This Eastern S. D. Town Was Named Myrtle City. Who was Myrtle?
You may be familiar with the old classic song 'I've Been Everywhere'. In fact, not all that long ago I heard a Johnny Cash version used on a television commercial.
So, you've lived in South Dakota all your life and you've been everywhere in the state, every city, every town, every village, every hamlet (wait, do we have hamlets?). I mean, through the years, you've been from Edgemont to Summit, from Elk Point to Lemmon and every place in between. You've had coffee in Blunt and tea in, well, Tea. You've had a burger in Geddes, visited an Aunt in Buffalo and chatted with the fine folks in Faulkton.
Pardon my English, but there just ain't been no place in South Dakota you ain't been to!
Ever dropped in to Myrtle City?
You know, Myrtle City. The town named after Myrtle Taylor, a daughter of the first settler in...well, Myrtle City. And I suppose if truth be known, Myrtle City isn't (wasn't?) actually what you might call a city. And it didn't last long, at least not under that moniker.
Apparently the railroad trumped old man Taylor's daughter Myrtle, because when the railroad showed up the town changed it's name.
Yessir, up there in Spink County is Myrtle City...oops, I mean Athol, and chances are if you've been everywhere in South Dakota, you've been to (or at least passed through) Athol.
But hold your horses just a second there, Cowboy. Why Athol?
Well, according to what I could find the town was named for Athol, Massachusetts, which was named for James Murray, second Duke of Athol, Scotland.
Whew! Pretty heady stuff.
But the next time you see the Athol town sign on your travels through our great state, give a thought to Myrtle Taylor.
After all, she had a town named after here...at least for a bit.
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