Towns' Names Credit Founders
Grayson County towns owe their names to Civil war veterans, heroes
of the Texans' fight for independence and early land owners. Here's
how the towns were named:
GRAYSON COUNTY - Named for Peter W. Grayson, an
of the Republic of Texas under Presidents David G. Burnet and
Sam Houston. Picked by Houston to be his successor, but
suicide before the election.
The naming of the county and its seat was a political compromise,
bringing together the names of Grayson, the pro-Houston Democrat, and Gen. Sidney Sherman, the anti-Houston Whig.
BELLS - Originally called "Duganville" after the first
settler - Daniel
Dugan who came to the area in 1835. Once know as "Gospel Ridge" because
of its many churches, the community's name was changed when the
bells rang so loudly with the coming of the Texas and Pacific Railroad
Originally named Springtown in the 1850s. One of the
many small towns located on the Katy Railroad, the town was renamed
in the 1890s in honor of Mrs. L. B. Collins who donated land for a
station. Previously named Toadsuck after the Toadsuck Saloon. The name
is supposed to reference "drinking until one swells up like a
DENISON - Named for George Denison, vice president of the Katy Railroad.
DORCHESTER - Named for pioneer settler C.B. Dorchester.
FORT PRESTON - Indian uprisings in 1839 led to the establishment
of Fort Preston a year later by the military department of the republic
of Texas. The fort was named for Lt. William Preston, the commanding
GORDONVILLE - Named for S.M. Gordon, on whose land the town was founded.
GUNTER - named for early pioneer and rancher Jot Gunter.
HAGERMAN - Named for James Hagerman, attorney for the Katy Railroad, 1892 - 1911.
HOWE - Named for F.M. Howe, a director of the Houston and Texas Central
KENTUCKY TOWN - Now deserted, Kentucky Town was
established in 1852
by a group of settlers from Kentucky. Dr. Josiah H. Heiston,
leader of the expedition, originally named the town for his
Eliza, but few people ever called it anything but Kentucky Town.
PILOT GROVE - Originally called "Lick Skillet", the town was named
for the ranch owned by J.P. Dumas, developer of the town.
POTTSBORO - Named for J.A. Potts, a rancher on whose land the town
SADLER - Named for J.J. Sadler, who donated the land for a train station.
SHAWNEETOWN - Shawneetown owes its name to the Indians and was the
center of the Shawnee Indian reservation before Col. W.C. Young bought the land in 1850 and incorporated the town.
SHERMAN - Named for Major General Sidney Sherman,
one of Sam Houston's
staunchest political foes in the Republic of Texas. He is
given credit for originationg the battle cries of "Remember the
and "Remember Goliad".
SOUTHMAYD - Named for a patriot of the Texas Revolution, D.S. Southmayd.
TIOGA - Named for a tribe of Indians which once inhabited New York
TOM BEAN - Named for surveyor Tom Bean, who gave the land for the
VAN ALSTYNE - named for Mariah Van Alstyne, a major stockholder in
the Houston and Texas Central Railroad when the town was founded.
WHITESBORO - Named for Ambrose B. White, who built one of the first
log cabins in the community, known then as the "Wolf Path" because so many wolves roamed the area.
WHITEWRIGHT - Named for New York capitalist William Whitewright, who
was president of a townsite company which bought the land there in 1877 for $20 an acre.