Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota’s Weirdest Town Names
With more than 2,200 cities and towns in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota, coming up with clever and innovative names for all of those places proved to be quite the challenge.
Some towns were named after historical figures, others after nearby landmarks, and still others were given names that made little or no sense.
A recent article in USA Today highlights some of the more offbeat town names from across the United States.
The story, 'The Weirdest Town Names in All 50 States, From Ketchuptown to Monkey’s Eyebrow' (in case you're wondering, Ketchuptown is in South Carolina and Monkey's Eyebrow is in Kentucky), introduces us to among others:
- Hot Coffee, Mississippi
- Satan's Kingdom, Massachusetts
- Elmo, Utah
- Good Grief, Idaho
- Bread Loaf, Vermont
- Dead Women Crossing, Oklahoma
- Waterproof, Louisiana
So what about our tri-state area?
Their picks for the most unusual town names in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota don't rank nearly as high on the 'weird meter' as a lot of other places in America.
In the Hawkeye State, they chose What Cheer.
This Keokuk County town of 607 residents is about 80 miles East of Des Moines.
Legend has it that early settler Joseph Andrews named the town after the English greeting 'What Cheer'.
In the North Star State, the choice is Harmony.
This Fillmore County town of 1,020 is just North of the Iowa border in the Southeast part of the state.
Harmony supposedly comes from a spirited debate between residents about what to name the town. Legend has it that things got so intense at one point that an onlooker stepped and said, 'Let’s have Harmony here!'
In the Mount Rushmore State, the pick is Porcupine.
This Ogala Lakota County town of 925 is about 20 miles South of Badlands National Park.
There are two theories on the origins of the name.
One is the abundance of animals of the same name in the area. The other is a nod to a nearby butte which was covered with pine trees, making it look like a porcupine.