Names of Towns and Hamlets in McDonald County
In 1973 Arthur Paul Moser compiled “A Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets Past and Present of McDonald County, Missouri” and posted it on the web. It is an interesting and scholarly work. In addition to a useful list of references, he also consulted with my Aunt Pauline Carnell who was President of the Historical Society at the time. The current McDonald County Historical Society site and the Moser list are good places to begin further research into the county’s history, but I will leave that to others.
Cities, towns and hamlets still in existence in 2021: Anderson, Ginger Blue, Goodman, Havenhurst, Jane, Lanagan, Longview, Noel, Pineville, Powell, Rocky Comfort, Simcoe, Southwest City, and Tiff City.
Place names were based on the whim of the person(s) who established the school, post office or platted the land. Many of the more than 80 communities are rarely mentioned today, but a few have persisted. Some have no remembered reason for the name. Nearly 100 schools once existed in the county. Their names were often the same as the community they were in, but many were free-standing, drawing students from nearby farms.
Some of my favorite place names are:
A found object: Cowskin, Elk Horn
A hope or cruel reality: Enterprise, Rocky Comfort, Success, Tribulation
Animal known in the area: Bear Hollow, Beaver Springs, Buffalo, Buzzard Glory, Elk Springs, Lone Dove, Possom Trot
Event: Cyclone struck in April, 1880.
Geologic Feature: Caverna, Crystal Springs, Honey Creek, Poplar Hill, Shady Grove, Star Valley
Land owner/Prominent resident: Anderson, Blankenship, Jane, Lanagan, McNatt, Simsberry, Splitlog
Remembered name from the Bible, from an earlier home area or the Old World: Antioch, Bethlehem, Bethpage, Bunker Hill, Erie, Klondike, New Bethel
Above is a photo of Tiff. The chemical name is Barium Sulphate (BaSo4) other names are Barite or “heavy spar”. It is described as a white , blue, yellow or colorless mineral. My sample is a pretty shade of blue. It came from a mine in the Tiff City area. We used it as a door stop.