We hope everyone saw the Story of “Finding Nemo” on WFAA channel 8 this month. It was a great project and we did make the 6 p.m. primetime news.
Sean Giggy, a young reporter for the station has been searching out Texas Towns with unusual names. Nemo caught his and he said it was a perfect story for his project. He contacted us at the Somervell Historical Library & Research Center, and we got busy putting together all we could find on the naming of Nemo. Susan Bruce, one of our volunteers and I started digging up the “scoop” on Nemo.
There is much more to the name than one story. Seems everyone had their story of the naming of Nemo. But Susan discovered in our file, copies of the original naming of today’s Nemo Post Office. It was a copy of the official Federal document naming NEMO. These are entered on each post office every year.
We had also heard from reliable sources that Nemo was not the first name for the post office. In fact, there was several discussions with different “authorities” as to how all this came about. In searching the files, we discovered two clippings from early local newspapers on the topic. Plus, it is still a topic of discussion at the morning “Coffee Club” and several local citizens had a story of two names to discuss, so information was now abundant.
Sean had requested he would also need a “character” to visit with. So, Ken Fry, president of the Historical Commission of Somervell County, was appointed. Plus, we knew he had a coon skin hat and beard and a genuine log cabin, completely restored to original and fully equipped with needful things. You know, a fireplace, rocking chairs and all the decorations of what could have been part of the early life style of Somervell County.
The day was a success for all. Sean got his story and Mr. Fry got to entertain, the video can still be seen online for WFAA. If you do not find WFAA on your computer, come by the library and we will bring it up for you on one of the public computers you can also enjoy others that Sean filmed. He has one every month or so and he is having a great time putting them together. He and his photo tech came by the library and visited. They were impressed with what we have in the way of research materials. It was a great day!
FOR THE RECORD - The name NEMO was indeed the second name for the Post Office. According to the original application the name was JOHNSONVILLE, Texas was dated September 16, 1892. Signed by the Fourth Ass’t Postmaster General from the Office of the Postmaster General as was stated on the official order. But it seems there was already a post office established further north in the area and it was named Johnson Station. After a while the mail began to get mixed up and since there was the name Johnson twice one would have to be removed. And Johnson Station was established first, so it got to keep the name Johnson. The group of noted citizens met to discuss what the name of Johnsonville should be, it turned into a heated discussion and finally one citizen declared, “Well, we will just be NO NAME!”
That really brought a heated discussion because Mr. Johnson, an early settler, was present. Mr. E.T. Adams, our local scholar soon settled everyone down and being a quick thinker, he calmly said, “NEMO,” and explained that is Latin for “No Name” or “No One” or “Nothing” according to whomever is telling the story!
The 1893 Official appointment contract states the change to Nemo.
So, the story is true......NEMO is the SECOND name of the post office. But it was Johnsonville for one year!