Denison, Texas

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Denison, Texas
Denison Commercial Historic District
Denison Commercial Historic District
Flag of Denison, Texas
Motto: A jewel at the crossing of a great river!
Location of Denison, Texas
Location of Denison, Texas
Coordinates: 33°44′59″N 96°33′27″W / 33.74972°N 96.55750°W / 33.74972; -96.55750Coordinates: 33°44′59″N 96°33′27″W / 33.74972°N 96.55750°W / 33.74972; -96.55750
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
County Grayson
Founded 1872
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor Jared Johnson
Janet Gott
Matt Hanley
Bill Malvern, Sr.
Ken Brawley
David Spindle
Michael Baecht
 • City Manager Robert Hanna
 • City 22.9 sq mi (59.3 km2)
 • Land 22.6 sq mi (58.5 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)  1.40%
Elevation 728 ft (222 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 22,816
 • Density 1,067.5/sq mi (412/km2)
 • Metro 120,877
 • Demonyms Denisonite, Denisonian
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75020-75021
Area code(s) 903
FIPS code 48-19900[1]
GNIS feature ID 1379652[2]

Denison is a city in Grayson County, Texas, United States. It is seventy-five miles north of Dallas. The population was 22,816 at the 2010 census.[3] Denison is one of two principal cities in the Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is also a part of the Texoma region.


Denison was founded in 1872 in conjunction with the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad (MKT) or "Katy" depot.[4] It was named after the wealthy Katy vice president George Denison.[5] Because the town was established at the intersection of the MKT and the Red River (both important conduits of transportation in the industrial era), it came to be an important commercial center in the 19th century American West. In 1875, Doc Holliday had offices in Denison.

During the phylloxera epidemic of the mid-19th century, which destroyed the vast majority of wine grapes in Europe, Denison horticulturalist T.V. Munson pioneered methods in creating phylloxera resistant vines, and earned induction into the French Legion of Honor, as well as sister city status for Denison and Cognac, France.[6]

In 1901 the first electric "Interurban" railway in Texas, the Denison and Sherman Railway, was completed between Denison and Sherman, Texas.[7]

In 1915, the Kentucky-based evangelist Mordecai Ham held a revival meeting in Denison, which resulted in 1,100 professions of faith in Jesus Christ.[8]

Denison played host to 20th century notables such as the Marx Brothers[9] and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was born on October 14, 1890, in Denison[10]


Denison is located at 33°44′59″N 96°33′27″W / 33.74972°N 96.55750°W / 33.74972; -96.55750 (33.749703, -96.557393).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.9 square miles (59 km2), of which 22.6 square miles (59 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (1.40%) is water.

Notable geographic features of Denison include its connection to the Red River and Lake Texoma, its position on the Texas-Oklahoma border, and its centrality to the Texoma vernacular region.


Denison is considered to be part of the humid subtropical area.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 3,975
1890 10,958 175.7%
1900 11,807 7.7%
1910 13,632 15.5%
1920 17,065 25.2%
1930 13,850 −18.8%
1940 15,581 12.5%
1950 17,504 12.3%
1960 22,748 30.0%
1970 24,923 9.6%
1980 23,884 −4.2%
1990 21,505 −10.0%
2000 22,773 5.9%
2010 22,682 −0.4%
Est. 2014 22,907 [12] 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

At the census[1] of 2000, there were 22,773 people, 9,185 households, and 6,135 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,008.1 people per square mile (389.2/km²). There were 10,309 housing units at an average density of 456.3 per square mile (176.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.02% White, 8.62% African American, 1.67% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.19% from other races, and 2.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.23% of the population.

There were 9,185 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,474, and the median income for a family was $39,820. Males had a median income of $30,459 versus $21,451 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,685. About 11.9% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.8% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.


Map of the city in 1891

Denison is served by the Denison Independent School District. It is also home to Grayson County College, which preserves Denison's viticultural heritage with its T.V. Munson Viticulture & Enology Program.[6] At the start of the 2014 school year, a new Denison High School building was completed and ready for use.

High school football[edit]

Munson Stadium seats 5,262 people and is primarily used for American football. It is the home field of Denison High School's football and soccer teams.[14] The Denison High School football team won the 1984 Texas Class 4A State Championship by beating Tomball 27-13 completing a perfect 16-0 record. They also made three straight appearances in the 1995, 1996, and 1997 Class 4A Division II State Championship games, losing each time to La Marque.[15]

They are also home to the longest high school football rivalry in Texas with Sherman High School called The Battle Of The Ax.[16]


Rusk Avenue looking north, Denison, Texas (postcard, circa 1911)


  • Texoma Living! Magazine[17]


Radio stations[edit]

Television stations[edit]

  • KTEN - Channel 10 (NBC)
  • KTEN - DT Channel 10.2 (The Texoma CW)
  • KTEN - Channel 10.3 (ABC Texoma)
  • KXII - Channel 12 (CBS)
  • KXII - DT Channel 12.2 (My Texoma)
  • KXII - DT Channel 12.3 (Fox Texoma)


Denison is served by two U.S. Highways: U.S. 69 and U.S. 75 (Katy Mem. Freeway)and two State Highways: State Highway 91 (known as Texoma Parkway and is one of the main commercial strips that connects Sherman and Denison, it also extends to Lake Texoma) and Spur 503 (Eisenhower Parkway) . General aviation service is provided by North Texas Regional Airport. Denison is served by one 24-hour taxicab service provided locally by yellow cab.

Denison is also a member city of the regional public transportation system called TAPS. TAPS has on demand service, fixed routes to Choctaw and Sherman, and services to DFW and Dallas Love Field Airports. As of December 2015 TAPS had ceased most operations due to financial problems. Limited service is available for the handicapped.

Travel destination[edit]

In 2013 Lake Texoma and the Denison area were named the Official Best Recreational Lake Area in Texas. The Hampton Inn and Suites Denison was also named the Official Best Contemporary Hotel in all of Texas in 2013. The Hampton Inn and Suites Denison was selected for its stunning contemporary design and its phenomenal Internet presence as one of the nation's top rated hotels on the travel site Tripadvisor. Both Lake Texoma and the Hampton Denison were featured on a travel show entitled "The Official Best of Texas" which aired on CBS and the Discovery Channel which provided recognition to Denison as a premiere travel destination. Featured in the program were Anna McKinney, Denison Chamber of Commerce President and Douglas Bradley, Vice President of MOE Hospitality which operates the Hampton Inn.[18]

In 2014, The Hampton Inn and Suites Denison received the Tripadvisor Traveler's Choice Award for Exceptional Service. This Award lists the top 25 hotels in all of America based on service and customer feedback. The hotel was ranked number 16 nationally and number 1 in Texas based solely on consumer reviews and feedback. This award further solidifies Denison Texas as a premiere travel destination.[19]

Major employers[edit]

  • Denison Independent School District
  • Ruiz Foods
  • Texoma Medical Center
  • Cigna
  • Caterpillar
  • Wal-Mart Stores
  • Spectrum Brands
  • Dialog Direct
  • Anthem
  • ACS Manufacturing
  • Denison Industries

Notable people[edit]

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Denison in 1890, and is by far the city's most notable resident. His birthplace was purchased by the city in 1946 (six years before he was elected President) and is now maintained as Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site. In addition, Eisenhower State Park on Lake Texoma is also named in his honor.[20]

Other notable people who were either born in or have lived in Denison include:


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Population Finder
  4. ^ Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Denison, Texas"
  5. ^ Introductory history of Denison Texas
  6. ^ a b T.V. Munson Vidiculture Eunology Program
  7. ^ Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Electric Interurban Railways" (accessed March 31, 2007)
  8. ^ Jerry Hopkins of East Texas Baptist University, "Evangelist Mordecai F. Ham's West Texas Meetings, 1903-1940", paper at East Texas Historical Association and West Texas Historical Association joint meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, February 26, 2010
  9. ^ Marx Brothers Biography
  10. ^ Dwight D. Eisenhower
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ - Munson Stadium - Denison, Texas
  15. ^ UIL State Football Champions
  16. ^ Battle Of The Ax History
  17. ^ "Search every page of every issue published by Texoma Living! Magazine from 2006 to 2010.". Texoma Living! Online. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Website
  19. ^
  20. ^ Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (accessed July 13, 2010)
  21. ^
  22. ^ Rivera, Ray (2009-01-16). "In a Split Second, a Pilot Becomes a Hero Years in the Making". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 

External links[edit]