This should have been easy but proved to be one of the more difficult towns named. The problem began with a book. I decided to reread the current one by Susan Orlean called On Animals because I liked it so much the first time. It surprised me because it has not been the success I expected since most people have a pet or 2 nowadays. Ruth and I listen to dogs bark all day since all of our neighbors have them. The newest animal addition has been the way cute but increasingly large dog next door.
The real problem began last evening as I was reading “The Lady and the Tigers” for the 2nd time. This tiger tale took place in Jackson, NJ. Orlean reports that, “Jackson is not a bad place to be a tiger.” She repeats the name of this town often as she tells about Jackson’s local Six Flags Amusement Park, its popularity as a place to live, and animal hoarders, persons who engage in the pathological collecting of animals. Orlean documents the fact that 2/3 of animal hoarders are female and that the average hoarder owns 39 animals but that some women collect up to 100 of them, mostly cats and dogs, before authorities step in and attempt to control the situation. When some of the cats are large ones like tigers social problems become overwhelming.
Andrew Jackson was the 7th US President. He was controversial. A very successful politician, this frontier lawyer won the popular vote 3 times and became the first President not from the original 13 colonies. He founded the Democratic Party, owned slaves, killed a man in a duel, and was the first President almost assassinated. Nicknamed Old Hickory, he preferred his home in Tennessee to Washington, DC and signed the Indian Removal Act that led to the Trail of Tears and the relocating of entire Indian tribes to Oklahoma. Most of the Jackson towns were named for him.
Most of the towns name Jackson or Jacksonville, and there are lots of them, were named for Andrew but not all of them. The town of Jackson, WY, for example, was named for David Edward Jackson, who gave his name to this Teton Mountain Valley city of more than 10,000 people that has now become a huge tourist magnet. There are 2 towns in New Zealand named Jackson River and Jacksons, one Jackson in Africa, several Jackson geographic place names in Australia, and there are at least 3 Jacksons in Canada. It is bizarre to think that all of these were named after an American President.
However, there are 32 places in the USA named Jackson or Jacksonville, and it is not a stretch to think that most of them were named for President Andrew Jackson. There are large towns named Jackson like the capital of Mississippi, the city of Jackson, TN, and the fairly large population center called Jackson in Michigan. There are also 23 counties in the US named Jackson and one Parish in Louisiana. I even found Jackson, New Jersey! It really does exist even though most map makers do not acknowledge it.