Madden's Department Store Fire
301 W. Main St.
January 14, 1967
Madden's Department Store
Fire, January 14, 1967. 301 West Main Street, Denison, Texas. Courtesy of Billy
Earl Cravens: My uncle was killed in
that fire when the roof fell in and the walls came down; Dose Strickland was
Carol Feath Douglas: I worked at the
State National Bank (Bank of America) at the time Madden's burned. Some of our
vice presidents and other men (tellers) were on top of our building with wet
"tow sacks" putting out the cinders that flew across. (That was the
old building before they tore down a beautiful building to build a modern one.)
They probably saved our building from catching on fire as well. When Madden's
opened their safe (after the fire), their billing statement cards were brought
over to the bank and put in one of our vaults for safekeeping. They rented the
building next to the bank (west) for their billing and collections area. People
could come in there and pay their bill. It was sad to see Madden's burn. My mom
and I stood on the sidewalk further on up the street and watched.
Fredrick Michael Lessly: I stood in the crowd as Maddens burned down! Such a sad day
for Denison, an icon lost in the ashes! I later heard that Mr. Madden himself
was also standing in the crowd of people watching the blazes. How he must have
Ed Strickland: I remember Madden's very
well. My mom — Agnes Campbell Strickland — worked there until it burned down.
My dad, V. L. "Deuce" Strickland, was one of the firemen who fought
the blaze that day. We watched from the sidewalk down the street. It was awful.
Several firemen almost got, and maybe did get, hurt when the walls fell.
Kathryn Mosse: My parents and I stood on the corner by Bear Drug
and watched it burn. My mother had worked at Madden's for years, and tears were
Pat Barnhill The year of the
fire was December 1966, because I had just brought home my new son. Dad
wondered if I set the fire so mother [Carmen Hood] would be available to help
me with the new baby!
Debra Hiner: I remember the old
Madden's store. I was still just a kid the day it burnt down. I remember all
the smoke. I was blocks away, on Morton Street, but we walked up to Sears Street
and stood in front of the Catholic church. We weren't allowed to go any closer
until the next day. It was very sad to see it gone.
Darlene Lewis: When Madden's
burned, my folks took us down to watch the losing battle between firefighters
and the fire.
Bonnie Thompson: i remember when it
burnt, we lived on East Main. We could see it looking out our two-story house.
Sharon L. Ward: I can remember seeing the
smoke from the flames when Madden's burned. I think I was home sick that day. I
can't remember the year or date it happened, just going outside and seeing all
the smoke and knowing Madden's was burning down. We lived out on Highway 69 at
Elaine Nall Bay