A celebration of women in Denison history
DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — Grayson College teamed up with the Denison Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday to focus on the role of women in the city's history.
"When she was young, she was really involved in piano," said City Council member Brain Handler. "And then, when her brother Fred joined the military, he left a trumpet behind."
The presentation started off with musician Clora Bryant. Her album, "Gal with a Horn," was released in 1957. She played with Louis Armstrong and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.
"She made a name for herself in 1989 when she became the first female jazz musician to ever appear in the Soviet Union," Handler said.
"This is the Denison Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers. It's a national representation of women who lost a child, a son, in war," said John Akers with Denison Chamber.
Monte Bale Jones invited presidential candidate Dwight David Eisenhower back to the city, and after Denison purchased Eisenhower's birthplace they gave it to the Gold Star Mothers, where it became a museum.
"You went to visit it on a Sunday afternoon," said Akers. "And these were the folks that would take you through the house and tell you about the personal connection they felt when they met with Eisenhower."
After the deaths of her father and brother, Eloise Munson had to take over everything under her family.
"Denison cotton mill... Munson Realtor company... all of their oil, everything," Handler said. "She signed every document 'E. Munson.' And so for 30 years, no one knew she was a woman... any of these companies."
Denison was known at one point in time as the largest city without a library, and Eloise Munson took the time to change that with the money she'd made.
And of course this year being the city's sesquicentennial, there will be lots of celebrations.