Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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August 20, 2011

Bob Bowman’s East Texas

JACKSONVILLE — A few weeks back, we wrote a column about the origin of East Texas place names.

A bunch of readers chastised us for leaving our the origins of their local names. So, in response, here is a new collection:

Chinquapin in San Augustine County got its name from nearby Chinquapin Creek and from the chinquapins (also known as dwarf chestnuts) growing there.

The stream is also known Egg Nog Branch, but we haven’t found a place by that name...yet.

Cherry Point Gully in Chambers County got its name from either Aaron Cherry, a local landowner, or the wild cherry trees growing there.

Maydelle in Cherokee County got its name from Maydelle Campbell, the daughter of Texas Governor Thomas Campbell. Maydelle sang on the occasion of opening the new townsite.

Omen in Smith County got its name because, after a series of name changes, postmaster W..W. Orr thought it might bring the town good luck The town was once known as Round Rock, Clopton and Old Clopton.

Marion was Angelina County’s first county seat and was named for General Francis Marion, an American Revolutionary War hero. The community was also known as McNeill’s Landing for a crossing on the Angelina River.

Weches in Houston County was once known as Neches for the river, but postal officials discovered another town had been assigned that name, Local officials settled the issue by changing the first letter from N to W.

Montalba got its name when the local postmaster’s wife, Lizzie Hamlett, noticed that snow had covered a prominent hill near the community. The name likely came from a Latin phrase meaning “white mountain.”

Swamppoodle Creek in Bowie County refers to a puddle, not a dog, in a swampy area.

Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of more than 50 books about East Texas history and folklore.. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com

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