Observations, obfuscations and obiter dictums from
the Independent Rambling Ambassador of Climax, Texas
Ira Will McComic

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Bowie County's Bounty of Bostons

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Bowie County lies nestled in the northeast corner of Texas. In the county is a string of three towns with a curious succession of names. On Highway 8, where it crosses the Interstate, there's a town named “New Boston.” A few miles further south on Highway 8 is the town of “Boston.” And a few more miles even further south on Highway 8 is a town named “Old Boston.”

To the unimaginative, it might appear that whoever did the town naming around there must have had a fondness – to the point of fixation – for that town of the same name in Massachusetts, the one where the colonials created a tempest over a tea tax. However, this conclusion doesn’t fit the profile of typical Texas town namers who have demonstrated an adequate fluency for creating their own, original town names or, at least, names sufficienty obscure to escape casual charges of plagarism.

When Texans assign a name to a place, they don’t restrict themselves to just the choices in an atlas of established names. If it suits their sense of naming a location, they’re not afraid to pencil in their own entries. When you consider the products of other Texas municipal moniker makers—who, in Collin County alone, have given to towns such interesting names as Squeezepenney, Altogoa, Culleoka, and Frognot—you could reasonably ask, is this parade of Boston-named towns in Bowie County really due to the influence of a Massachusetts namesake?

My firm faith in the independence and inventiveness of Texans when it comes to naming things is enough to cast reasonable doubt in my mind that the Bostons in Bowie County were named after an eastern city predecessor. I believe there could be another culprit behind this serial town naming. I prepose that the perpetrator was someone who propagated this plethora of same-named towns for personal prominence. Hence, I can presume that the progenitor of this lineage of towns was a man named Boston, most likely a pioneer entrepreneur in that part of the state and who was, the evidence suggests, a hit-and-run town namer.

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