Denton County Draft Scrip
by Frank Clark
From the collection of Frank Clark
Over 90 counties in Texas issued scrip during the Civil War. These were usually receivable for all county dues or payable in Confederate paper. There are several variations on the payable theme depending on which county issued the scrip. Most of the scrip is dated during the years of 1862 or 1863. Usually the printer is unknown but is presumed to be a local newspaper office. The scrip is usually very plain and uniface. Sometimes the scrip has been printed on the back of fiscal paper. This class of scrip can be described as "very rare" for most, if not all Texas counties that issued it.
Denton County issued county scrip in 50 cents, $1, $2 and $3 denominations. However, the 50 cents and $2 denominations are not listed in the reference books, but they are known to collectors. After many years of searching, I was able to locate a $1 Denton County Draft with very strong ink signatures. This scrip is on thin paper and the printer is unknown.
The scrip reads on the front:
DENTON COUNTY DRAFT .
No. 675 (with "675" Hand-written) Denton, Sept. 10, 1862.
THE TREASURER OF DENTON CO., TEXAS,
WILL PAY TO BEARER
Receivable for all County Dues, or payable in Confederate paper.
S.A. Venters (Hand-written signature) COUNTY CLERK.
J.M. BLOUNT (Hand-written signature) CHIEF JUSTICE.
On the left side of the scrip is the numeral "1" surrounded by two different printer designs. On the right side is a depiction of a small sheaf of wheat. The border is composed of "diamonds" that are shaded on the side pointing toward the edge of the scrip. There is also a different printer design than mentioned earlier that is in each corner of the border.
S.A. Venters was born on June 27, 1822 and was one of the founders of Denton County. He arrived in the area in the mid 1840's. Denton became a county in 1846. He was elected to the position of county clerk in 1848 and he served many terms. In 1851 he was appointed postmaster at New Alton. In 1874 he was elected to the state legislature from Denton County. He was member of the I00F. He was much admired by those who knew him. He died on March 12, 1881 in Denton.
J.M. Blount settled in the town of Denton in 1857. He had moved from Mississippi and was 34 years old. .He assisted in the laying out of the town of Denton as soon as he arrived. Shortly thereafter the county seat moved from Alton to Denton. He was one of Denton's first businessmen, who engaged in the sale of goods for many years. He was elected to the post of county judge (chief justice) and served several terms. He was elected to the Texas senate in 1866. Blount and the rest of Governor Throckmorton's administration was removed by the Federal government due to the policies of Reconstruction. Later, he was elected to several other city and county offices. Blount was a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Baptist Church. He did very much to build and improve the city and county of Denton. He was recognized as one of the county's best citizens. His wife, Sophia, died in 1869. He died on February 22, 1899.
The reference books on this scrip do not refer to the backs of the Denton County Draft. When I obtained my example, I was very delighted to find that the scrip was printed on unused check stock originally printed by Danforth & Huffy of New York and Philadelphia. Their imprint is on the back of the scrip as part of the check design. This firm was in business from 1847 to 1850 at which time it began several mergers that culminated in the American Bank Note Company in 1858. The front of the scrip was printed in such a manner that produced an "inverted back". The check stock had a vignette of a steam ship with sails going through rough waters. Having this vignette and being unused check stock adds to the history of this rare piece of scrip.
Bates, Ed F. (1976). History and Reminiscences of Denton County. Terrill Wheeler Printing, Inc. Denton, Texas.
Bieciuk, Hank and Corbin, H.G. "Bill". (1961). Texas Confederate County Notes and Private Scrip.
Bridges, C.A. (1978). History of Denton, Texas. Waco, Texas: Texian Press.
Griffiths, William H. (1959). The Story of the American Bank Note Company.
Medlar, Bob. (1968). Texas Obsolete Notes and Scrip. Society of Paper Money Collectors.