Purmela is near the intersection of Farm roads 932 and 1241, thirteen miles northwest of Gatesville in northwestern Coryell County. It was established by Martin Dremien, a storeowner who became postmaster when the post office was granted in 1879. According to one local source, Dremien tried to have the town named for his sweetheart, Furmela, but the postal service made a mistake; after that Dremien is said to have sold his store and moved to another state. The Purmela school district was formed in 1901 as a result of the consolidation of the Basham, Sycamore, and Evergreen schools. Purmela school was in turn consolidated with the Gatesville Independent School District sometime after 1950. The community maintained a population of 125 in the 1950s and most of the 1960s, but the number of residents fell to sixty-five in 1968, and to forty in 1970. Purmela had a church and a post office in the 1980s; the population was reported as sixty-one in 1990.
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