Grayson County TXGenWeb
Industrial Denison
Industrial Denison

Compiled by Frank M. Robinson. "Earth."

Means-Moore Company, Publishers
Printed by Dorsey Printing Company, Dallas

Denison is the largest city in Texas north of Dallas, and at the same time one of the youngest. It was surveyed in 1872, just before the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad had reached Red River in its onward march through the Indian Territory into Texas. It was incorporated in 1873, and has a history of growth and progress that would read like a romance if its many victories in the contest for supremacy could be given in detail.
Denison is in Grayson County, just across Red River from the marvelously rich Indian Territory country, and as it owes its existence to the building of the M. K. & T. railroad, so it has become one of the most important division points on the entire "Katy" system. It was named for one of the directors of that company, and the founder of the city was Mr. R. S. Stevens, who built the road. It started as a railroad town and has become one of the most important terminals in the southwest. 
Seven divisions of the M. K. & T. center in Denison?the main line from the north; one branch southwest to Whitesboro and Wichita Falls; one branch to Fort Worth and Hillsboro; another to Greenville and Mineola; another via Dallas to Hillsboro, and then to San Antonio, Houston and the coast country; another to Sherman; and the seventh is now building to Bonham and the southeast. The extensive shops of this system are located here?their facilities for turning out work being increased every year by the addition of buildings and heavy machinery. Some idea of the enormous tonnage handled by the M. K. & T. in and out of Denison can be had in knowing that over one hundred miles of tracks are required in these yards for the handling of trains and storage of cars. The yard in the western suburb of the city is the largest in the south. The stock of supplies and railroad material of all kinds carried at the machine shops and car shops are the most complete on the system.
Denison is also the northern terminus of the Houston & Texas Central, one of the best roads in the state, reaching from here to Houston. This is a valuable feeder to Denison's distributing facilities and has an enormous interchange tonnage, not only with the " Katy," but with the St. Louis & San Francisco, which has recently brought its main line into the city from Sapulpa, Indian Territory. 

Another trunk line with a divisional terminal here, that gives competing rates north, east, west and south, is the Texas & Pacific. This road expects to go on into the Territory soon, where its owners control large coal deposits, the output of which is handled by other lines.
These ten divisions centering in Denison not only put it within easy reach of coal, lumber, livestock, grain, cotton, and all of the products of this very productive area, but give it unequalled facilities for distributing the output of its factories, or merchandise of any kind, over Indian and Oklahoma Territories and North Texas. More than that?and of great importance?is the fact that other projected railroads naturally seek Denison because of the desirable connections to be obtained, and it is the truth to say that negotiations are now pending whereby several exceedingly valuable trunk line divisions will be added to the list of terminals in the very near future. However, as it is now, Denison has more passenger trains in and out of it every twenty-four hours than any other city in Texas. The companies are planning for a union passenger station, that will accommodate the business that has entirely outgrown the present arrangements for handling it.
Denison is the only city in North Texas of any size that has an inexhaustible supply of pure soft water that is in all particulars suitable for domestic and steam purposes. An extensive water works system furnishes water and fire protection over the entire city. The abundance of water adds to the convenience and great sanitary value of a fine sewerage system?one of the best in the South?with its eighteen miles of sewer built on the plan of the Waring's Flush system. The extent of the water supply can be illustrated by mentioning one well, that is used by the M. K. & T., that has been tested to the extent of one million gallons daily.

Water and fuel are twin essentials in the development of internal commerce, and Denison has each. Fifty miles north lies the great coal belt of the Indian Territory, and almost the entire output of these famous mines comes to Denison and is distributed over the state. This of course gives Denison a great advantage in securing coal suitable for steam purposes at a low price. 
In addition to its natural business advantages, because of its geographical location, Denison is an exceedingly healthy place. Its elevation is one hundred and seventy-five feet above Red River and about eight hundred feet above the sea level. Its hill tops are covered with a fine growth of hard wood trees and its general situation is picturesque and attractive. The temperature is mild and pleasant the year round, the extremes of heat or cold being seldom experienced. In the summer a cool, south breeze prevails, making sunstrokes unknown and the night's rest enjoyable. The rainfall averages about thirty-two inches and is so distributed through the year that any damage to crops because of drouth is a rare experience. 
Denison is surrounded by a fertile soil of sandy loam that is especially suited to the growth of cotton, corn, fruits and vegetables. The shipments of sweet and irish potatoes, melons, vegetables, apples, peaches, grapes, berries of all kinds and all the product of orchards and fields are very large each year. The horticultural conditions of the surrounding country are particularly favorable. Nursery and greenhouse stock is shipped in immense quantities, and Mr. T. V. Munson, the proprietor of one of the nurseries, is an accepted authority on grape culture the world over. 
Denison's situation on the line between the Indian Territory and Texas, together with its many railroads radiating in every direction, makes it one of the best locations in the southwest for wholesale houses. The parent house of the largest distributor of groceries in Texas is located here, as is also a dry goods jobbing house that is famous for the volume of its business and for the character of its extensive retail branches in Denison and fifteen other cities. 
Other wholesale grocery and dry goods establishments are here, besides those handling hardware, implements, cigars, produce and fruit. This feature of Denison's commercial importance will rapidly assume larger proportions because the conditions are now such that no city can offer greater inducements to capital that is seeking investment in the wholesale trade. 
Denison's retail stores of every character have always been prosperous. A fine steel wagon bridge, owned by the Red River Bridge Company?a Denison institution?brings a valuable trade from a large area of the Indian Territory, besides the business naturally tributary from the Texas surroundings. Perhaps the best feeder for the retail stores is the railroad payrolls. These aggregate $100,000 to $150,000 per month, every month in the year, and are steadily increasing. 

"Industrial Denison" is a title that has been given to this city by the newspapers of the state because of its activity in securing industries that employ labor. In addition to the railroad shops, the American Cotton Spinning Company is operating the largest cotton mill west of the Mississippi, running full time. The American Cotton Oil Company has a $300,000 plant with a daily capacity for 150 tons of seed. The Gate City Hosiery Company, the first knitting mill built in the state, has been in operation a few months and its present daily output of three hundred dozen hose is already sold for a year in advance. A foundry, shoe factory, mattress factory, planing mill, two machine shops, and an extensive candy factory and bottling works, soap factory, broom factory as well as many smaller industries, are in active operation. The Denison Milling Company, with a capacity of three hundred barrels per day, is constantly behind with its orders?many of these being from foreign parts because of the high grade of the flour. An immense two thousand ton cotton compress handles from fifty thousand to ninety thousand bales of cotton during the season, fifteen thousand to thirty thousand bales of it coming in on wagons. Three gins of large capacity handle cotton in the seed. A $100,000 ice plant not only supplies Denison and other places with ice, but furnishes the M. K. & T. with all it uses here for shops, trains, engines, and the refilling of refrigerator cars. A large cold storage annex is used by wholesale dealers in fruit and produce. Both gas and electric light plants are operated. The telephone exchange has five hundred subscribers. Two steam laundries cover a large territory through agents and the use of express companies. Handling building material also employs many men. Beds of very superior brick clay are worked extensively, and hundreds of cars of brown sandstone and hard, blue limestone are shipped over the country. 
All this commercial activity requires abundant banking facilities. This is provided by two national [banks] and one private bank, each with large capital and very strong backing. The individual deposits aggregate over $1,500,000, showing that the community is prosperous. The savings departments in these institutions have hundreds of patrons, resembling a New England and manufacturing city in that particular.
Denison is also a city for the homeseeker. Its streets are wide and regularly laid out, [with] large resident lots, alleys through every block, and liberal provisions for water, sewer, gas, and electric light connections. Natural shade has been preserved, particularly in Forest Park and through the suburbs. The planting of trees and cultivation of flowers has always been popular, and the result is a multitude of attractive homes. 
Denison has at least fifteen thousand inhabitants. Every basis of calculation ordinarily used will give it eighteen thousand or more. They are thoroughly cosmopolitan, the larger number coming from the northern states. They have attained a wide reputation for push and public spirit. Because of this, Denison is known everywhere as the city that ?does things.?
Few cities of its size in any state have more churches or better schools. Nearly all the evangelical denominations have good buildings, some of them more than one, and they are aggressive in all lines of Christian activity. The Roman Catholics have a very fine structure and a large and influential membership. The Denison Young Men's Christian Association has a membership of over eleven hundred and a finely equipped establishment. 

Denison ranks high as an educational center. It was the first city in Texas to erect a public free school building, and the total value of its school property now exceeds $250,000. There are eight fine brick buildings for white children and two for colored children. The high school graduates are qualified to enter the State University or other similar institutions. The control of these schools is with a board of trustees who have no other public duties, and their efforts to secure the best possible results are earnestly supported. St. Xavier's Academy, a Catholic boarding school, has had a large patronage from Texas and the Indian Territory for many years, and the new four-story pressed brick building just erected on their property gives them one of the most extensive and complete institutions of the character in the State.
The Denison Business College has a fine equipment and graduates students who have the special knowledge required for the success in the present day commercial life. Harshaw Academy is another strong and long established institution that adds the literary to the commercial course, when desired, and provides for special instruction in elective studies.
Denison is famous for its vocalists and musicians, and those desiring a musical education can here have the best outside of a great conservatory. The Polymnian Club, a local organization of ladies only, is second to none in the State. 
An educational institution that almost belongs to Denison, because so closely attached to it in many ways, but that is across Red River in the Indian Territory, is the Bloomfield Academy. It is for the higher education of the Choctaw girls, and because of its history and its splendid work it is justly the pride of the Choctaw Nation.
One of the organizations in Denison that indicates both the culture and public spirit of its people is the XXI Club, an association of women. They own a very fine two-story brick building that is used for library and club purposes, having a large auditorium on the first floor. This is one of the very few club buildings west of the Mississippi River controlled exclusively by women. 
The Denison Opera House, modern in its stage equipment and arrangement, is a popular place for theatrical or public exercises. The Verein Vorwaerts Singing Society owns the large building they occupy and, as an organization, are nearly as old as the city itself. 
Perhaps no city of its size has more fraternal societies than has Denison, over fifty of these being represented. All are active and prosperous and some of them particularly so. The Masons occupy their own building, and the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Hibernians and others own valuable property. Some of the orders of the railroad men are very influential in controlling industrial matters and shaping legislation, their membership being men of character and intelligence, and their representatives to the national gatherings securing special recognition as sound advisers. 

The Denison Daily Herald has no superior as a newspaper among the afternoon dailies of the Southwest. It is progressive and aggressive, and is a leader, not only in the building up of its own city, but in the development of Texas and the Indian Territory. The Sunday Gazetteer is one of the oldest and best weeklies in the State, and the Dispatch also shares in the honors that certainly belong to newspapers that endeavor to correctly represent the best interests of the community. 
Denison's attractive suburbs are reached by electric street car lines. The completion of the Denison and Sherman Inter-Urban Electric Railway brings the two cities within a few minutes ride of each other at intervals of an hour. This company has spent a large sum on its plant, and in laying out and beautifying a midway summer resort. 
The Denison Driving Park and Fair Association has had a very successful career and each year is adding to its buildings and attractions. It has one of the fastest half-mile tracks in the South, thus securing the best horses that come into the Southern circuits. Its annual exhibits in the fall are visited by thousands, and its influence is very valuable in developing the stock and agricultural interests of the surrounding country. 
Denison's government is administered under a special charter, and its municipal officers are seeking to encourage growth and industry by adopting practical business methods in all its affairs. Its bonds are at a high premium because of a reasonable indebtedness and prompt payment of interest. It has a paid fire department that ranks high for efficiency. Its sanitary regulations are rigidly enforced. It is free from the disorder that often prevails in a border city and in all particulars will impress an unprejudiced observer as being a good place to live. 

List of Illustrations
1. Missouri Kansas & Texas Railroad Bridge, Across Red River at Denison, Head of Navigation
2. Main Street, Looking West
3. The Denison Hotel Building; Carter's Music Store and Pace's Furniture Store on First Floor
4. American Cotton Spinning Company, Capacity 40,000 Spindles
5. Denison Compress Company
6. State National Bank Building
7. The Waples-Platter Grocer Company, Wholesale Grocers, Established 1872
8. Residence of Dr. W. B. Markham
9. Residence of George Braun
10. Residence of Dr. Alex W. Acheson
11. Residence of N. H. L. Decker
12. D. Kingston's Drug Store, 322 West Main Street
13. The High Grade Grocery, Dan Tracy, Proprietor, 118-120 North Rusk Avenue
14. Crown Piano and Organ Agency; Everything Known in Music at Factory Prices, J. W. Carter, Proprietor
15. Denison Telephone Exchange, F. P. Williford, Manager
16. The National Bank of Denison
17. Views of the National Cotton Oil Company's Denison Mill, Crushing Capacity 120 Tons per Day
18. ?"Waples Memorial" M. E. Church, South
19. Forest Park
20. Stock and Quarters at Elm View Stock Farm, Property of G. L. Blackford
21. Commercial Club Room
22. The Denison Opera House, M. L. Eppstein, Owner and Manager
23. A Few Snap Shots of the Denison Opera House

24. Bird's Eye View Looking East on Main Street
25. Residence of W. R. Young
26. Residence of J. M. Gillispie
27. Residence of J. S. Knaur
28. Residence of A. S. Pace
29. Residence of A. D. Hay
30. Residence of Thomas Fox, 621 West Woodard Street
31. Residence of Chas. Clymer, 929 Morton Street
32. Residence of John L. Higginson
33. Views of Grounds, Denison Driving Park and Fair Association
34. Repository No. 2, E. H. Keller
35. Madden, Graham & Co., Exterior
36. Madden, Graham & Co., Interior First Floor, Dry Goods & Clothing
37. Drug Store of D. H. Bailey, 408 Main Street
38. W. Duffey & Co., 429 Main Street, "Everything Good to Eat"
39. Puckett's Book, Stationery, Wall Paper and Paint Store, 415 Main Street
40. Lindsey, Undertaker and Embalmer, 506 Main Street, Exterior, Phone 99-2 Rings
41. Lindsey, Undertaker and Embalmer, 506 Main Street, Interior, Phone 99-2 Rings

42. Exterior of James Boyds Clothing House, Main Street and Rusk Avenue
43. Interior of James Boyd's Clothing House, Main Street and Rusk Avenue
44. Peach Orchard Near Denison
45. First Christian Church
46. Bloomfield Seminary, a School for the Higher Education of Chickasaw Indian Girls, E. B. Hinshaw, Superintendent
47. Residence of Dr. Julian C. Fields [Marsico House]
48. Residence
49. Residence and Jersey Dairy Farm of R. C. Foster
50. Residence of Homer St. John
51. Residence of W. A. Hallenbeck
52. Residence of T. B. Waldron, 531 Gandy Street
53. Residence of W. A. Peck, Jeweler, 508 West Owing Street
54. Residence of W. H. Halton, 630 Chestnut Street
55. Music Store of W. H. Halton & Co., 324 West Main Street
56. Office of J. E. M. Hefflebower, Dentist, Ford Building

57. Mathews' Drug Store, 323 Main Street
58. Office of Dr. H. C. Smisson, Specialist
59. O'Maley's, 120 West Main Street, Diamonds, Watches and Jewelry Bought and Sold; Railroad and Steamship Brokers; Loans
60. Section of Business Practice Department of Denison Business College
61. Office of Howard & Reardon, Real Estate, Insurance and Collection Agents, 406 West Main Street
62. Louis Lebrecht, Wholesale Cigars and Pipes, Established 1873
63. Meat Market of Chris Kichner [Kirchner?], 116 North Rusk Avenue
64. Shaving Parlor of E. D. Gentry, 109 East Main Street
65. Denison Crystal Ice Company, Ice Making Capacity 100 Tons Daily, Cold Storage for Perishable Goods
66. Residence of Hiram Brooks
67. Residence of Mrs. Helen A. Cummins, 1031 West Bond Street
68. First Presbyterian Church
69. Residence of B. J. Lindsay, 527 West Gandy Street
70. Residence of George Gumpert
71. Residence of J. B. McDougall [Inn of Many Faces]
72. Verein Vorwaerts, Organized 1877, Singing and Turning Sections, German and English Sunday School

73. Typical Vineyard Near Denison
74. Denison Rolling Mill Company, Capacity 400 Barrels
75. Union Passenger Station
Missouri, Kansas & Texas, Houston & Texas Central, and St. Louis & San Francisco Railroads
76. Round House, Missouri-Kansas & Texas Railroad Company
77. Central Yards, Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company
78. Jno. L. Higginson, Livery and Boarding Stables
79. McDougall Steam Laundry, 224 West Woodard Street
80. Wash Room of McDougall Steam Laundry
81. Ironing Room of McDougall Steam Laundry
82. Dental Office of Dr. S. C. Fisher
83. Office of Dr. Matthias Hook, Osteopathic Physician
84. H. Robert, Jr., Druggist and Manufacturing Chemist, 431 West Main Street
85. Hall-Leeper Hardware Company, Everything in Iron and Steel
86. Grocery Store of Hiram Brooks, 318 West Main Street
87. Reading Room
88. Parlor
89. Gymnasium
90. Bath and Game Rooms
91. Residence of C. S. Cobb
92. Residence of J. J. Fairbanks, Real Estate Dealer
93. Residence of N. Woodring
94. Residence of Dr. Will T. Booth

95. St. Xavier's Academy
96. St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church
97. Wooten & Hayes, Clothing and Men's Furnishings, 200 W. Main Street
98. Dollarhide & Harris, Hardware, 311 Main Street
99. Hallenbeck & St. John, Caterers
100. S. Pace, Furniture and Carpets, 502 and 504 Main Street
101. Simpson Palace Hotel, European Plan, Joe M. Crumpton, Manager
102. Washington Building, Erected 1873
103. Lamar Building
104. Peabody Building
105. Stevens Building
106. Houston Building
107. Burleson Building
108. Raynal Building
109. Anderson Building (Colored)
110. Langston Building (Colored)
111. L. Knaur's Grocery, 316 Main Street
112. Big Blue Front Racket [sic] Store, 220 Main Street
113. Fred Braun's Meat Market, 421 West Main Street
114. Bank of Brooks, Bass & Johnston, Financial Responsibility, Quarter of a Million Dollars; Real Estate Office of H. Alexander, Side Entrance
115. Chris Waltz, Sanitary Plumbing, Cornice and Tinware, Hot Air, Hot Water and Steam Heating
116. Chris Waltz, Interior
117. Gate City Hosiery Mills
118. Red River Mattress Works, Mack Fletcher, Manager
119. Munson Block; Postoffice, Chris Waltz, Herald Office, Denison Light and Power Co., and Denison City Water Co., from Corner to the Left; Y.M.C.A. Rooms in 3-Story Building.
120. Clark & Douglass, Tailors and Furnishers
121. F. Tobin's Shoe Store, 211 Main Street
122. Peck & Garring, Jewelers, 228 W. Main Street
123. Residence of T. V. Munson and Ornamental Grounds of the Munson Nurseries
124. Munson's Green House, 1315 South Myrick Avenue
125. St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Exterior
126. St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Interior
127. The XXI Club and Library Building, Founded and Endowed by J. T. Munson, Erected 1896, the Only Women's Club Building in Texas
128. Residence of Mrs. E. A. Williams, Real Estate, Insurance and Loans, 2nd Floor
129. E. Horan, Wholesale Saddles, Harness, Buggies, Wagons, and Shoe Findings, 416 and 418 W. Main Street

130. Wagon Bridge, Red River Bridge Company 

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