Volume VI, No. 3, Spring 1979




Daisy, Defiance, Solo

AND OTHER UNUSUAL MISSOURI PLACE NAMES

by Linda Lee

Defiance came into being before the turn of the century when the Katy Railroad came through the Femme Osage Valley in St. Charles County. When the plan to lay tracks through the area was announced, the as yet unnamed Defiance and the nearby village of Matson competed for a depot and sidetracks.

Despite opposition from Matson residents, the railroad stopped in both towns. With the arrival of the railroad, the village needed a name. After the postal officials had passed over several names, the townspeople settled on Defiance because they had succeeded in defying Matson by getting the railroad, sidetracks and depot, and eventually a post office and mail delivery.

When the town of Daisy near Cape Girardeau incorporated and applied for a post office, the united States Postal Service requested the townspeople to send in some suggestions for the name of the town. After several names had been rejected, a girl named Daisy was born. One of the townsmen suggested that they send in this name, which was approved as the name of the town.

The origin of Solo in south central Missouri is best told by Assistant Postmaster, Steve Drake. "Solo came into existence around 1880 and was located by Hog Creek about one-fourth mile north of its present location. Its first location was SO-LOW, which is where the name comes from. Hog Creek gets wild sometimes and the store was flooded on a few occasions. In 1936 Solo was rebuilt on its present location on top of a high hill overlooking Hog Creek. The store was closed down five years ago and Only the post office remains in Solo. Current population is three people, two dogs and three cats."

According to legend, Green Castle in Sullivan Country was first called Castle Station, a station on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Castle Station became Green Castle when the surveyor for the railroad, whose name was Green, decided to add his name and drop the word "station."

Sage, now known as Neck City, was renamed Hell's Neckers in the mining days of this southwest Missouri town due to the group of rowdies called Hell's Neckers who held up men for their pay checks. When the town received a post office between 1890 and 1900, the name was changed to Neck. In 1951, the postmaster got the name changed to Neck City.

Cooter was founded by Mr. and Mrs. John Gilliland in the 1880's when they moved to the boot heel on the Mississippi River. Mr. Gilliland bought 160 acres, put in a general store and farmed. As the community grew, they decided that they needed a post office. Three names were sent to the government, as was required, one being the French word for turtle (due to the many turtles in the area). But strangely, the post office department didn't use them, but chose the word "coutre" for the name of the post office, After a few years, it was Americanized to Cooter.

Knob Noster, Latin for "our knobs," is thought to be named for two hills north of the town near Warrensburg. Though there is no proof of this explanation, it is commonly accepted to be true.

Deerfield in western Vernon County was apparently named for the deer seen in the area, and a man, named Redfield, who helped to lay out the town in 1871.

Ellis, near Deerfield, was formerly called PreWitt. The name was changed after the Katy Railroad came through to honor the first passenger who got off the train.

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Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.


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