Grayson County TXGenWeb
Rod & Gun Club / Denison Country Club
Denison, Texas


Denison Country Club
5216 F.M. 84
Denison, TX 75020
Denison Country Club has a long, rich history of serving both the Sherman golf and Denison golf
communities, dating back to 1895 when it was known as The Rod and Gun Club. 

Today the facility
still offers one of the finest tee time opportunities in the Lone Star state. Denison combines country
charm, a family-friendly atmosphere and a convenient location just a short drive from the Metroplex.
This 18-hole championship layout spans a total of 6,149 challenging yards, and the comfy grounds
also feature a relaxing clubhouse, lighted tennis courts and a refreshing swimming pool.

Mavis Anne Bryant & James Bryant at Rod and Gun Club Lake, early 1950s

Herald Democrat
"Early Denison Clubs"
by Donna Hunt

People sometimes give me the most unusual things. Some are for my files and others are to be shared with Denison Alumni Association or maybe Grayson County Frontier Village or even somewhere else.

Last fall when I attended a gathering of the Lunch Bunch, the group of Denison High School graduates who have been gathering once each month in Denton for lunch for the past 10 years, Melvin Compton of Denison had something for me that I will take to Frontier Village in a few days. But first, I want to share the information with readers.

The item is a two foot long strip of of what I believe is a cottonwood tree. Decoupaged on it is an article about Freeman's FF Guest Ranch, the Lazy Double F that was printed in the Fort Worth Press in the Feb. 5, 1947, edition. Edith Alderman Deen wrote the article for her column, "Woman's Corner."

You're probably wondering what such an article about a ranch in Colorado could possible have to do with Denison. I came upon the information about the Colorado connection to Denison in 2006 when I was on a tour with National Federation of Press Women before the annual conference.

At the time the article was written, the ranch in Creede, Colo., was owned by Ken and Kathy Ellison. On the porch of a home in Fort Worth that was occupied by Mrs. W.P. McLean were many relics, including an iron pan with a buckskin string in which gold once was panned and other items such as an iron bear trap. Everyone always asked about the relics and Mrs. McLean had stories to tell.

Mrs. McLean had gone to Creede in 1947 to a lodge that was owned by Mr. and Mrs. F.A. Freeman of Wichita Falls.

That lodge in the mountains near Creede was known by prominent Texans as The Texas Club, and it was owned in the 1890s by the Denison Rod and Gun Association.

The owners of the lodge may sound familiar, although the Denison Rod and Gun now is the Denison Country Club and it is located on FM 84, northwest of Denison.

In addition to the relics on Mrs. McLean's porch is an old register that is kept in the house. It contains names of many well-known Texans, including A.F. Platter, Albert Foute, D.T. Bomar, who all were deceased in 1947. The names of W.B. Munson and Lingo families also appear often on the register, according to Edith Deen's column.

Mrs. Willard Burton of Wichita Falls was then Hortense Lingo of the Lingo Leeper Lumber Company family. One of their lumber yards was located in Denison. Hortense remembered as a girl going to the ranch in the 1890s on a narrow-gauge railroad to Wagon Wheel Gap, then by wagon over terrible roads to get to Creede.

The column goes on to say that prominent Texans were some of the early visitors to the place and that the silver boom of Creede in 1892 took many of them there.

The old registry said that the Texas Club was organized in 1896, probably as an enlargement of the original Denison Rod and Gun Club that was established several years earlier.

Pioneer Denison residents were lured to Colorado to have a place where they could fish and hunt where fish and deer were plentiful. A country club was established there on May 14, 1890, with Denisonians J.J. Fairbanks as chairman and A.F. Platter as secretary. Fairbanks built the house now known as the Molly Cherry Bed and Breakfast and Platter was connected with Waples-Platter Wholesale foods here.  Major L.L. Maughs was first president with "Uncle Ben" Merrell as vice president; A.F.  Platter, secretary; J.T. Munson, treasurer; W.A. Hollenbeck, steward; and Levi Lingo, Dr. W.H. Mills, T.B. Waldron, J.J. Fairbanks and Platter as directors.  

Fifty men agreed to pay $100 each to create the club. No dues were charged but the members were levied assessments when the need for more funds arose. First assessments usually were $25. When members failed to pay, they were promptly ousted from the membership rolls and forfeited their $100.

After adopting bylaws and electing officers, R.S. Williams of Del Norte, Colo. was hired to haul six loads of lumber to the cabin site 18 miles west of Creede for a building program. Taxes were extremely high there according to a 1964 article in The Denison Herald. They amounted to $83.88 on the property that had a valuation on the tax roll of $1,100.

The excitement of having a club in Colorado waned after a few years and in 1905 the Colorado site was sold and 205.3 acres northwest of Denison on Highway 84 was purchased and a dam for the lake and a clubhouse were planned.

When I was in Colorado, our group took a tour of a Chautauqua at Boulder for an evening meal. Jane Barker, a native of Boulder and a 35-year member of Colorado Press Women, gave a rundown on the Chautauqua and to my surprise I learned that it was a group of Texans who started it in the late 1890s. They were a group of University of Texas teachers who wanted to establish a summer school in a pretty location where they could study and rest.

Boulder officials who were excited about the project, gave the school eight acres of land on the Mesa. Boulder put in a water system and built a dining hall and auditorium.

Such well-knowns as William Jennings Bryan, Jane Adams and Ellen Starr were featured in programs there.

Many built their own summer cottages there where they observed siesta or quiet time every day on the verandas that wrapped around the cottages on three sides.

Today the refurbished cottages at the Chautauqua are hailed as Boulder's best kept lodging secrets. Nearly all are on the National Register of Historic Places. They have no telephones so residents are encouraged to bring their own cell phones. They offer tranquility instead of television.

The wooden plaque was given to Compton by a lady who owned and/or operated the Freeman Guest Ranch in the Creede area in 1986 when Cottonwood Cove Cabins, where the Comptons usually stayed when they went to Colorado, were converted into time-share occupancy. She gave it to them because they were from Denison.

Compton is a 33-year employee of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. The plaque will be displayed in the museum at Grayson County Frontier Village.

Herald Democrat
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Military dogtags of Denison Mayor W.S. Hibbard found in Colorado"


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