Historical Background

The first settlers to Denton were Hamilton Queen on May 18, 1865 and Ellis Shane on October 26, 1866. Long before the town was founded "Denton" was a "designated station" on the railroad. From the mid 1860s until the railroad was built to Lincoln, Texas cattle were driven up through this area. In 1871, James Abbott came to Denton and bought steers and broke them to yoke, which he then sold to people going West.

Burlington & Missouri River RailroadDenton Historical Marker

Construction started on the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad in 1871. On August 1, 1871, a plat filed a village, Denton, and named after stock- raiser D.M. Denton. Denton became incorporated in 1913.


The Denton Methodist Church was dedicated in 1893 and St. Mary's Catholic Church in 1912.

Fire in Denton

On January 27, 1930, a fire began in a store which wiped out most of the businesses. It's only due to spunk that Denton didn't die with the stock market crash of 1929 and the fire in 1930. The Centennial was held July 31 and August 1, 1971, and a good time was had by all.


Denton, a community of 174 by 1990 census figures, is located in the southwest quadrant of Lancaster County. Denton lies directly between Lincoln and Crete, approximately 12 miles from each, and is known as a bedroom community.

Mr. Denton served honorably as assessor of the precinct for three terms and as a school board official for a number of years. The precinct bears his name. Long before there was a town, "Denton" was a designated location on the proposed Burlington "main line" from Lincoln to Fort Kearney. Laid out by D.N. and Sophia Smith and surveyed by M. Willsie, the town plat was filed for record on August 1, 1871.

Post Office

A post office for Denton was established May 1, 1887, when J. R.C. Miller was appointed postmaster. Soon after, several stores and two elevators were established. By the 1900’s, a number of businesses had opened including:

  • Bank
  • Creamery
  • Grocery
  • Lumberyard
  • Two grain elevators

Businesses Closed

Today the following businesses are no longer opened:

  • Band stand
  • Doctor’s office
  • Hotel
  • Meat market
  • Railroad depot


Crete School District 2 serves the Denton community providing excellent elementary, junior high and high schools. Students living outside the parameter of the village attend public or private schools in Lincoln, Malcolm, Milford and Crete. The Shane school was southwest of town and the Hudson school (now known as District 69) was northeast. The first school was taught by Lydia Webster at the stone house of D.M. Denton. The first school house in Denton was built in 1881.


Two state recreation areas, Yankee Hill Lake three miles east and Conestoga Lake two miles north, provide water sports and recreation as well as camping. The area around Denton is lush farmland and native prairie. Interspersed among the farms and ranches are homes on small acreages.

New Improvements in the Village

Today Denton boasts of concrete paved streets throughout the village; Town Talk, a monthly newsletter that serves the Denton area; a new community center; and a community park developed by the Denton Community Activities Committee over the past seven years. The Denton Chapter of Dollars for Scholars was formed in November, 1991, toward scholarships to area youth and adults for full-time higher education. Renewed civic pride is evident as older homes and building are renovated and committees work together to make the Denton community a better place to live.