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Just another blog about America's favorite Petropolis, Midland-Odessa Texas.
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WTI Cushing Spot $130.70 What's in a name? Odessa

Posted 07-17-2008 at 02:13 PM by Lucidus


One thing that I have thinking of lately is what effects a name has on a city.

Its seems that great cities have great and unique names. But cities that are not great have great names too, if fact many are named after the great cities. But somehow to me these seem unsatisfying, Paris, Texas just doesn't have the same appeal that Paris does. Many American cities are named this way and I dunno, but it strikes me as incredibly lazy. Its like the new was finally making the big time and getting its own post office and needed an official name. So the town got together to choose a name and just decided "Screw it, lets just pick the name of some big European city so we can get back to farming or ranching or whatever. The sun is going down soon and I need to make sure that all my cows are in the barn."

Odessa Texas, half of the glorious West Texas Petroplex, is one of those cities. But was not named in the manner I described above.

Popular local folklore says that the city was named by Russian railroad workers who named the city Odessa because it reminded them of Odessa, Ukraine.

Ukrainians assure me that if this is the case then those Russian railroad workers had an ironic sense of humor. They maintain that Odessa, the real Odessa in Ukraine, is a major port city on the black sea surrounded by hills and lush sub-tropical vegetation. For them to name a miserable work camp in West Texas Odessa, would be like a group of Americans working at the south pole naming their antarctic outpost Miami.

Well I don't know that Russians are know for their sense of humor, so I have to assume that they aren't, and there is another more believable explanation for the name.

The more credibe story is that a group of land speculators in Chicago or St. Louis or somewhere, were trying to make a buck by buying land in West Texas and subdividing it into a new town. Without ever actually seeing West Texas, they decided that Odessa would be a good name because surely this new town would quickly develop into a major grain ( I guess Odessa, Ukraine is or was a major grain producer.) producing city, or at least thats what they wanted land buyers to believe.

So what does all this mean? Well I will get to that in a future blog entry, but for now just trust that I have a reason for this beyond making fun of Odessa, Texas.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Interesting...I'm from Texas and yes, I have wondered how some names came to be.

    I agree about Paris, Tx. Big name for little town ...city or whatever.
    permalink
    Posted 07-28-2008 at 07:37 PM by Katzztar Katzztar is offline
 

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