Imagine growing-up in a town where cattle easily outnumber the city’s population. Now imagine your town’s name actually means a horse, especially a quiet, plodding horse for farm work or family use, according to dictionary.com.
If you are wondering what town this could possibly be, look no further than Dobbin, Texas, which is approximately 45 minutes north of The Woodlands.
Dobbin is the hometown of Dakota Gring, a junior finance and accounting major, who said she could not be happier about growing-up in a small town.
“I never regret growing up in Dobbin because it adds so many characteristics that you just don’t get when you were raised in a town like Fort Worth,” Gring said.
She said a great thing about being raised in such a small town is that your classmates become more like family.
“I went to a private high school, and I knew everything about everyone and their families,” Gring said. “You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone you know.”
She said another positive thing about her high school was that she was able to be a part of any organization or sport because there wasn’t any competition.
Gring said her town is so small that some of the students from other towns in the local public high school had never heard of it.
Another way to put her town’s size in to perspective for her college friends is that the road to her house doesn’t even have a name. Instead, every road in Dobbin has a farm market number assigned to it.
“Dobbin is basically nothing more than an intersection in the road, and if you blink you will be in the next town over,” she said.
Gring said she sometimes claims she is from Montgomery, a nearby city, because it is the closest town with a population sign, which only reads “489.”
She said moving to Fort Worth was quite an experience since she was used to planning to meet a friend an hour in advance.
“It was weird moving here because everything is literally right down the road,” Gring said. “It is also really cool being able to meet a friend for dinner quickly.”
She said in Dobbin if you wanted to meet up with someone, you had to plan at least an hour ahead since most things are around 45 minutes away.
Gring said there are not many business located in Dobbin, and those are family-owned places where people would just gather to drink.
She said if there is one thing Dobbin had plenty of, it’s livestock.
“We had cows and our neighbors had cows,” Gring said. “So, when the fence would fall down, we had to call them and say, ‘Your cows are in our yard.'”
She said one advantage to having a lot of land is that her friends would come over and ride four-wheelers, fish and sometimes go hunting.
Gring said another favorite pastime was going “mudding” after it would rain.
“Everyone drove these huge monster trucks and it was very rare to see a nice car anywhere close to Dobbin,” she said.
Gring recalls one weekend that could only happen in a small town.
“People came over, and on the way home, three trucks got stuck in the mud,” she said. “I had to actually start up this old rusty tractor to pull them out.”
Dobbin might have plenty of cows and mud to go around, but one of the many things Dobbin does not have is a police department.
If there’s an emergency in Dobbin, Montgomery County sheriff’s office would dispatch officers to Dobbin.
She said most Dobbin residents would often travel to Montgomery to get the supplies they needed for the week.
“Montgomery got a Wal-Mart and a McDonald’s the year after I left, so that is where most people went if they needed something or wanted to eat out,” Gring said.
She said the only thing the town had before the McDonald’s was a place called “Yo Mama’s Pit Bar-B-Que.” Gring added it wasn’t a place anyone wanted to go.
Though many TCU students claim towns with more cattle than people as their home, many of them wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else.