NOME, TEXAS. Nome is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 90, State Highway 326, and Farm Road 365, twenty miles west of Beaumont in northwestern Jefferson County. Early settlers knew the locale as Wolf Point, Tiger Point, Petry Woods, or Carter's Woods. When the Texas and New Orleans Railroad was built in 1860–61, the stop at this site was called Congreve Station, in recognition of one of the line's New York financiers. A post office called Sour Lake, for the Sour Lake springs seven miles north in Hardin County, operated from 1866 to 1880, and a townsite by that name was platted and filed in 1887. In 1880 Sour Lake Station had thirty-three inhabitants. A branch line was eventually built to the springs in Hardin County. In an attempt to avoid confusing passengers a new stop, called Buttfield, was established on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. Although a post office operated under that name from 1894 to 1903, residents and travelers began to refer to the junction as Nome after oil was discovered at Sour Lake (Hardin County) around 1900. The newer name probably referred to the gold strikes, which produced a similar population influx and economic boom at Nome, Alaska, at roughly the same time. In any event, the post office name was changed to Nome in 1903. Nome is a center for local agriculture, particularly rice growing. It had a population of 400 by the mid-1920s. The area was also found to be rich in oil and natural gas with the discovery of the Nome oilfield in 1936. The number of residents, after falling slightly to about 350 by the 1950s, had increased to 550 by the mid-1980s. In October 1971 Nome was incorporated. In 1990 the population was 448. The population grew to 515 by 2000.
L. I. Adams, Jr., Time and Shadows (Waco: Davis Brothers, 1971). W. T. Block, ed., Emerald of the Neches: The Chronicles of Beaumont from Reconstruction to Spindletop (Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1980).