A look at some peculiar names for some Missouri Towns and why'd they name it that. Transcribed from a book by C.H. Curtis.
ADVANCE (Stoddard County) Originally called Lakeville, the Houck Railroad kept relocating toward Cape Girardeau because of reported high water, and the town "advanced" with it, until 1882, when the name was changed. AGENCY (Buchanan County) A settlement sprang up near an Osage, Sac, and Indian agency by a ford on the Platte River on a trail from Clay County to the Blacksnake Hills. Platted in 1863, Robert Gilmore had established a ferry here in 1839. AID (Stoddard County) The town was laid out in 1904 by J.W. Cooper, one of the original settlers, and named for his "first" son, Aid. ALL (Webster County) When ask what he was going to call the town, the new postermaster replied, in jest, "It's a post office, that's all!" ALLEY (Shannon County) Named for John Alley, who settled in the area prior to the Civil War and built a mill (that still stands) by Jack's Fork River. A post office from 1884 to 1950, the name was changed to Alley Spring in 1949 at the suggestion of Edna and Harvey Staples, the postmaster. ANUTT (Dent County) A post office from 1890 to 1963, the town was named for Miss Annet Lenox, the local teacher, by a former pupil who was a rather poor speller. ARROW ROCK (Saline County) In 1829, the town was called New Philadelphia. The name was changed in 1883 to reflect a local Indian legend: a contest was held between a group of young warriors who assembled on a sand bar opposite the cliff to compete with bow and arrow for the hand of the chief's daughter. The winner shot his arrow so far that it lodgd in the far stone bluff. AUGUSTA (St. Charles County) First named Mt. Pleasant in 1836, it had to be changed when a post office was established in 1842, because there already was a Mt. Pleasant in Dallas County. It was renamed for founder Leonard Harrold's wife Augusta. AVA (Douglas County) Laid out and named in 1870 by James Hailey for a biblical city from the book of Judges. In Hebrew, "ava" is said tpo mean "overthrowing." According to local lore, the naming may have been intended to be a humorous reference to Ava's "overthrowing" of its rival Vera Cruz for the county seat by stealing court records and establishing Ava as the officail head of the county. It was first called Militia Springs, because Union troops had wintered there during the Civil War. BACHELOR (Callaway County) Named for nearby Bachelor Creek, so called for a band of brave men living there who stubbornly refused to be led to the alter, and who had helped settle the area around 1875. BARING (Knox County) Designated in 1888 to honor the Baring brothers of London, who advanced $70 million to establish the Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad that ran through the community. BELLFLOWER (Montgomery County) John W. Schowengerdt, owner of the site, probably named it for the small, pink "bell-shaped" flowers which grew profusely in the fields; some say he named it for his sister, Belle Moorhead, in 1887. BENDAVIS (Texas County) James J. Burns, owner of a local orchard, wanted to advertise his version of the hardy southern apple, the "Ben Davis." His elaborately platted town is recorded in the county seat, but only a store and post office (1907) materialized. BILLMORE (Oregon County) At one time called Billmore Hollow, the area was settled after the Civil War by a William Moore, more commonly known as Bill Moore (or More). A small village with a post office (1885-1906) evolved, but no longer remains. BLACK JACK (St. Louis County) Around 1872, a town grew up on the site of a grove of black jack trees, which was a stopover meeting place for traders going to and from St. Louis. It is not recorded whether or not cards were played. BLAND (Gasconade County) Named in honor Richard P. Bland, U.S. Congressman from Missouri in the late 1800's. Bland was the leading candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President in 1896, until William Jennings Bryan's famous "Cross of Gold" speech won him the spot. BLUE EYE (Stone County) Believed to be so-named, in 1870 for the brilliant blue eye of the town's first postmaster, Elmer Butler. BOIS d'ARC (Greene County) The name is french for "wood of the bow" (now commonly called "Osage orange"), a strong, pliable hedgeapple tree local Indians used for their weapons. From 1847 to 1868, the town name was spelled "Bow Dark." BOSS (Dent County) Named for Marion Nelson, who was boss of the nearby lumbering crews; although some say it was named for the brand of gloves they used, which were prominently displayed on the countertop at the local store where a group was meeting to decide the name of the new post office in 1901. BOURBON (Crawford County) Newly imported bourbon whiskey was sold by Richard Turner and his partner, a Mr. Lamar, at their store to the railroad construction crews. The business became known as the "bourbon store," and eventually the area was called Bourbon with the establishment of a post office in 1853. BRANSON (Taney County) Named for R.S. Branson, first postmaster, in 1882. Changed to Lucia in 1902, due to an acquired dislike for the Branson family. The town was renamed Branson in 1908. BRIDGETON (St. Louis County)
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