Denison is known as "Katy's Baby," "The Infant Wonder," and "The Gateway City to Texas." Founded in 1872 as the first Lone Star stop on the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad, the city rapidly grew to 3,000 residents in its first 100 days. Citizens of the new town wanted a quality education for their children, and in 1873 they opened the first free, graded public school in the state. From Denison came many influential people, including Allied Forces supreme commander and U.S. president Dwight David Eisenhower, born here in 1890. The Perrin Air Force Base served as an important military training facility from 1941 until the 1970s. Denison is now home to numerous industries and major providers of medical services, and the Denison Dam across the Red River has formed a major recreation area for local citizens.
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