As many of you have noticed, some of the streets in Van Alstyne have recently received a makeover. Oddly enough, while combing through old articles this week I came upon the following which was published in, The Denison Daily Herald on May 21, 1906… 102 years ago.

Van Alstyne News Campaign for a Cleaner City-Using the Split Log Drag. Van Alstyne, Tex. May 20. — “A street grader, which was received here yesterday will be tested and if found satisfactory, will be purchased by the city.

“There is in this city a strong sentiment for a cleaner town and better streets. In a joint session of the city council and the Business Men’s League it was decided to inaugurate a general clean-up move tomorrow. The mayor, in accordance therewith, has issued a proclamation endorsed by the Business Men’s League, urging all to observe that day as the beginning of a strict observance of the city ordinances that no one may fail to know what is expected of him. The proclamation states those who refuse to comply with the request will have complaints filed against them by the city marshal. The city agrees to have hauled off all rubbish that cannot be burned, it is gathered into barrels or boxes and put in the street by Monday afternoon.

“H. P. Chapman, who was the first man in this community to make and use a split log drag, went over the road again between this place and his residence Thursday. He says the road has been kept in good condition since the use of the drag was commenced. This is the third going over within two and a half months. J. H. Keith also went over his road from this place to the Collin County line Thursday, with the wheel-less grader, which has heretofore been described in the Herald. This is the second time this road has been worked with this implement and it is now in good condition. There are three of these graders in this community and all who have used them are well pleased with them. Mr. Chapman, who operates the drag, after observing the work of this grader, says that it and the drag will go well together, and that better work can be done with both than with either alone, as is his opinion of it.”

Dusty Williams is a 9th generation Grayson County Resident and President of the Van Alstyne Historical Society. He can be reached at