Towns Named After Real People

Many towns in the USA were named after real people. They were often original settlers, but not necessarily as you will see below.

Enid, Oklahoma, was named for one of the women in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s 19th century epic “Idylls of the King”. That’s the common belief, but many think that the name was from another source.

There is a Hanksville in the middle of Utah, but it was not named after me. We went through it this past summer, and Hanksville is shrinking from its former prominence in a very isolated location. It was once a far more important town named for Ebenezer Hanks, who was a Mormon settler. In its early years before it shrank to its current population of 230, which is actually a significant increase, Hanksville was a supply post for Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch. They would often hide out south of town.

There is a Ruth near Ely, as I noted in “Character of Ely, Nevada” very recently. Ruth was pleased by this mention, but this mining town was not named for her. It was named for Ruth McDonald, the daughter of a man who had a mine claim here in 1903. Ruth was 3-years-old at the time.

There is a town named Erick in Oklahoma, a state with many towns named after residents. Erick was named for Beeks Erick, the President of this Choctaw townsite. Erick was an important town developer of a once very prosperous community. This town still has more than 1,000 residents, and 2 once famous recording artists, Sheb Wooley and Roger Miller, grew up in Erick. Miller had a hit with “King of the Road” and some other songs. There’s also a town named Ada in Oklahoma. Ada Reed was the daughter of a settler here in the early 20th century.

There’s an important town called Marvin in North Carolina. It’s often referred to as the best community in this state and is now a suburb of the big city of Charlotte. E. M. Marvin, a bishop, provided the name for this town. Charlotte, the woman for which this North Carolina city was named, was British royalty. She was the wife of King George III of England for 57 years. She was Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and probably of mixed race from her African background. She had 15 children with George and is played by Golda Rosheuvel in the series called Bridgerton. She was played by Helen Mirren in “The Madness of King George”, an award winning movie.

There’s a town called Pablo in Montana just south of Flathead Lake that has a very interesting history. Michel Pablo was a Flathead Native American Chief, rancher, and stockman who is credited with saving the bison from extinction, which is probably why a town in Montana was named after him.


About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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