For Travel Tuesday”: Mouse over pictures for location.
“What’s in a name? For some off-the-beaten-path communities in Texas, not a lot. For others, it is their primary marketing tool. For some, it pays homage to their earliest inhabitants. When San Antonio Express-News writer Roy Bragg recently took a look at some of the strangest names on the Texas map, he decided to Jot ‘Em Down. And that list included Jot ‘Em Down, Texas – roughly 75 miles northeast of Dallas.
Bragg found Texas town names to satisfy every appetite, like Oatmeal, Okra, Muenster, and Lollipop. He also assembled what could be a comprehensive list of baby names for expectant parents: Celina, Anna, Maud, Louise, Edna, Sarita, Alice, Donna, Mercedes, and Maybelle, or Melvin, Nolan, Seymour, and Chester.
For many of these towns, the founders put a lot of thought into their municipality’s name. While its name would suggest otherwise, the early inhabitants of Nameless, Texas were thoroughly invested in the naming process. Located in northwest Travis County, just five miles northeast of Lago Vista, Nameless was settled in 1869. Residents grew cotton or produced cedar posts and rails to make a living. By 1880, these residents were ready to make their town official and applied for a U.S. post office. The postal department rejected the names they suggested not once, but six times. Finally, in an act of frustration, the residents replied in writing, “Let the post office be nameless and be damned!” Much to their surprise, the postal department called their bluff. The post office called Nameless was established in 1880. The joke was relatively short-lived. Ten years later the post office was discontinued and mail was rerouted through Leander. Despite this setback, however, residents kept Nameless alive well into the 20th century. Though today all that remains in Nameless is a historical marker, the cemetery and an abandoned schoolhouse, this community without a name remains on state maps.
Unlike Nameless, another town profiled by Bragg was successful in securing the postmark they requested, but perhaps not the results they hoped the name would yield. In Bailey County, at the junction of State Highway 214 and Farm Road 298, sits the community of Needmore, Texas. The goal behind the naming process was simple: Promoters of the townsite wanted to attract more settlers. But by 1940, 20 years after its founding, Needmore found itself still wanting more. With only 20 residents and two stores, the future looked bleak. Needmore peaked in 1980 with a population of 98, but by 2000 it had dropped again to 45. While Needmore remains on the map, only time will tell if the original residents’ marketing ploy will ever succeed.
Looking across the state, Bragg found communities that give orders, like Grow, Draw and Tell. He found some that may have been named to keep others out, such as Weeping Mary or Looneyville. While some of the strangest names have left their mark on the Texas map, like Loco, Cut And Shoot, and Noodle, others’ legacies were not as lasting. Take the town of Zulch, for example. While Zulch is long gone, you can rest assured knowing that North Zulch remains. While these towns may come and go, they enrich the lore of our state and remind us of how unique Texas is. So if you ever find yourself on US-67 west of San Angelo, pull over by that abandoned shack near the intersection of County Road 113. Take in the vastness of the landscape and give thanks, because you’re standing in the former location of the town with the name that says it all: Best, Texas." Sources: Texas State Historical Association, “Strange names dot Texas map” by Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News
Strange names dot Texas map, And there's a tale behind each one.
“It was 1880 and the residents of a tiny Travis County community were ready to make the jump to the big leagues by getting a post office. That required getting the town name approved. The locals applied, but federal postal officials rejected their town name. So they suggested another. It was turned down, too. So they tried a third name. It was denied. After the sixth rejection, historians and folklorists say, residents sent a curt note to the U.S. Postmaster: “Let the post office be nameless and be damned!” And thus the town of Nameless, Texas, was born. The town long since has been abandoned and exists only as a stretch of Hill Country waiting to be developed by rich guys from Austin. But it's one of the hundreds of oddball and unusual names dotting the maps of the Lone Star State.
While a complete list would include hundreds of names, it's possible to pick up on certain patterns. Towns usually adopted names for specific reasons, says Rhett Rushing, a folklorist at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
Still others, he said, named their small towns after large cities as a way of garnering attention. Like Athens. That explains the Texas World Tour of town names, which includes Atlanta, Detroit, Paris, Carthage, Dublin, Naples and Port-Au-Prince.
Other names, Rushing says, describe a town's roots. Bovina sprouted at a rail terminal where cattle were shipped to market. Muleshoe grew around a blacksmith's shop. There are American Indian names, such as Bedias and Nacogdoches and geographic names, such as Brushy Creek and Plains.
Other times, there's geographic irony. Grandfalls is in a desert. Maple sits on treeless plains. And Big Lake doesn't have one.
Domicile-themed names include Home, New Home and Mountain Home, but the most inviting name of all might be Sweet Home. More good vibes can be found in Happy, Joy, Utopia, Paradise, Eden, Placid, Prosper and Loyal Valley. Some town names beckon for action: Grow, Draw, Tell, and Crow. Others are downright bossy, such as Needmore and Circle Back.
Hungry? There's Oatmeal, Okra, Muenster, Lollipop and Apple Springs.
Male names are found loitering all over the map, including Melvin, Nolan, Seymour, and Chester. Not every town is that casual. Please address the following towns by their full name: Ben Arnold, Ben Wheeler, George West and Tom Bean.
Women are represented, too: Celina, Anna, Maud, Louise, Edna, Sarita, Alice,Donna, Mercedes, and Maybelle. Some places just wanted a vague female vibe, such as Sisterdale and Lovelady.
Iraan combines the names of Ira and Ann Yates, children of a local rancher. There's a town named after brothers I.B. Bell and Z.O. Bell, who were known to locals as Ding and Dong. Hence Ding Dong, a wide spot in the road near Killeen.
Sacul and Reklaw, both in East Texas, were intended to be Lucas and Walker, respectively. But when the post office turned them down, town leaders reversed the spelling of each. Byspot, another East Texas town, reverses the first name of Topsy Bennett, wife of a local mill owner, with a “B” tacked on the front for good measure.
Sometimes, there's confusion when towns are placed in counties.
Seguin is in Guadalupe County, but Guadalupe is in Victoria County. Mentone is in Loving County but Loving is in Young County. There are other examples, but the winner is a long one: Athens is in Henderson County, Henderson is in Rusk County, Rusk is in Cherokee County and Cherokee is in San Saba County, which, surprisingly, is home to the town of San Saba.
And then, there are the names that are flat-out bizarre: Weeping Mary, Zipperlandville, Fly Gap, Looneyville, Fluvanna, Loco, Noodle, Cut And Shoot, Gun Barrel City, and Lazbuddie.
Some names have simple back stories. Bug Tussle got its name, according to one story, because the bugs were so thick, residents had to fight their way through the swarms.
Uncertain (located near Marshall in Northeast Texas) either comes from tugboat captains uncertain of how to navigate Caddo Lake or residents uncertain whether they lived in the United States or the Republic of Texas.
Dime Box sprang forth from nearby Old Dime Box. New Braunfels comes from the German town of Braunfels. But in the case of North Zulch, the original town of Zulch is gone, which makes it even sillier.
It's difficult to list every unusual Texas town name. The perfect place to do it, however, would probably be in Jot 'em Down, a bustling town of 10 residents in Delta County." By Roy Bragg. Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Ding-Dong-Noodle-and-Bug-Tussle-among-funny-2291232.php#ixzz1he2EIIhm
Here are some more strange TX towns:
My town, Willis, isn't strange enough to be listed.
Pictures of some of the towns:
More towns in Texas:
Bean Station, TX
Ben Bolt, TX
Ben Franklin, TX
Ben Hur, TX
Cee Vee, TX
China Grove, TX
China Grove, TX (yes two of 'um)
Chocolate Bayou, TX
Coy City, TX
Cut and Shoot, TX
Ding Dong, TX
Dime Box, TX
Dripping Springs, TX
Gun Barrel City, TX
Honey Island, TX
Hoop and Holler, TX
Little Hope, TX
Moss Hill, TX
Old Glory, TX
Paint Rock, TX
Sour Lake, TX
Study Butte, TX
Tiki Island, TX
Trophy Club, TX
Then just to confuse everybody, there is a Texas in WI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas,_Wisconsin
On This Day:
ASPCA is founded, Apr 10, 1866:
“On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh, 54.
In 1863, Bergh had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to a diplomatic post at the Russian court of Czar Alexander II. It was there that he was horrified to witness work horses beaten by their peasant drivers. En route back to America, a June 1865 visit to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in London awakened his determination to secure a charter not only to incorporate the ASPCA but to exercise the power to arrest and prosecute violators of the law.
Back in New York, Bergh pleaded on behalf of "these mute servants of mankind" at a February 8, 1866, meeting at Clinton Hall. He argued that protecting animals was an issue that crossed party lines and class boundaries. "This is a matter purely of conscience; it has no perplexing side issues," he said. "It is a moral question in all its aspects." The speech prompted a number of dignitaries to sign his "Declaration of the Rights of Animals."
Bergh's impassioned accounts of the horrors inflicted on animals convinced the New York State legislature to pass the charter incorporating the ASPCA on April 10, 1866. Nine days later, the first effective anti-cruelty law in the United States was passed, allowing the ASPCA to investigate complaints of animal cruelty and to make arrests.
Bergh was a hands-on reformer, becoming a familiar sight on the streets and in the courtrooms of New York. He regularly inspected slaughter houses, worked with police to close down dog- and rat-fighting pits and lectured in schools and to adult societies. In 1867, the ASPCA established and operated the nation's first ambulance for horses.
As the pioneer and innovator of the humane movement, the ASPCA quickly became the model for more than 25 other humane organizations in the United States and Canada. And by the time Bergh died in 1888, 37 of the 38 states in the Union had passed anti-cruelty laws.
Bergh’s dramatic street rescues of mistreated horses and livestock served as a model for those trying to protect abused children. After Mary Ellen McCormack, 9, was found tied to a bed and brutally beaten by her foster parents in 1874, activists founded the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Bergh served as one of the group’s first vice presidents.”
Atomic submarine sinks in Atlantic, Apr 10, 1963:
“On this day in 1963, the USS Thresher, an atomic submarine, sinks in the Atlantic Ocean, killing the entire crew. One hundred and twenty-nine sailors and civilians were lost when the sub unexpectedly plunged to the sea floor 300 miles off the coast of New England.
The Thresher was launched on July 9, 1960, from Portsmouth Naval Yard in New Hampshire. Built with new technology, it was the first submarine assembled as part of a new class that could run more quietly and dive deeper than any that had come before.
On April 10, 1963, at just before 8 a.m., the Thresher was conducting drills off the coast of Cape Cod. At 9:13 a.m., the USS Skylark, another ship participating in the drills, received a communication from the Thresher that the sub was experiencing minor problems.
Other attempted communications failed and, only five minutes later, sonar images showed the Thresher breaking apart as it fell to the bottom of the sea. Sixteen officers, 96 sailors and 17 civilians were on board. All were killed.
On April 12, President John F. Kennedy ordered that flags across the country be flown at half-staff to commemorate the lives lost in this disaster. A subsequent investigation revealed that a leak in a silver-brazed joint in the engine room had caused a short circuit in critical electrical systems. The problems quickly spread, making the equipment needed to bring the Thresher to the surface inoperable.
The disaster forced improvements in the design and quality control of submarines. Twenty-five years later, in 1988, Vice Admiral Bruce Demars, the Navy's chief submarine officer, said "The loss of Thresher initiated fundamental changes in the way we do business–changes in design, construction, inspections, safety checks, tests, and more. We have not forgotten the lessons learned. It's a much safer submarine force today."”
Misty and I went to get Jay, who had found an old electric weed-eater in their shed. The handle had come apart in the middle so he found a stick for a splint, and duct taped it together. Unfortunately, as usual, he didn’t think first, and he taped the handle on it the wrong way round.
But he weed-eated the place anyway, while Ray and I put the last top piece of trim on the rear of the cargo trailer. Ray also put new butyl putty tape under all the rear clearance lights, and cleaned up the contacts. Then he unscrewed the rear metal gutter, put a long strip of butyl putty tape under it before he remounted it. It didn’t have any on it before.
The little black Chihuahua, Binkie, that hangs around Jay’s has come up very heavy with pups. She won’t let anyone near her, she is so shy. I worry about her all the time, as I hope she doesn’t get under someone’s house, and can’t give birth without a C-section. Her ‘Dad’ who let’s her run loose every day, knew I was worried, so he brought her to me, for us to get acquainted. This is in case I have to determine if she should to be rushed to a vet when her time comes. I showed her that there is a comfy place to have babies in my grooming room. She is so sweet, let me pet her finally, and wagged her tail when she saw me. She ate a little, but as she wasn’t making colostrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colostrum) yet, I took her home. I don’t think it will be many more days.