Just Havin' Fun: Great Town Names in Arkansas
Today in Geography Class...
Today, we will take a trip to a far-off land, one filled with strange and exotic names, towns that boggle the mind to wonder how in the world did somebody come up with these names? The country we will survey is a strange land all its own, complete with a language that few, if any, outside of the natives can understand let alone speak fluently. And perhaps the most incredible fact about this area is that at one time the President of the United States hailed from here! Yes class, at one time we had a President from this amazing area we call Arkansas.
To begin with...
We will begin in the northwest portion of the state, where places like Fayetteville and Rogers, Bella Vista and Springdale dominate the landscape. But for every Fayetteville there is a Little Flock and Highfill; for every Bella Vista there is a Goshen and an Accident. Yes, Accident is a town in Arkansas. It's not too far from Tontitown which is a fur piece from Hogeye which is just east of Lincoln, Clyde and north of Natural Dam. No, not A natural dam but the town named Natural Dam. Confusing, I know. But folks, we are just getting started.
There is also Hicks, which is where the hicks known as hillbillies come from I guess. Then there are West Cobb which is south of Japton which when you think about it seems strange that only a half a percent of the 436 people who live there are of something akin to Asian descent. Hmmm.
Moving a bit south while staying on the western side of the state we come to Rudy, named no doubt for that Notre Dame football player and movie star. We also arrive at Watalula and Wiederkehr Village. Say that three times fast! There is also Yoestown which is across the Arkansas River from Island; no, not AN island but the TOWN Island. Got that?
Believe it or not, there is a Frog Town here too. Don't know how many frogs live here but I'd say there are a few. As we approach the midway point along the Oklahoma/Arkansas border we find Hon, Acorn and Ink near Potter Junction which is not too far from Yocana and Y City. No, I ain't makin' this up! We are also in the vicinity of Hatfield, Umpire, and Grannis. Don't know what a Grannis is; could it be the plural of Granny? There is also De Queen (where's de king?) and Athens: great names!
Now we're getting near the former President Clinton's home town of Hope and its surrounding towns of Toilette, Okay and Bodcaw. And would you like to play Where's Waldo? It's here!
We have now reached the Louisiana/Arkansas border and towns like Berlin and Hamburg; Crossett, West Crossett and North Crossett; Felsenthal and Huttig; Mist and Beouf. Before long, we have arrived at the Mississippi River and must turn north.
Now things are getting interesting. We've passed towns like Wilmot (will to!) and Eudora and are approaching Lake Village and Yellow Bayou. Now I've heard of the yellow river but never the Yellow Bayou; don't know if I want to know where it got its name from! We are now near Jerome, Baxter, Hailey and Collins, and are not too far from Warren and Wilmar. We head towards Watson, which is east of Dumas (oh how easy it is to think of another way to say THAT name!) and Pickens.
There is also Pea Ridge, which is not the only Pea Ridge in Arkansas; how confusing that must be. Snow Lake is near the Mississippi River as is Ferguson and Mellwood, There is also a Fair Landing in Arkansas which is upriver of the Mississippi towns of Dennis Landing and Australia Landing. We also have Reydell, Bayou Meto, Lodge Corner and Ethel, who isn't Vain. Heading back towards the river we see Elaine and Helena, Lake View (which is a ways from the river) and Lagrange. Reminds me of a song...
There seems to be a whole lot of names, you know people names here. Aubrey, Winona, Hughes, Haynes, Alfrey, Monroe, Madison, Earle, Marion, Jeanette and Anthonyville. Oh, who named this town!? Greasy Corner? Seriously! There's Island Forty (I wonder if that is the fortieth island on the river?) and Corona. Wanna stop for a drink?
Well that was refreshing! Time to hit the road again! Uh oh, there's another of them color towns: Yellow Banks. It's near Marked Tree; gotta wonder about these two so close together. Maybe someone "marked" a tree and it ran down the "banks". I crack myself up! Oh God another one! Golden Lake! Stop, stop I'm dying!!
We've now reached the northeast corner of the state and it's time to Go West young man! We reach Dell, but where's the farmer? Manila (is that where them folders come from?) and Leachville are close by. Wait, what's that on the Missouri Arkansas border? Arkmo? Original name.
There's Black Oak (I seem to remember a group named Black Oak Arkansas) and White Oak; Marmaduke (the dog?) and Rector, Knobel and maybe my favorite Arkansas town name of all time: Piggott. Knew a guy from there once, called him Piggott. Never did know his real name. Then we come to Datto, Reyno and Success; Elnora and Pocahontas (what's she doing here?) and Attica.
Attica! Attica! Attica! Sorry, had to do that. Oh look there's Elevenpoint and Ravenden Springs and Ravenden! Black Rock is south a bit down near Portia (Porsche?). Hungry? Okay let's eat in Eaton; how about some Strawberry? Sounds good to me!
Heading west once more we find Allison near the Mountain View, then there's Fifty-Six and Forty-Four. I'm not lying, folks. Jordan, Old Joe and Wild Cherry are not too far away as are Big Flat (my second favorite town name) and Calico Rock. We are now seeing more name towns like Harriet, Marshall, Zack and Ralph; Leslie and Landis are close at hand as is Gilbert (where's Sullivan?) and everyone's favorite chocolate Mt. Hershey. And this name sounds rather risque if you ask me: Eros. Wasn't he a god of love in Greek times? What's he doin' here!? Oh well, moving on to... another great name! What is it? Now let's not be Hasty! Maybe we could go catch some Bass, you think? Or are we playing a bass fiddle? All in how you look at it I guess.
Almost there! We see Huntsville near Alabam; Rudd (how rude!) and Berryville as well. There is the Bear Creek Springs and the Wooden Hills, Diamond City and Lead Hill. Don't forget Valley Springs and Western Grove! Or the Green Forest and Omaha (how'd we get to Nebraska?); Holiday Island and Eureka Springs, Beaver, Busch (thirsty again) and Lost Bridge Village.
We had Marmaduke earlier so it's time for Garfield now. There's that other Pea Ridge and we have now made it back to where we began. A few final towns like Brightwater, Prairie Creek and it's time to get the (Little) Flock outta here!
Of course we've missed some great town names Sweet Home and Toad Suck Ferry, Hooker and Moscow but those are for you to find on your own. Take a trip sometime to the hinterlands of Arkansas and discover these and others for yourself.
I hope you enjoyed this little foray into the crazy world of Arkansas town names; it was fun for me. I have always loved these silly names for some reason, guess I'm just a half a bubble off center myself. Y'all take care now, y'here?