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Denton County TX
Denton County

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Denton Texas


Denton County Seat, Central Texas North

33° 12' 59" N, 97° 7' 45" W (33.216389, -97.129167)

I-35E and I-35W
US 380
40 miles N of Dallas
40 miles N of Fort Worth
27 miles E of Decatur
33 miles S of Gainesville
Population: 141,541 Est. (2019)
113,383 (2010) 80,537 (2000) 66,270 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Denton Hotels

Denton Texas Bird's Eye View 1883 Map
Denton Texas Bird's Eye View, 1883 Map
Click on image to enlarge

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Historical Marker:

The City of Denton

Pioneers settled this locality in the 1840's. In 1846 the Texas Legislature created Denton county -- one of several carved from the Peters Colony grant. After trying other sites, the voters in 1856 accepted for county seat this tract donated by Hiram Cisco, William Loving, and William Woodruff. The city and county were named for John B. Denton (1806-41), a minister killed while defending frontier settlers.

Woodruff, fellow surveyor C. C. Lacy, and attorney Otis Welch platted the townsite. In 1857 city lots were auctioned, the post office opened, and a church was founded. J. M. Blount, Joseph A. Carroll, W. F. Egan, and I. D. Ferguson were pioneer leaders. A cotton gin and plants for making bricks, corn meal, flour and ice soon developed. The "Monitor," a newspaper, began its career in 1868. Sam Bass (1851-78), legendary western outlaw, trained and raced "The Denton Mare" while living and working as a local farm hand.

North Texas State University originated here as Texas Normal College in 1890, and Texas Woman's University opened in 1903 as the College of Industrial Arts. Agriculture-related businesses, education, and small factories sustain the economy. The city grew from 1,194 in its first census (1880) to 39,874 by 1970.

History in a Pecan Shell

County and town were named after preacher and Indian fighter John B. Denton who was killed in 1841 at the Battle of Village Creek.
  • 1857: the town was founded
  • 1864: the first newspaper - The Denton Review is published
  • 1866: town is incorporated
  • 1881: both the Texas and Pacific and MKT railroads enter Denton
  • 1884: first public school is opened
  • 1890: North Texas Normal College opens - later becomes the University of North Texas
  • 1903: Texas Women's University started life as The Girl's Industrial College
    Today the two universities make up half of the town's population.
  • 1960: The Denton State School opens

  • Denton, Texas Attractions/Landmarks

    Denton County Courthouse, Texas 2005
    Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, June 2005
    Denton County Courthouse
    by Sam Fenstermacher

    Denton Town Square

    by Sam Fenstermacher

    The Denton Texas town square is quite true to its historic heritage. There's the 1896 W.C. Dodson designed courthouse. It's arguably one of the grandest Golden Era courthouses in the state of Texas. The buildings that surround the courthouse are mostly of the same vintage as the courthouse. The square has plenty of antique shops and restaurants and all the other boutique-style shops you may have come to expect on a historic town square.

    What sets this town square apart is how alive it is, and how it's faithful to the historical traditions of town squares. Unlike so many other old town squares in Texas, Denton's downtown is a lively place. Because there are residential neighborhoods close by, and probably also because the University of North Texas campus is just down the road, real live locals frequent the square. The courthouse lawn is a gathering place. Folks come to meet and hang out. Musicians frequently gather and play. On top of all this, the courthouse is open to the public, not only during the week -- but on Saturday as well. See, this is the history of the courthouse square. In old days, it was used as a public gathering place. People came to town to shop, and to see their neighbors, and to relax in the shade on the courthouse lawn while children played and street merchants peddled their wares.

    © 2005 by Sam Fenstermacher All rights reserved

    TX - Denton County Courthouse
    Denton County Courthouse
    1939 Photo courtesy TXDoT

    Courthouse-On-The-Square Museum
    On the First Floor of the Denton County Courthouse

    The Bayless-Selby House Museum , Denton, Texas
    Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, June 2005
    Bayless-Selby House Museum
    by Sam Fenstermacher

    The Silk Stocking Row, Denton, Texas
    Oak-Hickory Historic District
    Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, June 2005

    Historic home in The Oak-Hickory Historic District, Denton, Texas
    Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, June 2005
    Silk Stocking Row
    In the Oak-Hickory Historic District
    by Sam Fenstermacher

    Denton TX -  Campus Theater Neon
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011
    Campus Theatre
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

    Denton TX - Fine Arts Theater Neon
    Fine Arts Theatre
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011
    More Texas Theatres

  • Courthouse-On-The-Square Museum
    On the First Floor of the Denton County Courthouse

  • The Oak-Hickory Historic District

  • Hanger 10 Flying Museum
    On Wright Lane at the Denton Municipal Airport

  • Denton County Historic Iron Bridges

  • Denton County Towns & Ghost Towns next page

  • Denton Hotels › Book Here

  • Denton Chronicles

  • The Great Airship Mystery by C. F. Eckhardt

    On April 13, 1897, in Denton, a man ‘stargazing’ with a pair of powerful field glasses spotted a dark object against the moon. At first he assumed it was a meteor that had not yet hit earth’s atmosphere, but then realized it was moving much too slowly. He described the object as being about fifty feet long, cigar-shaped with two large ‘mugs’ sticking out from either side, a ‘beak’ like a ship’s cutwater at the front, and a large rudder or steering sail at the rear. Where the ‘beak’ joined the main body of the object there was a light that ‘paled the moon’ in its brilliance. Along the body of the thing there were more lights, which he assumed meant windows. No smoke was visible from the object. It moved slowly, in a southeasterly direction, for about twenty minutes, then accelerated ‘to terrific speed’ and vanished from sight. The sighting was confirmed by a lady in Denton...

  • The December 1913 Flood in Denton

  • Denton Texas December 1913 flood
    1913 Flood in Denton
    Click on image to enlarge

    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Dec. 6, 1913 postcard message about the flood in Denton
    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    City of Denton - Historical Marker
    City of Denton Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher

    Denton, Texas Forum
  • This is a fantastic website and am thrilled to find it. Will share it with friends and others, however, you have left out one of the best "visits" one can make during your visit to Denton.

    The Denton County Historical Museum Inc (established in 1979 in courthouse) moved in 1998 to the Denton Factory Mall on I35 North exit 470. This museum is the one which created and published the two brochures you mentioned about the Historical Markers and Cemeteries of Denton County. This museum sold the name Courthouse on the Square Museum to Denton County which the county now uses for its "county department" created after the Denton County Historical Museum left the courthouse taking its collection of history, 50,000 photographs of 1950s, historical family history files including photographs 1800s forward, Denton County genealogy, wonderful local history library, exhibits and knowledgeable staff with it. Hunt Oil company provides the space for the Denton County Historical Museum. The gift shop has local items and books for sale. Housed in the same open Mall is a 350 dealer antique mall and other shops to round out the visit. The North Texas Area Model Railroad Club has a display in one of the areas and is manned each Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm The Denton County Historical Museum Inc furnishes maps, family history information and has a massive cemetery card file with additional notes which is one of a kind. This museum is noted for its county and regional history and its employees and volunteers who go the extra mile to help visitors. The tel number is 940 380 0877 I am among the long time and strong supporters of the museum. - GG, March 14, 2002

    Texas Womans University houses the DAR Museum of Texas Governor's wives' inaugural gowns. They are displayed publicly with free parking and no fee to see. The local DAR chapter gives tours etc.

    *The brochures you mentioned about the Cemeteries and the Historical Markers were done by the staff of the Denton County Historical Museum, Inc and their old information is on the brochures. The Senior Citizen Volunteers operate this wonderful facilities. Thanks. - GG, March 14, 2002

    Denton Chamber of Commerce
    414 Parkway
    The chamber of commerce stocks two pamphlets by the Denton County Historical Museum worth stopping for. One is Historical Markers in Denton County and the other is A Guide to Denton County Cemeteries.*

  • Take a road trip
    Central Texas North

    Denton, Texas Area Destinations:
    Dallas | Fort Worth | Decatur | Gainesville

    See Denton County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Denton Hotels | More Hotels

    Small Business Partners
  • Denton AC Repair
    Call 940-383-0317

  • Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.


































































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