According to globetrotter, Jeopardy champ, and brainiac Ken Jennings, who used this picture with a Condé Nast Traveler article, the most common town name is probably Fairview. I thought it was Greenville. A case can be made for both. Ask the average person the most common town name, however, and his or her answer might be Springfield. I researched this a few years go and decided that there were far more Greenvilles than Springfields. But there are still plenty of Springfields. I confirmed this yesterday and today as I learned that this subject is subject to interpretation.
I went thoroughly through Rand McNally last night and found only 15 Springfields listed. One was in Florida near Panama City. Its population was almost 9,000. But then I discovered that there was a 2nd Springfield in Jacksonville. This turned out to be a neighborhood named Springfield, not an entire town. The other 14 Springfields were towns in states like Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. But there were lots of Springfields that Rand McNally didn’t even acknowledge. Why?
I found a partial answer when I noticed that a lot of Springfields were both tiny and unincorporated, like the one in Arkansas. A complete list, then, would contain almost 40 U.S. Springfields. Some were surprising to me. Springfield, Kansas, is a ghost town. It went out-of-business in the 1890s. There are more than 300 ghost towns in Kansas! Springfield, Louisiana, is a town of 487 souls “Where Everybody Is Somebody.” Unlisted by Rand McNally, Springfield, Tennessee, is home to 16,478 people! It’s 30 miles from Nashville and its biggest employer is Electrolux. The smallest U.S. Springfield is probably the one in Walworth County, Wisconsin, the state that holds the record for the most Springfields. There are 5 of them with the largest being a farm community in Dane County.
There were Springfields in 5 of the 6 Australian states including Western Australia and Queensland, both sources of fine Aboriginal art. Tasmania was not listed. However, I knew about a Springfield there on the Tasman Highway about 55 miles northeast of Launceston. I took the picture below not too far from it.
There’s a Springfield in Belize. I verified 2 in Canada, one in New Brunswick and another in Ontario. There are said to be additional Springfields in Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and on Prince Edward Island. There are several in the United Kingdom.
There are even 4 or more fictional Springfields. The most famous one is the Simpsons’ hometown.
The largest U.S. Springfield with more than 160,000 residents is in my home state, Missouri. But Springfield, Massachusetts, is not far behind with 153,000. Now I need a rest, so I’m heading for the Springfield in the Virgin Islands.