Search billions of records on

  Grayson County TXGenWeb 
John W. Madden

John W. Madden was the son of James C. and Mary J. McDonald Madden, born on August 14, 1869 in Tennessee. The family moved to Denton County, Texas by 1870. He married Lilla Etta Graham (1872 - 1952) on July 2, 1893, in Denton County. He was in the retail dry good business with her father, A. E. Graham. For many years, John owned Madden's Department Store in Denison. He died on March 17, 1953, and is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Denison, Grayson County, Texas. John and Lilla had a son: John W. "Tobe" Madden Jr. (1903 - 1973).

Source : Francis White Johnson, Ernest William Winkler, A History of Texas and Texans, volume 3 (1914), page 1421

Any analyzation of the career and achievements of John W. Madden would undoubtedly lead one to arrive at the conclusion that this prosperous merchant of Denison has been actuated at all times by a sense of duty - the duty which he owes to himself to improve best his opportunities and the duty which he owes to others, a duty which it would seem finds joy in its doing.  Laudable ambition was perhaps the first foundation stone that he laid, upon which he has built a success that stamps him as one of his community's most able men.  To this he added unfaltering energy and unabating persistency of purpose, but at all times he has recognized and appreciated individual responsibility towards those with whom he has worked and those who have worked for him, and it is as much for this reason as any other that he occupied the conceded position which is his today.

Mr. Madden is a native of Tennessee, born August 14, 1869, at Loudon, Loudon County, a son of James C. and Mary J. Madden, natives of the Big Ben state.  The father, a farmer by vocation, brought the family to Texas in 1871 and located in Denton County, where he continued to carry on agricultural pursuits with a fair measure of success until his death in 1887.  The mother, who still survives and makes her home with her son at Denison, is seventy-four years of age, yet retains her faculties in a remarkable degree and is very active for one of her advances years.  Two children were born to James C. and Mary J. Madden : John W. and James A., the latter engaged in the dry good business as an associate of his broth at Ardmore, Oklahoma.

John W. Madden was a child of two years when he accompanied his parents to Texas, and in the public schools of Denton County his education was secured. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, but the youth's inclinations turned toward a commercial career, and after the death of his father he secured employment as a clerk in a mercantile establishment, where he remained three years.

In 1890 he embarked in business at Temple, Texas, associated with the late A.E. Graham.  This partnership proved beneficial to both, the firm gradually extending the scope of its activities from town to town until a chain of sixteen stores represented the interests of Messrs. Graham and Madden.

"Madden, Graham & Co., Exterior."
Source : Robinson, Frank M., comp. Industrial Denison. [N.p.] : Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909]. Page 36

"Madden, Graham & Co., Interior First Floor. Dry Goods and Clothing."
Source : Robinson, Frank M., comp. Industrial Denison. [N.p.] : Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909]. Page 36

After the death of Mr. Graham, Mr. Madden concentrated his energies upon the development of the store at Denison, this establishment now being headquarters, with the branch at Ardmore, Oklahoma, under the management of James A. Madden, heretofore mentioned.  At the latter place the business is carried on in a building 40x188 ft., with a complete line of the most up-to-date goods, the trade extending far out into the country, about twenty-five clerks being necessary to handle the great volume of business.

The business at Denison is represented by a two-story structure, of modern style, 100x120 ft., with a floor space of 24,000 sq. ft.  A general line of dry goods and ready-to-wear gentlemen's and ladies' garments are carried and fifty clerks are employed.  It may be stated without fear of contradiction that this is one of Denison's most important industries and one which has done much toward furthering the city's commercial importance among the cities of North Texas.

Madden's Store
Interurban is coming down the street & the street is decorated with a "Season's Greetings" sign.
Eat Well Cafe down the street from Madden's Store

Madden's Store
301 West Main Street
Denison Texas

Mr. Madden is an extremely busy man, as is but natural in the management of such a large enterprise, yet he has found time to devote to the betterment of the general welfare of his community, and as a member of the Chamber of Commerce represents the municipality's best business interests.  He is a Democrat but has not sought public office, and his religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He has a pleasant and comfortable home at No. 1103 W. Morton Street.

Mr. Madden was married in Denton, in 1893, to Miss Lilla Graham, daughter of A.E. and Sarah Graham, the former of whom, for many years a prominent merchant of Denison, died in 1910, while the latter passed away about 1908.  Mr. and Mrs. Madden have one son, John W. Jr., a bright lad of ten years, who is attending the public schools of Denison.

Yellow Jacket
Denison High School
Christmas, 1910

Graham, Madden & Co. expanded to Denison, Texas, around 1898.  In 1912 this impressive residence was built at 1103 West Morton Street on the corner of North Tone Avenue.  It was one of two fine homes built at the same time, each comprising one-quarter of a city block.  By that time, John W. Madden owned Madden's Department Store at 301-307 West Main Street, and was president of the North Texas Loan and Trust Company. 

Madden's Dept Store ad, March 1917
March 1917 issue of the M K & T Employee's Magazine


Maddens in Fairview Cemetery:

MADDEN  LILLIAN            ---     OCT 08, 1902

MADDEN   J  W   JR        JAN 25, 1903 – MAR 17, 1973

MADDEN  LILLA  E           DEC 16, 1872 – JUL 07, 1952

MADDEN  J  W  [TOBE]            AUG 14, 1867 – MAR 17, 1953 

MADDEN  ANGIE  WHITMORE         AUG 30, 1899 – OCT  1981 
  D/O-  Mr  &  Mrs  HARRY  WHITMORE


Madden Department Store  History



Elaine Nall Bay

If you find any of Grayson County TXGenWeb links inoperable, please send me a message.