Last updated: 5/26/2017
317 West Mulberry Street
Denton, TX 76201
110 W Hickory Street
Denton, TX 76201
|Tuesday - Saturday||10 AM - 2 PM|
|Wednesday - Saturday||10 AM - 2 PM|
Peggy Riddle, Museum Director
Gretel L'Heureux, Education and Tour Coordinator
Owned by the citizens of Denton County, the Historical Park is programmed by the Denton County Historical Commission as a hub for residents and visitors to grow and learn together. It is located on Mulberry Street just south of Denton's Historic Square, a short walk from the 1896 Courthouse-on-the-Square.
The park is home to the Bayless-Selby House museum and the Quakertown House museum as well as our Welcome Center which is also a historic Denton structure. The park has plenty of open space and regularly hosts community events such as the Farmers' Market, the Community Market, live music, storytelling and more. Come visit a little piece of Denton County's past right here in the present.
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors through educational programs that acquire, preserve, protect, promote, and interpret the history and culture of Denton County.
Samuel and Mollie Bayless married in Madisonville, Tennessee in 1882 and arrived in Denton shortly afterward. When they arrived in Denton they purchased a small farmhouse, what is now the kitchen and the back portion of the house. As their family grew Mr. Bayless contracted to build a two-story Queen Anne addition in 1898. With their five children: Grace, Nellie Blythe, Letitia, Jim Tom, and Raymond Star, the family lived, worked, and played in Denton. Mr. Bayless' older brother Jim also lived in the house along with a boarder named Ike Marshall, and a servant named James McConnell. Mr. Bayless operated a successful truck farm off the 100 acres of land surrounding the house, originally located on Myrtle Street just south of the Denton Square.
On November 23, 1919 one of Mr. Samuel Bayless' tenant farmers, Joseph O. Speers, stabbed Mr. Bayless over a contract dispute in front of the house. Mr. Bayless died from the wound, however Speers was acquitted due to self-defense. The family held Mr. Bayless' funeral in this front room and mourned his death. After witnessing her husband's murder, Mary decided she could no longer live in the house and sold it to the R. L. Selby family one year later. She and her family moved into the Selby's home.
Robert Lee and Mary Selby moved to Denton from Decatur, Texas in 1910 and raised four children: Florine, Ila Faye, George, and R. L. Jr. In Denton Mr. Selby grew vegetables on his property and brought them into town to sell. After the murder and the move into the Bayless' home, Mr. Selby took up the nursery and floral business, and became well-known throughout North Texas for his rose bushes. Throughout the 20th Century, the Selby children helped with the family business and the operation of a small greenhouse where flowers were picked and arranged for funerals and special occasions for customers across Denton County. The Selby's greenhouse later became the Greenhouse restaurant on North Locust Street in 1998, the same year the City of Denton auctioned off the Bayless-Selby house. The purchaser of the property donated the Bayless-Selby House to the Denton County Historical Commission who moved it to its present location, thus forming the Denton County Historical Park.
Victorian Queen Anne-style house museum built in 1898 onto a farmhouse built in 1880s.
House is furnished pre-1908 Denton County. A major collection is The Daugherty Collection of handpainted porcelain.
Lecture series on exhibits, teacher workshops, docent program. $5 for the Victorian Home Series, but otherwise, free.
Access: General Public, Students
Appointment required: Yes
Part of Courthouse Museum newsletter
Bayless-Selby House is wheelchair accessible on the first floor.
Guided tours of our museum sites should be scheduled in advance,especially to accommodate larger groups. We offer a variety of different tours designed to showcase the many stories we tell about the county's history. Tours of the Courthouse-on-the-Square offer a glimpse into the county's past, and the events that led to what we know as Denton County today. We cover a variety of information spanning from civic education on the role of county government in the lives of residents to more specific information on the particular history of the structure itself, including its historical role in the local community. The Denton County Historical Park offers tours of the Bayless-Selby house which takes a look at life in the county as it was 100 years ago, and tours of the Quakertown House tell the story of Quakertown and the residents that lived there. Tours can be tailored to your needs depending on your curriculum studies, the number of people in your group, and time that you are available.
Self-guided tours are always available during regular hours and they offer you a chance to craft your own experience and spend time investigating the items and stories that are most interesting and relevant to you. You are welcome to come in and explore any of our exhibits at the Courthouse-on-the-Square or at the Historical Park at your own leisure.
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