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Denton Centennial Collection

Identifier: DTEX 2020.006

Scope and Content

The Denton Centennial Collection objects have been donated by the Denton Centennial Commission, Mrs. Cecil T. Massey, Mrs. Robin L. Galvin, and Alma Lane Chambers. The materials include hats, buttons, programs, scrapbooks, tickets, and ribbons related to the Denton Centennial Celebration. Some of the scrapbook materials include photographs, papers, and newspaper articles before 1957. Most of the objects relate more to the planning and advertising of the Centennial Celebration rather than the Celebration itself.

The collection is arranged into five series: Series I. Scrapbooks, Series II. Ephemera, Series III. Printed Materials, Series IV. Photographs, and Series V. Film.

Series I. is Scrapbooks (1957). This contains two subseries. Subseries 1. is Denton Centennial Commission Scrapbooks and Competition Scrapbooks. The Denton Centennial Commission Scrapbooks subseries is 3 scrapbooks by the Denton Centennial Commission and Mrs. Cecil J. Massey on the planning, carrying out, and reception of the Centennial Celebration. These scrapbooks include newspaper articles, letters, and internal papers. Subseries 2. is Competition Scrapbooks. It includes scrapbooks created for the Centennial's scrapbooking competition by the Centennial Belles groups: Lee's Lassies, Rotary Annabelles, and Texsheen Belles. The competition scrapbooks include newspaper articles, photographs, planning materials, cards, letters, napkins, and advertisements.

Series II. is Memorabilia (1957). It includes objects like identfication buttons for Centennial Belles, Peddler Permits, and Shaving. It also includes two hats, ribbons dated 1957, and tickets.

Series III. is Printed Materials (1957) intended for distribution before and during the Centennial Celebration. These include "Faith of our Fathers" religious bulletins, Centurama programs, and the registration sheets for the Centennial Belles and Brothers of the Brush groups.

Series IV. is Photographs (1957-04-22). These were taken of the Centennial Parade from above and include floats, the audience, horses, marching banks, and tanks.

Series V. is Film (1957-04-22). The 8mm color film is of the Centennial Parade and audience from street-level.

Those interested in local history, especially early Denton history, will find this collection valuable.


  • 1957


Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections Department of the Denton Public Library.

Historical Sketch

This collection is for Denton's Centennial Celebration in 1957. Denton, Texas was founded in 1857 and named after John B. Denton. Denton later became the county seat of Denton County.

The Denton Centennial Commission planned all Centennial events, sent out invitaions to politicians and media, and organized the sale of historical fashions and memorabilia in Denton stores. The Commission supported the creation of other groups, known as "Brothers of the Brush" and "Centennial Belles." These groups comprised of people from Denton and the local area. Later, a children's version, "Kampus Kiddie Klub Belles and Beaus," was created.

The "Brothers of the Brush" were men who grew out their facial hair and wore historical clothing. Men in the area could opt out of growing facial hair by buying $1-2 buttons. "Centennial Belles" were women who wore historical dresses and bonnets. Both groups advertised for the Centennial Celebration by traveling through North Texas in costume with hand outs and performances, starting in March 1957. "Brothers of the Brush" acted as "Kangaroo Kops" in Kangaroo courts to convict, fine, or mock imprison people who did not wear historical dress on Thursdays from mid-March to April 18th. "Centennial Belles" held parties, made historical clothing, created scrapbooks for competitions, and participated in the Kangaroo courts. Many "Centennial Belle" groups also sponsored a contestant for "Miss Denton Centurama" which was won by Miss Patsy Pitner of the Belles of the Saddle with a trip to Mexico aboard American Airlines as her prize.

Three scrapbooks in this collection were entries in the scrapbooking competition. They were created by the Belles groups: Lee Lassies, Rotary Annabelles, and Texsheen Belles. Judging for the scrapbooking competitions took place on April 24 with The Texsheen Belles winning the white division and the Fred Moore Bronze Belles winning the Fred Moore Division.

Three other scrapbooks include the Denton Centennial Commission's internal documents and letters.

Before the Commission's planned Centennial Celebration, the Penn-Reynolds-Jones Post 840, American Legion hosted a Thursday-Saturday show on "100 years of Negro progress" with demonstrations by Carver Kitchen about food and home appliances. Other events included a comedy skit, contests, and the election of a Queen.

The Centennial Celebration of 1957 was officially April 21-27 and started with an Easter Sunday "Faith of our Fathers" religious meeting in the Denton High School stadium. Other events included a parade, "Young America Day," costume contests, pioneer kitchen demonstrations, "Education Day," recognition of local communities, and a rodeo. Every night of the week ended in a Denton Centurama play performance by the John B. Rogers Players at the High School stadium.


Denton Centennial Collection, Denton Municipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library.


3.3 Linear Feet (Seven nonstandard boxes (16.75 in. x 13 in. x 3 in.), two nonstandard boxes (13.5 in. x 12 in. x 6 in.), one nonstandard box (14.75 in. x 9.5 in. x 3 in.), one CD box (5.5 in. x 5 in. x 4.75 in.), one reel case (7.5 in x 1 in.))

Language of Materials



The Denton Centennial collection contains scrapbooks, programs, photographs, memorabilia, and 8mm color film about the planning, celebration, and reception of Denton's Centennial Celebration in April 1957. The photographs and film of the parade were made April 22, 1957. The scrapbooks contain some materials, such as photos and newspaper articles, dated before 1957, but the scrapbooks themselves were created in 1957. Most items were created by the "Centennial Belles" groups or the Denton Centennial Commission. Some items are merchandise created for the Centennial.

Series Description

The Denton Centennial Collection is arranged into five series:

Series I. Scrapbooks 1.5 linear ft. (6 manuscript boxes), 1957.

Arranged in two subseries: 1. Denton Centennial Commission Scrapbooks and 2. Competition Scrapbooks

Subseries 1. Denton Centennial Commission Scrapbooks .75 linear ft. (3 nonstandard boxes), 1957.

Subseries 2. Competition Scrapbooks .75 linear ft. (3 nonstandard boxes), 1957.

Series II. Memorabilia 1.4 linear ft. (3 nonstandard boxes), 1957.

Series III. Printed Materials 0.4 linear ft. (1 nonstandard box), 1957.

Arranged in two subseries: 1. Centennial Group Membership Lists and 2. Programs.

Subseries 1. Centennial Group Membership Lists 0.3 linear ft. (12 folders), 1957.

Subseries 2. Programs 0.1 linear ft. (2 folders), 1957.

Series IV. Photographs 0.2 linear ft. (1 oversize box), 1957.

Series V. Film .08 linear ft. (1 reel case), 1957.

Provenance Statement

The Denton Centennial Collection was donated to the Denton Municipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library by:

the Denton Centennial Commission, Mrs. Robin L. Galvin on 2020-09-25 as a Memorial for Marion and Corinne Smith, Mrs. Cecil T. Massey, and Alma Lane Chambers.

THe 8mm film was purchased at a second-hand store by library staff.

Additional Sources

Other materials about the Denton Centennial can be found in the From Plowshares to Diplomas: Digitizing Early Denton History Collection in the Portal to Texas History.

Other materials about the events can also be found in Denton Record-Chronicle, where many of the collection's scrapbooks' contents come from.


It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection may be identified by a unique number that provides information about format, record group, collection, series, box, folder and image numbers. If one exists please use this number when ordering reproductions of images for this collection.

Note to the Researcher

The bindings of the scrapbooks have been taken apart. The pages are loose between the album covers in the boxes. Scrapbooks are made with very brittle, fragile paper. Some of the items in the scrapbooks are becoming unglued.

Most printed materials like programs are still in good condition, but some have been torn or are brittle. There are multiples of some items, so the sturdier copies should be handled instead of the more fragile.

The photographs of the Series IV. Photographs are grouped and attached together to boards. Photographs must be handled with white cotton gloves.

The 8mm film in Series V is fragile, a digital version is available for viewing.



Guide to the Denton Centennial Collection, 1957
Heather Butler
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Edition statement
First edition by Heather Butler. 2021-06-18.

Repository Details

Part of the Denton, Texas Collection Repository

Emily Fowler Central Library
502 Oakland St.
Denton TX 76201 USA