The Herald Bulletin

Midday Update

Columns

June 22, 2013

Jim Bailey: Where did Anderson’s street names come from anyway?

There’s usually a story behind the name of the street you live on, or the one you travel to work or the store or church. It may have tremendous (though long-forgotten) historical significance. Or it might just be what tickled the fancy of whoever originally platted the street.

First, Second, Third, etc., streets are obvious; they were laid out as the cross streets south of White River in the main part of Anderson. The rest are not so simple.

Morton Street likely was named for a former Indiana governor. Sheridan and Sherman were both Union Civil War generals.

Local notables may have been the source of a few street names. Author Sanford Tousey is recognized in the two-block-long Tousey Street in Park Place. Charles Henry was a congressman credited with first coining the term “Interurban” for the rail system between central Indiana cities. Ruddle Avenue is named for J.M. Ruddle, who platted Park Place. And John Forkner was a local historian.

Confusion sometimes results from identical or similar street names in different parts of town. There are two Central Avenues, for instance, less than a mile apart, though few addresses are duplicated. Two Park Avenues and a Park Road keep people guessing. My guess is the Park Avenue in Park Place comes from its dead-end into Edgewater Park; the other Park Avenue, on the west side, and Park Road, bordering Edgewood, may originally have had similar significance.

Walnut, Chestnut and Buckeye are names of trees. Maplewood Avenue covers much of the distance between East and West Maplewood cemeteries.

Lindberg Road originally was named either for aviator Charles Lindbergh or for the school also named for him at its intersection with Nursery Road. The spelling, as I understand it, was changed during World War II when Lindbergh fell into disfavor over his antiwar activist stance.

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