There are several towns named Irving in America. At one time there were many more of them. A surprising number of Irvings were named after a writer named Washington Irving. His most famous stories were “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and Rip Van Winkle”. A sometimes traveler, Washington Irving toured the prairie states in 1832 including Oklahoma before it became a state, and he published a book about his experiences. There was once an Irving town in Oklahoma. It was named after this writer. There was also an Irving in Kansas where The Wizard of Oz was based. It’s possible that the main character in this famous tale by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Gale, was named for someone who lived in Irving, Kansas. We will never know for sure because Irving has become a ghost town in the land of grasshoppers and tornadoes. Its demise is attributed to something called the “Big Dam Foolishness”.
The largest Irving, the city now part of Dallas, Texas, with a population nearing a quarter of a million people, was probably named for Washington Irving too. This town’s 2 founders surely named it after this writer because one of them was a member of the Washington Irving Literary Society and was said to be partial to the name Irving. Irving, Texas, is now a Dallas ring community and thought to be one of the most racially diverse communities in the United States.
There were at one tine probably 19 communities named Irving in the US. Like the writer, many of them have gone out of existence like the Irving in California that was once in Marin County and is not to be confused with the thriving town of Irvine California. This former settlement in Marin was on maps as late as 1914. There is an Irving in the state of Wisconsin. It’s a very small town of less than 800 people in the west central part of the state. The Irving in nearby Michigan is 106 miles from Lake Michigan and has about 3,400 people living in it. The Irving in Iowa was clearly named for this once famous writer. The Irving in Oregon is now part of the city of Eugene. The Irving in Minnesota is about the size of the one in Wisconsin, is near Green Lake in a state with 10,000 of these, and was named for Washington Irving.
The Irving in Illinois, a town of about 400 residents, is not too far from St. Louis. A musician by the name of Buddy Cole was born there. Buddy went to California, made several recordings, and worked with celebrities like Bing Crosby and Henry Mancini. There is a fairly large Irving in the state of New York, Washington Irving’s home state. Irving, New York, is near the town of Hanover. The Irving in South Dakota is said to have a population of 10. There are now or once were Irvings in Nevada, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
There are a number of towns named Irvington too. Some of them began life as Washington Irving namesakes also.