Some baby names don’t come from books

By Don McAlavy: Local Columnist

The story is that G. D. Anderson, president of the Security State Bank in Farwell, back in 1966 had a farmer friend named J. W. Crim who had a brother named Bromo.

Unlike the uncultivated yahoos of north Abilene, Texas, the Plains country people do not go around remarking that a man’s name is unusual. He might call them by a more unusual one. Bromo was elsewhere, and Anderson and J.W. Crim had been friends a long time when the banker finally asked the farmer why his brother was named Bromo.

“Simple,” said J. W. Crim. “That was his name. His full name was Bromo Quinine Crim.”

He then told Anderson the rest of the story:

“B. Q. Crim was a sickly baby when he was born and began to get worse. That was quite awhile ago. Medicine wasn’t any better than it need be in the cities, and the Crim family lived in the deep country with few services to rely on except the general store.

“The new infant weakened steadily. My parents and their helpers went far beyond catnip tea into all the old-time baby remedies without effect. The child was about to die when my father went into the general store and stared pouring out his troubles to the storekeeper. A traveling drummer was standing by. He introduced himself, sympathized with the father and asked whether he might see the child. He explained that he sold a line of drugs.

“‘I’m not a doctor,’ he explained, ‘but I might be able to help.’

“It was arranged for him to travel to the Crim farm and spend the night. He started dosing the baby with a medicine, which, of course was Bromo Quinine. The baby seemed to improve. He became quieter. He slept.

“Next morning the salesman departed, leaving the bottle behind, and my family continued to dose the baby with Bromo Quinine. He got rapidly better.

“That is all that happened until my mother wrote a letter to the drug company explaining what had happened. In gratitude, she added, she was naming the baby Bromo Quinine Crim.

“Back came an excited letter from the company thanking my mother. The letter further promised that the company would take care of all the college expenses for young Bromo Quinine when the time came and would make a place for him in the company.

“It all came to nothing because Bromo Crim, grown, decided he didn’t want to go to college.

“But for years, I am told, the letter and a picture of the infant appeared on the Bromo Quinine label.”

And that is how Bromo Quinine Crim got his name.

Thanks to the late Paul Crume, who was raised up in Farwell, and his humor.