A Penny For A Native's Thoughts On Dime Box, Texas

Texas is a treasure of unusual town names. The quest continues to hear the stories behind some of them — including the tiny central Texas town of Dime Box. Bonnie Langham discusses her hometown.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) I saw miles and miles of Texas...

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And in those miles and miles of Texas, a treasure of unusual town names...

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) I saw miles and miles of Texas. Going to live here 'til I die...

BLOCK: This week, we're finding out the stories behind some intriguing Texas place names - and there are plenty to pique your curiosity: Lazbuddie, Floydada, Pep, Sublime, Gun Barrel City. Well, today, we're going to hear about the tiny central Texas town of Dime Box. Bonnie Langham was born Dime Box and has lived there most of her life. She tells us the name came from settlers back in the 1880s.

BONNIE LANGHAM: The settlers, if they had wanted to send a letter to somebody, they would leave their letter and a dime in the box. And then say I was going to the nearest town to get supplies or whatever, I would just take everybody's letters and the dime, mail it wherever the nearest town was, which was Caldwell, Texas. And then if anybody had letters coming back, I would bring the letters back to the box. Just like a honor system more or less.

BLOCK: Where was the box?

LANGHAM: It was at Jones's Brown Mill. That was kind of the general place to have a box because people came and went from there all the time, getting their grains ground up.

BLOCK: How many people live in Dime Box?

LANGHAM: You know, I'm thinking maybe 300, I'm guessing, because it's a farming community. And most everybody lives out in the surrounding area on a farm.

BLOCK: You know, Ms. Langham, it must be nice to live in a town whose name is, you know, a little bit of a mystery, right? You sort of have to ask about it, figure it out.

LANGHAM: Well, you know, the thing that's most interesting about the town is the people. Everybody that lives there is, you know, support each other. If the Lutheran Church has a fundraiser, everybody participates. If the Catholic Church has something, everybody participates. It's just a very close-knit community.

BLOCK: Well, Ms. Langham, it's been great to talk to you. Thank you so much for telling us about Dime Box, Texas.

LANGHAM: Well, I hope that I've said enough things that was interesting enough because we really, it's just a unique name for a unique place.

BLOCK: That's Bonnie Langham telling us how Dime Box, Texas got its name. Tomorrow, we'll hear about the town of Weeping Mary.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Singing) (unintelligible) Texas and Texas lives in me. (unintelligible) got no (unintelligible) and I (unintelligible). My love grows...

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