Origins of Jackson County Place Names

This information comes from various sources. I can only assume that they are correct since many of these explainations of place name origins are now dependent on histories and tradition. Any original documents that may have supported many of these stories, either never existed or are long gone.

Jackson County:

The county and the city were named for Andrew Jackson, who was at that time the greatest hero in the country, having defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans in January of 1815, shortly before the county was organized.

Township Names:

Bloomfield:
No information.

Clinton:
Named after a distinguished American, George Clinton, the first governor of New York, a general and Vice President of the United States. It was later given to Vinton County.

Coal:
Named for the coal mines in the area.

Franklin:
Named after Benjamin Franklin.

Hamilton:
Named for Alexander Hamilton.

Harrison:
It was named for President William Henry Harrison. It was annexed from Ross County and later given to Vinton County.

Jackson:
Named after Andrew Jackson.

Jefferson:
Named for Thomas Jefferson, the third president.

Lick:
Named for the salt licks or springs.

Madison:
Named after James Madison.

Milton:
Named for the poet Milton.

Richland:
It was named for the rich and abundant natural resources in the area. It was annexed from Ross County and later given to Vinton County.

Salt Lick:
This township was formed relatively recently from part of Lick Township. I don't have the exact date, but it was somewhere around 1990 give or take a few years. Salt Lick Twp. is coextensive with the city limits of Jackson and was formed for special tax purposes and to legally separate the city from Lick township. It exists mainly in name only. It is named for the salt licks at Jackson. Compare to Wellston Twp.

Scioto:
Named for the Scioto River.

Washington:
Named after George Washington, the first president.

Wellston:
This township exists only legally. There are no officials. D. W. Williams, in A History of Jackson County, Ohio mentions it on page 150 as being named after Harvey Wells. The Descriptions of Enumeration Districts for the Census of 1900 mentions it as being coextensive with the City of Wellston. It is also mentioned in the book, "Ohio Population Report", compiled by Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr., Secretary of State, 1980. It is thus similiar to Salt Lick Twp. which is coextensive with the City of Jackson.


Town and City Names:

Big Rock:
A community named for the large rocky cliffs in the area.

Blackfork Station or Junction:
About 1900, D. D. Davis persuaded some African-Americans to come to southern Ohio to work in his family's coal mines, and later the Davis silica brick plant.

Byer:
Before the Civil War it was called Ellsworth, but was changed to Byer to recognize the large Byers family which owned land in the village.

Camba:
Probably named for the Welsh settlers in the area. Wales and Welsh are called Cambria and Cambrian.

Coalton:
First called Eurekaville by the German and Welsh miners of the area and later named Coalton after Coal Township and the coal mining in the area.

Cove:
It was probably founded in the 1830s by Pennsylvania settlers and named because it fits the description of a cove, i.e., a sheltered nook or recess as in a cliff.

Grahamsville:
The town was laid out by John Graham on his property, probably in the 1850s. The family of James Graham also lived there.

Glade:
It was probably named so because it fit the dictionary description of a glade, i.e., an open space in a forest.

Glen Roy:
Named for Andrew Roy who founded it and who was Ohio's first Chief of Mines Inspector. The "glen" refers to a Scottish mountain valley.

Green's Store:
A little community named for a man named Green, who had a store there. There is still a roadside convenience store there, though possibly not in exactly the same location.

Hitchcock:
It dates to about 1903 and is said to be named for the Hitchcock brick plant located there. The plant was sold to a Hitchcock from Portsmouth, Ohio.

Jackson:
The same as the county, it was named for Andrew Jackson. Its original name seems to be Purgatory, which was quickly exchanged for Poplar Row and later Jackson. It was platted in 1816 and 1819 and incorporated in 1842.

Keystone:
Probably named for nearby Keystone Furnace, which hauled pig iron to its switch on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad known as Keystone Station.

Kitchen:
A number of people named Kitchen lived in the area and it was probably named for the family.

Leo:
It was laid out in 1844 by Samuel Swift, who modestly named it Swiftsville. When G. H. Greene was named Postmaster (1874-1875), he named it after a pope Leo. Probably Leo XIII (1810-1903).

Limerick:
Legend has it that it was named after an ethnic joke about a drunken Irishman. Supposedly, he wandered into the village, took off his hat, and said "Hooray for Limerick!", referring to Limerick, Ireland.

Mabee:
It was named after the first Postmaster at the place, a man named Mabee or Mabees. It is also known as Mabee Corner.

Middleton:
It was laid out in 1827 by Oliver Tyson halfway between Jackson and Wilkesville. It was once called Middle Town.

Monroe Station:
Aaron and Jesse Monroe settled there sometime between 1797 and 1820. Another source says it was named after President James Monroe. It was a stop on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.

Oak Hill:
Named for the oak trees on the hill east of the town and in the area. It was laid out around 1817 by a New Yorker, Julius Bingham. Once known as Portland, settlement in the town began as early as 1799.

Orpheus:
Named for the Greek mythical musician and poet.

Pattonsville:
Numerous Pattons lived in the area. The site was surveyed in the 1840s by Joseph Hanna.

Petersburg:
It was started sometime after 1820. Reportedly the town was named after Peter Weber.

Ray:
This town straddles the county line between Jackson and Vinton Counties. I'm not sure which county it really belongs in. Maybe both. It was originally called Raysville and was named after Moses Ray who started the town in 1854. Descendents of the Ray family still live there.

Roads:
This place has also been called Berlin Crossroads and Berlin. It was founded in 1845 by Charles Kinnison and surveyed by Oliver Tyson. Kinnison owned the farm where the village was laid out. During the First World War its name was shortened to Roads due to anti-German feelings. Today, people still refer to it by all three names.

Rocky Hill:
Named after the terrain of the place.

Vega:
Name origin not really known. Some say it could be named for the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra or named for the Spanish word Vega, which means a fertile plain. Joseph Hanna performed the survey in the 1840s.

Wellston:
Named for Harvey Wells, a member of the Constitutional Convention, who founded it in 1873. The city was incorporated in 1876.


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Last updated: Saturday, 01-Apr-2006 13:45:14 MST