So how did we keep up with what was going on around town before the age of the Internet and Social Media? In Denton, other than the local newspaper and actually talking to each other, we had a monthly community newsletter published by E.J. Headlee. The newsletter was distributed from 1936 to 1972 under four titles, The Doings, This Week in Denton, Doings in Denton, and The Denton Doings.
The Doings started as a family newsletter but grew to a publication that distributed over 6000 copies monthly. The newsletter, subtitled “The Magazine of Goodwill” was a free publication that featured community news, events, and information about people’s lives. The issues are packed with photographs and articles about events in people’s lives as well as organizational (churches, clubs, and schools) and community activities.
In 2017, the Denton Public Library was awarded a Rescuing Texas History Mini Grant which provided funds to digitize and add issues of the newsletter from 1948 to mid-year 1956 to the University of North Texas Portal to Texas History. If you have family in Denton during these years you can search for them by name in the online newsletter.
We applied for the grant again in 2018 and were again awarded funds for the digitization of the next set of newsletters from March 1956 through May 1964. These are not yet available on the Portal but they should be up by the summer of 2019.
If you would like to learn a little more about E. J. Headlee (who is also the namesake of Headlee Street in North Denton) you can listen to an oral history Mr. Headlee shared with the staff of the Denton Public Library in 1975. Or visit the Special Collections Research Area at the Emily Fowler Central Library.