Texas History, Genealogy, Old Photos, Postcards, Maps, and Information.

Coryell County Place Names

Pancake. J. R. Pancake, born in Virginia in Jan., 1836, came to Coryell County in 1858 and established the Pancake ranch. He also established a general merchandise store and cotton gin. The Pancake and Bobb cattle business grew to large proportions, but with the settlement of the country, ranching gave way to agriculture.

Pearl. Originally the post office was Wayback. When the petition for a post office was sent to the Department the name applied for was Swayback, for Swayback Mountain, but through an error in spelling the name, the new post office was authorized as Wayback until 1890 the name of the post office was changed to Pearl. Read more >>

Pidcoke. H. B. Pidcoke, born in England in 1824, came to the Cowhouse valley in 1850, where he established a ranch. Later eame the village that bears his name. There is also a part of the City of Gatesville known as the Pidcoke addition.

Pulltight. A village on Highway 7, a mile west of Coryell Creek, is so named because in the olden days when only horse and ox drawn vehicles were had, it was a hard pull to reach the place from any direction—Pulltight.

Ross Crossing—Named for Reuben Ross, who settled a League and a Labor of land there in 1854. He owned slaves and opened a large plantation. His descendants, the Greens, Rosses, Walters, and Caseys, still own most of the land. Four generations of the Ross' descendents have successfully lived on the land. Mr. Ross was born in Kentucky, brought with him a love for fine horses. It is said that he furnished many horses for use in the Confederate army.

Ruth. Ruth and Boaz are biblical names, according to Mr. Ben Morrison, when the two villages were founded in 1885. A very religious old gentleman living near suggested the names.

Schley: A school community in this county, named for a prominent pioneer family.

Seattle:  A village located on Owl Creek in the Southern part of Coryell County. When the people petitioned for a post office, Mr. W. A. Umberhagan owned a cotton gin and store there, according to Mr. E. F. Miller, who was born there forty-five years ago. Mr. Umberhagan took a leading role in securing a post office there, and was first post master, and offered the name because he liked it.

Shook Crossing—a crossing on Leon River, on land now owned by the Martins who opened by the Shook brothers about 1865.

Straw’s Mill. Chas. H. and Geo. W. Straw, in 1875 moved from McLennan County to Coryell and bought the old Cox Mill, which had been established by J. M. Cox, who settled the adjacent land in 1856. The Straws made extensive improvements, and had a fine flour mill and carried a large stock of general merchandise. The place became known as Straw's Mill.

Tama: Tama was named for Miss Tama Alexander, according to W. E. Stewart of Copperas Cove.  The girl's father, A. B. Alexander, had a store there about 1898, but afterwards moved away.

The Grove is an inland village on the highlands between Owl Creek and the Leon River. It has an excellent school, cotton gin, churches, and a number of business establishments. Named for the groves of fine trees that were there when the first settlements were made. This village is in the heart of a fine stock raising and agricultural country.

Turnover was named by a story to the effect that when the soldiers were moving west from Fort Gates that some of the supply wagons were turned over at this place, and it has been called Turnover since that time.

Whitson was named for "old Grandpa Whitson,'' who came there before railroads entered Central Texas and established a cotton gin and flour mill. Mr. Joe Lynn also had a cotton gin, and Mr. Haynes had a general merchandise business. Capt. Ellison Burch at one time had a legalized whiskey still just below Whitson on the spring branch. Whitson was a flourishing pioneer town.

Source: History of Coryell County, 1936, by Frank E. Simmons