The Big Dime in the Box
And in those miles and miles of Texas, a treasure of unusual town names…..this time, it’s Dime Box, Texas. I am going to tell a little about the tiny central Texas town of Dime Box. I drove off TX 21 to check the small town about 3 minutes away. I found the box easily at Ramsey Street (Hwy 141) and Bowers Street. I was in awe that the dime is probably 2 feet round. I still don’t know if it is made of silver. It is surrounded with dirty glass, looking like it hasn’t washed clean for some years.
I researched its history. I learned that the community originated in either the late 1860s or early 1870s. The settlement was first known as Brown’s Mill, but was later changed to Dime Box.
The origin of the name “Dime Box” stemmed from a custom in which early settlers had wanted to send a letter to somebody, they would leave their letters and a dime in the box. Someone got to the nearest town to get supplies or whatever, he 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, he would bring the letters back to the box. It was just like a honor system more or less.
In 1913, when the Southern Pacific Railroad built a line three miles to the southeast of the community, most of the residents and businesses moved to a site near the tracks. From that point onward, the original settlement became known as Old Dime Box and the new community was referred to as Dime Box.
A Texas Historical Marker was erected in 1968 that honored Old Dime Box as the second oldest community in Lee County.
The population is about 300 today. It’s a farming community. And most everybody lives out in the surrounding area on a farm.
Close up of the Big Dime
The Big Dime is surrounded with dirty, smeared glass in the box.
To check the Big Dime in the Box, go Hwy 141, downtown off TX 21. The Box is cornered by Ramsey Street and Bowers Street near the flag stand.