Yesteryear: March 2018

100 Years Ago

From March 1918

Strange lights seen were aurora borealis

The strange light which many Denton people saw and wondered about Thursday night, was an aurora borealis, or "northern lights," a phenomenon which is seldom or never seen this far south. Many who saw the reflection in the northern sky thought it was from an oil refinery at Gainesville.

The phenomenon was visible through most of the eastern and central sections of the United States, it being reported as far northeast as Boston, Massachusetts, and as far south and west as San Antonio and Abilene, Texas. Everywhere it seems to have caused the same belief as it did here — that it was due to a conflagration somewhere north.

Ad: Cheer your soldier with the best news from home–your photograph. Make the appointment today. The Shaw Studio, West Court Square, Denton Texas.

Homes wanted to host Canadian flyers

Denton homes, which will receive as week-end guests one or more men from the Royal Flying Corps at the Fort Worth camps, are wanted by a committee which is trying to secure a touch of home life for at least 50 men, who will arrive here Saturday to spend Saturday night in Denton and return to their camps Sunday afternoon. The men, some of whom have not been in a private home in months, will return to Canada next week and this will be the last week-end they will have in the South, as they expect to go overseas from their Canadian camp.

Mrs. L.H. Schweer, up to Wednesday afternoon, had secured places for 16 of the visitors and if there are others who will take the visitors over Sunday they are asked to notify Mr. Browder at the Record-Chronicle office. It is planned to entertain the visitors with a dance while here and there may be other forms of entertainment as well.

75 Years Ago

From March 1943

‘Red Cross sticker in every house’ goal of drive

"A Red Cross sticker in every home" will be the slogan of volunteer workers Sunday afternoon when a house-to-house canvass for the Red Cross war relief fund will climax the drive in Denton.

A whirlwind campaign, directed by Ben Ivey, county chairman, and W.D. Barrow, city chairman, is to be completed in a few hours when workers will knock on the door of every home in the city to give every citizen the opportunity to contribute to the Red Cross war fund and become a member of the American Red Cross.

The people of Denton County are urged to contribute to the maximum extent of their ability in order that requirements of Denton County can be met.

Ad: A new hit from Warner Bros. starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid. They had a date with fate in … CASABLANCA, the city that rocked the world! Texas Theatre, Matinee 25 cents–Nite 35 cents.

Extra Added: On our stage to-nite at 8:30–TSCW Campus Beauties. 9 Commissioned officers from Camp Howze and Harte Flying School will serve as Judges. Music by Campus Serenaders.

17-year-olds may sign for military flyer training

Now Denton County’s 17-year-old youths expecting to be called under selective service within a year or less can assure their future in the Army Air Forces as flying officers.

"A 17-year-old man can choose aviation cadet training now, take his physical examination and mental aptitude tests at Perrin Field, and be ready for aviation cadet training when he reaches his 18th birthday and therefore subject to draft under the selective service system," explained Lt. Col. Bob Arnold, commanding officer of the flying school.

In fact, he said, the offer is even better than that, for a 17-year-old may select the month, any up to six months past his 18th birthday, when he prefers being called for training.

Young men interested should contact First Lt. Dewey D. Bardwell, post secretary at Perrin Field. Correspondence is unnecessary. Those who believe themselves physically fit should come to the gate at Perrin Field near Sherman, asking for Bardwell. They should bring a letter of approval from their parents, three letters of recommendation and a birth certificate. If they are thus prepared, they can take their mental and physical tests in two days and be set for aviation cadet training when they reach draft age.

50 Years Ago

From March 1968

No new freeway for Denton to new airport

The new Dallas-Fort Worth Airport may bring thousands of new residents to Denton and surrounding areas.

Planners have estimated that the new airport, which will be the world’s largest, will be closer in travel time to Denton than either Dallas or Fort Worth.

One might think that a broad, new freeway stretching from the "Top of the Golden Triangle" to the new airport might be in the plans.

That is not the case according to Arthur Beck, senior resident engineer of the Texas Highway Department. He told the Record-Chronicle that no new highways are planned for access from Denton to the airport.

That means traffic between Denton and the airport must travel Interstate 35E to Lewisville and then take Texas 121 to the airport or travel Interstate 35W to Texas 114, which is being rerouted north of the airport.

Beck said there are the high number of automobile ownership and the low population density with wide dispersion of employment equates to only three percent of trips made on public transportation.

As time passes, added Beck, the Texas Highway Department will study the population growth and revise their highway plans accordingly.

Ad: Downtown Denton Merchants Invite You to Join Their HEMISFAIR CONTEST. Each week in March your downtown merchants are giving away 2 free passbooks to the 1968 Hemisfair. You might be a winner. Just fill out the coupons and leave them in the participating merchants store by noon Wednesday.

Missile base ‘superior’ in ratings

Lt. William Byrd received notice today that the Denton Nike Missile Base earned a "superior" rating on the annual general inspection conducted at the missile battery north of Denton last month.

The superior rating gives the unit, Battery A, 4th Battalion, 132nd Artillery, a head start at obtaining an unprecedented third straight Eisenhower Trophy for being the best National Guard unit in Texas.

The inspection concerned various records, supplies, performance records, training methods, and in general, if the unit is capable of performing its duties if called into active duty.

25 Years Ago

From March 1993

Retirement marks end of 80-year fire department tradition

Denton Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim Dolgener will retire Friday, marking the end of a 29-year career and also the end to an 80-year departmental tradition.

Chief Dolgener is the last Denton fireman to have begun his career as a student fireman.

The era started in 1913. College students were hired in pairs and lived at fire stations. The partners’ schedules had to dovetail so one was at the station 24 hours a day. They made $21 a month.

When Chief Dolgener began as a student fireman in 1963, he earned $65 a month. He was a third-year student at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) who thought he might like to be a game warden. But once he became a "smoke eater" he never looked back.

Dolgener rode tailboard at first, clinging to the back of an open American LaFrance engine. He was promoted to captain and, in 1971, to battalion chief. He also became a certified arson investigator and a certified peace officer. He worked 21 years before ever taking a sick day.

After a student fireman was killed in a fire at the Kimbell Diamond Milling Co. on East Oak Street in 1967, the department began phasing out the program. But many firemen began their careers as student firemen, including former chief Jack Gentry who retired in 1986.

— Compiled from the files of the Denton Record-Chronicle by DJ Taylor

DJ TAYLOR resides in the Sanger/Bolivar area. He can be reached at 940-458-4979 or djtaylortx@centurylink.net.

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