Bayless-Selby House Museum

Samuel A. Bayless and his wife, Mary, came to Denton from Monroe County, Tennessee. Samuel purchased a two-roomed farmhouse, located at what we know now as 1301 Myrtle Street, Denton, in 1884. That farmhouse is the one-story part of the museum. Samuel contracted to construct the two-story part of the house in 1898. It is in a very popular architectural design from the late 19th century known as Victorian Queen Anne-style. Samuel died in 1919, and Mrs. Bayless chose not to continue to live in the house. Instead, she arranged with a neighboring nursery man, R. L. Selby, Sr., to exchange houses with her, and she and her family moved out of the house to enable the Selby family to move in on Thanksgiving Day 1920. The Selby family retained ownership of the house until 1970. The family still owns and operates the nursery business in the Selby Greenhouses, located near the Myrtle Street address of the house. The Bayless families live in Dallas, McKinney, and Denison. Many family members who were so much a part of the transformation of the house to a museum have died, but memories live on, and the families have continued their visits several times a year, some from as far away as California, others from just a few blocks away. The families are major donors to the museum, and their visits include many hours reminiscing in the gardens to which they have contributed so much.