Oxford is an explosive town name There are Oxfords all over the world, but most of them were named long ago when Oxford, England, had an international reputation for having the best university in the world. There are Oxfords in Suriname, New Zealand, Barbados, and Brazil, but most of them are inconsequential spots on anonymous roads. The Barbadian Oxford, for example, is actually a plantation about 13 miles from Bridgetown, its capital. Barbados is a small island with a population of less than 300,000.
Many towns in the USA were named after the largest Oxford in the world, the one in England with a population of more than 152,000. Ruth & I have been there and recommend it as a notable destination. There are 31 Oxfords in the USA. They include the 2nd largest Oxford in the world, the college town in Mississippi where Ole Miss is. This Oxford a fine destination too.
Many of the Oxfords in America are tiny and unincorporated, but a surprising number of them are fairly big towns, unlike the Oxford in Wisconsin. It has a population of 607 and is in the south middle portion of this state. Its claim to fame is a nearby boy scout camp. There are reportedly still more than 2 million boy scouts in the USA. The Oxford in Virginia, an original colony with ties to England, is a neighborhood in Richmond. The Oxford in Texas was also known as Cat Town. It received this name when some drunk young men at a dance threw a cat into a large pot of coffee. Oxford, TX’s population had dwindled to 33 residents by 1968, and by the 1950s it was little more than a ghost town. There are unincorporated Oxfords in Kentucky and Florida. Another smallish Oxford is in Missouri, our home state. It’s so small that it is described as west of Worth. Where is Worth, Missouri?
Fairly large Oxfords are in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Alabama. Oxford, CT has a population of 12,700 and was settled in 1741. Oxford, MA, had a rather famous resident. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was born there. Her hometown was also the scene of the Johnson Massacre. Oxford, AL, a town Ruth & I have been in, has 21,000 residents, is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is near Alabama’s highest point in Cheaha State Park.
We spent a few days in Oxford, Mississippi, and really liked this town of 27,000 people. Known as “The Cultural Mecca of the South” because of its university, Oxford, MS also had a famous resident. His name was William Faulkner. After writing screenplays in Hollywood, he returned to his home called Rowan Oak in Oxford, drank like a Texas cat tosser, and wrote several successful but hard to read novels. Rowan Oak can be toured, and other attractions that are still in Oxford include old-fashioned Neilson’s Department Store on Courthouse Square and Square Books. Oxford is a physically pretty town.
The Oxford in Pennsylvania is rather unusual. It’s a borough in the extreme south of the state about 15 miles from Philadelphia. A borough is a self-governing town that is smaller than a city. Known for its candy businesses, Oxford, PA had 5,515 residents in 2019.
There are 20 more Oxfords in America.