Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Towns' Changing Names

I've written on this blog before about the fact that many towns in the Ozarks (and presumably elsewhere as well) eventually adopted a name other than the one by which the place was originally known. Sometimes the name was changed to honor a prominent resident of the area. Other times it was changed to honor an outsider, such as a railroad official when a railroad first reached the community. Sometimes it was changed simply because the citizens decided they liked a different name better. One of the most common reasons for changing the name of a community, however, was the fact that the postal service often rejected the original name when the community applied for a post office, and the main reason for this was that a community by the same name or a very similar name already existed in the state.
Here is a list of some of the many places in the Ozarks (current name followed by original name) that changed their name because of postal service objections to the original name: Competition, Mo.--Newburg; Crane, Mo.--Hickory Grove; Dadeville, Mo.--Millville; Fair Play, Mo.--Oakland; Olean, Mo.--Proctor Station; Sarcoxie, Mo.--Centerville; and Willard, Mo.--Robberson.


Anonymous Bob Banks said...

Monett was founded as Plymouth or Plymouth Junction in 1880. When the post office rejected Plymouth, the postal name of the town became Gonten, named for the postmaster, but Plymouth continued in common usage. The town name was changed to Monett in 1887 after a railroad official.

August 8, 2014 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

Thanks, Bob, for the info. I knew that Monett was founded as Plymouth or Plymouth Junction but didn't know about Gonten.

August 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM  

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