Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 106

Continued from page 53 sion, in the early 1870s the order of the day became “Kill every buffalo you can! Every buffalo dead is an Indian gone. Inhabitants first called the fledgling community everything but Aledo: “Medearis (Medera?),” “Hood’s Ranch,” and then “Parker’s Station.” Not uncommon in early-day Texas, town names often remained tentative until railroads and the postal service had had their say; and this was exactly so in Aledo’s case. After the federal postal service became confused over the name Parker’s Station — presum- ably a mail sack meant for Parker County was dropped in Parker Station by mistake — they sought a name change and accepted a T&PRR engineer’s suggestion of “Aledo.” The rail- road man hailed from Illinois, a little town called, you guessed it —Aledo. As the story goes, the federal government —no surprise here — accepted the name without consulting the town’s inhabitants. The Aledo Post Office opened in 1882. By the mid-1880s, 150 or so souls called Aledo home and the bustling little hamlet had become a shipping center for the area and boasted a bank, a steam-powered cotton gin and a corn mill. By 1915, the little town on the prairie had 21 businesses and served as a retail center. The community did not incorporate until 1963 and beginning in the mid-1970s saw rapid growth as Tarrant County’s population spilled over the Parker County line. According to the City of Aledo’s website: “In the mid 1990’s, the city experienced rapid growth from expand- ing Fort Worth. With a population of 400 citizens in the 1920’s, Aledo has grown to 3,000 plus residents living within a 2.5-square-mile area. Today, Aledo has a uniqueness which preserves its historic character and citizens that appreciate the quaint, country feel the town possesses.” During Aledo’s population spurt in the 1970s, a little to the north near what is now Willow Park, the tiny village of Buck Naked popped up. While it did not become a collection point for hides, many thought it might be, or become a haven for nudists or even undesir- ables on motorcycles. The name begged for opposition, which was soon abundant. According to the PCHC, “It was advertised as a family amusement community with games and rides for the kids. Although the precinct Commissioner had given approval to place signs on county right-of-way, the neighbors were not amused with Daron Moore’s ‘community.’ Commissioners voted 4-1 to remove the signs, thus ending the main draw to this community by CB’er(s) having their pictures (made with the signs).” Always on the lookout for something novel or contro- versial, reporters converged on Buck Naked only to find “the advertising was clearly better than the product.” “Mayor” Johnny Logo freely admitted the name “Buck 104 Naked” had that certain something about it — something that the neighbors couldn’t stomach. “It’s always been meant in fun,” Logo was quoted as saying in a 1992 Associated Press-distributed article appearing in The Times of Shreveport, LA, and other newspapers across the country. “It’s just tough to pull off a town named Buck Naked in the heart of Baptist coun- try. But we have had a great time trying.” ”Everyone misunderstood our intentions,” property owner Charles Nolte said. “The last thing I wanted was a bunch of naked people on my property.” “It was designed as a fun place, an el cheapo Six Flags,” Logo added. According to the article, the late Waymon Wright, longtime Parker County Commissioner, said: ”It was just somebody’s thought of creating some excite-merit (sic), and it did. The problem was people got nervous about it.” Perhaps fittingly, the article — headlined “Texas Town Stripped of Name” — appeared on page 12 of The Times, the obituary page. __________________________________________________ Sources: • Handbook of Texas Online • parkerchc.org • “Kill Every Buffalo You Can! Every Buffalo Dead is an Indian Gone,” by J. Weston Phippen; theatlantic.com, May 13, 2016. Texas Almanac “The Cast Iron Forest: A Natural and Cultural History of the North American Cross Timbers, by Richard V. Francaviglia; January 2000; University of Texas Press aledo-texas.com ; newspapers.com — Quotes used in the paragraphs about Buck Naked were taken from an article in the May 28, 1992, edition of The Times of Shreveport, LA.