From Telephone to DISH and Sweet Home to Coffee City, Texas has many weird town names. There are even some that make your mouth water, like Bacon, Texas! Although we couldn’t name them all, here are a few of our favorite Texas towns with unusual names.
Texas settlers in the late 1800s weren’t loco or “crazy” for naming their town, Loco. It was named after the locoweed that grew in the area. The town is in North Texas, near Childress, and thrived for a few decades in the early 1900s. Today, the only things left in Loco are a few farms and cemeteries.
This West Texas town formed in 1910 and was named after Kermit Roosevelt, whose father happened to be Theodore Roosevelt. Kermit Roosevelt had only recently started hunting in the area, and as many citizens were fans of his father, they named the town after him. Today, there are over 6,000 people in Kermit. They have a pretty good humor about their town’s name, as seen in “Kermit The Frog” Boulevard and their Kermit the Frog-decorated water tower.
Cut and Shoot supposedly got its name from a fight that almost erupted in the small town in 1912 between the townsfolk, who defended a preacher who wanted to hold a meeting in the town’s Community House, and others who didn’t like the saloon and gambling rumors surrounding the preacher. The fight became so heated that a young boy was reported to have said, “I’m scared! I’m going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes in a minute!” In a weird twist of fate, it inspired the town name. Today, there’s not much to this small town that’s about a 45-minute drive north of Houston, besides a small population of 1,290 people and an interesting name and history.
White Settlement is a suburb of Fort Worth with over 17,000 people. The name is a bit weird… to say the least. Here’s the story: Amid fighting between the Native Americans and white settlers who encroached on the area in the late 1800s, the white settlers settled in an area that was referred to as “the white settlement,” a name that eventually became the official town name. In 2005, the mayor and chamber of commerce tried to change the town’s name to something that is not racist. However, the town, which is 85% white, voted against it. Today, the town’s water tower reads “On the Crossroads of Progress,” which is a tad ironic.
Jot ‘Em Down, Texas, has a little ring to it, even if it’s an odd name. The northeast Texas town has had people in the area since the late 1800s when the Bagley School opened, though in 2000, there were only a reported 10 people living there. A store in the area was built in the 1930s and named the Jot ‘Em Down Gin Corporation, after the fictional store in the radio show, Lum and Abner. Later, the highway department used the name to identify the area. The name has stuck to this day.
It’s okay, you can laugh; Ding Dong, Texas, does sound a bit humorous. This small town about an hour north of Austin has a funny story behind its name. The town was founded in the 1930s by a couple named Zelis and Burt Bell, who owned a store in town. One day, they hired a painter to paint their store sign. A local jokester convinced the painter to paint two bells on the sign and label them Zelis and Burt after the couple, and then write under the bells, “Ding Dong.” The painter took the advice and the town has been known as Ding Dong ever since. Today, the town is very small, filled with homes, a café, and volunteer firefighter department.
Notrees, Texas arose in the 1940s with the building of a Shell Oil Company plant. The name of the town, pronounced “No Trees,” comes from—surprise—the lack of trees in the area. The one tree in the area was cut down to build the plant. People tried planting trees in the community in the 1980s, but many died due to dust storms, oil fumes, and brush fires. Some have jokingly referred to Notrees as “Nopeople,” as the population has dwindled to all but 23 people, according to the 2010 census.
In 1903, Jonathan Edwards Pierce promoted his own bought land as the start of a new Texas town. He wanted to name it “Thank God,” but the U.S. Post Office turned him down. Pierce and the Post Office compromised on a different name: Blessing. The population was blessed in 1966 with 1,250 people, but now has a population of about 800 people.
With a name like Gun Barrel City, there has to be a good story behind it. There is, but it’s not as violent as you might think. The town’s motto has long been, “We Shoot Straight With You,” which in Texas slang, means to deal fairly and honestly. It was from this motto that the town was named, according to their website. Today, there’s only 6,000 people in this small community located on the Cedar Creek Reservoir, south of Dallas, Texas.
Cool, Texas seems like a cruel joke of a name considering that Texas is more often hot than cool. Today, there’s only 175 citizens in this small town near Fort Worth. The history behind this town name is unknown, but regardless, they still have a cool name.