A couple of years ago I wrote a little series about the origins of street names in Neosho.
The subject still fascinates me. How did these streets get named? Who were some of these people anyhow? Several I already knew about. More I learned from others at the time I was writing on the subject.
The streets aren’t just named after people, either. Someone once told me that South Street is so named because it was once the southern boundary of the city limits.
And, in fact, old maps do show the limits ending there, so my personal guess, without researching it, is that may very well be true.
I suppose people may have wondered why South Street actually runs east-west, not south. Well, that would explain it. North Street, which also runs east-west, IS named for a person, but that’s for a future column.
I was explaining to someone the other day that the reason Fairground Road is named what it is, even though the county fairgrounds are actually miles away, is because the old fairgrounds USED to be located beside the street, where Talbot Wire and the Faithful Friends Thrift Store (a few years ago Scholastic), and the Harmony Shopping Center, are now.
From time to time I’d like to start writing about streets again and I think I’ll start with a little rehash on one street I already wrote on, but found myself telling someone about the other day.
The street I speak of is Daugherty Road. I once thought it had some connection to William Arthur Daugherty, whose World War I letters are at the county museum in Neosho. Turns out, that isn’t the case.
I received a nice letter in 2012 from Robert Daugherty, son of Cecil and Estellah Daugherty, whom it seems the road was actually named after. Robert wrote that in 1944 his parents purchased the only home on what today is Daugherty Road (which runs from Neosho Boulevard to Oak Ridge Drive, starting between today’s Oriental House and Hometown Bank).
Cecil (1897-1948) and Estellah (1901-1966) Daugherty had 50 acres there, 20 of which was an apple orchard, according to their son.
“A lot of folks came by to get apples, and the road was soon known as Daugherty orchard on Daugherty Road,” Robert wrote. “Eventually, the road was officially named Daugherty Road.”
Every time I drive on Daugherty, which is actually pretty often, I picture the apple orchard that once was there.
Robert said that that when the property was subdivided, two streets were named after the original owners. Estalla Drive (the street has dropped the “h” in the original name) runs south from Daugherty Road and then intersects with Cecil Drive, which runs east to Oak Ridge Drive.
So if you live on one of those streets, now you know a little bit about the people it was named for!
Robert added that his father was a real estate broker. He said he had never heard the name William Arthur Daugherty, but I’d still like to do a little research and see if he isn’t at least a distant relative after all.
Meanwhile, I’d like to say thank-you once again to Robert Daugherty for providing this important and worthwhile information!
Meanwhile, if you know the origins of a particular street name, feel free to contact me. I like letters the best because no one seems to write them anymore. My address is 12161 Norway Road, Neosho, MO 64850.
By Wes Franklin
(Wes Franklin can be reached at (417) 658-8443.)