the Gate City of Texas.
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In the spring of 1872 a few unpretentious men appeared in Grayson
County, Texas, looking for small farms. They all bought in the same neighborhood,
and the settlers all chuckled over the quality of land they were able to
dispose of to some of them. But not until these purchases had aggregated
over two thousand acres in a solid body, and a few deeds had been spread
upon the records conveying the whole to R. S. Stevens, was it discovered
that this land was intended as a site for a city to be built at the terminus
of a great trunk railroad, the first to penetrate the Indian Territory.
These purchases heralded the birth of Denison. At that time the
Missouri, Kansas, & Texas Railroad had hardly reached Muskogee, one
hundred and fifty miles away, but was making rapid strides toward Texas
and was known to be pointing in the direction of Grayson County. What were
supposed to be the only available crossings of Red River had been gobbled
up by native land-sharks in the belief that a fortune was in store for
them in selling out to the coming railroad. Sherman, the county seat, and
the prospective terminus of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, had
turned the cold shoulder to this yankee enterprise, refusing to give any
aid or to make any concessions of land. True, she wanted the road and expected
it to come, but it was to be as a favor to the road and not an obligation
to the city.
From the very first, this great enterprise, which was destined to
do so much good for Texas, was characterized as a "yankee innovation" and
was antagonized and hampered in every possible way, but it was in the hands
of a man who knew his business, who had faith in his work and in himself,
and who knew no such word as fail. Unwelcomely received by a city already
established, he determined to found one of his own. With a faith born of
inspiration and in the face of opposition that would have discouraged ordinary
men, he pushed on his work, laid out the best planned city in the South,
and on the 23rd of September, 1872, made a public sale of lots. A goodly
number of people were in attendance and notwithstanding the fact that his
railroad was yet a hundred miles away, that two hundred laborers were resting
idly upon their shovels between this point and Red River, restrained from
building a road bed across his own land by an injunction of the District
Court of Grayson County. The bidding was spirited, and lots in an open
prairie sold at an average of over $100 each, or more than $1,500 per acre.
The confidence of the man gave confidence to the people. In less than three
hours after the close of the sale, building had commenced on Main Street
and to this day has never been discontinued.
The city was incorporated in March 1873, and before the new officers
had become warm in their seats they began agitating the subject of free
Within a year the foundation was laid for a pubic school building,
which cost, when completed, forty-five thousand dollars and was at that
time, by far, the best in the State. The public school fund was small in
amount and precarious in collection, but our people were enthusiastic and
what the public fund lacked was made up by private subscription. Business
men contributed freely, old bachelors and men of family vying with each
other as to which should give the most, and in 1874 there was a public
free school in Denison for ten months of the year, the first instance of
the kind in the history of the State. It gave Denison at once a prominence
in educational matters which she has never since forfeited. The noble almoners
of the Peabody Fund, noticing the struggle, came to her aid in 1875, and
again in 1876, but at the end of that year the people said: "We thank you
for the assistance you have rendered us but will ask no more. Give now
unto those who are more needy, for Denison is both able and willing to
provide for her own children".
And nobly has that promise been redeemed. Ten months of public school
in every year, free to every child within the city's limit, extending through
a period of fourteen years and still going on, is a record which no other
city in Texas possesses and one of which Denison is justly proud.
The single building which was erected at the start has been supplemented
by another and another, until the city now owns three brick edifices for
the education of white children, and one for colored, all filled to overflowing
and half a dozen business houses temporarily occupied besides.
The corps of teachers has been increased from three in 1874 to twenty-five
in 1887. A thorough system of grading has been introduced and maintained,
and the curriculum has been gradually extended until it embraces all the
branches of the ordinary city high school.
Nor are facilities wanting for those who prefer private to public
instruction. The Academy of St. Francis Xavier furnishes accommodations
for a hundred young ladies from home and abroad and is well worthy of the
liberal patronage it is receiving, while Professor Harshaw's Commercial
College gives the finishing touches to the young men.
Music and the Arts have not been neglected, and Denison boasts of
as high an order of musical education as any city in the land, a fact which
the prominence her young ladies have already attained in Chicago, Boston,
and New York will sufficiently attest.
Denison as a Health Resort
* * *
Rheumatics and Consumptives
At its foundation, the people of Denison, who were carrying life
insurance, had difficulty with their respective companies in securing permission
to let their policies continue in force. The reason for this lay in confusing
the upper Red River country with the deadly lowlands of the same river
in Louisiana. The upper Red River is so remarkably healthy that the insurance
companies have not only withdrawn their opposition, but all have their
agents there actively soliciting business.
If the selection of a town site had been made with reference to
health alone, no other consideration influencing its location, a better
could not have been made. The place chosen was on an undulating, upland,
wooded prairie, two miles south of Red River. The surface is sufficiently
sloping to give the whole city a thorough drainage and near enough level
to require the minimum amount of grading for streets, alleys, or yards.
Indeed, the amount of grading in the entire city in fifteen years would
not equal one block in Kansas City.
The elevation of the city at its lowest part is two hundred feet
above the river, and eight hundred feet above the sea.
"The fog that rises when the sun goes down"
The highest ground is over eighty feet additional, making the select
resident portion of the day two hundred and eighty feet above the river
and eight hundred feet above the sea.
Its situation, on the south side of the river, in order to be appreciated,
must be accompanied by the statement that in Texas the prevailing wind
is from the South. Due care is not always taken in the origin of a town,
to get it in a healthy locality. It is either built on low land, in the
river bottom, or on the north side of a stream, where it catches all the
malaria borne upon the wind. It is not uncommon to find pneumonia, bilious
fevers, ague, and malarial diseases prevailing in a territory five or seven
miles from the north bank of a river, or in the river bottom, when no cases
can be found south of the river. Even the ordinary prevailing diseases
are mild in type and are easily managed on the south upland, while they
take on violent characteristics in the river bottom or on the north bank.
A residence on the north side of the river means not only anxiety, sorrow,
lost time by sickness, or untimely death to some member of the family,
but it means, after a fortune is secured, its expenditure in seeking for
a restoration of the health lost in accumulating it. Better not get riches
if they have to be squandered on doctors. Better not labor for profit if
all the gain must go to the drug store: it is poor consolation, after years
of toil, to see the results swept up by the undertaker. Yet many a man,
superior in business qualifications, makes the mistake of settling in the
city built on the low lands, leaves his wife a widow, his children orphans,
and has his estate divided between the grave-digger and the hearse owner.
The soil on which Denison is built is mostly sandy, in some places
underlaid with a ledge of lime stone. Mud is almost unknown. Even a half
hour after a violent rain you can walk out without getting the feet wet,
throughout most of the town. This fact, coupled with the dryness of the
climate, gives convalescents more days in the open air than can be secured
in almost any other portion of the United States.
Here can be found the
greatest number of
There are few extremely hot or cold days. The lowest thermometer
observed in fifteen years was eight degrees, Fahr., while the highest was
one hundred and eight degrees, Fahr. These are exceptional readings. Careful
observation shows an average of four degrees (throughout the summer) below
the temperature of the Missouri Valley five hundred miles to the north,
and during the summer of 1887 at no time was the temperature above ninety-six
degrees. No matter how hot the day may be, there is always a refreshing
breeze at night, which reinvigorates the. system. Hot sweltering nights
are unknown. Throughout July, August, and September there is no dew, everybody
sleeps in the draft, with doors and windows all open, and "catching cold"
is unknown. The idea prevails so extensively that the farther North the
colder, and the farther South the warmer, that it is difficult to convince
people of exceptions to this. Take any daily summer reading of the weather
reports as furnished by the signal service, and most invariably it will
be found that Texas points are lower than Iowa or Kansas. Why? The prevailing
wind from the south is cool, off the gulf, takes up the heat of the earth
as it travels north, and by the time it reaches Nebraska is five degrees
hotter than in North Texas.
The winter temperature seldom reaches zero, never does so in fact
except when the wind turns into the North, and never continue[s] so beyond
two or three days. There is seldom ten days during the winter season that
a person cannot be out of doors without, or with[,] a light wrap. February,
the most abominable month in the North, is usually the most delightful
in North Texas.
Medical men understand too well the aggravation of all lung troubles
by damp weather: first, through the debilitating influence of moisture,
relaxing the system, prostrating the vitality, lowering the tone; second,
the increase of the bronchial secretion, requiring more coughing and still
farther debilitating an almost exhausted frame; third, the liability to
take fresh cold, rekindling the subsiding fever flame. Denison is in an
essentially dry atmosphere. We have enough rain to mature crops, but no
excess of moisture. Fog is almost unknown, and snow has not fallen for
two years. This dry atmosphere is peculiarly suitable for sick people.
A hot moist day at seventy degrees is more exhausting than a hot dry day
at ninety degrees, or a cold damp day at thirty degrees is more liable
to produce sickness than a cold dry day at ten degrees. Moisture, if cold,
causes a rapid extraction of bodily heat, followed by a shock to the system,
the full force usually falling on the diseased tissue. An absence of such
moisture means greater security from back-sets.
The Water Supply
is drawn from wells. Through the strata of sand surrounding and
underlying the city is filtered an abundance of pure water that would be
unexpected on top of a hill. The waterworks have a stand-pipe fifteen feet
in diameter and one hundred and twenty-five feet high, two hoisting engines
with a capacity of over one million gallons daily, and draw their supply
from several wells connected with each other by a tunnel. C. W. Clark,
Master Mechanic of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, says that is the purest
water found anywhere on their ten thousand miles of railway system. It
is also the most expensive and extensive system of waterworks in the State
The diseases existing in this section are the same as elsewhere
in the United States, though modified by the climate.
Of typhoid fever there has never been but one authentic case since
the city was started fifteen years ago.
Measles are the same as elsewhere.
Of hay fever about one-half the people afflicted with it are relieved
by coming to Texas. The other half suffer in a milder form.
Scarlet fever, that terror of northern households, is hardly worth
considering. There have not been to exceed three deaths from it since the
founding of the city. In the majority of instances it is so mild that the
patient never goes to bed. In the worst cases medical attendance is seldom
required beyond a few days, and sequellae are almost unknown.
From diphtheria there have been about seven deaths in a population
of fifteen thousand during 1887 from this disease, and that equals the
number dying from the disease in all the fourteen years preceding.
Rheumatism exists but is a rare disease. All persons coming in afflicted
with it recover their health by a few months' residence, without taking
any medicine. Climatic influence alone banishes the disease.
Consumption is the disease above all others that is benefited by
a residence here. The reason for this will become apparent with a moment's
thought as to its nature. While classed by recent researches among the
diseases caused by the implantation of a tubercular germ, yet all doctors
know that the disease is virulent or held in abeyance according to the
amount of fresh air a person receives. Stinginess of fresh air in the bed-room
means death from consumption. The more fresh air persons have, the less
liable they are to take it; if there is any suspicion of inheriting the
tendency, fresh air diminishes its possibly coming; if it is already in
the system, fresh air holds out more hope of cure than any other plan of
Look at this first in the point of elevation. No person standing
in certain depots in the Rocky Mountains can shut his eyes to the constant
stream of coffins going eastward, while the palace car daily delivers new
victims. "Too late, too late; you put off coming too long", is the song
the dying consumptive is greeted with, when in fact he has been killed
by the change. The attenuated atmosphere of a mountain region contains
sensibly less oxygen to the cubic foot than that of a lower region, the
lungs have to move more rapidly to extract it, and exhaustion follows as
a matter of course. Too late to say that the patient went there too
soon would strike the truth oftener. A moderate elevation from five hundred
to one thousand feet above sea level is much better adapted to consumptives
than extremes either above or below.
As to moisture, a residence on the sea coast, near great lakes,
or in a damp climate, always aggravates consumption. At Denison is a climate
essentially dry. For three or four months in the year there is no dew,
frequently from sixty to ninety days between rains and sometimes six months
without rain, no snow for two years, and consequently an absence of all
these conditions hinging on moisture which tends to aggravate consumption,
at the same time permitting more outdoor exercise, more fresh air, more
of the essentials which strengthen the system to resist the encroachments
of the disease, at the same time that there is diminished chances of backsets.
During the winter season [in] the North, and especially along the
sea coast, patients are housed up, unable to venture out. If a few days
of mild spring weather lures them from their retreat, it is at the risk
of wet feet, new colds, and a fresh impulse to the disease. In Denison,
during both winter and spring, the ground is generally dry, and the dust
flying. There are not to exceed ten days in the winter that an invalid
cannot live out of doors.
Ah, but those horrid Northers! Yes, they have throughout the Southwest
a keen, cold, penetrating wind coming down suddenly from the North, that
chills everything. If prepared for it, as every sensible person ought to
be, it is an invigorating change, giving sprightliness to the step, brightness
to the countenance, and snap to the appetite. If not prepared for it, you
will suffer just as any other fool, who is caught in a shower without an
umbrella. These Northers are no worse in Texas than in New York or Pennsylvania.
The only difference between them there and here is that in New York they
are mixed up with so much abominable weather that a worse spell is not
noticed, while in Texas they occur right in the pleasant weather. The temperature
falls father but no more suddenly in Texas than Pennsylvania.
One more point, frequently overlooked by doctors in sending patients
away for their health. All cough, from whatever disease, jars and debilitates
the stomach. Nausea and vomiting are frequently present even from the violence
of a whooping cough. Under these circumstances a patient should never be
sent to a health resort, no matter how superior the climatic influences,
if the food to be provided, or the style of cooking[,] is "behind the age".
Patients by hundreds have been sent to localities where pine land, sandy
soil, genial skies, and pleasant surroundings existed, yet where "hog and
hominy" was the unvarying diet, everything was fried in grease, and while
the lungs drank in the grand atmosphere, the stomach was disgusted at the
provender or method of preparation. North Texas is settled with a class
of people abreast with the age, who know how to cook, how to live, and
how to enjoy life.
Denison, Texas, October 20th, 1887.
This is to certify that the Mortuary Record of the City of Denison,
Texas, show[s] a mortality for the year ending October 1, 1887, of one
hundred and forty-three (143), of these ten died of Pulmonary Consumption,
four of whom were born in Texas, three born out of Texas, and the birth-place
of three unknown.
T. E. Kennedy,
Secretary of City of Denison
The average death rate of all England as given by Carpenter, is
about twenty-two per thousand. The lowest actual mortality quoted by him
is eleven per thousand. The following report gives the mortality for 1870
for the cities named. The death rate is per thousand inhabitants:
St. Louis 21.3
San Francisco 21.4
New York 29.3
Denison's death rate for 1886-7 is only 12 per 1000. Consumption
is credited usually with producing the death of one person out of every
six. In some localities this rate is far exceeded. Including those who
came to Denison with the disease, and died, the rate is only one in fourteen.
Excluding known foreign-born cases, the rate is only one in twenty. Still
farther excluding the cases of doubtful nativity, and considering only
those positively known to originate here, the rate is about one in thirty-six.
To put it in different language, six times as many people die elsewhere
of consumption as in Denison. If that dreaded disease is lurking in your
system[,] your chances of reaching old age are six fold greater in Denison
than at any average point in the country.
Denison's Water Supply
The Best in the State
Texas is often referred to as a drouth-stricken state, and persons
not acquainted with the facts, have been led by the reference mentioned
to believe that the entire state is subject to disastrous drouths.
Neither Denison, nor the country tributary to her, lie within the
dry belt. Copious rains fall to bless the husbandman, and his broad acres
never fail to yield paying crops. Denison has as fine a system of waterworks
as can be found in the state. They were built in 1886, by S. R. Bullock
& Co., of New York, at a cost of over $200,000, and have a capacity
of three and a half million gallons daily. Water is drawn from fourteen
wells, and two thousand five hundred feet of tunnel, with a reservoir capacity
of sixty million gallons. The water tower is one hundred and twenty-five
feet high, and with ten miles of mains, varying in size from six to ten
inches, a pressure of seventy-five pounds to the square inch is obtained.
The Water Supply.
The volume of water is so abundant that during the past summer the
immense water trains of the Missouri Pacific Railway were supplied from
the Denison waterworks, and this without perceptibly diminishing the supply
at the works. The water, a free, soft sandstone, is clear as crystal and
just sufficiently impregnated with iron to make it very healthful. Manufacturers
seeking a good location will find no better point than Denison. Its abundant
supply of water, supplemented with one of the best fire departments in
the state, reduces the risk from fire to the minimum.
The question of water, and the best in the world, is solved at Denison,
and persons desiring to escape the drouthy sections of Texas, and find
homes in a city where water of the very best quality may be had in abundance,
should come to Denison.
The moral atmosphere of Denison is inviting to all who delight to
"walk in the ways of the Lord". There are eight churches in the city, as
follows: Presbyterian, Christian, Baptist, North Methodist, South Methodist,
Episcopal, Catholic, and German Lutheran. Each has a strong membership,
and each congregation, with the exception of the German Lutheran, owns
the church edifice in which it worships. St. Xavier's Academy, for young
ladies, is maintained by the Catholic Church, and is recognized by the
highest educational circles as one of the best institutions of its kind
in the Southwest. Both the Presbyterian and Christian churches contemplate
establishing colleges in Denison at an early day. With these moral influences
at hand, parents seeking a point at which they may educate their children
without exposing them to the temptations of immoral surroundings cannot
do better than locate in Denison.
Denison Real Estate
A Few Suggestive Figures
Less than thirty days ago Denison passed the fifteenth anniversary
of her existence. At that earlier period[,] the ground upon which now stands
the metropolis of North Texas could have been bought for from fifty cents
to one dollar and fifty cents per acre. Shrewd, far-seeing men saw and
appreciated the advantages that the surrounding country offered and[,]
taking advantage of them[,] planned and platted the city of Denison. Of
course, older and better settled portions of the country scoffed [at] the
idea that a town, much less a city, could be built where Denison now stands,
but the originators, firm in the faith of her future, went manfully to
work and to-day Denison stands a proud memorial of their enterprise and
pluck. Situated, as it were, upon an uncultivated track of land, her first
hope was in railroads. One came, they were bound to come, come, for the
then hamlet's geographical position commanded them. Property, of course,
became enhanced in value, not from any worked up boom but from real intrinsic
value. The attention of investors was attracted and capital began to flow
in. Lots and blocks that were held at hundreds rapidly appreciated in value
into the thousands, and the tents and shanties that hitherto had marked
the town site gave way to the brick storehouses and the handsome private
residences that now adorn her business and residence streets. To cite a
few examples of the rapid enhancement of real estate in the earlier days,
and those days are not so far away but that they are vivid in the recollection
of many of the pioneer residents of the city - vivid because those who had
nerve enough to catch on and hold on now have the substantial proofs of
their judgment to their credit in the banks, and vivid to others because
they daily pass lots and blocks which they might have owned to-day had
they had faith. In a recent edition of the Denison Morning News, there
were cited a considerable number of instances where property sold at a
song but a few years ago and quoted the reigning prices of to-day.
There were men of little faith in those days as there are now and
always will be. They laughed a few years ago at Mr. Schultz when he paid
three hundred dollars for a block near the cemetery, yet he has been offered
sixteen thousand for it. In 1880, a block on West Woodard Street was offered
for two thousand and three hundred dollars. The proprietor was offered
fourteen hundred dollars for half of it, but the sale fell through because
the parties disagreed as to how the block should be divided. To-day that
same half cannot be bought for four thousand dollars. Six years ago the
block on Woodard Street, corner of Eddy Avenue, was purchased for six hundred
dollars. It is now worth eight thousand dollars. In 1876 William Hughes
paid two hundred dollars for a block just beyond the Main Street school
house. They weakened and sold it for one hundred and fifty dollars. It
has recently changed hands at the rate of twenty-four hundred dollars per
acre and in five years from to-day cannot be touched at the rate of forty
These instances might be multiplied ad nauseam. They are not drawn
from fancy but the official records of the transfer of title, and the amounts
paid are upon record upon the County's books. The instances cited are none
of them upon the main business street of the city - Main Street. Property
has not changed as frequently upon Main as elsewhere in the city, but it
has advanced in perhaps a still greater ratio. In 1877 P. O'Donnell purchased
the lot where the United States Clothing Store now stands for fourteen
hundred dollars, although there was a house on it worth twelve hundred
dollars. To-day the lot is covered with a fine brick store house and the
land alone is valued at eight thousand dollars. Jack Gallagher's property,
on the corner of Main and Burnett Avenue, which cost him twelve hundred
dollars a few years ago, is now worth fifteen thousand dollars without
With her assured future, Denison real estate is as cheap to-day
as it ever was. Denison is now the main point in Texas of the entire Missouri
Pacific Southwestern system. She is the terminus of the Houston & Texas
Central. Lateral branches of the Missouri Pacific extend in every direction.
The Denison, Bonham & New Orleans, a line that owes its conception
and building to Denison enterprise, will be in running order to Bonham
by January 1, 1887. The subsidy asked for to build the Denison & Washita
to the coal fields of the nation has been raised, the survey has been completed,
and this road will also be ironed to Red River by the first of January,
If property so enhanced in value during the few years of Denison?s
transition state from a hamlet to a city of her now proportions, who can
dispute the fact that it will still keep pace with Denison's upward and
onward march. The completion of the Denison & Washita road to the coal
fields, which will be accomplished in less than one year, will not only
supply her with cheap fuel but enable her to command the price of that
article throughout the entire state of Texas. The extension of the Denison,
Bonham & New Orleans, to the long-leaf pine forest, will furnish abundant
lumber for all kinds of manufactures of furniture, etc., at prices that
cannot be competed with.
Added to this[,] Denison is situated in one of the richest agricultural
counties in the state, which cannot be surpassed in the production of cereals,
fruits, or vegetables.
If ever a city had a brilliant prospect for her future, Denison
is the place. Her property is as cheap to-day, comparatively, as it ever
was. Investors who now place their money here cannot fail to realize largely
upon their investments. Denison cordially invites everyone to come, look
over the ground, and judge for themselves.
Read This Carefully
This little brochure will doubtless find its way into the hands
of many visitors at the State Fair, who will be interested in noting the
productiveness of the different counties in the State. The appended certificates
speak for themselves.
State of Texas,
County of Grayson,
Personally appeared before me, T.V. Munson, who being by me duly
sworn, upon oath states that he has raised on his farm adjoining Denison
Sweet corn, which netted him per acre $100
Asparagus, which netted him per acre $300
Melons, which netted him per acre $60
Sweet potatoes, which netted him per acre $300
Four thousand quarts of blackberries to the acre $350
Five thousand quarts of strawberries to the acre $750
Peaches, which netted him per acre $350
Grapes, extra fine varieties, netted, per acre $500 to $1000
Grapes, ordinary varieties, netted, per acre $300 to $500
T. V. Munson
Sworn and subscribed to before me, this September 15, 1887.
W. L. Nevins, Notary Public
State of Texas,
County of Grayson.
Personally appeared before me, J. J. Fairbanks, who, being by me
duly sworn[,] upon his oath states that he has cultivated ten acres of
land, situated one mile south of the city of Denison, in fruits and vegetables
for the past four years with about the following result:
The entire ten acres has yielded an average for the four years of
two hundred dollars per acre per annum, net product, after deducting freight
and cost of marketing.
I have raised fruits, apples, peaches, plums, blackberries and grapes.
My product of grapes has averaged not less than $350 per acre per
annum. I have cultivated principally the Ives, Delaware and Herbemonts.
I have manufactured a fine quality of wine, and consider this a
first-class wine producing country.
J. J. Fairbanks.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this September 15, 1887.
H. Tone, Notary Public.
State of Texas,
County of Grayson.
I hereby certify that I have raised on my farm, situated about two
miles from Denison, in Grayson County, the following fruits and vegetables:
Blackberries, 1800 quarts per acre, netting $100
Sweet potatoes from 250 to 300 bushels per acre, netting $225
Tomatoes averaged per acre $150
Melons averaged per acre $100
Irish potatoes averaged per acre 4100
Onions averaged per acre $200
These profits were in each crop, and I have raised from two to three
crops of vegetables on the same ground per year, and two crops of potatoes
Subscribed and sworn to before me on this October 12, 1887.
W. L. Nevins, Notary Public.
State of Texas,
County of Grayson.
Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, this September
15, 1887, H. Tone, who being duly sworn, deposes and says that he, in connection
with E. T. Bush, was engaged in the cultivation of strawberries in and
near the city of Denison, Texas, from the year 1874 to 1885. That the average
returns during said time ranged from $200 to $1000 per acre per annum,
after deducting cost of marketing.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this September 15, 1887.
A. R. Collins, Notary Public.
State of Texas,
County of Grayson.
I hereby certify that I have raised an average of over fifty bushels
of corn per acre for the past six years on the farm now occupied by me,
situated three miles north of Denison, Texas, and my entire corn crop this
year will average over seventy-five bushels per acre. I further certify
that the average of my cotton crop for the last six years has been over
three-fourths of a bale of 500 pounds, and my crop this year promises to
yield considerably over a bale per acre [if] no misfortune befalls it.
J. H. Nelms.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this September 30, 1887.
S. S. Fears, Notary Public.
State of Texas,
County of Grayson.
I hereby certify that I have raised on my farm, situated in East
Denison, and within the city limits, and which I have cultivated for the
last ten years:
Radishes which netted me from one acre $337.60
Tomatoes per acre $250.00
Wax beans per acre $204.00
Grapes per acre $440.00 to $450.00
Strawberries per acre $800.00
Peaches per acre $200.00
Sworn and subscribed to before me this August 17, 1887.
W. L. Nevins, Notary Public.
Denison claims, and not extravagantly either, that she is destined
to become the great railroad center of North Texas. Already her railroad
interests have assumed gigantic proportions, and the work in that direction
seems to have but fairly been begun. Being the Southern terminus of the
Missouri, Kansas & Texas division of the great Missouri Pacific system,
immense shops, giving employment to an army of men, have been located here,
and it is from Denison that four branches of the Missouri Pacific, piercing
territory Southeast and Southwest, radiate. That the reader may have some
conception of the magnitude of the Missouri Pacific's operations at Denison,
it is but necessary to cite the fact that $1,500,000 is disbursed annually
to its employees at this point. This immense sum is divided into monthly
payments, and acts as a great stimulus to trade in Denison.
The Missouri Pacific has lately made extensive additions to its
yards at this point, by purchasing more ground and putting down twenty-five
or thirty miles additional switching. This line alone now has forty-two
miles of switching within the corporate limits of Denison, or more than
all the railroads at either Dallas or Fort Worth, combined. But the Missouri
Pacific does not propose to draw the line at these great improvements.
Ground has been purchased on which to erect shops greatly exceeding the
capacity of the ones now in operation here. The cost of these shops is
estimated at $100,000, and when completed will give employment to two thousand
So much for the Missouri Pacific's interests at Denison. Now let
us speak of the Houston & Texas Central, of which Denison is the Northern
terminus. This line, like the Missouri Pacific, monthly makes large disbursements
to its employees at Denison, amounting in the aggregate to $500,000 annually.
Here are two railroads annually pouring into the lap of Denison
$2,000,000. Is not this of itself strong evidence that Denison has already
made a good start in the direction of becoming the great railroad center
of North Texas?
But Denison has much more to offer in support of her coming supremacy
as a railroad center.
The Denison, Bonham & New Orleans
is being rapidly pushed to completion. The grading is already done,
and not later than January 1, 1888, trains will be running between Denison
and Bonham. This road runs in a Southeastern direction from Denison, passing
through the richest grain and cotton-growing section of the State. Grayson,
Fannin, Lamar, and Delta counties are pierced almost through their centers.
Next, the counties of Camp, Marion, and Upshur are reached. These counties
undoubtedly contain the richest deposits of iron ore to be found in the
South. These deposits have been partially developed. The completion of
the Denison and Washita, to the coal fields, will give Denison absolute
control of the coal supply of the State, and the question as to when she
will become the Birmingham of Texas is easily answered. On the line of
this road are magnificent forests of long-leaf pine, cedar, cypress, and
post oak. This road opens up an entirely new territory to the wholesale
trade of Denison, one that is rich in agriculture, lumber, and mining.
The Denison & Washita
For long, weary months Denison has been watching and praying for
the appearance of some railroad Moses, so to speak, who would take the
Denison & Washita and lead it out of the wilderness of doubt and uncertainty
which surrounded it. But this season of suspense and anxiety is ended.
A few weeks since, a proposition was made by a wealthy syndicate to the
citizens of Denison, as follows: They [are] to contribute a thirty thousand
dollar subsidy, seven thousand, five hundred dollars payable when the Denison
& Washita should be completed to the south bank of Red River, and the
remainder at completion of the line to the coal fields in the Indian Territory.
Liberality and enterprise are the chief characteristics of the average
Denisonian, and in one week after the above proposition had been submitted[,]
the $30,000 subsidy was placed at the disposal of the syndicate. This secures
to Denison the Denison & Washita, and the grading of the line from
Denison to Red River is already under way. Contracts for iron, ties, and
bridge timbers have been awarded, and all that is possible for men and
money to do to secure a rapid completion of the work will be done.
What will the Denison & Washita secure to Denison? Well, being
strictly a Denison enterprise, it makes Denison mistress of the coal situation.
It secures cheap fuel to Denison and makes her the only point in Texas
at which factories of all kinds may be run cheaply and profitably. As the
source of supply of cheap fuel, Denison becomes an attractive point for
railroads. The latter must have cheap fuel, and at no other point in Texas
can it be obtained so cheaply as at Denison. Already the Cotton Belt route
has signified its intention of extending its line from Sherman to Denison,
the magnet being Denison?s cheap coal. Others roads will follow the example
of the Cotton Belt, and prediction never yet has rested upon more stable
foundation than the one to the effect that Denison is destined at no distant
day to become the great railroad center of North Texas.
Denison points with pride to her banking institutions - The First
National and the State National. Both are officered by men of unquestioned
probity and large experience, and each enjoys to the fullest extent the
confidence of financial circles at home and abroad.
The First National was reorganized a short time since and its capital
stock increased from $50,000 to $150,000. In its newly organized state,
the First National affords a notable illustration of the confidence Eastern
capitalists are exhibiting in Denison enterprises. Following is a partial
list of the stockholders, showing that Denison commands the confidence
of the money marts of the East:
Maine - L. M. Whalen, O. B. Whalen, W. P. Bucknan; N. B. Nutt, Jr.,
treasurer Eastport Savings Bank; George N. Hayes, Eastport; Franklin Nourse,
manufacturer, Saco; Hon. Frederick Robie, ex-governor of Maine, Gorham;
Hon Percival Bonney, judge of the supreme court; Hon. W. H. Loony, Portland;
Hon. Edwin Stone, Trustee Biddeford Savings Bank; Hon. J. M. Goodwin, president
York County Savings Bank, Biddeford.
Vermont - Hon. B. M. Smally, secretary National Democratic committee;
Gen. Wm. Wells, Burlington; ex-governor Gregory J. Smith; E. C. Smith,
St. Albans; C. E. Bush; A. C. Burke, cashier First National Bank, Orwell;
W. S. Dewey, manufacturer; John J. Dewey, manufacturer; J. W. Parker, manufacturer;
Wm. Lindsay, manufacturer, Quechee.
Massachusetts - W. D. Brackett, shoe manufacturer; S. B. King, Boston;
W. W. Rice, Wollaston; Hon. W. B. Stevens, Stoneham; N. S. King, Newton;
F. W. Johnson, Stoneham.
Rhode Island - O. A. Jilson, cashier Weybosset National Bank; J. V.
Ousterhout, L. A. Pope, Warren.
New Jersey - L. P. Smith, cashier First National Bank; Dr. Geo. L.
Romnie, B. H. Taylor, W. D. L. Robbins, M. B. Marshall, Mrs. Kate Crook,
The State National, of which Mr. J. H. Johnson is President, and
N. S. Ernst, Cashier, was chartered September 27, 1881, and commenced business
October 4, 1883. It has had a prosperous and popular career and now has
$160,000 capital, surplus, and profits in its business. The authorized
capital is $500,000 with a paid up capital of $100,000. No banking institution
in the State enjoys the confidence of the public to a higher degree than
the State National, and Denison may well feel proud of the fact that she
numbers so stable an enterprise among her many other advantages.
What Denison Has to Back Her.
*An elevation of eight hundred feet above sea level.
*The finest climate in the West or Southwest.
*The finest vineyards in the Southwest.
*The richest cotton growing and agricultural country surrounding
*The finest fire, brick, cement and potter' clay in the West.
*Flag, lime[,] and building stone that cannot be equalled.
*Railroads running in five directions and three more in course
*The natural distributing point for Texas and the Indian Territory.
*A large jobbing trade to draw from.
*Churches, schools[,] and everything to make you healthy,
wealthy[,] and happy.
*The strategic point for factories.
*Perfect natural drainage.
*The finest system of water-works in the Southwest affording
a never-failing supply of pure, soft water.
*The only land in Texas which returns from one hundred and
fifty dollars to six hundred dollars per acre net profit when cultivated
in fruit or vegetables.
*The Missouri Pacific Railroad shops, which disburse $150,000
monthly to employees residing in Denison.
*Inexhaustible beds of the finest coal in the world, only
forty miles distant.
*The Northern terminus of the Houston & Texas Central
*Unbroken forests of pine, oak, walnut, popular and hickory
close at hand.
*A Natural Gas Company already organized, with a capital stock
of thirty thousand dollars. This company has awarded the contract for drilling
a Natural Gas well, and work on the same will be begun not later than November
10, 1887. Experts pronounce the surface indications at Denison very favorable,
and predict that Natural Gas in abundance will be found at a depth not
exceeding twelve hundred feet.
[Linn, Lee.] "Souvenir of Denison: The Gate City of Texas, 1872-1887."
Denison, Texas: News Steam Printing House, 1887. C. M. and M. M. Scholl,
compositors. Souvenir printed for Texas State Fair and Dallas Exposition.
Library of Congress copyright no. 31191, November 19, 1887.
List of Illustrations
1. Map: "Denison's Cheap Coal Will Make Her the Great Railroad Center
of North Texas".