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:
and Thalia. Pandora
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.
and Annona, Lydia
Idalou was 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.
Ben Bolt, 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
between Austin and San
Antonio. If one did, then one would be wrong. It's between 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 Gun
Barrel City, Point
Blank and Cut
There's the modest trio of Elysian
There's Munday and
Friday and Keene's
Post Office is open on Sunday*. There's Telephone,
There's Coffee, Coffee
City, 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
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,
Wamba, and Fluvanna.
is not a four-letter word
But these towns are: Alto
Co.), Acme, Best,
Buna, Cash, Fink,
of Texas Towns
Town List - Over 3,300 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
Escapes, 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