glass, and at the time it was on the main floor, just in front of the main rostrum.
I remember in 1919 when a woman was going with a married man of the State National Bank, and as she went up the steps of the bank, the man's wife met her on the steps and killed her by shooting her with a pistol. My brother, Joe, worked for John L. Swank, Undertaker, at this time and went down and picked up the body.
I remember when a fight started in a beer joint and Dale Ford ran out and was standing behind a telephone post, and one man shot at the other man and Dale was accidentally hit and killed. 
I remember when we had no traffic lights, and you could make a U-turn at any intersection on Main Street.
I remember seeing Jack Dempsey in an exposition fight with the Sells-Floto Circus here.
I remember when you could get a shave for 15 and a haircut for 25.

I remember when boarding houses were very popular and downtown dining rooms (Jaccard's and Rentz's, 200 and 100 blocks Main Street) were very popular. You would eat family style fine meals and all you could eat for 50.
I remember hay rides, when a flat-bottom wagon filled with hay took boys and girls for a ride on moonlight nights.
I remember when a couple got married, a crowd would charivari them, making noises with pans, horns, singing, etc.
I remember the first airplane to fly over Denison was in 1911. The pilot's name was Caliph Rogers, advertising Vim-Fizz, a grape soft drink.
I remember the old Edison phonograph with the cylinder-like record and the diamond needle, and the large metal horn swung by a brace and chain to produce the sound.
I remember mayors as far back as Flem Coleman; and I remember the law back to Oscar Poff, Boyd Craig, Upshaw, Dishner, Ira Jesse, Dee Burris, Billy Hughes, and others.
I remember bankers such as G. L. Blackford, Tom Foley, Walter Hibbard, Henry Etter, Ralph Geisenhorner, and a few more.
I knew a few lawyers also: Jeff Hassell, John Suggs, Roy Finley, Judge Pearson, Judge Howell, Saunders Freels, N. H. L. Decker, E. J. Smith, and a few more.
I knew a few railroad men, too: E. E. Hanna, Frank Grace, J. J. Gallagher, Charlie Birge, Dick Jones, R. S. King, Geo. Luckie, and J. P. Hayden working for the railroad. I could go on and on with this.
I helped build the Katy terminal, west of town, and walked from my home at 1031 West Bullock Street, to the terminal and back again in the evenings. I did this for $2.00 per day.
Most all old business men, doctors, and lawyers I have mentioned above and will mention below, are dead now. Here are a few business men I knew very well: W. A. Peck, Sidney Smith, Scott & Jennings, P. W. Burtis, Floyd Thompson, Tony Giarraputo, James Boyd, W. J. Green, C. D. Kingston, Dick Boyd, P. W. Tapp, Sidney Elkin, B. F. Bledsoe, L. B. Eastham, W. E. Willis, T. E. Lackey, D. Baker, F. H. Kohfeldt, Fred Marcus, Clifford Esler, E. E. Regensberger, J. F. Tinsman, J. W. Madden, Tom Dollarhide, Charles Harris, Nat Kinder, R. M. Noe, S. Harris, C. H. Crittenden, Charles H. Jones, A. G. Reynolds, B. J. Lindsey, Charles A. Johnson, J. P. Pollard, W. D. Collins, Luther Cherry, John Rockwell, J. R. Handy, A. B. Boyer, W. H. Halton, Bill Ashburn, Con Quinn, C. J. O'Maley, Harry Tone, Con Corcoran, Elmer Wood, Leo Short, George Shields, A. P. Wood. Also B. W. Baldwin, Walter and Fred Jennings (who are still living), and many others.
Now a few doctors: Dr. Alex Acheson, Dr. Seay, Dr. Freels, Dr. James, Dr. Freeman, Dr. Mayes, Dr. Lee, Dr. Jamison, Dr. Paul Pierce, Dr. D. D. Crawford, Dr. Meador, Dr. W. D. Blassingame, Dr. Sneed, Dr. Long, Dr. Walker, Dr. Roy, Dr. Gilmore, and many others.

And now some very fine school teachers of yesteryear, ones I knew well. Miss Jennie and Rachel Watson, Miss Ollie Bird, Miss Mildred Walker, Miss Ida Shreaves, Miss Mariah K. Watts, Miss Jennie Jackson, Miss Inez Cartwright, Miss Elizabeth Roy, Mrs. Kitty Memnaugh Corcoran, Mrs. Beaulah McCaughey Asply, Mrs. Bess Coppin Weicher, Miss Mary Moore, Mr. B. McDaniel, and Professor F. B. Hughes.
Some of the schools were: High, Stevens, Peabody, Houston, Central Ward, Lamar and the Cotton Mill. Most of them are still being used, but all have been rebuilt or remodeled.
I remember a narrow concrete viaduct beginning at the southeast corner of Forest Park and ending where the south end of the one is now. It was in a more or less "S" shape. I remember this one well.
I also remember the railroad strike in 1922 when the Katy machine shops were moved away from here to Belmead, in what you would say overnight. It was done without the public ever knowing it.
I also remember when Denison was a real railroad town. It had five railroads : M.K.T., Missouri-Kansas-Texas; the K.O. & G. (Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf); the T. & P., Texas and Pacific; the H. & T. C., Houston and Texas Central; the Frisco; and also the Texas Traction or (Electric) Service Company (the Interurban). 
The busiest place in town was the Katy Depot, when a passenger train was either coming in or going out every hour, and Red Caps (colored boys with red caps) were running everywhere carrying luggage and waiting on people. These trains brought through here such [celebrities] as President Howard Taft, President Franklin Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, General (and later President) Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower was born here, and now his birthplace is a shrine. Heavyweight champion Joe Louis, James J. Braddock, and John Phillip Sousa. He [Sousa] played a concert at the high school that night in about 1922 or 23. I saw Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Louis, Braddock, and Sousa. And, while mentioning these, I have seen Jack Dempsey, Wallace Berry, Mary Pickford, Dale Robertson, Buddy Rogers, John Barrymore, Nelson Eddie, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Mae West, Mickey Rooney, Victor Mature, George Jessell, and John Wayne. All these were the good old days, and I remember them well. 
The first passenger train came into Denison on Christmas Eve, 1872, run by Pat Tobin. and this of course I don't remember. But I do remember the last passenger train from the North came in in July 1965, and Pat Tobin's grandson was the brakeman on it, Tobin Williams.
My oldest brother, Geno, opened the first drive-in sandwich shop in Denison in 1924. He later opened a dance hall and night club next door. This was on the corner of Scullin Avenue and Hanna Street. The name was Oak View Inn. This was about 1926. Orchestras such as Jack Gardner, Ted Feo Reta, Nat King Cole, Lawrence Welk, Skinny Ennis, Bob Wills, and many others played there.

I remember when the Denison Hospital opened in 1911 and when the Katy Hospital opened in 1921. The grand opening night of the Katy Hospital Wayne King played for the formal opening, and it was quite a night.
I remember when Waterloo Pump Station was working at full blast, pumping water from the Waterloo Lake to a standpipe located in the intersection of Acheson Street and Tone Avenue. The station was just across the street north of what is now the National Guard Armory Hall. Also south of the armory hall, and just before you go under the Katy Bridge, was the old Sand Springs, where hundreds of people went to get jugs of the good water to drink. I remember when the dam of Waterloo Lake broke in 1920 and it washed out roads, bridges, farmland, and followed creeks until it found its way to Red River.
I also remember some of our good neighbors: the Brights, Thomases, Hills, Stumps, Fords, Lambs. I went with the youngest Lamb girl. She was my first childhood sweetheart. That was long ago. The Terhunes, Bakers, Moores, Fritzes, Rones. The little Rone boy, Malden, was my age, ten years old, when he killed himself with a little single-shot .22 rifle accidentally. The Allison and Kidd families. We knew all of them from 1911, when we moved to Bullock Street.
J. C. Kidd, the only boy of that family, and I grew up together. He had two sisters, and all that family is gone now but him; he is about one year older than I. We had some great times and lots of fun when we were boys together. He had a Model T Ford touring car, and it is a good thing it could not talk; that would not do. We went to Paris, Texas, about 1920 to see two girls and brought them back with us. We left there at twelve noon, and it rained on us all the way back home and, having good luck, we arrived home that night at twelve midnight. A trip no one could ever forget. We did not drive a mile over any paved road, and the old road went around "Hell's half-acre", so to speak. We came over the old Bells highway, through Ambrose. And by the way, he went with and married this girl and had one son; and, believe it or not, they are still married, and he and Bessie, his wife, are the best friends I have in the world. And, oh yes, the other girl we brought back was my girlfriend and was J. C.'s wife's aunt. There was not much difference in their ages. She was a wonderful girl, and they came to visit her sister and stayed a month or more.
I can remember when we had manufactured gas, and you had to put 25 in the meter for several days' [worth] of gas. The plant was in the 500 block South Mirick where the T.P. & L. warehouse is now. 
Also [I remember] when the light company had carbon arc lights for the streetlights. 
[And I recall] when the Conway Oil Company was the old cottonseed oil mill.
I can remember the old hide house at 130 South Houston Avenue.
I can remember the first automobile in Denison. It was owned by Dr. H. W. James. It was a Scripts-Booth. My aunt's, Mrs. Kimble, funeral was the first automobile funeral in Denison. This was in 1915.

I remember the flu epidemic in 1917 (*he meant 1918) when six or eight people died each day.
I remember a large three-story wooden building, known as Jacob's Well. It was like an old hotel, so to speak, located at 701 South Lamar Avenue. He claimed [that] the water from the well and his treatments would cure about anything wrong with you.
I remember the city reservoir located in the 1600 block Woodard Street.
I remember the Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney and the long-count fight at Soldiers' Field in Chicago in 1927. Tunney won.
I remember the old cotton compress next to the Katy Railroad from Sears Street to Morton Street.
I remember when radio first came into home use in 1919-20 and 1921, where we used only headphones and called it a crystal set.
I remember when the first electric light hung from the ceiling on a single wire and socket with tipped-end globes. Some of the finer homes had gas lights as well as electric. They hung as chandeliers with two electric globes and two gas lights in glass colored shades.
The modern bathroom had a commode with a pull-chain box mounted almost to the ceiling. You heated the water, or some had a gas heater mounted at the end of the tub with a spout over the tub. Most bathrooms had a tub only, no toilet, and you went to the alley to a so-called outdoor toilet. I remember when some of the buildings on Main Street had outdoor toilets on the alleys.
I remember when most homes had wells for water, or big cisterns dug in the ground, bricked or cemented; caught drain or rain water; and used hand pumps for certain usage of water. [I remember] when wells were dug under the house or porch before it was built, and hand pumps [were] used to bring up the water. [I remember] when there were very few hydrants in the homes. Some homes had only a tub in the bathroom, [while] in many, many others you bathed in a No. 3 washtub. Ninety-five percent of washing clothes was done by heating water in an iron pot in the yard and using tubs and washboards.
I can remember the Old Park Hotel located across Crawford Street in front of Forest Park, at 309 and 311 Crawford Street. It was three stories high and ran back to the alley. Mrs. M. L. McDaniel was the proprietor. There was a large cage of birds, squirrels, and other small animals out on the sidewalk. This hotel was the stopping place of all the vaudeville people who came to town in those days.
I can remember the Red River Bottling Works located in the 100 block East Woodard Street. My uncle, George Stanford, my mother's brother-in-law, was quite a gambler in those days, and this was around 1910, but I cant be exact. The owner wanted to sell this business to him, and he said he would shoot him high dice on the head of a barrel, and if he lost, he would pay him double, or if he was high, he got it for nothing. My uncle won the business, and a year or so after that, sold it to another man.
I remember the City Bottling Works [was] located in the 200 block West Owing Street and was run for several years by Ike Rotchenstein.
In 1910 my brother Dick, Earl Gardner (uncle to Keith Hubbard), Cliff Adrin, Clyde VanStone, George Whitney and Barney Stetz built a houseboat in the back yard of Cliff Adrin, who then lived at 204 West Hull Street. The boat was two feet deep, eight feet wide, and twenty-four feet long. It drew about three inches of water. The Perkins Bros. Department Store (located where Nathan Crouch Furniture store is at this writing) furnished the canvas for the boat to advertise their business. The boat was put in Red River at Carpenters Bluff, east of Denison. Their intentions were to go to New Orleans, but they got as far as Fulton, Arkansas, about three hundred miles downriver, and as the river was so low, they had to give up due to sand bars and little water. They gave the boat to a farmer and all came home on a train.
I remember when the 100 block West Main Street was a very nice block in town. There was the Antlers Hotel, the Brucker Hotel, the Ourand Hotel in the Lebrecht Building, Rentz's Dining Room, two jewelry stores, O'Maley's Pawn Shop, H. Tone Real Estate, F. Kohfeld Real Estate, and many other nice stores.
I remember when a very few phones were in the town and the phone company used a few girls as operators, who were called
"Central". I can remember an old song, "Hello, Central, Give Me Heaven".

I remember when we had very few paved streets and hardly no sidewalks at all.
I remember when we had six schools in the city limits. We had two colleges, but only one I can really remember, Draughon's run by Professor J. W. Adamson. The other was Harshaw's at 900 West Main Street, but it closed before I could remember it.

I can remember when the city limits went from Washington Street on the north, Tenth Avenue on the east, Hanna Street on the south, and Maurice Avenue on the west. The town was laid off like a checkerboard. The only crooked street was Heron. The 500 and 600 blocks, crossing Mirick Avenue at the H. & T.C. Railroad crossing.
I remember tent shows in Forest Park called Chautauquas. 
I remember also the Old Settlers' Picnic once a year in Sherman, the county seat. Some people would go and stay the whole week.
I remember when you had to buy all your schoolbooks at Puckett's in the 400 block or Yeidel's Book Store in the 200 block Main Street.
I remember one of the liveliest sections of our town was on South Armstrong Avenue, between Nelson and Shepherd streets. Sugar Bottom. This little place was on the map of our town in early days.
I remember when there were no funeral homes. they were funeral parlors. Funerals were held in the homes and sometimes in churches. Most of the bodies were embalmed in the home.

I remember when women wore dresses one inch from the ground, and when they dressed up, they had what was called leg-of-mutton sleeves and their hats were called "picture hats", some twenty inches or more across. The elite always carried small parasols. I also remember hobble skirts for women.
I remember when there were four 5 & 10 cent stores on Main Street at one time: S. H. Kress in the 400 block, and Gaffey Brothers, F. W. Woolsworth, and H. T. Bledsoe in the 300 block.
There were eight picture shows on Main Street at one time, and four banks.
I remember when teachers were the masters of schools. When you finished the country school, you got to the city school the best way you could, and that was mostly walk. 

Denison Before I Was Born
I will touch a little on the history of Denison before I was born, but it is all true.
A wooden viaduct crossed the Katy Shops in the same place where the viaduct is now, where the W. J. Smith tie plant is.
Located on West Morton Street was the city fairgrounds, and a horse-race track was there.
A baseball park was located in the 1300 block Bullock Street on the north side of the road and taking in some of the 1200 block and all of what is now the 1600 block South Woodlawn Boulevard.
A saloon was at 1031 West Bullock Street, the location of our last home place, and a lot of the lumber of this saloon was built into our home.
Oak Wood Cemetery was the first cemetery in Denison.
My father bought $200.00 worth of stock in one of the largest manufacturing plants here, and after all stock was sold and it ran for awhile, then it closed down, and my father, along with many others, lost everything. It seemed to open somehow, later on, and has run ever since.
My father bought a team and wagon and helped build the old Colbert Road Bridge in 1914-15. I did know about this, and while he owned the team and wagon is when he helped haul the brick to pave the 600 block Main Street, as I have told of helping him do this. He later sold the wagon and team, as time went on.
At 1531 West Morton Street was a saloon owned by Ed Ford. Later [it] was operated as a grocery store. Ford had two boys and three girls.
There was a little engine and one or two coaches as needed on a narrow-gauge railroad, known as the Dummy Line. It ran from town out by the ballpark and on out the Sixty-Foot Road, or 75-A or Woodlawn Boulevard, and around the Cotton Mill district, back to town.

In 1892, a Doctor Haynes and his wife built and lived in a large two-story house in the 2500 block Woodlawn Boulevard, and her sister and husband lived in one just like it about 250 feet north of them. The doctor was out of town; and his wife, sister, and brother-in-law came home this night about ten o'clock on the little train, and her sister and husband bid Mrs. Haynes goodnight and went on to their home. When Mrs. Haynes went into her home, she was murdered, robbed of her diamonds and jewelry, and dragged into a cellar, at the back of the house. Her body was found the next day. That same night a woman was murdered at 205 West Morton Street, and two other women were murdered in a bawdy house in the 100 block West Skiddy Street, now Chestnut Street. No one was ever convicted for the four crimes. They tried one man but failed to convict him for lack of evidence. 
In 1911, Dr. Haynes' house was bought by R. S. Legate and moved into town and placed next door to the new library and was torn down just this year, 1975, to give more room for the library. R. S. Legate was a president of the National Bank of Denison, Texas. We then (1911) lived at 1031 West Bullock Street. As they moved the house into town, they left it at the side of our house for one night, and all the children in the neighborhood thought it was haunted. In 1920, Mrs. Haynes' sister's house, of course belonging to someone else, was destroyed completely by fire. Dr. Haynes' house, such as the foundation, etc., can still be seen as of now.  

My Life After I Was Grown
Now a little part of my life after I was grown. I worked for Fairview Cemetery in 1920, mowing grass six days a week with a push mower for $9.00 per week. I went to work helping build the Katy terminal in 1922-23, doing plumbing work. I went to work for the Katy Railroad in July 1924. This was the year the Denison Hotel was finished and opened. I worked for the Katy until 1929, then went to Halton's Music Shop until 1930. I went to Dallas and bought the cigar stand in the Linz Building, and in 1931 I married Mrs. Lottie Rockwell, of the Rockwell Jewelry Store. I stayed in the cigar stand until I sold it, returning to Denison, where I went into the monument business at 430 West Chestnut Street, where the Texas Power and Light Company is today. I opened this business in February 1934 and stayed in this business until I sold out and went to Lockheed Aircraft army rejection and inspection booth in 1943 and stayed there until I retired in 1947.
I might mention here, in the nine years in the monument business, I lost $1.50. This is a little record by itself.
My wife, Lottie Rockwell, died in 1958; and I married Glenna Carlat Derebery, cashier of the State National Bank, and am still married to her. She is from the 1401 Walker Street home, I mentioned earlier; and I might add here, she is a Catholic and I am a Presbyterian, if that means anything.
I was appointed to the Fairview Cemetery Board in August 1959 and was there three years and three or four months or longer, the minutes would give the exact date, retiring in 1947.

I have been working on old clocks as a hobby and still fool with them, but not all the time. Three years ago, 1972, I had a pretty bad heart attack and have had two more since then, but I think I have overcome this ailment by now, or at least I hope so. 

Concluding Thoughts
Well, this is about all I can talk about. But I just have to add this: I was against the highway bypassing our city, and it was defeated the first time voted on but finally passed at the last vote. The business men in time will hate this, and time only will tell. This way, no one can see our town (though we have little to see), and no one will stop to spend any money, but maybe our business men, by then, won't need any money.
And I just have to tell everyone that I, along with ten or twelve others, some $25,OOO worth, was against our Main Street as you see it today [serpentine], but the big ones, as you would know them, made up this difference, and our Main Street is like it is. They did not ask the taxpayers if they wanted it, they did it anyway.
I have been in the 48 of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, and Catalina Islands. I have done a little, it seems, of what everyone else has done a lot of. Well, I have told all I know about my family, Denison, and myself, that I know or should tell, at least. Anything else in the last few years, you know about anyway. I hope you enjoyed it. It was the best I could do.
* Grandfather Anderson: born in 1819, died in 1900.
* Grandmother Anderson: born in 1830, died in 1907.
* Grandfather Bodkin: born in 1837, died in 1911.
* Grandmother Bodkin: born in 1836, died in 1926.
Last, and thanking you very much for your patience, I might mention for the last thing, my mother and father were members of the Armstrong Avenue Church of Christ, and I believe that we are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, families in Denison, having been here since before the first city lot was sold, and that is quite awhile.
Thank you very much.

Thomas B. Anderson  

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