It is no doubt that Texas has some towns with outlandish and strange names. As far as Texas culture goes, Gun Barrel City, Point Blank, and Spur, Texas, are not such strange names. Texas ended up with some stranger names than those two, so we took a look at them and why they ended up with those names.
What Is the Weirdest Town Name in Texas?
Of the 1,470 towns and cities in Texas, the ten most populated cities are Arlington: 392,786, Austin: 964,177, Corpus Christi: 317,773, Dallas: 1.288 mm, El Paso: 678,415, Fort Worth: 935,508, Houston: 2.288 mm, Laredo: 256,153, Plano: 288,253, and San Antonio: 1.452 mm. However, it is the small towns in Texas with the weirdest names.
Among the weirdest names of towns in Texas, besides Gun Barrel City, Point Blank, and Spur, we can include Bigfoot, Bug Tussle, Early, Iraan, Italy, Kermit, Krum, Lawn, Malakoff, Matador, Maypearl, Medina, Moody, Muenster, Muleshoe, Paradise, Redwater, Roanoke, Ropesville, Seadrift, Smiley, Sour Lake, and Spur.
Plus a few more are Sugar Land, Turkey, Venus, and Wolfe City. So how did these uniquely named towns get their names? There were a variety of ways. Some were named after people, a combination of two or more people’s names, by their landscape and terrain, and at times, by railroad company employees or by local U.S. postmasters.
Frio County: Bigfoot is the nickname of Texas Ranger William A. “Bigfoot” Wallace. Ranger Bigfoot participated in many military conflicts of the Republic of Texas and the U.S. in the 1840s.
Bug Tussle, Texas
Fannin County: This town was first called Truss after settler John Truss. A popular legend has it that a swarm of bugs invaded a church picnic or maybe an ice cream social in the 1890s and inspired the town’s name. Or, two old men saw tumblebugs fighting. “Look at those bugs tussle,” one remarked. Or, the picnic spot had nothing for picnickers to do after they ate than watch the bugs tussle. We will never know.
Brown County: Early is named for Walter U. Early, an attorney who donated land for schools in 1928. Early incorporated in 1951.
Gun Barrel City, Texas
Henderson County: Gun Barrel City takes its name from Gun Barrel Road in the area. Local historians report that a man named J. C. Waits first used the name, which referred to the straightness of the road.
Pecos County: This town’s name is a combination of Ira and Ann Yates, who offered the town a lot as a prize, which was an oil boomtown. Iraan established a post office in 1928.
Ellis County: In 1880, the postmaster in Waxahachie named the town Italy, because “sunny Italy” had a similar climate. In 1879, the brothers Aycock established a dwelling, grocery store, and post office.
Winkler County: The citizens named Kermit Texas for President Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Kermit Roosevelt. Its citizens voted to incorporate in 1938.
Denton County: A railway line of the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railway ran through this town in the mid-1880s. The railroad bought 200 acres and named the town Krum.
Taylor County: A community called Old Lawn was established in 1894, but when the Santa Fe Railroad went 24 miles south of Old Lawn in 1909, the people abandoned it. In 1910 the new town of Lawn sprang up near the railway.
Henderson County: The people wanted to name this town Mitcham or Purdon around 1854, but those names were taken, and the postmaster was aware of the Battle of Malakoff took place during the Crimean War. The people accepted the name and established the town.
Motley County: Alfred M. Britton and Henry H. (Hank) Campbell established the Matador Ranch Headquarters in Motley County in 1878, and then Matador Ranch Post Office soon. Motley County was established in 1891, and Matador became the county seat.
Ellis County: Eyrie, Texas, had a post office from 1894 to 1903. To honor the daughters, May and Pearl, of two International-Great Northern Railroad officials, which had recently come to the town, the people changed the name to Maypearl in 1903.
Bandera County: Pedro de Medina, Spanish cartographer, traveled from 1724 to 1728 in New Spain, today’s Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas. Later on, Alonso de León, Spanish governor of Coahuila, New Spain, in 1689 named the Medina River flowing through Bandera County for Pedro. Now there is a river, town and county in Texas called Medina. The name Medina comes from the Arabic word for city.
McLennan County: Moody dates back to the Pre-Civil War settlement of Perry. The Gulf, Colorado, & Santa Fe Railroad bypassed Perry in 1881. The town is named after Colonel W.L. Moody, who supervised laying the railway track through a plat of land of early settler William Naler.
Cooke County: Brothers Emil and August Flusche established this town as a as a German Catholic colony in 1887. Muenster is also the capitol city of Westphalia, Germany. Muenster incorporated in 1927.
Bailey County: Civil War veteran Henry Black established the Muleshoe Ranch in 1877. The nearby town was founded in 1913 when the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway ran tracks through the county that year.
Wise County: This town was named Eldorado, but the name was already taken by the U.S. Post Office. The wildflowers blooming inspired the name of Paradise Prairie, but they settled on Paradise when the town received a post office in 1876.
Point Blank, Texas
San Jacinto County: Florence Dissiway, a French governess for the R. T. and Henry Robinson families in the 1850s, called the region Blanc Point, and local residents later changed the name of the town to Point Blank, possibly in 1884 when it received a post office.
Bowie County: This town just south of the Red River was originally named Ingersoll after Robert Green Ingersoll, a controversial agnostic humanist. A revival in 1886 saved 110 souls, so the town of 50 to 60 people would not suffer living under the name of an agnostic. They changed the name to Redwater, when a new well gave up red water.
Denton County: Roanoke is a shell found in the Roanoke River in Virginia and North Carolina. A railway surveyor of the Texas and Pacific Railroad named the town after his hometown, Roanoke, Virginia. Roanoke incorporated in 1933.
Hockley County: The Spade Ranch opened up for settlement in the early 1900s. The South Plains and Santa Fe Railroad Company laid tracks through the county and built stock pens, switches, a section house, and a depot on the former ranch land. The Spade cowboys wanted to name the depot and future town Ropes, but that was rejected because it was to similar too Ropers, Texas, and the people accepted Ropesville.
Calhoun County: This town is possibly named for the debris in the Guadalupe River washed up on the shores of the San Antonio Bay. The name Driftwood was already registered with the State of Texas, so the town people choose Seadrift for the name in 1848.
Gonzales County: A sheepherder named John Smiley settled on a lake in the town’s region, possibly in the early 1840s. George W. Colley, the founder of Smiley Lake community, named the town for John Smiley. By 1900, only Smiley was on the Texas map.
Sour Lake, Texas
Hardin County: Surrounded by mineral springs used by the Indians, Sour Lake Springs was this town’s name at first. At different times, there was a Sour Lake Post office in Jefferson and Hardin Counties. Finally, the town chartered in 1885 as Sour Lake.
Dickens County: Spur gets its name from the Spur Ranch, which was established in 1907 and then sold and the owners subdivided the land to sell to settlers. Leaders of the settlements convinced Burlington Railroad, to route a railroad line northwest from Stamford through the future site of Spur, which incorporated in 1911.
Sugar Land, Texas
Fort Bend County: Major sugar producer, Imperial Sugar, opened their headquarters in Sugar Land in 1843 with their main sugar refinery and distribution center. Imperial Sugar closed the refinery in 2003. Sugar Land did not charter until 1959.
Hall County: Originally called Turkey Creek and Turkey Roost, legend has it that Turkey’s original post office was located in a dugout on a creek where the community roasted their wild turkeys. The town people recorded the town plat in 1907, and it is the home of Bob Wills.
Johnson County: The town founder, J. C. Smyth chose the name of the daughter of a local doctor for the town. Smyth laid out the town site on a former cornfield. Venus established a post office in 1888 when the population of the town was ten.
Wolfe City, Texas
Hunt County: Lemuel Pickney Wolfe built a mill on Oyster Creek circa 1860-1870, and farmers called it Wolfe’s Mill then. The community received a post office in 1882, and incorporated in 1887 as Wolfe City.