you live in Texas, there are several
books on Texas place
names. The most recent and one of the best is "Muleshoe
& More: The Remarkable Stories Behind the Naming of Texas Towns"
by Bill Bradfield & Clare Bradfield. We thought our piece
"The Naming of Names" would be an appropriate introduction
for the Bradfields' book. Some of these names may be old hat to our
Texas readers, but there's bound to
be some you haven't heard of, and for our out-of-state readers, here's
a collection straight off The Texas Department of Transportation's
Official Highway Map for the year 2000.
built by men, but they named many towns after their womenfolk. A sampling:
sounds like a place to keep the lid on and Hedley
might have been named after a Lamar
family member. (name courtesy of Mel Brooks). For people who say bafroom
or birfday, there's Marfa
as in Marfa Washington. And then there's Maud.
named after two girls, as was Mineola.
will connect us to Iago
and our other male names:
all have a 19th Century sound to them. There's a New Willard,
but no sign of an old one, and there's a Smiley,
as well. Some towns are both first and last names like George
West, who got to name the town since he built it on his ranch.
the person, has been lost to history, but he's a lyric in a song and
the town still wears his name. Tom Ball has become Tomball,
Burk Burnett has become Burkburnett
and Ed Couch Edcouch.
was condensed when he got here.
While we're on the subject of condensing: It's safe to say everyone's
heard of Texarkana,
and maybe Lake
Texoma. But unless you live close to Austonio,
you might not be aware it exists. One would think Austonio would be
and San Antonio.
If one did, then one would be wrong. It's between Houston
and Dallas (Houston
There was a recent movie called Happy,
Texas, and indeed there is one. The movie was shot in
some other state, though. Speaking of shooting, there are towns of
Barrel City, Point
Blank and Cut
There's the modest trio of Elysian
Post Office is open on Sunday*. There's Telephone,
which is almost as good as Hot Coffee, Alabama, and other food
names include Raisin,
Rice and Noodle.
foes here are not forgotten
Indian names are well represented with Caddo,
While we're sure there's no Sam Houston City in Mexico, we've got
a Santa Anna
in Coleman County.
Actually, the town's name comes from local mountains named after an
Indian Chief, or so we're told.
One would think Levelland,
Horizon City and Sundown
would be in a straight line, but they're not. Other names which we
hope are only in Texas include: Grice,
is not a four-letter word
But these towns are: Alto
Co.), Acme, Best,
Buna, Cash, Fink,
|Too many Villes,
Not enough Burgs
Our map shows 51 Greenvilles,
etc. and only 10 Pittsburgs,
If you exclude Rosenberg
which is a berg and not a burg, then it's only 9.
*Since Keene's population is mostly comprised of Seventh Day Adventists,
most businesses are closed Saturday, but open Sunday. Including the
© John Troesser
First published June 2000
Towns A to Z
of Texas Towns
Town List - Over 3,200 Texas Towns
Ghost Towns - Over 1000 Ghost Towns
on a First-name Basis
Of the roughly 2,000 town names on the official state map, over
400 of them are first names.
place names describe unique stories of towns by Delbert Trew
The 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...
strange town names by Bob Bowman
While some early East Texans named their towns for families, their
hometowns or landmarks, othes were a tad more creative...
and Newton Counties, Beyond the Sabine
odd names all over Lone Star State, 'Top 10' of the U.S. are commonplace
here by Bill Bradfield
did they name it that? by Archie P. McDonald
Why They Named it That by Archie P. McDonald
Geography Lesson by Bob Bowman
Geography - Place name tweaking of several Counties and County Seats
by Mike Cox
Place name tweaking of several Counties and County Seats
Towns by Mike Cox
and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Gunsight, Point Blank and Winchester
by Mike Cox
towns by Mike Cox
The Texas map is sprinkled with cities and towns that got their
names by mistake...
Ranks by Mike Cox
The historic urban population hierarchy and population figures dating
back to 1850...
town names by Bob Bowman
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact