we’re losing much of the history of East
Texas--the small communities that sprouted and faded away as East
Texas grew and much of our population was congested in larger
cities and towns.
Many of our small communities had unique names that gave them a flavor
unlike places such as Tyler,
Lufkin and Nacogdoches.
Byspot is a good
example. Settled in 1899 in San
Jacinto County, it was first known as Teddy, but in 1903 J.O.
Bennett changed the community’s name to Byspot, a name derived from
spelling his wife Topsy’s name backward and adding a B. Bennett owned
and operated a logging tram railroad, indicating Byspot was a logging
also in San Jacinto
County, got its name from Florence Dissiway, a Frenchwoman who
moved to the county in the 1850’s. She called the community Blanc
Point, which was changed by local residents to Point Blank. Texas
Governor George Wood, who rode a mule to Austin and hated to wear
socks, was buried here when he died.
Tussle, in Fannin
County, was originally called Truss, but supposedly got its new
name when an invasion of bugs spoiled an ice cream social, but there
are other versions.
Stringtown in Newton
County was named by a peddler because the houses were strung out
along the road. Two other names attached to the community were Rainbow
in Cherokee County
was named for Mary Magdalene’s weeping at the tomb of Jesus.
Naclina in Nacogdoches
County got its name from a mixture of Nacogdoches
and Angelina County,
which was served by the Angelina and Neches Railroad.
China in Jefferson
County was named China Grove for a grove of Chinaberry trees,
but the name was later shortened.
Seven Oaks in Polk County
was a sawmill settlement named by an early settler for his ancestral
estate in England.
Moss Hill in Liberty
County was named for the Spanish moss that covered the trees in
the dense forests of the area.
Goober Hill, a small farming community in Shelby
County, was named for the peanuts, locally known as “goobers,”
that were a major crop in the region.
in San Augustine
County, also had a school known as Black Ankle, but how the town
got its name is unknown. One old story says it came about when a girl
wore black stockings to school.
Bob Bowman's East Texas July
18, 2010 Column
A weekly column syndicated in 70 East Texas newspapers
Copyright Bob Bowman
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