some early East Texans named their towns for families, their hometowns
or landmarks, othes were a tad more creative.
Which brings us to Tadmor in Houston
County. Most folks think the name comes from the expression “let
me have a tad more of that.”
Actually, the name comess from the Bible, where it describes a city
built by Solomon “in the wilderness” or somewhere on the southern
border of Palestine.
In Rusk County around
1901, a group of young boys decided to go hunting one autumn night,
but failed to bag any game.
Late in the night, feeling hungry, they swiped a couple of chickens
from a farmer, built a fire behind New Hope Church, roasted the chickens
and satisfied their hunger.
To hide the evidence of their theft, they tossed the chicken feathers
and viscera into a water well from which churchgoers and school children
drew their water each day.
Contaminated with the chickens’ remains, the well had to be cleaned
out and salted to restore the water to drinkable quality. Thereafter,
Hope was better known as Chickenfeather.
Magnolia Springs, a scattered community in Jasper
County, was once known as Pinetucky.
While the exact origin of the name has been lost, it probably came
from the vast stands of virgin pine trees which covered the area with
the addition of “tucky,” which in the language of the Old South meant
land or territory.
When a rural community in northwest Anderson
County, sent in a list of potential names for its new post office,
a storekeeper accidently included a customer's request for a yard
of cloth. The government named the post office Yard.
In Delta County,
Mary (Grannie) Sinclair, the matriarch of her family, raised goats
on a three-mile neck of land that jutted into the South Sulphur River.
The community was soon dubbed Grannie’s
Lick Skillet is a name that courses
through the history of rural East
Texas. For more than a hundred years or so, it has been attached
to communities, creeks, roads and anything else where people have
a sense of humor.
The name supposedly came about when newcomers arrived late for a community
dinner and found that all of the food had been consumed, leading someone
to admonish them to “lick the skillet.”
Located five miles west of Alto
in Cherokee County,
was first settled after the Civil War by freed slaves from neighboring
It’s name reportedly came from the 20th chapter of the Book of John,
where Mary goes to the tomb of Jesus after he was crucified:
“...and when she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus
standing, and knew not that it was not Jesus. Jesus saith unto her,
Woman, why weepest thou?”
Cuthand and a nearby creek in Red
River County got its names from a Deleware Indian chief who was
instrumental in arranging a treaty with unfriendly Indian tribes.
The chief had lost three fingers from a sabor’s slash in his younger
days and because of his disigurement, he was thereafter known as Cut
Bob Bowman's East Texas
18, 2010 Column, Modified 1-29-13
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers
Copyright Bob Bowman
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