The gravel road in the picture below (and, for a time, in the header above) runs from Texas State Highway 80 just north of the town of Fentress to where it intersects with Farm-to-Market Road 20, about five miles to the northeast.
The sign at the intersection reads Political Road. The sign denotes Caldwell County’s approval, but the name existed about a zillion years before anyone thought about marking it.
And therein lies a tale. I relate it as it was told to me, but, in deference to the etiquette of small-town life, I omit names.
Once upon a time in the 1920s (or maybe the 1930s; I didn’t listen carefully enough), the formerly insignificant thoroughfare rose to prominence during a race for County Commissioner of the local precinct. The incumbent promised that, if elected, he would pave the road.
Hence, people in the area started calling it the Political Road, and the name stuck.
When I went to Fentress a couple of months ago, I drove the length of the Political Road. I expected to see it built up with new houses.
But there’s still not much out there.
I saw some cows resting beside a dying fire. That was a welcome sight. I love cows. I don’t see them often enough. They are superior to houses.
So that’s the story of the Political Road.
Except for one more thing: The incumbent County Commissioner lost the election.
The road still isn’t paved.
Backroads of Texas by Larry Hodge and Ed Syers is a good source of information about roads more interesting than I-35 and SH 130.