boundaries of Texas contain 267,339 square miles. This is divided into 254 counties
with some histories dating back to the 1700s.
These citizens were administered
under six different flags with people originating from every country in the world.
Place Name Survey of Texas, developed and added to for the past 20 years or
more, lists and explains the uniqueness of names in Texas. Here are a few that
caught my eye.
For example, my local town of Alanreed
was once named Spring Tank or Spring Town for a large dirt tank
of water fed by springs. Then came Prairie Dog Town for a large town of
the critters nearby. After a particularly brutal saloon fight in a local saloon,
the name became Gouge Eye, then finally settled on Alanreed
named after two contractors building the railroad at the time.
nine "Antelope Creeks" are located in Texas. Probably named for the large
herds of antelope once grazing nearby.
At least six Texas streams or creeks
have the name Polecat, a variant of skunk.
Usually the water in
these streams stank to high heaven from some mineral or algae, and this usually
affected future settlement of the area.
Tussel, in Fannin County, has two stories.
The old people say it
was named for the extreme efforts it took to fight off the bugs while attending
a church picnic.
The young people claim life in the town is so boring
that they sit around at night watching the tumble-bugs work for entertainment.
Highway signage by the state had to be abandoned as the signs became favorites
of the nearby college fraternity houses.
Harmony Hill, in Rusk
County, was previously named "Nip'n Tuck" after two flop-eared hounds chased a
fox down main street. The name was changed when they applied for a U.S. Post Office.
town of Nameless, in
Travis County, came about after six names had been submitted to the Postal Service,
all turned down. Town fathers gave up and said, "Let the town be nameless."
name was accepted, and a post office opened.
Center, in Wichita County, came about when the local blacksmith told his
helper to paint a city sign. Because the helper was only artistic enough to draw
a pumpkin and only had orange or yellow paint at hand, the community became Pumpkin
Talking John Creek, in Foard County, was named for an old
lonesome bachelor cowboy named John who lived at a ranch camp alongside the creek.
When he spied a visitor coming across the prairie, John saddled up, met the visitor
and started talking.
He continued talking while the visitor ate supper,
until he went to bed, while he was sleeping, through breakfast the next morning
and then saddled up to follow as he left still talking a steady line. I would
guess that Talking John didn't have many visitors come around.
Beaumont, Trinity and Sabine Railroads, once located in Trinity County, were
nicknamed the Wobbelty, Bobbelty, Turnover and Stop by the local residents
because of the many wrecks. Few were injured among the "few" passengers.
Delbert Trew -
"It's All Trew" June
21, 2011 column
Topics: Texas Town Names
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