Diddy Wa Diddy

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Map of Fort Bend County

Juliff is on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, Farm Road 521, and the Brazos River, twenty miles east of Richmond in eastern Fort Bend County. The area was part of the antebellum Arcola plantation, and the community was named for John J. Juliff, an early settler. In the early 1850s Juliff was a shipping point on the Brazos River. In 1858 the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad built through the community. The town was granted a post office in 1891 and had a general store in 1896. The post office was closed in 1908, reopened in 1914, and closed again in 1958. In 1933 Thurman "Doc" Duke purchased several acres by the railroad line, opened a store, and leased land to others who opened a dance hall and several taverns. The small community soon became a center for drinking, gambling, and prostitution. In 1934 a local resident made up a song about the community that went, in part, "Diddy Wa Diddy, ain't no town, ain't no city," and Diddy Wa Diddy, spelt in a variety of ways, became the unofficial second name for the community. Diddy Wa Diddy has appeared in a number of blues songs from the 1930s through 1950s. By 1940 Juliff had an estimated fifty inhabitants, a church, and three businesses. The population rose to 150 in the 1940s, but the bars had closed or moved to nearby Houston by 1960, and the town faded away. In the 1980s the community consisted of a number of scattered dwellings.

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Mark Odintz | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Adopted by: Kristoff Storm
Yellow is a color
Until: July 30th, 2024

Belongs to

Diddy Wa Diddy is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

Diddy Wa Diddy is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Juliff)

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No