A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 09, 2008
Asphalt Capital of the World (Talco nickname)

Oil was discovered at the small town of Talco, Texas in 1936. The oil was low gravity crude, but it yielded a high percentage of asphalt. By at least March 1939, Talco was being called the “asphalt capital of the world.”

More interesting, perhaps, is the oft-told story of how Talco was named after a candy bar. Talco was originally called Goolsboro, but was forced to change its name by the post office because the name was similar to Goldsboro. The post office was located in small store and a resident (J. H. Brown) suggested the name “Talco” from a candy bar of the Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana Candy Company. The name “Talco” was accepted by postal officials in 1910. (The name “Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana Candy Company does not appear anywhere on the internet and needs confirmation, however.)


Wikipedia: Talco, Texas
Talco is a city in Titus County, Texas, United States. The population was 570 at the 2000 census. The name is derived from a local candy bar.

History
Two post offices were established near the current site of Talco: Gouldsboro in 1856 and Goolesboro in 1878. Due to name conflict the community changed its name to “Talco” based on the Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana Candy Company initials on a candy wrapper. In 1912, Talco relocated to be closer to a railroad line.

Oil was discovered in 1936, leading to a big boom in the economy. Talco called itself the “Asphalt capital of the world.”

Handbook of Texas Online
TALCO, TEXAS. Talco is on U.S. Highway 271 and State Highway 71, sixteen miles northwest of Mount Pleasant in northwestern Titus County. A post office named Gouldsboro was opened in 1856 with Nehemiah C. Gould as postmaster and may have been located near the site of present Talco. It was closed in 1860, but another post office, this one named Goolesboro, was opened in 1878 about 1½ miles east of what is now the site of Talco. This office was in the community that would become Talco. It was at the edge of an open prairie that extended through Franklin County; the prairie was the site of several open-range ranching operations in the post-Civil War era. The community served these ranches, providing the post office, a general store, a physician’s office, and a blacksmith shop. In 1884 its population was thirty. In 1910 postal officials asked that the name of the office be changed, since other offices in Texas had similar names. The new name, Talco, was taken from the initials appearing on the wrapper of a candy bar marketed by the Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana Candy Company. As construction on the Paris and Mount Pleasant Railroad began, it became obvious that Talco would be bypassed, so its residents laid out a new townsite closer to the railroad; the new site included a depot. Quinton S. Loveless moved his store and the post office to the new site in 1912, and other businesses followed. The town grew rapidly at its new site, and by 1914 it had a bank, several stores, a telephone company, and an estimated population of 300. Its population remained at about that level through the early 1930s; in 1933 it was estimated to be 350.

In February 1936 oil was discovered in what came to be known as the Talco oilfield, transforming the small rural community into an oil boomtown as people flocked to the area to look for oil or to work on the drilling rigs. As one resident recalled, “People went crazy. There was no place for them to sleep, no place for them to eat, but still they came to Talco.” By the end of the first week, bidding on oil leases in the area had become frantic. In a special Sunday session, the school trustees met and accepted an offer of $350 for a lease on the school playground, which was smaller than an acre. The intense excitement abated somewhat when it was discovered that the oil was of low gravity and thus less valuable; but it was ideal for the production of asphalt, and Talco was soon billing itself as the “asphalt capital of the world.”

5 March 1939, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 2, pg. 7:
Talco to Have
Anniversary
Next Monday

Became “Asphalt
Capital of World”
By Robert M. Hayes
TALCO, Titus Co., March 4.—The city that took its name from a candy wrapper will observe a birthday anniversary next Monday.

It won’t be a birthday party in the strict sense of the word, for no one knows just exactly when the community came into being. But it will commemorate an event that was destined to change a crossroads settlement into an important asphalt production center. For it was just three years ago that a crew of wildcat drillers brought in the first well in the new Titus County field.

The discovery well tapped the Paluxy stratum of the upper Trinity sands producing a low-gravity oil. The quality of the oil at first did not appear to lend itself to a ready market. Low gravity crude, however, yields a high percentage of asphalt, and shrewd investors were quick to take advantage of this fact. Asphalt production held the center of interest. Today Talco calls itself the asphalt capital of the world. Huge asphalt refineries both here and at Mount Pleasant draw their supply of crude oil from the Talco field.
(...)
Until 1912 the community had been known as Goolsboro. There was a small post office but the name often was confused with the older Texas town of Goldsboro in Coleman County. Consequently the postal department sent first a notice, then an ultimatum, that the name Goolsboro must be changed or the office would be discontinued.

The post office was located in a small store and when the postmaster was confronted with the necessity of solving the problem immediately, he explained to a group of his friends in the store at the time, and asked for suggestions.

J. H. Brown glanced over to one of the shelves and saw a candy bar with the trade name Talco printed on the wrapper.

“How about naming our town Talco,” he ventured.

27 February 1965, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “‘Rake Pocket’ Title Lingers” by Frank X. Tolbert, section 4, pg. 1:
IN TALCO learned that this town in a great oilfield and called “The Asphalt Capital,” wasn’t named for talcum powder, as the legend goes. It was called Goolsboro until 1912 when the postal department asked for a new name because it was being confused with Goldsboro. J. H. Brown, a local merchant, noted a brand of candy bar called “Talco” (Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana Candy Co.) on his shelves and sent in the name. It was approved.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, January 09, 2008 • Permalink