old cotton gin in Dime Box
in a Pecan Shell
There's an Old
and a New Dime Box. The name comes from the practice of leaving
a dime in a box at Brown's Mill to get a letter delivered
to Giddings. This
was before a Federal Post Office opened in 1877.
Old Dime Box is the second
is the oldest) town in Lee
The PO opened under the name Brown's Mill or a variation
thereof, and in short order a lot of mail was misdirected to Brownsville.
The postal people were livid. They had a reputation for refusing
names that could be confusing with existing post offices, but this
one got right by them. Ordered to change the name, the townsfolk
submitted Dime Box and it was accepted.
In 1913, the Southern Pacific Railroad came within 3 miles of the
town and almost everyone moved for the convenience this afforded.
Enough remained to retain the name and they decided to become Old
and New. This is a rare ending to a familiar story - but there you
Dime Box" opened
the 1944 March of Dimes Campaign and the town was featured in Life
magazine. The Postmaster General even showed up to be photographed
on the front porch of the store with an oversized mailbox which
was sent to the White House. Today an oversized vintage dime stands
in a transparent case in downtown Dime Box.
and Barber Shop in New Dime Box
TE photo, 12-2000
bridge in 1986, before it was dismantled and carted off to the park
in Dime Box. Photographer Jeanie Gold of Dime Box.
Photo courtesy Allan Moses
same bridge (shown above) now sits at the park in Dime Box.
TE photo, 12-2000
|Dime Box water
tower in March 2006
courtesy George Shaffer
Dime Box water tower was dismantled in April 2018. It was leaning
and almost rusted through."
courtesy Lyn Evans, April 18, 2018
Old Balcar Saloon and Buildings
the 1950's and 1960's the saloon was the Wolff place. It was a place
where folks grown up around Dime Box came and played dominos twice
a week." - Paula Foster, Beaumont, Texas, April 20, 2006
| Back of the
old Balcar Saloon
"The back of the old saloon fell the week after the dismantling
of the water tower, no doubt due to all the trains idling in front
of it and the 18 wheelers waiting on the train."
courtesy Lyn Evans, April 2018
|The Ella Spacek
courtesy Lyn Evans , February 2017
the Ella Spacek home at 1019 E. Bowers behind the lumberyard in
Dime Box last year. I am completely restoring this 1912 home reputed
to be the oldest home in town. I have been living on the property
in a mobile home since February of this year." - Lyn Evans,
May 07, 2018
|The Ella Spacek
courtesy Lyn Evans, April 26, 2018
by A. S. Friedell
My grandparents raised pigs, chickens, guineas with their loud ka-track,
ka-track, and the necessary milk cows and their calves. My grandmother
would send me into the chicken house or even under the farm house
to gather eggs..... more
Box, Texas Forum
Hranice Cemetery and the old Brethren Church
It's a tradition of mine to always check and see what is said about
my hometown of Dime Box. The photos, stories and comments made me
tear up just a bit, as I'm a college student and don't make it home
as much as I'd like. I love the photo of the old Balcar building
(my kin on my paternal grandmother's side of the family).
I noticed someone mentioned Hranice Cemetery. I thought I'd
add a bit about it, as I grew up just down the road. From highway
21 near the Lee county
line, just before entering Burleson
County, is county road 426. Down this road, on the right, one
will find Hranice Cemetery (also, next door is also St. Joseph's
Cemetery). The house across the road is the house my grandma was
born in. Most of my family is buried at Hranice, from my grandpa
to my great-great (possibly even great-great-great) grandparents.
I spent more time than most kids there, as my grandma enjoyed spending
a Saturday every couple of months cleaning up the battered silk
flowers, poisoning fire ants and placing new flowers on our family
grave sites. I always loved walking to the older headstones, many
of which are written in Czech, to try and find the oldest I could.
Next to the cemetery is the remains of the old Brethren Church.
All that remains is a bit of foundation and an old water pump, which
one can still pump the handle but will receive no water for their
efforts (trust me on this one). My grandma told me the church was
destroyed once by a tornado and once by a fire from a lightening
strike. She actually helped my great grandpa pull pews from the
church as it began to burn. I'm a huge history person and extremely
close to my grandmother so I would love to send along some old photos
and stories of the area. - Ashley Dobos, September 26, 2013
The saloon, Hranice Cemetery and the old railroad bridge
Just a few tidbits on the Dime Box photos:
In the 1950's and 1960's the saloon was the Wolff place.
It was a place where folks grew up around Dime Box came and played
dominos twice a week. There is the Brethan Church which is one of
the oldest in Lee
county and where I was married.
On the east side off the main highway going to Caldwell,
there is a paved country road just before the Yeague Creek. It circles
back to Dime Box and on your left there is the Hranice Cemetery
in which has the graves of earlier settlers to this region, Including
my great-great grandparents Joseph F. Kortis and Pauline Urban.
If you keep on this road and go over the railroad tracks, a right
turn takes you into Dime Box and you will see the old railroad
bridge. Back in the 1980's it was the only way into town. I
inched across that bridge many a time.
If you ever have time to spare just take one of the many back roads
around Dime Box and there is no telling which old cemetery or old
homestead you might stumble on. Dime Box has a rich history of Czechs
who came over from the old Country who were farmers (sharecroppers),
and moonshiners with strong family ties and traditions. - Paula
Foster, Beaumont, Texas, April 20, 2006
Dime Box - Old Railroad Bridge
Dear Editor, Through a cousin of mine, I just stumbled upon your
web site and specifically the "Dime Box" page and found it interesting,
especially since I was born and raised right next to the original
location of the big black railroad bridge that you have pictured.
Our family's estate, the Moses place, was a Stephen F. Austin land
grant homestead (260 acres) that was the one split in half by the
SP railroad. My Grandfather, Asa P. Moses insisted that SP build
the bridge to accommodate the movement of cattle, horses, tractors,
etc. from one section of property to the other, as needed.
I happen to have a vintage (1986) photograph of that old bridge
that my wife was blessed to win during the Dedication of the bridge
when it was dismantled and moved to downtown Dime Box. The photograph
was taken prior to its being dismantled and I thought you might
like to use it on your site. God Bless, Allan Moses, February 09,
I was looking
for pictures of Dime Box Texas and found your website. I enjoyed
your story and agree on the chickens. In 1981 I worked on the remodeling
of the cafe in your picture. I was employed by Dime Box Lumber as
a carpenter. Probably the first "YANKEE" they ever hired. Maybe
the last! The pay was 1/2 of what Houston jobs paid. I always thought
that was why it was called Dime Box. Your story clarified that.
I will always cherish the time I spent there and in nearby Giddings.
Someday I hope to visit the area and enjoy the stillness it has
to offer. My heart goes out to all the wonderful people whom I worked
with at the former Lee Memorial Hospital in Giddings. - Sincerely
Yours, Richard Benton, March 19, 2005
in Dime Box
I'm doing research on Dime Box, particularly "Old" Dime Box, for
a book I'm writing. I lived there when I was young and remember
bits and pieces of it. I enjoyed the pictures you had on the webpage
I spent only a year or so there, but fell in love with the place.
So far from "reality" as far as I was concerned, moving in from
the "big city" of Houston (and I had lived in Dallas). It wasn't
even on the same planet. I wrote my first science fiction story
here, in fifth grade (and was told I blasphemed against God, which
of course, only incited me to write more). Fifth grade consisted
of 3 students including me, and a teacher who said things like "cleanliness
was next to Godliness" and other [things] that drove us all crazy.
We had to say "Amen" after each one. I got pretty wild out there
and I guess that's why I loved it so. We raised horses and chickens
(I hate chickens to this day) and a couple of milk cows, and a vegetable
garden. We picked fruit for our landlady and traded for other foodstuffs.
The people there were about as "wild west" as I'd ever seen (alive),
carrying guns right on their body all over the place (though never
in school and rarely in church). I learned to shoot tin cans (hey
they stayed still, mostly) but couldn't bring myself to kill anything
moving except bugs, snakes and the armadillos that rooted in the
gardens and ate it up. We had no electricity in the house, no heat
other than a pot belly stove, no running water (an outhouse and
a water pump well), and no insulation in the walls. But I had a
lot of fun and found the stars and fell in love with them.
The bridge pictured on that page (if it's the same one I
am thinking of, and I could be wrong, since it's been a long time),
I remember well. My Dad would stop just as he passed over the first
of it and would stop, make us get out of the car, and walk the rest
of the way across, to look for broken planks. I thought it was great
fun. Being the oldest, I knew it was all a set up, but my younger
brother and sisters didn't, so I didn't let on. I would act it up,
pretend I found a weak board and wave my arms like I might fall.
The bridge is still in my dreams.
I hope to drive down there soon and reminisce and take pictures.
I doubt the house we lived in is still standing, but I want to get
the flavor of the area before I start writing. The book will be
fiction, a collection of short stories, based on nothing in particular
but my wild imagination and some of the history and whatever gossip
I can pick up here and there and from my crazy family. :)
Thanks for the hard work you have both put into the site. Very well
done.- Alley Hauldren, Grand Prairie, TX, January 2, 2005
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