HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Origins of Place Names
This page was last revised on June 23, 2015.
ABBOTT. The first postmaster of the Abbott post office was Amanda Spangler Isaacs (1824-1903). Her first husband was John W. Abbott (1820-1849). She probably named the post office for her first husband or for her son Dr. Joseph M. Abbott (1844-1906). Some sources say the name was chosen by Simon J. Temple, who purchased the land in 1886. The name Abbott’s Station appears in 1891 county commission minutes.
AMELIA was probably named for the wife of the first postmaster. The first postmaster was Robert J. Bradley. He married Amelia Amantha Knight (b. June 20, 1844; d. March 14, 1930) on Jan. 5, 1864.
ANCLOTE. According to Wilfred T. Neill in the Pasco Times of March 20, 1977: “The name Anclote dates back to early Spanish times. The Spaniards called these islands Cabo de Anclote—Cape of the Kedge Anchor—because ships had to use a kedge to winch their way through the shallow water or the winding channels. And early French sailors called the islands Cap d'Anclote, which, of course, has the same meaning as Cabo de Anclote.” According to Neill, Anclote is by far the oldest place name in Pasco County and one of the oldest in Florida. The name is found on a 1715 map which I have seen, and a 1545 map, according to a newspaper article. The Red Race of America (1847) by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft has:
“ANCLOTE, an island on the southwest coast of Florida; also, a river flowing into the gulf at that locality, which is also called, in the Seminole dialect, the Est-has-hotee.”
However, an 1838 map has the spelling Ets-has-ho-tee River.
Some early maps label Anclote Keys as Haley’s Keys; this name was given by Capt. James Cook (1728-1779), and the islands were named for his mate. However, an 1854 gazetteer by John Hayward has:
Anclote Keys, Fa. These islands lie off the coast of Benton co., S. from Helley’s Keys.
ARIPEKA. Florida Place-Names of Indian Origin and Seminole Personal Names by William A. Read has:
Sam Jones, a famous Mikasuki chief, went by the name of Aripeka or Arpeika. There are other insignificant variants of his name, such as Apiaka, Apeiaka, and Appiaca. In 1841, the year before the close of the Seminole War, Aripeka occupied the region near the mouth of the Kissimmee River and the eastern border of Lake Okeechobee. He is said to have had seventeen warriors and a large number of women and children in his band. He was then about seventy-eight years old. Associated with Sam Jones there was a Creek chief who was known as The Prophet, though one of his Indian names, Otulke-Thloko, is a corruption of hotàlgi làko, and signifies “Big Wind Clan” (chief). Another name that the Prophet bore was Hilis Hadjo, “Crazy Medicine,” from Creek hilis, “medicine,” and hajo, “crazy.” The name Aripeka is possibly corrupted from Creek Abihka, “pile at the base,” “heap at the root,” an ancient Creek town near the upper Coosa River. The name was conferred on the town because “in the contest for supremacy its warriors heaped up a pile of scalps, covering the base of the war-pole.” The United States Post-Office Guide for 1904, p. 366, spells the name of this town Arbeka. According to another view, the Abihka were an ancient Muskhogean tribe residing in the Talladega Valley of Alabama, who received their name because of the singular manner in which they expressed assent or approbation. Still another etymology would connect Abihka with Choctaw aiabika, “unhealthful place.”
Sam Jones died in 1866. His name is spelled Arpeik in a poem published in 1859. A 1908 map spells the town Aripeka. The Exiles of Florida by Joshua R. Giddings (1858) has “Sam Jones, sometimes called Aripeka.”
BAILLIE. This settlement was located near what became Elfers and was named for the Baillie family who lived there. For an 1889 election the local precinct was called Bailey and school board minutes of July 7, 1892, refer to the area as “the Baillie settlement.” An 1897 survey of the Anclote River refers to Bailey Point about one mile north of the river. An 1897 newspaper article refers to “Bailey’s point.”
BAYONET POINT. According to Ash, “A big rock covered with Spanish bayonets (called yucca or yaka), inspired the name when State Road 52 was built to connect U. S. 19 to Dade City, about 1926.” However, the name Bayonet Point appears as a geographic feature on a 1900 map produced by the Florida State Geological Survey. It is found in a newspaper article in 1924.
BLANTON was named for Jesse Blanton, an early settler from Screven County, Georgia. He and his wife, Martha Howell, built a log cabin east of what is now Blanton Lake.
BUDDY’S LAKE SETTLEMENT. An article in the Dade City Banner of Dec. 18, 1925, has:
During the days following the close of the first Seminole war, in 1842, there were quite a number of pioneers who settled close by the lake. The main route of travel from Fort King to Fort Brook, Tampa, passed this way and over this track new settlers moving southward passed frequently, driving their herd of cattle. The lake made a fine place for them to stop and water their stock. According to Capt. Bill Kendrick, a noted Indian fighter of those days, among others passing by was a family who had a fine ox, which they called “Buddy.” When the herd of cattle entered the water Buddy waded out farther than the others, and later refused to leave with the others. Here the tale grows somewhat confusing, one version being that Buddy became mired and was drowned, while the other is that after remaining in the water till night he took up his journey and rejoined the herd to which he belonged that night. At any rate, Buddy made such an impression on the settlers around the lake that it was called after him, and is spoken of by many of the older residents as Lake Buddy to this day.
The History of Zephyrhills 1821-1921 has:
It was during this period of settlement following the Fort Dade Treaty that a covered wagon came south along the Fort King Road. The owner drove a considerable herd of cattle led by a pet bull named Buddy. They stopped at the lake for water. The settlers gathered, as was the custom, to exchange news and become acquainted. The cattle drank their fill of water and then stood in the welcome shade of nearby trees chewing their cuds and switching flies. Buddy, being thoroughly heated up and dried out, went out into the lake drinking as he went until his back was covered with the cool water. He was so comfortable that when his owner was ready to move on Buddy refused to come out. No amount or kind of coaxing availed and the procession went on without him. Buddy came out when he was quite ready and took up the trail following after his herd. The residents who had observed the bull’s behavior began referring to the big lake as Buddy’s Lake, then Buddy Lake and finally Lake Buddy. It so appeared on early charts and maps. The origin of the name went unquestioned by the busy later settlers but remained among the settlers of early 1837.
An article in the spring 1984 Florida Genealogist says:
A family named Barber were moving to Hillsborough County and they came through that area driving a herd of cattle. They had an old pet bull named Buddy. When they reached the lake, all the cattle ran out in the water to drink. Buddy went way out till the water covered his back. When they tried to drive him out, he refused to come and offered to fight. They decided to go on without him. Later, when Buddy got ready, he came out, took up the trail of the cattle and joined the herd when it was camped for the night. The lake was known as Buddy’s Lake after that. Today it is Pasadena Lake.
The lake is called Lake Buddy in a survey dated April 4, 1846. Buddy Lake is a place name in the 1850 census. In the 1880s, the name was changed to Lake Pasadena, although some maps show a small Lake Buddy next to a large Lake Pasadena.
On Dec. 18, 1897, The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer has a report titled “Syrup Making at the Skinner’s Bend Central Factory, Pasco County, Florida.” The article carries the dateline Lake Buddy.
CARMEL. According to The Historic Places of Pasco County,:
In this area, the village of Carmel was established and had its own post office from November 4, 1885, to July 25, 1886. It was one of the communities (along with Villa Maria, San Felipe, and Saint Thomas) which Judge Edmund F. Dunne planned as part of the “Catholic Colony of San Antonio,” which included a ring of satellites around the hub of San Antonio proper. In his 1883 promotional brochure, Dunne said this about the village: “Carmel is a Hebrew word meaning a finely cultivated field or orchard. It is taken as the name of a new settlement, five miles south of San Antonio, not because of its inherent meaning but because the settlement is placed under the special patronage of our Lady of Mount Carmel.”
CARVER HEIGHTS. Bill Dayton believes the subdivision near Dade City was probably named for George Washington Carver. According to a 1998 St. Petersburg Times article, Carver Heights was first subdivided in 1946 by Stanley Cochrane, a white businessman in Dade City who sold lots to black families.
CHIPCO was apparently named for Echo Emathla Chopco, whose name also variously appeared as Echo Emathla Chopka or Emathla Hadjo Chupco, but was generally known as Chipco, of the Tallahassee tribe of the Red Stick Upper Creeks. He was born between 1800 and 1805 in Alabama and died on Oct. 16, 1881.
CLINTON AVENUE in Dade City was named for Capt. Clinton Edward Spencer (1838-1924), according to Lucy Spencer Lock.
DADE CITY and the earlier FORT DADE were named for Maj. Francis Langhorne Dade, a U.S. Army officer killed by Seminoles at the start of the Second Seminole War.
DARBY was apparently named for John W. Darby, an early settler. He married Olinda Bradley. An earlier name for this area was Amelia.
DENHAM was named for Capt. W. B. Denham, general manager of the Tampa Northern Railroad. On Nov. 28, 1910, the Tampa Morning Tribune reported that Denham would soon resign that position he had held for four years. The article reported that he had bought all of the rolling stock and general equipment for that railroad, and that he had been a railroad builder since 1874. For 25 years he was connected with the properties of the old Plant System, for many years acting as general superintendent of the entire system south of Charleston and all over the South. The Tampa Morning Tribune called him H. B. Plant’s right hand man in the building of the Plant railroads in Florida. At the time of his death in 1915 he was a resident of Jacksonville.
DREXEL. Edward J. Herrmann believes this town was named by Edward T. Stotesbury in honor of Anthony Joseph Drexel (1826-1893), a financier and philanthropist for whom Drexel University is named. When the Orange Belt Railway failed, the financial interests that had backed the company, the international banking firm of Drexel, Morgan, & Co., formed a syndicate with Stotesbury as its president. [Information from MacManus]
EARNESTVILLE was named for Elijah Embree Earnest (1840-1908), who opened a store on Lake Buddy about 1875, according to one source. However, the obituary of Mrs. Earnest, who died in 1924, has: “In the year 1881 Mr. and Mrs. Earnest moved to Florida and settled on the south side of Lake Buddy, as Pasadena Lake was then called. There Mr. Earnest had a farm and kept a store and, for several years, a postoffice. The station was called Earnestville.” (Mrs. Earnest was born in Atlanta, the eldest daughter of John Thrasher, an original pioneer of Atlanta.)
EHREN. A historical marker has: “Ehren Community - Named by sawmill owners Frederick and Louis Müller. Ehren means ‘place of honor’ in their native German language.” According to MacManus, Frederick Ernest Müller named it for his hometown in Germany. Jeff Cannon writes, “I believe the post office name was taken from the name of the Orange Belt Railroad Depot that was established in the area, as the original post office application says that the office took the name of the station depot in the area.”
ELFERS. The name Elfers was chosen by Frieda Marie (Bolling) Eiland (1884-1981), the wife of the first postmaster. Frieda’s mother’s maiden name was Maria Elfers and, according to Frieda’s son, Frieda named the post office for her maternal grandfather. For more information, see the entry for Levi Daniel Eiland on the early residents page of this website.
ELLERSLIE was founded as a health resort by James Goodwin Wallace, a confederate surgeon. Wallace claimed to be a descendant of Gen. William Wallace, a Scottish patriot; the town may have been named for Ellerslie (or Elderslie), Scotland.
FIVAY. A large saw mill about 5 miles northeast of New Port Richey was owned by five men whose names began with the letter A. The town was known as “Five A’s,” or Fivay for short. The men were:
Fivay appears on the 1904 application for a post office.
FORT BROOME was named for Florida Governor James E. Broome, who served from 1853 to 1857, according to Hendley.
GALL BOULEVARD is named for Walter R. Gall, who was able to influence the state to run the highway through Zephyrhills, according to a 2008 article in the Laker. Gall’s son Owen, was a prominent resident of Zephyrhills who died in 2008 at age 96.
GODWIN. According to a WPHS article on ghost towns in Florida, the post office was established in 1888 in the home of Jacob Godwin.
GOWERS CORNER was named for William Arthur Gower, who owned the property there. More information is here.
GREEN KEY. According to Wilfred T. Neill, J. G. “Gib” Brown, who had homesteaded Deer Island, changed the name of the island to Green Key. He connected it to the mainland by a causeway and tried to promote it as a subdivision. Nothing came of this plan, but Green Key became New Port Richey’s only public beach. According to a Tampa Tribune article by Carol Jeffares Hedman, Brown’s wife Cora who renamed it Green Key Island. However, a 1929 reproduction of an 1886 map has “Deer Island or Green Key”; the label appears to be from the 1886 map.
GREENFIELD. MacManus has: “Most likely it was named for the grassy, wide-open space around it.”
GREER was named for James L. Greer, who owned thousands of acres of timber in the area and established a sawmill.
HEGMAN. The name of the Abbott post office (now Zephyrhills) was changed to Hegman in 1890, and back to Abbott in 1892. The post office might have been named for the person described in this excerpt from The History of Zephyrhills 1821-1921:
It must have been during the early 1840’s and before statehood, that a man named Hegman with his covered wagon containing his household goods passed along the Fort King Road until he reached the bridge across the sandy knoll of Indian reservations days and earlier. Whatever happened to Hegman at that bridge, it was, for nearly a hundred years or more, called Hegman Hole Bridge. Some said the bridge had been washed out, and Hegman was drowned attempting to ford the stream. Henry Ryals said he lost most of his household goods and some cattle, but finally made a crossing and continued south.
HICKORY HAMMOCK. An earlier name for New Port Richey may have been Hickory Hammock or Hickory Hammocks. In a 1951 newspaper article, Gerben DeVries wrote, “Present location of New Port Richey was first known as ‘Hickory Hammocks.’” In a letter to the New Port Richey Press published on Jan. 12, 1922, Mrs. J. O. T. Brown of Jacksonville, a daughter of Aaron Richey, wrote, “There was, of course, no town of New Port Richey, but this locality was known as Hickory Hammock.” However, this name has not been found on any maps or on any old documents. Frances Clark Mallett believes the term Hickory Hammock may have referred to a large region and is not an earlier name for New Port Richey.
HIDDEN LAKE ESTATES. According to Ash, the name is derived from Whidden Lake, originally named for Tillet Thomas Whidden (1857-1914) and his wife Sarah (Sallie) Nancy Charlotte Luffman (1864-1940), who lived there. The name was changed in April 1971.
HOLIDAY. Interviewed for a newspaper article in 1977, William W. Boyd, president of First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Tarpon Springs since 1961, recalled that in the early 1960s when First Federal was looking to built its first branch in southwest Pasco County, he noted the name “Holiday Drive” on a map near the site of the proposed branch and asked his board of directors to give the name to the new branch. Later Boyd began drumming up support to name the community Holiday so that it would have some identity. By the end of 1967, First Federal’s Holiday Branch was a thriving business, and the community’s identity was well on its way to being established. Boyd stated, “That was one of the highlights of my life. There are not too many people who have caused the name of a community to come into existence through their own efforts—especially one that has as much vitality.” At a board meeting of First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Tarpon Springs on Oct. 13, 1966, members discussed naming the new branch of the bank as the Holiday branch, since the post office had a substation on Holiday Drive nearby. In November 1967, board members suggested to local builders and newspaper reporters that future events in the area be referred to as occurring in Holiday. The bank gave away 1000 license plates for the front of automobiles reading “Holiday Florida.” A branch of the Tarpon Springs post office was established on Jan. 2, 1962. A 1968 newspaper article reported, “According to Eddie Earle, Tarpon Springs postmaster, the name Holiday was first given to the branch post office of the Tarpon Springs office, which was set up in 1961.” This does not seem to be the correct explanation for the origin of the name, however.
HOPEVILLE, a small community located near the mouth of the Pithlachascotee River, was named after the pioneer Hope family. Frances Clark Mallett writes, “Although there are almost no written records on the early history of Port Richey and Hopeville area, oral history passed down through old-time residents and descendants, indicates that Hopeville was settled in the mid 1800s. It once was the site of a salt works that supplied local residents and the Confederate Army. ... David and Henry Hope, two early settlers of the Chicuchatta (Brooksville) settlement, were two of the Hopes who established the tiny community of Hopeville at the salt springs.” The Hopeville post office was established in 1878.
According to Jeff Cannon, AME Church records refer to a Hopesville Mission in Florida in 1871-72. It is not known where it was located.
HORSE ISLAND. On May 25, 1978, the New Port Richey Press reported: “Kenneth Knowles recently recounted the story of how Horse Island got its name. He reported that after a bad hurricane, a white horse bearing a government brand was found on the island. It was believed that the horse had fallen off of a troop vessel during the storm, and had somehow made its way to the island.”
HUDSON was named for Isaac Washington Hudson. J. B. or J. W. Hudson wrote the following, as quoted in Hendley:
B. L. Blackburn taught our first school, a three month term. The Post Office Department established a Star Route from Brooksville to the mouth of the Anclote River, and there was an office established out east of Port Richey at old man Worley’s place, the name of which was Hopeville. While Blackburn was teaching the school he got a Post Office established at Hudson. When the department asked for a name for the office, Brother Bill and Father suggested that we call it Hudson’s Landing, but I disagreed with them, and suggested the name of Gulf View, but Hudson’s Landing was sent up. And in a few days we were advised that the Department had cut off Landing and named the office Hudson, so this is how the town got its name, in the year of 1881. J. W. Hudson was made postmaster and J. B. Hudson was made assistant.
JESSAMINE. An article by Wilma Ellsworth in East Pasco’s Heritage has:
In 1887 the new Pasco County received two idealistic young business men, Walter N. Pike and William J. Ellsworth, who were intent on starting a seed and plant business in the land of flowers. They set up housekeeping with their brides in an old cabin on the edge of a small lake, about five miles southwest of Trilby. With strong backs hired from the settlement near the county line, they began the clearing of the pine and hammock acres—a slow process done with ax, mattock, saw, and much sweat of the brow. During this deforesting period, young Pike and Ellsworth were so impressed with the beauty and delicate fragrance of a certain wild flowering vine that they named their firm “Jessamine Gardens,” and their community “Jessamine.” Years later, in the wake of severe freezes, mail thefts, and financial panic widespread, they developed citrus under the name “Jessamine Groves,” thus continuing to emphasize the community name.
LACOOCHEE is a shortened form of Withlacoochee, the river which runs past the town.
LAKE IOLA was named for Iola, Kansas, by Luther C. Reed and his wife Nancy A. Reed. The 1910 census shows them living in Iola, Kansas. An earlier name was Stake Pond, for a stake placed there by surveyors. Norman Carey writes, “I think the name Stake Pond goes back to the late, or even mid 1800s. Hubert Hancock, who told me more about this than anyone else, had family in this area in antebellum times. He had ancestors in this area who were involved with supplying beef cattle for the southern war effort. I think that sawmill that his grandfather ran on the north shore of Lake Iola was in operation around the 1870s, until when I don't know, I guess around the turn of the century. I believe that it was in the very early 1900s that Stake Pond was given the official name of Lake Iola.” In Sept. 1920 the Dade City Banner referred to “Lake Iola or Stake pond.” In March 1922 it had “Lake Iola, or Stake pond as it may be better known.” In Oct. 1918 it has “Iola lake (Stake pond).”
LAKE JOVITA. On Feb. 15, 1882, Judge Edmund F. Dunne and Captain Hugh Dunne, his cousin, are said to have come upon this lake and named it Lake Jovita because the feast of Sts. Faustinus and Jovita is celebrated on Feb. 15, the traditional date of their martyrdom. This information appears to come from Un Français Dans la Floride (1889) by Edmond Johanet. In an article in the Dade City Banner in 1935, J. A. Hendley wrote, “After the Catholics took hold of this part of the country, the name of Clear Lake was changed to Lake Jovita.” On Nov. 1, 1926, San Antonio was renamed Lake Jovita, but the name reverted back to San Antonio on Aug. 1, 1931. The lake is called Clear Lake on maps.
The story of how it was named and who named it varies widely. According to a printed program from a 1949 Lutz Fourth of July celebration, the town was named in that year by popular vote at a June 13 meeting of the Denham-Drexel Civic Association. Virtually everyone who attended the meeting claimed credit for the naming. Judy Lynn Prince recalls her mother, Madeline Prince, long-time Land O’ Lakes real estate agent and community activist, saying she named it. Madeline, who moved to the area around 1945, told her daughter she stood up at a civic association meeting and urged others to choose “Land O’ Lakes” because it had “about 2,000 people and about 2,000 lakes.” According to another account that circulated for years, the name resulted from a 1949 name-the-place contest. Alvah “Sis” Hahs Kern, M. H. Sears, Helen Northrup, and a man from Wisconsin entered in hopes of winning the $25 prize. Some old-timers believe that all won; others that the Wisconsin man won. Actually, there were two winners, each of whom received a $25 check. One was the Wisconsin man, who simply borrowed the name from a popular brand of butter. The other was Edna Blair, who had just moved to the area from Indiana with her husband. A week or so after getting the check, she returned it to the fledgling civic association, claiming it needed the money worse than she. One thing is certain. The town name was actually adopted by its residents in 1949—not 1950, as stated on the historical marker at the community center. However, the Pasco County Historical Preservation Committee decided to use the 1950 date on the marker because that was the year the Ehren Post Office was closed and the Land O’ Lakes Post Office was opened. The 1950 date was also when the State of Florida Department of Transportation formally recognized the name and began putting it on maps. Local residents Walter and Betty Franzell took the request to Tallahassee on behalf of the Land O’ Lakes Civic Association.
According to The Historic Places of Pasco County, “The town took the name Land O’ Lakes from a popular brand of butter. At a 1950 community meeting to discuss prospective names, local real estate broker M. H. Sears brought one of the brightly colored packages and convinced the assembly to select the name. The Land O’ Lakes butter company now supplies its product for the town’s annual flapjack festival.”
[Although the Land O’ Lakes historical marker and the St. Petersburg Times use the spelling Land O’Lakes, the correct official spelling seems to be Land O’ Lakes (with a space after the apostrophe). This spelling (with the space) is used by the U. S. Bureau of the Census, the U. S. Postal Service, the Pasco County School District, U. S. Geological Survey maps, the U. S. Board on Geographic Names, and this web site. It is also the spelling used by Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin.]
LEHEUP HILL. According to information provided by Loren Fry, this hill was named for William A. LeHeup (the elder), who was born in Kingston, Ontario. He came to Florida from Wisconsin in 1911. A son, William A. (Bill) LeHeup, died on April 13, 2003, at age 98. According to his obituary, the son was born in Wisconsin “and came here 93 years ago.” According to a local researcher, census records show the LeHeup family lived in the town of True, Rusk County, Wisconsin, in 1910 before moving to Pasco County with their 8 children.
LENARD may have been named for D. W. Leneard, an early settler.
LEO KIDD AVENUE was named for Leo Kidd (b. Sept. 3, 1925; d. Sept. 9, 1985), a former Port Richey constable. He was also a welder. He owned property where the street is now located. The name was adopted in 1987 to replace the name Madison Street as part of a program to eliminate duplicate street names. Leo Kidd was born in Frenchburg, Ky., and came here from Lawrenceburg, Ind., in 1953.
LITTLE ROAD was named for Desmond (Des) Little, who operated a paving company, according to several sources. He is one of the eight children of Samuel M. Little. According to a 1967 newspaper article based on an interview with him, Des Little came to Florida with his parents in 1917, settling in Sarasota, and moved to Tarpon Springs in 1924 and to New Port Richey in 1927. He married Mickey DeCubellis, a daughter of Peter DeCubellis. According to Pauline Stevenson Ash, the road was named for Walter and Eva Little. Walter Little supervised the construction of U. S. 19 south from Hudson.
LOYCE. Ruth Connor, formerly a resident of the town, believes it may have been named for a Mr. Loyce, perhaps associated with the railroad industry. Census records from the period seem not to show anyone with that last name in Florida.
McLEOD. According to an article by J. A. Hendley, this area was settled in 1879 by William McLeod and his sons Daniel, Eligah, William Jr., and Freeman. [The town was later renamed Macon and then Trilby.]
MERIDIAN AVENUE. According to Carol Jeffares Hedman, the surveyor platting the streets of Dade City named the avenue after his hometown of Meridian, Miss. The name was originally Meridian Street.
MILLER’S BAYOU was named for Samuel Edward Miller (see the early residents page) [WPH]. The term Miller’s Bayou is found in a 1925 newspaper.
MOOG ROAD was probably named for Herman Moog, who died in 1951 at age 75. He wintered in Florida in the 1930s and 1940s and owned a home and grove on Moog Road. A source says it was named for Fred Moog, born 1887, although this person seems not to be in the census. Joe Knight, who was born in Elfers, recalls that the road was originally called Swartzel’s Lane.
MYRTLE was named for the myrtle trees that grew there, according to Elizabeth MacManus.
NEW PORT RICHEY. A Dec. 13, 1914, newspaper article written by Mrs. Gerben DeVries refers to the two parts of Port Richey as “old Port Richey” and “new Port Richey.” The name New Port Richey apparently originated with the establishment of the New Port Richey post office on Aug. 30, 1915. According to an article on the history of the New Port Richey Post Office by Gerben M. DeVries, it was U. S. Rep. Stephen Milancthon Sparkman (1849-1929), who served in Congress from 1895 to 1917, who suggested the name “New Port Richey.” An explanation of why a separate post office was established for New Port Richey is here. DeVries’ commission as postmaster was dated July 21, 1915. The name New Port Richey appears in the Dade City Banner on Feb. 26, 1915 and the Tampa Morning Tribune on Aug. 19, 1914.
OAKDALE. The History of Zephyrhills 1821-1921 by Rosemary W. Trottman has: “John Spivey filed for homestead land between Pretty Pond and what is now Lake Zephyr. He built a home and called the place Oakdale.”
OLD POST ROAD. According to a newspaper column by Ralph Bellwood, after Aaron M. Richey moved to Tarpon Springs, the post office was taken over by J. W. Clark, who moved the facilities to his home on the north bank of the Pithlachascotee River. “Then the mail was brought on horseback from Brooksville, over what was known as the old Post Road, remnants of which are still seen going north from the city and one of its streets still bears the name of Post Road. Later, mail was delivered to the Port Richey Post Office via horse and buggy from Tarpon Springs.” According to Bellwood, when Aaron Richey was postmaster, he brought the mail on his schooner from Anclote.
OLD SALT ROAD was so named “because it was used during the Civil War by people who came to the beach to obtain salt from the sea water” [Stanaback].
PASADENA. A letter published in the Springfield Republican in 1897 has: “Pasadena was settled only a few years ago, and was named from Pasadena, Cal.”
An article in the Dade City Banner of Dec. 18, 1925, has:
Lake Buddy retained its name unchanged until 1889, when by vote of the residents of the section, its name and that of the surrounding country was changed to Pasadena. The Florida Central and Peninsula railroad, now the Seaboard Airline, located a station there, which was called Pasadena, and until the Big Freeze of 1894-95, it was the most important town in what is now known as Pasco county. The lake and community still retain the name Pasadena, but the railway company took the name from the station some four years ago, giving it to a development on the edge of St. Petersburg, substituting the name Cordova in its stead.
PASCO was named for Samuel Pasco (1834-1917). Information on him is here.
PERRINE RANCH ROAD was named for Lester Perrine, owner of the Perrine Dairy Ranch southeast of Elfers. He was a native of Kingston, N. Y. He died Sept. 6, 1965.
PITHLACHASCOTEE. Florida Place-Names of Indian Origin and Seminole Personal Names by William A. Read, Ph. D., has:
The source of this name is Seminole-Creek pilo, “canoe,” and chàskita, “to chop,” “to cut”—that is to say, “the river where canoes are made.”
In 1917 local resident G. M. Randall, M. D., wrote in a Tampa Tribune article that the Seminole Indians named the river and “have been gone from it 50 years.”
In 1925, Dr. John R. Stanton, an ethnologist with the Smithsonian Institute, in response to a query stated that “pithlo” meant “canoe” and the whole word appears to have some meaning like “place where canoes are cut out” or “where a canoe was cut out,” and that the language was Seminole.
Washington Hood’s map of the Seat of War in Florida (1838) has the spelling Pithlochascotee.
An 1846 map has “Pithlo-Chascotee River or Boat Building River.”
Other nineteenth-century maps have Eschaskotee River and Echashotee River. (However an 1839 map has the Anclote River labeled both as the Anclote River and Ets-has-hotee.)
The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States of America by John Hayward has: “Tagabona Bay, Fa., lies off the coast of Benton co., and receives several rivers, the principal of which are the Weekiwachee, the Pithlochastotoc, and the Anclote.” An 1855 map has “Boatbuilding River.”
Some maps show Haley’s or Heley’s River; these seem to be names for the Pithlachascotee River.
In 1879, S. T. Walker of Clearwater studied Indian burial mounds near the Pithlachascotee River. In the Smithsonian Report, he wrote, “This little stream is known by various names. The older maps designate it as the Achaskotie, others as the Pith-le-ches-kotie, but it is commonly known among the people as the Kootie.”
Camping and Cruising in Florida (1884) has: “From Anclote we proceeded ten miles northward, to Pithlachesticootie River, called ‘Cootie’ for short, a small stream, with its mouth completely blocked by oyster reefs.”
An 1884 newspaper article has Pittilawiscoochee River.
A Handbook of Florida by Charles Ledyard Norton (1891) has: “The Indian name in full is Ach-as-koo-tee, or Pith-lo-ches-koo-tee, but custom has adopted 'Kootee' as sufficiently distinctive.”
An 1883 map has Cootie River.
A March 25, 1886, article in the Philadelphia Inquirer has “...on the Cootie River about ten miles from here [Tarpon Springs], there are bears, deer, wildcats, &c, to be found in profusion.”
An 1891 book, Catalogue of Prehistoric Works East of the Rocky Mountains, by Cyrus Thomas, has Kootie River.
On July 27, 1895, the Tampa Morning Tribune has Pithlacasoochee river.
An 1897 list of Pasco County schools includes a Cootie School.
In a 1905 letter, David Clark referred to the Cootie.
A 1912 Port Richey Co. brochure has Pithlachascotee and Cotee.
In 1913, the Tarpon Springs Leader called the river the Cootie River.
In 1916, the New Port Richey Post called it the Cotee River.
In 1917 Arthur Guy Empey used the word cooties for body lice in a popular book, Over the Top. [The Oxford English Dictionary shows his use of the word in a different publication in 1917 as the earliest known use of the word.]
In the 1920s the New Port Richey Press recommended Cotee over Cootie.
PLATHE ROAD was named for Louis B. Plathe (1891-1978), who lived on the road for about 60 years.
PLEASANT PLAINS. MacManus has: “Sometimes stagecoach stops took the names of families that lived nearby. The Pleasant Plains stop, just south of Brooksville, probably got its name from all the people with the first name of Pleasant who lived nearby, like Pleasant Gold.”
PORT RICHEY was named for Aaron McLaughlin Richey. See the early settlers page of this website for information on him.
PROSPECT. According to Marvin Gaskin (1897-1977), the community took its name from Prospect Branch Arbor Church. His father recalled that Holiness, Methodist, and other Christians joined in community worship under a branch arbor near a large spring. [Information from East Pasco’s Heritage]
RICHLAND. The Tuckertown post office was renamed Richland on July 17, 1886. The school property was deeded to the school board in 1887 by Thomas H. Evans of Pasco County and Albert T. Evans of Richland Parish, Louisiana. Perhaps Richland was named for the Louisiana parish.
ST. LEO. According to James J. Horgan:
Saint Leo College and Abbey are named for three “Leos.” In the most technical sense, the school and monastery are named for Pope Saint Leo I the Great (440-461), the only saint in the bunch. He was the pope who fended off Attila the Hun at the gates of Rome in 452, and his statue stands in front of the Library. Secondly, the reigning pontiff at the time the college opened was Pope Leo XIII. He sent a set of Mass vestments for the dedication. Most of all, however, Leo Haid is the real namesake of this place. He accepted responsibility for the Florida mission in 1889 from Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pa., which had sent the first Benedictine (the Rev. Gerard Pilz) to San Antonio in 1886, but which was too far away to supervise the operation. Leo Haid (1849-1924), who was not only Abbot of Maryhelp but Bishop of North Carolina, made the decision to found the college and bargained with Judge Edmund Dunne for the 36 acres on which it was built. He obtained a charter for it from the state of Florida, saw to its construction and development, and served as its first president from 1890 to 1894, at.which point the Rev. Charles Mohr succeeded him when the Saint Leo Benedictines gained their autonomy from Haid’s abbey.
SEVEN SPRINGS. An 1848 survey shows “Sulpher Spring” and maps from 1880 to 1905 show “Sulphur Springs” in this location. A few maps also have Sulphur Creek, apparently another name for the Anclote River. The name may have been changed from Sulphur Springs to Seven Springs to distinguish it from the Sulphur Springs in Tampa. The Seven Springs historical marker has: “Early residents of this area were Samuel H. Stevenson and his wife, Elizabeth, who believed in the therapeutic benefits of the mineral springs now known as Seven Springs. It became something of a health resort after Stevenson created a pool by installing a well pipe and diverting water from a spring. The pool overflowed into the Anclote River, where a small bath house was built for guests and mineral water was given to any who wanted it.” A Dec. 28, 1912, newspaper article reported, “C. Johnson, who owns half a section of land about four miles east of Elfers, was in the city today on business. Mr. Johnson has an elegant $5,000 residence on his place, and within a few rods there is a group of seven valuable springs, so that the location is known as the Seven Springs. Mr. Johnson really has a town site of his own and has one of the finest locations in West Florida, on the Anclote river. He has had the main spring concreted and piped, and it sends forth a water which is of great value to those suffering from rheumatism and other ills. Many people have visited his place and have spoken very highly of his spring and his location.” A plat map of Seven Springs appears to be filed Jan. 15, 1913.
SHINGLETON got its name from a large shingle-producing mill, according to MacManus.
SLAUGHTER was named for Harrison H. Slaughter, a pioneer settler who came to Florida from Virginia.
STAKE POND was the earlier name for Lake Iola. Norman Carey writes, “Hubert Hancock told me that the old timers called it Stake Pond because in the western part of the lake, which is the shallowest part, there used to be trunks of dead trees rising above the surface, dating from a time when that area was not covered with water.”
TEN CENT ROAD. MacManus has: “During the Depression, WPA workers built a road about five miles long from Ehren near the well field to Pasco Station near I-75. The men were paid 10 cents an hour, according to Daisy Kersey whose husband Warren worked on the road. This explains how it became known as 'Ten Cent Road'—a name it still retains.”
THYS ROAD was named for either Leo Thys (age 50 in the 1930 census, born in Belgium) or Louis T. Thys (1892-1972). My Pioneer Days in West Pasco by Julie J. Obenreder has:
Leo Thys lived in a rambling house on the old Gunn Highway (S. R. 54). He had quite a large grove on his property. He was a devout Catholic and went to Mass in New Port Richey almost every day, driving past our house on the way. He had a 1932 Model A Ford which he kept in perfect condition. He would stop and visit with Roy. He made grapefruit wine from his own recipe and invited us to come to his home and sample his wine. We went over one day and had a friendly chat, sipping on a glass of his specialty. After a couple of sips you could really feel it. It was strong stuff. Thys Road, just off East Trouble Creek Road, was named in memory of Leo Thys. He was a good man and a good neighbor.
TOADCHUDKA, which was an Indian village apparently located 2 to 3 miles northwest of what is now Blanton, means “muddy waters,” according to the My Blanton web site. The village name is also spelled Toachatka, Toachadka, Toacadka, Toachudka, Toachudor, Toachadco, and Toachadoo in various documents. Toadthodka Drive is a street near Blanton.
TOMMYTOWN. Tim Barfield writes, “Tommytown was named after my father, Tommy Barfield, who owned much of the area in the period following World War 2. He, along with Dorothy Lock, purchased much of the property adjacent to what was then known as Pasco Packing Association, later to become Lykes Pasco...and the street to be eventually named Lock Street.” According to a 2003 St. Petersburg Times article, “It was named for Tommy Barfield, the plant employee who helped build many of the block duplex apartments.”
TRILACOOCHEE or TRILCOOCHEE is apparently so named because it is located midway between Trilby and Lacoochee. The phrase “Trilcoochee Gardens” appears in the Dade City Banner beginning in 1926. On Feb. 25, 1927, the Banner reported that vol. 1, no. 1 of the Trilcoochee Methodist, edited by Rev. H. L. Graybeal, pastor of the Methodist churches in Trilby and Lacoochee, has been published. On June 29, 1928, the Banner reported, “G. E. Beach has opened a garage and service station located on the main road between Trilby and Lacoochee, to be known as the Trilcoochee Garage and Service Station.” On April 15, 1932, the Banner carried the headline, “Candidates to Speak at Trilcoochee Tomorrow.” This is first instance we have seen in the Banner of Trilcoochee as a place name. The earliest spelling of Trilacoochee we have seen in the Banner is in 1938. In the Dade City Banner of Sept. 13, 1940, it is spelled Trillacoochee. The name is still spelled Trilcoochee on published maps and lists of town names, but it is now usually spelled Trilacoochee locally.
TRILBY was named for George du Maurier’s Trilby, which was published serially in Harper’s Monthly in 1894. Its platted streets and square were named for characters in the novel. Upon publication, the novel caused a sensation in Britain and America. In its first year of publication, the book sold 200,000 copies in the U. S. According to a Tampa Tribune article, Henry Plant named the town after his wife’s favorite book. On this page, Plant is quoted as saying that he wanted to name the town “after the heroine of a story which has lately deeply moved me.”
TRINITY. Trinity Communities derives its name from the relocation of Trinity College of Florida to the first occupied site in the communities developed by Dr. James Gills.
TROUBLE CREEK “got its name from the fact that at low tide difficulty was encountered in getting in and out of the cove,” according to Bellwood. According to WPH, “Trouble Creek Road got its name from the fact that it was so difficult to get the boats in and out of the Anclote River, which was used so much for commercial purposes. And also, the bridge which was the main route to Tarpon crossed the Anclote out around the spot where the river bridge is today that goes into the Anclote subdivision. The edge of the river was boggy in wet weather or when the tide was high, and it was too dry and low when the tide was low, so the boats had to be put in and out at the right tide. It was such a lot of trouble that the settlers called it Trouble Creek.” The information was taken from an interview with Mrs. Will Baillie. The name Trouble Creek appears in an 1879 report on excavation of Indian burial mounds by S. T. Walker of Clearwater.
TUCKER. MacManus has: “Descendants of Thomas and Sarah Tucker moved to the mid-section of the county around 1842 and gave the area its name.”
TUCKERTOWN. The historical marker at the Tucker Cemetery reads, “Thomas and Sarah Tucker settled in the area about 1842 and in 1845 planted the county’s first orange grove. Family history records an earlier generation of Tuckers lived in the vicinity about 1790. The surrounding community was called Tuckertown until the railroad came through and the name was changed to Richland.”
VEREEN. This town near Hudson was named by Abraham and Susanna Bellamy for her parents, Joseph and Susanna Vereen.
WESLEY CHAPEL. A historical marker has: “Originally called Double Branch for the twin creeks that flowed across the Boyette land, the community was named for the Methodist chapel that stood on the northwest corner of SR 54 and Boyette Road.” The church itself was named for John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement. The name “Wesley Chapel” appears in Hernando County school board records from 1877-1878. A post office operated here from 1897 to 1902. The post office was called “Wesley,” and maps during that period have the shortened name “Wesley” and some school board minutes also used the shortened name.
WIRE ROAD. According to a 1922 article by C. B. Taylor, “By the way, the route which this first telegraph line took is known as ‘The Wire Road’ to this day, though the present Wire road does not quite follow the original route all the way.” A 1928 article based on a talk by Jasper Carter has: “Telegraph lines came through Dade City first because the U. S. government wanted to establish communication with Cuba where the Spanish government was buying supplies from the United States. Thus was the Wire Road named as the first telegraph line into Dade City partly traversed its way. This was a part of the system of communication with Cuba.” According to J. A. Hendley, “The first telegraph office in this section was located at Tuckertown. The federal government built a line from Ocala to Tampa via Tuckertown along the public highway which is known to this day as the Wire road.” The remaining information comes from Robert Dew. Maps from the period when Hendley wrote this show that Wire Road did not run to Richland (Tuckertown) but instead took the route of today’s Fifth St. through Dade City from approximately its intersection north of town with River Road of today. Exiting Dade City to the south, Wire Road took the route of today’s U. S. 301 from Dade City to Greer, with an eastward jog at Greer (off from 301 of today), then south into Zephyrhills. The latter part of this route is still today named Wire Road. The name Wire Road is found in County Commission minutes of Oct. 10, 1887, when commissioners approved a new road stretching from the Lanier Bridge to Wire Road. “Petition No. 2. Presented by J. R. Sumner for road from bridge on Withlacoochee River in Sec. 32, Tp 24, R22 to the Wire Road.” In 1887 telegraph lines apparently did not exist along Wire Road.
ZEPHYRHILLS. The History of Zephyrhills 1821-1921 has:
Capt. H. B. Jeffries, retired soldier and journalist, and his associates were enthusiastic. Standing on the highest hill north of Abbott station, enjoying the view and mild west wind, it is little wonder that they named their planned city Zephyrhills and took to themselves the title of the Zephyrhills Colony Company. Requests were promptly sent to the Railroad Commission and the Post Office Department for an official change of name from Abbott to Zephyrhills.
The History of Zephyrhills 1821-1921 also has:
Mr. Hill, under surveyor Lacey, had been engaged to place corner stakes on the lots and tracts. One day when Mr. Jeffries was with him, the matter of the name for the colony came up and Mr. Jeffries said, “Maybe we should name it for you and me and call it Jeffries Hills.” And so it was for a time. Just before Mr. Smith’s account, a descendant of Mr. Hill told me that it had been called Jeffries Hills for a time and then the Colony Company settled upon the permanent name of Zephyrhills.
An article in the Zephyrhills News on April 21, 1933, reported on Jeffries' 90th birthday and apparently interviewed him. The newspaper reported, “In naming the town, Zephyrhills, Captain Jeffries felt it would describe the town’s desirable location and would tell the world in one word of its constant and gentle breezes and everlasting hills.” On the same date, the Dade City Banner reported, “In naming the town Zephyrhills, Capt. Jeffries felt it would describe the location and would tell the world in one word of its constant, gentle breezes and everlasting hills.”
Another source has: “While showing the countryside to prospective residents from the top of LeHeup Hill on historic Fort King road, he [Capt. Howard B. Jeffries] overheard a chance remark about the rolling hills and zephyr-like breezes. Impressed by the melodic combination, he coined a new name for this colony company.”
A 1909 article in the Dade City Star apparently refers to “Mrs. Hennington of Abbott” and “Mr. and Mrs. Jeffries of Zephyr Hill.” This was before the name of Abbott was changed to Zephyrhills.
Some early residents believe the colony was originally called Jeffries Hills and that the name evolved from that to Zephyrhills.