cover of book

Texas Place Names
by Edward Callary and Jean K. Callary
University of Texas Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-1-4773-2064-8 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2066-2
Library of Congress Classification F384.C35 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 976.4


Was Gasoline, Texas, named in honor of a gas station? Nope, but the name does honor the town’s original claim to fame: a gasoline-powered cotton gin. Is Paris, Texas, a reference to Paris, France? Yes: Thomas Poteet, who donated land for the town site, thought it would be an improvement over “Pin Hook,” the original name of the Lamar County seat. Ding Dong’s story has a nice ring to it; the name was derived from two store owners named Bell, who lived in Bell County, of course. Tracing the turning points, fascinating characters, and cultural crossroads that shaped Texas history, Texas Place Names provides the colorful stories behind these and more than three thousand other county, city, and community names.

Drawing on in-depth research to present the facts behind the folklore, linguist Edward Callary also clarifies pronunciations (it’s NAY-chis for Neches, referring to a Caddoan people whose name was attached to the Neches River during a Spanish expedition). A great resource for road trippers and historians alike, Texas Place Names alphabetically charts centuries of humanity through the enduring words (and, occasionally, the fateful spelling gaffes) left behind by men and women from all walks of life.

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