Cexas 1ilstory as /eealed by Zowu
and CommuNity Name Origiis
HE HISTORY and mores of a state, or a region, are revealed,
to a large extent, by ways in which cities and towns get
their names. Nowhere is this more evident than in the
recently published Handbook of Texas. The origins of large cities
such as Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Austin, Cor-
pus Christi, El Paso, and Waco are fairly well known. The origins
of smaller, less publicized towns and communities are equally,
sometimes more, interesting, but in the large or the small towns
origins may vary from the legendary to undisputed historical fact.
As a separate article could be devoted to names of Mexican and
Indian derivation, only a few of these will be mentioned.
While Texas does have a Walhalla (Fayette County), it does
not have a Walla Walla or Podunck. It has almost everything
else, including two places named "Ike," neither of which has any
connection with Eisenhower; one is a farming community in
Ellis County, the other a stock pen and railroad siding in Live
First settlers, postmasters, railroad personnel, pioneer customs,
human necessities, odd incidents, religion, hope, humor, celebri-
ties, well-known places elsewhere, all played a part in the names
chosen. Some communities underwent a series of name changes.
Often the postoffice department's demand for a shorter name, or
one which did not conflict with or duplicate that of other places
in the state, was a deciding factor.
According to the Handbook, Anaqua (southern Victoria Coun-
ty) was probably the first site in Texas to receive a name. It was
described by Alvar Nufiez, Cabeza de Vaca, who visited it in the
153o's, as the habitat of the depraved tribe of Anaqua Indians.
The place continued to be known by that name to the early
Spanish-American explorers. Carlos de Garza built a rancho and
a chapel at the site in 182o.
Jonesborough (Red River County), now occupied by Daven-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/. Accessed February 27, 2015.