it came to naming their towns, East Texans were not shy about their
selections. Consider these examples.
,got its name from an elephant in P.T. Barnum’s circus. One of the
largest African elephants in captivity, Jumbo was killed by a train
while the circus was unloading in a Ontario, Canada, freight yard.
also in Panola County,
was named for the way merchants treated their customers. The community
was later known as Pine
Shakerag in Rusk
County got its name from the sight of a young baseball player
running the bases with a rag shaking in his back pocket.
Pee Dee in Madison
County go its name from the Pee Dee Indians of South Carolina.
A family also named Pee Dee settled in Madison
County and all eight members of the family died when someone
poisoned a spring used by the family.
in Shelby County,
was originally known as Buck Snort when Granny Elizabeth
Richards tried to chase a large buck from her garden. The buck pawed
the ground and snorted at Granny.
in Rusk County, got its name when several young men stole some chickens
and cooked them. They then threw the chicken feathers into a well,
forcing men in the community to clean out the well. The settlement
today is known as New Hope.
was named for a local family, not for the people living around Crazy
Goober Hill in Shelby
County was named for peanuts, known locally as goobers, that
were a major crop in the area.
Terrapin Neck, named for a turtle, lies in Harrison
County. The town was later named Gill for a ferryman.
Deweyville, in Newton
County, was called Possum Bluff because the woods were
overun with the critters.
Jot‘ Em Down
in Delta County
was named for the Jot Em Down Store owned by mythical storekeepers
Lum Edwards and Abner Peabody of the long-running radio series.of
the 1930s and 1940s.
in Polk County and
was named because it supposedly took a “plucky man” to live there.
Plank was a sawmill town in Hardin
County where townspeople called the lumber “planks.” Pert,
in Anderson County,
was a sawmill town known earlier as Mount Vernon.
Slip Up And Hitch is near the Crossroads Cemetery on Farm
Road 1 in Sabine County.
Yallo Busha in Camp
County, often called Yellow Bush, was named by Jim Keel,
who was building a school house and named it for a stream in his
native Alabama. The name came from an Indian phrase.
More names in a future column.
Bowman's East Texas November
16, 2011 Column
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers