Denison Daily News
May 13, 1880
Armstrong Avenue and Southward
by Billy Holcomb, 2000
Denison Centennial, 1872 - 1972
Bottom has long been a business area Denison, flourishing when the
railroad was the mainstay of the community. Built up along the
tracks at the intersection on Armstrong, it served the needs of the
neighborhood. As the story goes, a train wreck there spilled a
whole carload of sugar, from which the name Sugarbottom was coined.
this writing, Mr. Ed Stirman, age 92, working trains into Denison from
1906 remembers trains going by here about every 5 minutes. People
rode them west to the yards and east to the shops. Araybul's
grocery store on the west corner served all the people in that area.
In this same grocery store, Mr. Ed Price, a Denison policeman,
was shot by a burlar in the 1920's. On the alley where Wright's
store is now, was a creamery and ice cream store which was quite a
South of the alley was a hardware store. North
of the track on the west side was a two story brick building with a
drug store. Across from this was a feed, grain and coal business.
There is not too much remembered about the east side of the
street, but one lady that lived just south of there as a child tells of
going by the Grace saloon on her way to school. It was unusual
that her shoe string come untied in the green swinging doors so she
could see what was inside while she retied the shoe. They told
that saloons used green doors but they don't know the significance.
Today Sugarbottom is still a business section of Denison with 10 businesses operating in the same places on Armstrong.
Sponsored by Roy Perry Insurance, Buster's Tin Shop, T.C. Coffey Air Conditioning, Grayson Fire Extinguisher Co.
Among the pioneers who lasted
O. B. Anderhub
Charles Brigman [AU: BRIGHAM?]
D. E. Holmon
J. J. Redmon
Bottom got its first taste of saloons when George Burnett opened his Burnett Saloon on the
north side of the
tracks on the 500 block of South Armstrong Avenue. The south part of
has had a saloon in operation ever since. M. M. White eventually took
operation of the Burnett Saloon, which lasted until the late 1920s.
Marathon Gas Station was built on the north side of the tracks in the
of South Armstrong Avenue and operated by W. E. Cox. Others would
station from time to time, John Anderson and George Johnson among them.
location, however, is best remembered for the Walter Clark Service
which occupied the site for more than two decades. The place now serves
used car lot.
Bottom is said to have begun on the north side of the tracks in the 500
of South Armstrong Avenue, with the George Burnett Saloon on the west
the Denison Coal, Feed, and Fuel Company on the east side. George
opened his Burnett Saloon in [AU: YEAR?]
, and M. M. White eventually took over its operation, lasting until the
Denison Coal, Feed, and Fuel Company was established by L. F. McEleer
the turn of the century on the north side of the tracks on the east
side of the
500 block of South Armstrong Avenue. J. B. Bartee, who had come to
1882 and been employed by Knaur Grain, took over the company in the
He changed the firm’s name to Central Coal and Fuel, which remained in
operation until the 1950s. Bill Coonrod took over the site at that
his produce shop. The old Sonic Drive-in was built here in [AU: YEAR?] Since the Sonic closed and moved
to Austin Avenue, the
location has served for many years as a used car lot.
Grew Up In Denison, Texas" FaceBook
have ask about
Sugar Bottom. "Sugar Bottom" was a small area on Armstrong Ave. A
Katy crew was switching freight cars where the tracks still cross
Ave. The main line had not been cleared when a passenger train rounded
curve and splintered a freight car loaded with sugar. All the sweet
spilled into the street. This area had 2 grocers, a shoe repair shop, a
furniture store, a barber, a drug store, a plumbing supply co., 2 gas
plus a few other stores. My grandpa Bradshaw owned 1 of the grocery
which was located at 501 S. Armstrong. Bradshaw Grocery was in business
1918-1926. No one really knows why this small area developed away from
St area but it was a very vibrant busy area. A lot of their business
the Katy Railroad guys.
where was sugar bottom?
Armstrong Ending at about Day St.
Morgan to Day St. was the location because a
train car carrying sugar derailed at the Armstrong crossing (just east
Armstrong) spilling sugar everywhere. People came from all over town to
bags with sugar to take home. My dad's station was next to the tracks
Armstrong The view
appears to be looking south. Photo could possibly be
taken in 1936 during Texas Centennial.
Anne Bryant Maybe you
are right, Steve--see the "1836" on the
covered wagon in the sky.
It looks like that
car on the banner on the
left side says 1936.
I think Coffeys was in there at one time
Bottom Blues" was a major hit in Denison of Denison, especially along
South Armstrong Avenue in the 1930s. It was written and recorded by a
Denisonian, Shanty Morrel a member of the Early Bird Orchestra for WFAA
in Dallas. Morrell gave recognition to one of North Texas most popular
Sugar Bottom on the 600 block of South Armstrong Avenue. By the time I
along in the 1940s, I always considered Sugar Bottom, three blocks from
to Shepherd Street.
Sugar Bottom is considered Denison’s
first shopping center, but it really had its own identity, similar to
Cotton Mill Community in the southern part of Denison. Sugar Bottom
caused the cultivation and creation of what is now southwest Denison
to the new bypass at Loy Lake. The Denison Sunday Gazetteer of March
noted Pat McJackson had the honor of naming Sugar Bottom. There are
stories as to how the name came about, but there is really no way of
and it is probably best left to the imagination.
Sugar Bottom was notorious at the
beginning, which is said to have begun at the George Burnett Saloon on
north side of the tracks on the west side of South Armstrong Avenue,
Denison Coal, Feed, and Fuel on the east side.
1887 Denison City Directory
Burnett, George, saloon, 513 S. Armstrong Ave.
The Sugar Bottom
mostly intact and still in operation in 1998. There have been hundreds
occupants over the last century, since Lewis Wertz built the first row
buildings on the 600 block on the west side. Grocery stores,
hardware stores, barbers, furniture merchants, auto repairs, and any
other enterprises could be found along Sugar Bottom or the entire strip
Armstrong Avenue from Main Street on out to Bullock, where it gave way
Sherman Highway and then Woodlawn Boulevard.
There were a number of pioneers that
lasted through the popularity of Sugar Bottom such as: Charles Brigman,
Newcomb, J. J. Redmon, D. E. Holmon, Sam Benjamin. O. B. Anderhub,
Ramsey, Ben Means, and a host of others. Sugar Bottom is still vivid in
minds of older Denisonians, but the younger set seems a bit confused to
glitz old timers give to the once busy community within a community.
Sugar Bottom got its
first taste of
saloons when George Burnett opened his saloon on the north side of the
on the 500 block of South Armstrong Avenue.