Ray Spitzenberger

DIME BOX, TEXAS. Dime Box is on Farm Road 141 twelve miles northeast of Giddings in eastern Lee County. It originated between 1869 and 1877, when a settler built a sawmill near what is now State Highway 21, three miles northwest of the site of the present community. Records suggest that the mill's builder was Joseph S. Brown, and the settlement of British-Americans, Czechs, Poles, Germans, and German-Wends which grew up around the mill was known as Brown's Mill (Browne's Mill, Brown's Mills). A Union School opened in January 1874. The school later housed the local Presbyterian church, which was one of the earliest of this denomination in the state. Until a government post office opened in 1877, settlers deposited outgoing mail and a dime in a small box inside Brown's office for a weekly delivery to Giddings. The Brown's Mill post office closed in December 1883. When it reopened the following spring, frequent confusion of Brown's Mill with Brownsville had caused the town to be renamed Dime Box. In 1913, when the Southern Pacific Railroad built a line three miles southeast of Dime Box, the original settlement became Old Dime Box, and the new railroad station became Dime Box. The railroad encouraged growth, and the community's estimated population increased from 127 in 1904 to 500 in 1925. The town received national attention in the 1940s when a CBS broadcast kicked off the March of Dimes drive from Dime Box. The number of residents remained between 300 and 500 throughout the middle years of the twentieth century and was estimated at 313 from 1972 through 2000. In the late 1970s oil was discovered in the Dime Box area.

Julia Jones, Lee County: Historical and Descriptive (Houston, 1945). Lee County Historical Survey Committee, A History of Lee County (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1974). Nancy Hamilton, Lee County, Texas (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia, 1999).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Ray Spitzenberger, "DIME BOX, TX," accessed August 23, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hld25.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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