The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 8
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In 1880 the Chicago, Texas, and Mexican Central Railroad Company started building a road
from Dallas to Cleburne. They built a switch along the way and, for some unrecorded
reason, they called it "Duncan." In 1881 a young man named Charles P. Nance got off the
train at the "Duncan Switch" to visit his sister. Mr. Nance liked the surrounding country and
along with another man built the first building at Duncan Switch. They built on the land where
Fouts Brothers now stands. Later, Mr. Nance applied for a post office using the name
Duncan. The application was denied, however, because there was already a Duncan post
office in Jasper County. Mr. Nance, still intent on getting a post office, added "ville" to
Duncan and returned the application. The Duncanville Post Office opened on October 12,
1881. --- The History of the Cedar Mountains.
Duncanville isn't the only place in my family history that was named coincidentally. One
branch of the Ward family came from Burnt Corn, Alabama. Its name derived from an old
story describing the naming of the adjacent spring. The story goes that two Indians were
returning from Pensacola and stopped at a famous spring to camp. During their stay, one
became sick and was unable to continue his journey. His companion grew impatient and
resolved to leave him to his fate, not, however, without first having supplied him with a
quantity of corn, which he poured in a heap on the dry leaves near the suffering man.
Recovering from his sickness, the Indian found himself without a sack into which he could put
his corn, so he left it heaped upon the dry leaves. The camp fire spread to the leaves, and the
corn was partially burned. Travelers, stopped here to camp, found the pile of charred corn and
called the spring Burnt Corn Spring.
My mother and I went to the Fouts Brothers' store shortly after my family moved to
Duncanville. The store didn't impress me, but then I was used to the stores in Dallas. The
store owner, hearing that I was new in town, introduced me to a young girl standing by the
magazines. Judy was the girl's name. Judy smiled at me and said hello and that it was nice to
meet me. Then she got on her bike and rode away. I thought Duncanville might not be so bad
after all. I realized I would have to change a few things, though. I noticed that Judy had been
wearing shorts, but her shorts were much longer than mine. I found myself embarrassed by
my own short-shorts even though I had worn them for years. Later, I found out that several
of the churches in Duncanville frowned on girls wearing shorts, but that the longer "Jamaica"
shorts were permissible.
Here’s what’s next.
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/14/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.