Richard Green, and father, Melvin Owen, co-owned the store in Bug
Tussel, TX around early 1957 or 1958 through around the mid 1960's."
- Rose Bariekman, April 15, 2014
in a Pecan Shell
John Truss, was
a settler in the area in the 1890s and the town had originally been
named in his honor. For some reason the name of Truss, Texas
was changed to Bug Tussle.
Bug Tussle signs were popular with souvenir hunters and many people
would marry there to have Bug Tussle on their marriage license.
The population dwindled to only 6 in the 1960s.
The David Graham Hall foundation took a lease on downtown Bug Tussle
in the mid 1960s in an effort to restore it. During the restoration
the population increased to about 30 persons.
The name continues to draw people. Antique car clubs and other organizations
will hold events there to use the name on their programs and posters.
Rose Bariekman, who sent the above photo of her father and grandfather
in front of the Bug Tussle Store in 1957, also attached the following
blurb from the March 20th 1962 edition of the Victoria Advocate. Although
the term was not then in use, It was obviously what is now known as
a slow news day:
BUG TUSSLE LIVES ON
Bug Tussle, Texas (AP)
The mayor of this small NE Texas town (Population about 10) has received
official thanks from the House Minority Leader Carl Albert of Oklahoma
for keeping the name of his hometown alive. Albert is a native of
Bug Tussle, Oklahoma, a town whose name has changed years ago to Flowery
Mound. Bug Tussle’s self-appointed mayor, Richard Green, who owns
the towns largest industry (a one man “shop-made hoe” factory), claims
the new Bug Tussle, Oklahoma is located where the white stripe down
the middle of a farm-to-market road from Bug Tussle, Texas to the
Red River meets the south bank of the river, marking the boundary
of Texas and Oklahoma. He says “a unique gerrymandering ordinance
did the trick.”
Unique Town Names
by Bob Bowman
Bug Tussle, in Fannin County, was originally called Truss, but supposedly
got its new name when an invasion of bugs spoiled an ice cream social,
but there are other versions... Read
place names describe unique stories of towns by Delbert Trew
Bug Tussle, in Fannin County, has two stories. The old people say
it was named for the extreme efforts it took to fight off the bugs
while attending a church picnic. The young people claim life in the
town is so boring that they sit around at night watching the tumble-bugs
work for entertainment.
Bug Tussle, Texas
by David Knape
courtesy James Nelms, February 2004
|The store today
Photo courtesy James Nelms, February 2004
| "The building
just sits there mysteriously at the crossroads in front of empty fields."
- James Nelms
I came across TexasEscapes.com the
other day, reading through the Ghost
Towns and noticed that you did not have a photo of Bug Tussle,
Texas. I have two photos I took that you are welcome to use for
In February of 2004 my old buddy Robert and I took an afternoon
Jeep trip out to Bug Tussle, just to see if it really existed. Sure
enough it did although there was little more than an old wooden
building with the Bug Tussle name plaque on top. Whether the building
had any real official capacity such as a city hall or post office,
or whether it was just an old building put there to draw tourists,
I don't know.
The story Robert
had told me was that a man (David Graham Hall?) had the town renamed
Bug Tussle in the mid 1960's in order to cash in on the immense
popularity of the CBS TV show The Beverly Hillbillies.
In the show, the Clampett family claims to be from a fictional town
called Bug Tussle (presumably in Arkansas) which was near both Petticoat
Junction and Hooterville (from the CBS show Green Acres).
Whether the writers of the show got the name from the Texas town,
or whether the town renamed itself after the show is probably open
for debate. Myself, I believe the latter. - Sincerely, James Nelms,
July 04, 2012
Bug Tussle Store
The store was run by my Great, great Uncle, James Bates Fink...
in the 1940’s or earlier. - Lydia Young Noll, August 11, 2012
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact