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Hotel Denison

Austin Bennett, TX, USA
November 2000

There is a hotel in Denison that everyone knows about; it's the tallest building in Denison and you can see from about anywhere in Denison.

Howard Murray Smith built it in 1884. By the 1920's, the hotel was booming. On the first floor there was the lobby, a lounge and the dinning room. The front desk was also there. It was the finest hotel in the area; none could be compared to it. The elevator landing (added in 1910) was behind the front desk. A great staircase came through the dinning room. The rooms were located ten floors above. A penthouse (ha, ha) was located on the roof over looking the city. A smoking room was on the second floor, along with a small library.

In the fall of 1927, the Young family had come to Texas from New York on the MKT Railroad train. The couple had two children, Anderson, age 14 and Emily, age 18. They were to stay at the Hotel Denison for 3 weeks.

On the evening of September 23, the Young's were in their bedroom, getting ready for dinner when a fire broke out in the room above. The ceiling collapsed, killing all of them and a maid that was helping Mrs. Young. The fire got out of control and went through the floors, killing most of the residents of the Hotel. The dinning room was full. No one had known about the fire above them. When the ceiling collapsed, it was a shock.

Sixty years later, 1997, the Hotel Denison had quieted down. The Hotel was redone, but most of the glamour had been lost to the fire; including the staircase which had a wooden statue of an angel. The staircase had been destroyed, burnt to a crisp. When they redid the Hotel, they moved the fireplace to a back stairway. The elevator shaft hadn't been touched.

The residents of the Hotel come to see the hotel and what it used to look like. Others come to see the ghost.

Some say the ghost of those who were lost in the fire still live there. The maids have been seen walking the halls, children have been seen playing in the dinning room, men have been smoking and playing cards in the smoking room. Emily Young has been seen on the roof, walking about looking at the city streets below her.

I have seen Emily. I live a block away from the Hotel and I walk on Crawford street; the street of the Hotel, at night.

I am currently trying to buy the Hotel and remodel it into what it once was.

Austin Bennett, TX, USA
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