Lee County, Central
FM 141 (Off Hwy 21)
12 miles NE of Giddings
34 miles NW of Brenham
22 miles E of Lexington
66 miles E of Austin
Population: est. 381 (2000) 313 (1990)
bridge in 1986, before it was dismantled and carted off to the park
in Dime Box. Photographer Jeanie Gold of Dime Box. Photo courtesy
in a Pecan Shell
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 oldest (Evergreen
is the oldest) town in Lee County.
|Old Dime Box
Photo courtesy Stephen Danesi
Box water tower
Photo courtesy George Shaffer, March 2006
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.
old cotton gin in Dime Box
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 have it.
Old Balcar Saloon and Buildings
and Barber Shop in New Dime Box
TE photo, 12-2000
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.
© John Troesser
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
same bridge (shown above) now sits at the park in Dime Box.
TE photo, 12-2000
Dime Box, Texas
Just a few tidbits on the Dime Box photos: In the 1950's and 1960's
the saloon was actual the Wolff place. It was a place where the
folks that had grown-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
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
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 for it.
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
Anyone wishing to share history, stories or photos of
Dime Box, Texas, please contact
Box Area Hotels - Book Here & Save