highway engineer in Nacogdoches
County once told me that keeping a highway sign at Looneyville
was an exercise in futility. "Within hours after we put up a new sign,
it disappears," he said.
Where do they all go? "Probably on the dorm walls at SFA (the local
university)," he guessed.
The highway department, however, shouldn't be too harsh with SFA's
students for swiping Looneyville's
signs. After all, there are some town signs in East
Texas that will always be irresistible. Looneyville--which
was named for a local farm family--not the population in general or
its proximity to Crazy Creek--is one of them.
They also have a lot of trouble with signs at Diddy
Waw Diddy in Brazoria
County. One explanation is that Diddy Way Diddy is a conception
of heaven--a place of no work or worry--conceived by early slaves.
Another version claims Diddy Way Diddy was the last depot stop to
hell, and youngsters who could mend their ways were destined for Diddy
in Trinity County,
supposedly got its name when the local citizenry tried to dispatch
a horse thief to hell, but couldn't find a suitable gallows on the
treeless prairie. Actually, the town was once known as Logallis, and
somehow became what it is today.
Residents of a town in Houston
County wanted to name their town Neches because of its closeness
to a river, but were informed by the post office that the name had
already been taken. Someone added another pencil mark to the first
letter and it became Weches.
In l882, the Panola
County town of Linus became Deadwood
as the result of a joke on those who were trying to get a post office
closer to the Sabine River. During the deliberations, someone remarked:
"We've got the deadwood on them now."
Old Granny's Neck in Delta
County got its name from an old woman who raised goats on a neck
of the South Sulphur River.
Scrapping Valley in Newton
County and Cut N' Shoot
in Montgomery County
were reportedly named for the ornery disposition of the local menfolk.
People who run across the name Point
Blank in San
Jacinto County confuse it with cowboy mythology. The name actually
comes from Blanc Point (White Point), a name used by a Frenchwoman
who lived there.
In 1903, Ira Bean built a store and established a post office named
Horger for the president of a local school board. But when postal
officials kept confusing Horger with Borger
and Spurger, Bean substituted Bean's
of my favorite creek names is Can't 'Cha Get Over Creek in
which got its name because of its tendency to overflow after a rainfall.
Another favorite creek name is Swamppoodle Creek in Bowie
County. The name refers to a puddle, not a dog, in a swampy area.
Shelby County was
named when postal officials submitted three possible names to local
residents and told them,"Pick your choice." They did, ignoring the
three other names.
in Harrison County
was once called Uncertain Landing because of the difficulty boats
had in mooring at the Caddo Lake port.
People who notice the sign to Latexo,
in Houston County,
think that it has been misplaced from the border of Louisiana and
Texas. Thatís close, but the town was
named for the Louisiana and Texas Orchard Company, a local business.
November 19, 2008 Column.
Published with permission
A weekly column syndicated in 70 East Texas newspapers
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
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