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How Nameless, Texas, found its name

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LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Off FM 1431 in Leander lies Nameless Road. About 1.5 miles down on the left resides the Nameless School, a one-room schoolhouse that, alongside the road and a corresponding cemetery, are some of the last remnants of a northwest Travis County community.

Residents first began settling in the stretch of land around 1860, said Genny Kercheville, vice president of the nonprofit Friends of Nameless School. Around 1880, Kercheville said residents decided they wanted to construct a post office so carriers on horseback wouldn’t have to travel as far to deliver mail.

Residents sent in a request to dub the area Fairview due to its beautiful Hill Country views. However, the U.S. postal system wrote back and denied the request, saying the name was taken.

Residents sent in several more name requests, all of which were already in use.

“So finally they just said, ‘well then, let it be nameless and be damned,” Kercheville said, laughing. “So that’s how it became Nameless.”

An original school once resided in Nameless and was said to be the center for all social life in town. As that building began falling apart, residents constructed the Nameless School in 1909, which remains today.

Preserving the history of Nameless

But how Nameless School looks now isn’t how it’s always appeared. Kercheville said the building was leaning toward the side as supportive cedar posts began to rot, with holes appearing in the wooden floors.

Community members rallied behind the building, working to restore it to its original likeness while also making it more stabilized and accessible to residents. The nonprofit Friends of the Nameless School secured grant funding from the Texas Historical Commission and the Lower Colorado River Authority aided in the endeavor.

“It’s one of the jewels in the crown on the north shore of Lake Travis,” said Mary Cameron, president of Friends of Nameless School. “People drive by here every day, and nobody looks for enough to see the school — they may see the fence line, but it’s been fun to introduce people to a one-room schoolhouse in northwest Travis County.”

Recognizing Nameless

Across communities throughout Texas are remnants of these one-room schoolhouses, Kercheville said, that were once the central beating heart of these towns. They served as a school, a church, and community congregation space and a place for civic engagement.

With so many new people moving to Leander and Central Texas by extension, Cameron said these stories deserve to be preserved.

[It’s] so they don’t tear it down. So they recognize the value of the small communities that used to make up the great state of Texas or the nation as a whole,” Cameron said. “It all started with small communities, people helping each other. And the more growth, the further we get away from small communities — we have neighborhoods, but there are so many privacy fences that people don’t know their neighbors.”

As part of its efforts to share that same history, Friends of Nameless School will host a community event on Oct. 21 from 12-4 p.m. It’ll feature tomahawk throwers, fiddlers, soapmakers, weavers and several authors, Cameron added.

More details on Friends of Nameless School, and how to get involved, are available online or by emailing friends.of.nameless.school@gmail.com.

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