sensitive briar, Acuan, Neptunia, senna, Krameria, Amorphia, bur clover, ground plum, prairie clover, Butler Mattress Factory, 1947–mattresses.

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PREFACEThe essential problems of social science do not alwaysmanifest themselves on large national canvases, nor dothe fundamental processes which direct social evolutionoften originate in capitols and legislative bodies orin national associations. These problems and these pro-cesses generally emerge in localities, in communities,and their nature, operation, and influence can be studiedmost effectively only there. No isolated problem orprocess can be truly understood without a complete andaccurate picture of the complex which makes up the en-vironment.In 1918 Edward F. Bates published his History and Reminiscences ofDenton Cotin which he attempted to write a complete history of thecounty from the time of its formation to the beginning of the twentiethcentury. While perhaps the work is sketchy, it nevertheless representsthe only published volume of history recorded on a county-wide scaleand provides the reader with a valuable view of Denton’s past.This current project continues the study started by Bates, withspecial emphasis on the economic growth and development of Denton Countyduring the first half of the twentieth century. The terminal date atmid-century indicates a significant turning point in time when the eco-nomic structure of the county changed.”Donald Dean Parker, Local History: How to Gather It, Write It,and Publish It, edited by Bertha E. Josephson (New York, 1944), p. vii.

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSFigure Page1. Streams, Lakes, and Physiographic Regions . 102. Population of Denton County from 1900 to 1950 .. . 813. Number of Farms and Number of Acres Farmed in DentonCounty from1900 to1949. ..&..*. 824. Number of Cattle in Denton County from 1900 to 1949 ..835. Acreages of Major Crops in Denton County 1900 to 1949 .84V

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CHAPTER ITHE SETTINGNo where, perhaps, have the charms of nature been moreprodigally lavished than in the lone star state; her moun-tains, with their bright aerial tints; her valleys teeming withfertility; her boundless plains, waving with spontaneousverdure, her rivers and creeks rolling in solemn silence; hertrackless forests where vegetation puts forth all its magni-ficence; her skies kindling with magic of summer clouds, andglorious sunshine–no never need a Texan go beyond his ownglorious country for natural and beautiful scenery. And inno county in the state, would you be more struck with thecontribution of nature and her scenery than in many parts ofDenton County.1Three counties of North Texas constitute what is termed locally the”Golden Triangle.” Dallas and Tarrant Counties, well known for theirpopulous metropolitan areas of Dallas and Fort Worth, form the base,while Denton County, a progressive and attractive area with the city ofDenton as the county seat, constitutes the apex.Denton County is in the second tier of counties south of the RedRiver, and is situated slightly east of the north central part of thestate. Not being quite square, the county measures approximately thirtymiles on its east and west boundaries, and approximately thirty-one mileson its southern and northern limits, forming a total area of approximately941 square miles.2 The county lies within the longitudinal lines 960 26”Laura Irvine, “Sketch of Denton County, Texas,” The American SketchBook: An Historical and Home Magazine, VI (1881), p. 201.2W. M. Winton, “The Geology of Denton County,” University of TexasBulletin, No. 2544 (November 22, 1925), p. 5, hereinafter cited as Winton,”The Geology of Denton County.”1

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2and 970 24′, and latitudinal lines 330 26′ and 290 55′.3 Neighboringcounties include the two mentioned above, plus Cooke and Grayson on thenorth, Collin on the east, and Wise on the west.From north to south in the eastern half of the county flows the mainwater tributary, the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The Lewisville Damarrests this major stream to form the Garza-Little Elm Reservoir. Intothis river and lake run most of the lesser streams. The Elm Fork orig-inates in eastern Montague County near Saint Jo, then flows eastward forapproximately twenty-five miles,where it bends southward near Gainesvillein Cooke County. It continues for approximately fifteen miles,where itenters Denton County, and runs nearly eighteen miles more until it emptiesinto the reservoir. Ten miles south of this point, beyond the dam, itresumes its course and eight wriggly miles later exits into Dallas County.The Garza-Little Elm Reservoir is the largest lake on the TrinityRiver,with a surface area of 39,000 acres at maximum flood control level,and 23,280 acres with a shoreline of 183 miles at the top of the conser-vation pool. It has the capacity to retain 525,200 acre-feet of waterat flood stage and 436,000 acre-feet at conservation level.4The following streams commence east of the Elm Fork and are listedas they empty therein or into the reservoir:3″Denton County Texas,” General Highway ML, prepared by the TexasHighway Department in Cooperation with the U. S. Department of Commerce,Bureau of Public Roads, 1966.4Fred M. Johnson, Acting Chief, Engineering Division, U. S. ArmyCorps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas, to Rodney J. Walter, July 25,1967, in possession of the author.

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4Fork.The following streams are located west of the Elm Fork and are listedfrom north to south as they empty therein or into the Garza-Little ElmReservoir:1. Pond Creek, seven miles long, heads in Denton County but ime-diately departs for Cooke County, changes its course,and returns to flowin a southeasterly direction to join the Elm Fork.2. Duck Creek heads in southwest Cooke County and flows southeastfor seven miles to drain into Clear Creek two miles south of Sanger.3. Grasshopper and Flat Creeks both originate in southwest CookeCounty and meet just inside the Denton County line to flow south for amile into Clear Creek.4. White Creek cuts thm ugh the extreme northeast corner of thecounty on its way from Wise County to Cooke County, where it empties intoClear Creek.5. Clear Creek, one of the major streams of Denton County, origi-nates in east Montague County and passes through Cooke County with alength of twenty-two miles before it penetrates the northwest corner ofDenton County, where it rambles another twenty-five miles southeasterlyto empty into the reservoir.6. Moores Branch is a small creek which rises in the county andmeets Clear Creek after flowing easterly for seven miles.7. Milam Creek, six miles in length, heads three miles east ofKrum in a northeasterly track and curves to an easterly direction tojoin Clear Creek.

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58. Cooper Creek rises in the north Denton city limits and runs asoutheasterly route to empty into the reservoir.9. Pecan Creek, the second tributary by that name in the county,passes almost through the center of the city of Denton on a southeasterlycourse and empties into the reservoir after eight miles.10. Hickory Creek, another major drainage system of the county,rises in northeast Denton County with three major branches constitutingits headwaters: North Hickory Creek, South Hickory Creek and Dry ForkHickory Creek. The total length of this system is about twenty-fourmiles, until it finds its depository in the reservoir.11. Roark Branch, a small five-mile stream originates west of PilotKnob, flows north, curves east and empties into Hickory Creek.12. Timber Creek’s source, north of the Grapevine Reservoir, sendsthat stream southeasterly for twelve miles for its rendezvous with theElm Fork.In the southwest section of the county the creeks find their waysto Denton Creek, which is also impounded to form the Grapevine Reservoir.This reservoir lies on the line between Denton and Tarrant Counties withtwo thirds of the lake in the former. Surface area of this body of wateris 12,740 acres and full capacity is 435,500 acre-feet.5 The followingstreams are listed as they lie geographically from north to south:1. Denton Creek, named for the county’s namesake, John B. Denton,also a major tributary, heads in southwest central Montague County, flows5Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide 1966-1967 (Dallas, 1965),p. 376, hereinafter cited as Texas Almanac.

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6southeasterly into Wise County, and transverses thirty-two miles throughsouthwest Denton County to the Grapevine Reservoir.2. Oliver Creek rises in east Wise County, journeys southeasterlyinto Denton County and empties into Denton Creek one mile northeast ofJustin after flowing twenty-two miles.3. Trail Creek begins in Denton County west of Justin near WiseCounty and pushes southeasterly for seven miles to unite with Denton Creek.4. Harriet Creek empties into Elizabeth Creek in the southwesternsector of the county after rising in Wise County and flowing southeasterlyfor thirteen miles.5. Elizabeth Creek, named for a daughter of John B. Denton, risesin southwest Wise County and empties into Denton Creek after flowing six-teen miles.6. Henrietta Creek originates in Tarrant County and flows for fivemiles northeastward to join Elizabeth Creek two and a half miles northeastof Roanoke.Most of Denton County’s streams are nearly dry the greater part ofthe year,with all retaining some water in small pools, but when it rainsthey carry large volumes of water to their depositories. Denton and Clearcreeks have more water in dry seasons than the other streams,owing toscattered springs which run most of the time.6One readily notes from foregoing information that rainfall in theDenton County vicinity, which is surplus runoff, is not lost to othercounties except through two major streams as they leave the county on6William T. Carter Jr. and M. W. Beck, Soil Survey of Denton County(Washington, 1922), p. 2.

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7the south: the Elm ForIc of the Trinity and Denton Creek. The geographi-cal lay of the land is such that water from neighboring counties on thenorth, east, and west gravitates to these two streams making Denton Countyan important area for water development and conservation, which to dateis evidenced by the two large lakes found there and the plans for athird.7Precipitation plays a fickle game with these many streams. Itsometimes comes in deluges and overflows the banks; again it submits tounwelcome drouths leaving scarcely a trace of the purpose of the carvedout streams and rivulets. Located on an imaginary north-south line orband through Texas, considered to be the bridge between the wooded expansesof East Texas and the grassy plains of West Texas, Denton County has aclimate peculiar to that section of the country. “The average rainfallfor this division of the State,” avers Elmer H. Johnson, noted Texasgeographer, “is not only less but its occurrence through the year ismore irregular than that of the eastern portion of the State.”8 Annualprecipitation averages 31.56 Inches. Winters are normally brief andrelatively mild; however, cold blasts from the northwest, known asnortherns,” bring a few uncomfortable days with sleet or snow storms.Area drained by the major creeks of Denton County, including thecounty itself and outlying counties is as follows: Clear Creek, 345,937acres; Denton Creek, 520,437 acres; Hickory Creek, 123,083 acres; LittleElm Creek, 129,401 acres; and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, 728,015acres. See “Survey Report on the Trinity River Watershed,” House Docu-ments, 77th Congress, 2d Session, No. 708 (Washington, 1942), pp. 22-24.Elmer H. Johnson, “The Natural Regions of Texas,” The Universityof Texas Bulletin, No. 3113 (April 1, 1931), p. 32.

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