What’s Behind These Quirky Town Names? Sometimes A Dispute With The Post Office

Explore five Texas towns, some of which got their names after multiple submissions – and rejections – from the former Post Office Department.

By Kinsley FisherJuly 5, 2019 12:52 pm,

We had so much fun a few weeks back highlighting a handful of Texas towns with great names that we decided to explore a few more!

Nameless, Texas, is the town, theoretically, without a name – and, literally, without people. It’s a ghost town located in Travis County. Apparently, all of the proposed names for the town were rejected. So the frustrated townspeople said, “Let the post office be nameless,” and that is how the now-vacant town got its name. Also in the abandoned town is Nameless Road, Nameless Cemetery and the Nameless schoolhouse, which is the only structure still standing.

Paradise, Texas, got its name because the land is a cowboy’s paradise. It’s also because the post office rejected its first submission: Eldorado. In 2017, the town opened the Paradise Museum; inside is an exhibit about gangster Machine Gun Kelly. Also in town, catch a car show on Main Street or take part in a washer tournament.

Venus, Texas, was originally named Gossip, but was later renamed after the daughter of a local doctor. The Great Depression hit the town hard, which led to its decline. Its remaining drug store was on the brink of foreclosure, but the townspeople rallied together, each donating $5 to keep it open. Venus is a short drive from Dallas. It’s also close to Waxahachie, which is home to one of the most haunted houses in Texas, the Burleson House.

Nemo, Texas, got its name from a multitude of post office application rejections. (See a pattern here?) The railroad station was named after a local hero named Jimmie Johnson. Residents wanted to designate the post office in his honor as well, but postal authorities wanted a shorter name. To that, the townspeople responded, “If it can’t be named after a fine man like Johnson, it shouldn’t be named after any man.” So a Latin-speaking citizen suggested Nemo, which means “no man,” and the town submitted the name. Spend time honoring those who have fallen, and experiencing history in Nemo, at the George’s Creek Cemetery.

Oil was discovered in Best, Texas, in 1923, after which the population boomed. Instantly, the town got a wild reputation that led to its unofficial slogan: “The town with the best name in the world and the worst reputation.” Since then, the population has dwindled and Best has become a ghost town. Little remains except some structures, including the Springston Ranch and the Best Jail.

You can learn more about these and other Texas destinations in the travel issue of Texas Lifestyle magazine.