The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 359
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Mr. Gerard Schultz, chairman of the department of sociology
at Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, has written to the office
for information regarding Indianola, Texas, for which the Iowa
town was named. The story is an interesting one and supplies
another commentary on the power of the press.
I am writing to you for information about Indianola, Texas. An
early history of Warren County, Iowa, tells us that our county seat
was named for the now extinct town in Texas. According to this
history a member of the party which located the seat of Warren
County was a subscriber to the New York Sun. The day the county
seat was located his lunch was wrapped up in a copy of this news-
paper. All day the party had been talking about a name for the new
town, but had not found one that seemed to suit. While eating his
lunch this member of the party saw in the copy of the New York Sun
in which his lunch had been wrapped an "account of the United
States government landing at Indianola, Texas, a lot of camels, which
they were trying to introduce into the army for service on the plains."
Indianola, Iowa, was located and named in 1849. According to
Walter Prescott Webb's The Great Plains, the first boatload of camels
was not landed at Indianola, Texas, until 1856. What item about
Indianola, Texas, might have been in the New York Sun in 1849?
What became of Indianola, Texas? How did it get its name?
As Mr. Schultz pointed out, the first boatload of camels did not
arrive in Indianola, Texas, until 1856, so that the story in the
Sun in 1849 must have concerned something else. Since Indian-
ola was for an extended period the port through which flowed
the traffic of all of Texas west of the Brazos and much of Mexico,
it is entirely probable that a New York paper would carry news
of the town, especially in the years following the Mexican War,
when the attention of the nation was centered on this area. From
1850 to 1861, as the Handbook article on Indianola points out,
the town was the military depot through which the United
States army posts in Texas were supplied. In 185o a commission
met in Indianola to fix the boundary between the United States
and Mexico under terms of the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.
The name Indianola seems to have been used in the area for
a considerable period before it was officially adopted as the name
of the town in 1849. The town had also been called Indian Point
and Carlshafen, in honor of Prince Carl von Solms Braunfels
and other leaders of the German immigrants in the 1840's. Prince
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/453/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.