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History of Denison

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    Denison is on U.S. highways 75 and 69, seven miles north of Sherman in Northeastern Grayson County. In the early 1870's, William Benjamin Munson, Sr., and R. S. Stevens bought land in the area and prepared for the arrival of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad (the Katy). The town site was laid out in the summer of 1872 and named for the vice president of the Katy, George Denison. The first train arrived on Christmas Eve. The town had over 3,000 residents by the summer of 1873, when it incorporated. Although Main Street appeared to be an orderly collection of businesses, the surrounding area consisted of a tent city, inhabited by bars, gambling halls, and houses of prostitution.

    On February 06, 1873, Denison established the first free public school in Texas. The first Denison Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized on February 19, 1873. Denison had the first women's club in Texas: the XXI club began in 1876. In 1886, a post office opened, and in 1889, the town had 5,000 residents. During the next ten years Denison established itself as a retail and shipping point for North Texas. In addition to the tracks of the MKT, the town also became a stop on the St. Louis, San Francisco and Texas and the Kansas, Oklahoma, and Gulf railroads. Five additional rail lines that connected Denison with other communities in North Texas were chartered between the late 1870's and the 1900's, including the first interurban electric line between Denison and Sherman in 1896. By the end of the 1870's local businesses included two cotton compresses, a large flour mill, and a slaughterhouse capable of handling 700 cattle a day. In 1884, the town had an opera house that seated 1,200. In 1889, the Denison Herald began publication. During the twentieth century industrial and manufacturing plants provided a diversified economic base for a community. Electrical parts, clothes, furniture, and a variety of plastic goods are among the products manufactured in Denison.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Tuffly Ellis, "The Revolutionizing of the Texas Cotton Trade," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 73 (April 1970). Graham Landrum and Allen Smith, Grayson County (Fort Worth, 1960; 2nd ed., Fort Worth : Historical Publishers, 1967).

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Copyright 2001 by Holly Hayes. All rights reserved.

One more thing...the information contained on this page was not meant to take the place of doing your own research by using primary records such as birth certificates, census records, wills, etc .  You can find a list of my sources by clicking on the hyperlink for sources on the family tree pages.  I have worked very hard to ensure that I have given proper credit to every source of data on these pages.  Some of my information has come from other family members, however, and I don't know their sources.  In other words, everything on this page may not be completely accurate and you would be wise to verify all names, dates, etc. for yourself.