The city of Denton is in the center of Denton County, Texas and serves as the county seat. The city and county are both named for John B. Denton, a Tennessee native who moved to Texas with his family in 1837 to serve as a preacher. The law called to John shortly after he moved to the state, and earned his law degree within a year. After practicing law for a couple of years, Mr. Denton joined the military that ultimately lead to his demise during The Battle of Village Creek.
A Kentucky business person named William Peters was one of the early promoters of the area. He secured a land grant in the years before Mr. Denton arrived and advertised affordable farmland to potential residents all over the United States. In 1846, Denton County became official. Mr. Peters’ scheme worked, and farmers migrated to the area. These land-loving folks went to work establishing farms in Denton County.
Rich History in Denton
The Trinity River (named by Spanish explorers in 1690) was, and still is, an important water source for the area. Not only was it good for crops, but it was also a mode of transportation before the rail lines arrived. Merchants on boats dropped their anchors loaded with goodies from downstream. Corn, cotton, beans and other sundries were traded for local wares like wheat and leather.
Cattle and horses also thrived in the Denton area. Water from numbers branches of the Trinity River quenched the thirst of the animals as well as gave local grasses the ability to flourish and provide a natural food source for grazing animals.
In the late 1800s, there were two sources of transportation in and out of Denton. The Trinity River had steamboats, and by 1880 the railways had completed their construction of lines through Denton. Cash and merchandise flowed through the town, spurring growth and development. Luxury items eventually arrived in Denton, and with those provisions an association of what could be termed “the good life.” Oak Street in downtown Denton was nicknamed “Silk Stocking Row” because of the beautiful, if not lavish homes built on the street.
As the 1800s came to a close, Denton showed further promise as an educational center with two universities within its borders. What is now the University of North Texas was established in 1890, followed by Texas Women’s University in 1902.
Living in Denton
Fast forward 110 years to modern-day Denton. Our city is still growing and flourishing. We have around 130,000 residents and enjoy a broad range of industries that are represented in the area. What that means to us is we provide job opportunities to an extensive segment of the workforce. Utilities, auto, professional services, construction, and, of course, oil and gas all have a presence in the Denton area.
Part of our utility industry includes “green energy,” specifically wind power. Denton Municipal Electric, a city-owned energy company, is the leading provider of wind-generated electricity in the country. An average of forty percent of all power provided to residents in Denton is generated by wind farms.
Progress is balanced nicely with preservation. In 2000, the downtown Denton square was named a National Register Commercial Historic District, with the courthouse as its crown jewel. Thanks to grants and other additional funding, the courthouse, built in 1896, has been restored and renovated while keeping its original architecture.
Along with the courthouse, the downtown Denton area has participated in over 400 renovation and improvement projects since 1990, when the Certified Main Street City program began.
Real Estate in Denton
The downtown area is not limited to commercial pursuits. With all the fun activities located in downtown, the demand for residential property has increased along with the improvement projects. Walkability draws prospective residents to lofts and townhomes near downtown. Residents can catch the latest happenings at the Campus Theater – another beneficiary of the downtown revitalization – or shop, eat, or walk to work.
Some of these restored buildings that line Oak Street are in the same location as the “Silk Stocking Row” homes that existed over 100 years ago. It’s nice to see history repeating itself in a good way.
We hope this has enlightened you on some of the benefits of living in Denton, Texas. It is a wonderful city with a rich history and a promising future. We are more than an outlier of the Dallas metroplex. We have an identity all our own and are proud of that.
Please contact us to let us know how we can help you find your perfect spot in this fine city we call Denton.