North Texas Daily

Historical woman recognized in Denton

Historical woman recognized in Denton

February 28
20:08 2013

Courtney Garza

Staff Writer

Denton’s pivotal historical figure Annie Webb Blanton will receive a second Texas Historical Marker 1:30 p.m. on Friday at the Dr. Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School in Argyle.

The Texas Historical Commission has recognized educator and leader Annie Webb Blanton (1870-1945) for her role in Texas history with an official Texas Historical Marker.  Blanton began her career in higher education in 1901 at North Texas State Normal College, which is now UNT, where she promoted gender unity, published grammar exercise books which were used across the country and assisted in numerous school activities.

While at the university, she was also elected as the first woman president of the Texas State Teacher’s Association in 1916. And in 1918, was elected to serve as Superintendent of Public Instruction, the first woman to be elected to a public office in Texas.

Chairwoman of Denton Historical Commission and Marker Committee, Beth Stribling, worked to give Blanton the Denton significance and recognition she deserved. While there was already a Texas marker for Blanton, Stribling and the DHC worked with the THC to gain permission for a second specifically in Denton to represent the majority of Blanton’s career.

With the help from the Denton Independent School District, $1,600 was given through a sponsorship to ensure Blanton’s marker.

“We were focusing on her because she is a woman of such significance for Denton and she stands as the first woman marker for Denton,” Stribling said.

The historical marker will be placed in front of the school, visible to all students, parents and visitors. Principal of Dr. Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School, Karen Satterwhite, sees the marker as an honor for the school.

“I look at Annie Webb Blanton and all that she accomplished as a woman, and as an educator, but she did it all for children,” Satterwhite said. “When I think of her and if she were here now, she would be proud to be honored, but I honestly believe that her true focus would be on honoring the children.”

Audra Laneri, secretary and parent of an elementary student, is one of many parents who will be honoring the dedication with their children.

“Even though the kids may not grasp what the marker stands for today, they will take away something special, knowing that they were part of this,” Laneri said. “Hopefully that will gain meaning as they grow up.”

In recognition of this historic individual, the faculty, kindergarten and elementary students will attend the dedication ceremony.

“That’s what I want Friday to be about,” Satterwhite said. “I want it to be about honoring her but also honoring the children in the process.”

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