you’ve ever wondered how some East Texas
towns got their names, you may be surprised at some of the origins.
town names seem obvious, but are not. Everyone assumes that Ben
Franklin in Delta County was named for one of our nation’s founding fathers.
Actually, it was named for Ben Franklin Simmons, son of Ben J. Simmons, who was
granted ten sections of land in 1854.
in Bowie County was not named for the Massachusetts city, but for pioneer storekeeper
W.J. Boston. Bowie County actually has three Bostons: Boston,
Old Boston and New
Boston, the county seat.
And, despite a long-standing story, Dobbin
in Montgomery County wasn’t named for an old horse, but for Garrett A. Dobbin.
And Mayflower in Newton
County wasn’t named for the Pilgrims’ ship, but for flowers growing in the spring.
Some towns borrowed names from other places or people, but reversed the
spelling. Good examples are Reklaw
(Walker) in Cherokee County, Sacul
(Lucas) in Nacogdoches, and Remlig
(Gilmer) in Jasper County.
in Polk County was once known as Greenville, but when it sought a post office,
the name was rejected because a Greenville
already existed in Texas. A disgruntled townsman
said: “Send in Moscow; it’s far enough so there can’t be any objections.” Sure
enough, there wasn’t.
The name of Slocum
in Anderson County was suggested by E.T. McDaniel who said the town’s development
would be slow to come, but he felt it would eventually happen.
an old logging community, was located in several counties because it had a mobile
post office that moved with the loggers. The name came by combining the initials
of Angelina County Lumber Company.
in Lamar County supposedly got its name while Indians were holding a pow-wow across
the Red River. They were out of whiskey, but knew a saloon was across the river
in Texas. One of the Indians supposedly said, “I
am going direct to Texas.” The name was submitted
for a post office in 1884.
in Walker County was named when railroad officials decided to run a line around
Huntsville and, in the process,
“dodged” the town. A nearby railroad switch became “Dodge.”
an early settler, gave Choice
in Shelby County its name because he felt it was a “choice” place to live.
name of Cuthand in Red
River County came from a creek which was named when an Indian cut his hand while
working beside the stream.
The name of Fastrill,
an old logging community in Cherokee County, came from parts of the names of three
Diboll lumbermen, F.F. Farrington, P;H. Strauss, and Will Hill.
owned a store in Fannin County and wanted a post office. All of his name suggestions
were rejected, so he submitted “Telephone”
since he was the only person in the community with one.
in Polk County was named by George Deason because, in his opinion, a man had to
have “pluck” to locate there.
The name of Talco
in Titus Country was derived in 1913 from using the first letters of each word
of the Texas, Arkansas and, Louisiana Candy Company (and the o from Company).
When Pickton in Hopkins County was founded, two men were appointed to “pick
a name for the town.” They suggested ‘Pick Town,” which was later shortened.
Bowman's East Texas
January 26, 2011 Column.
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers