CHIMERIC TOWN NAMES

Pretty much everybody knows Texarkana, the Texas/Arkansas town that combines the names of both states, but there are other lesser known towns with mixed names.

On the left is a picture from Arkoma just west of Fort Smith on the Arkansas/Oklahoma border. It's just another small town post office, but it's a quick and effective way of getting a photograph with the town's name printed on something.

I don't have a picture from Paragould that shows the name of the town pasted on anything, but here's the Greene County Courthouse in the middle of town anyway. This town was named for two nineteenth century rail barons and commercial rivals J. W. Paramore and Jay Gould. This is the spot where Paramore's Texas and St. Louis line crossed Gould's St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern. The founders of the town couldn't decide which rich and powerful man to suck up to, so they tried to play both ends.

The town was originally hyphenated Para-Gould, but the town fathers' plan to please everybody backfired. Gould objected to being named second, and on his railroad's schedules the town was referred to as Parmley.

Here's a picture of the Moark Pentecostal Church on highway 67 north of Corning on the Missouri/Arkansas border. This church is actually on the outskirts of town. The center of town is about 2/3 of a mile east of here where county road 154 crosses the railroad tracks.

RTJ -- 10/03/2005



Sources:

Earngey, Bill; Arkansas Roadsides, a Guidebood for the State; East Mountain Press, Eureka Springs, 1987, p. 64.

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