Most Andersonians know that the town was originally called Andersontown after Chief Anderson, the English name for Delaware tribe leader Kikthawenund.
You may also remember that Chesterfield might have been named for a frontiersman and Indian trader named McChester, but more probably for Chesterfield, N.H., where town founder Allen Makepeace was born.
Lapel was so named because founder Samuel Busby thought the shape of the new village on the first survey map looked like the lapel of a man’s 19th century coat.
But what about other populated places in Madison County like Orestes, Alexandia, and Summitville — where did they get their names?
Several town names are simply descriptive. Edgewood is a relatively new enterprise having been platted in August 4, 1907, by General Motors Corporation. It was begun as a residential area for GM workers. At the time there was large, thick woods that separated the town from the city of Anderson.
The woods were on the east edge of the new site, so surveyors, having a practical mindset, called it like they saw it: Edgewood. Now, of course, Anderson and Edgewood appear as one continuous unit.
Linwood in Lafeyette Township is named for that species of tree that flourished there 150 years ago when the village was begun. However, Linwood did not start out with that name. Linwood started as Funks Station, a stopping point for railroad trains by the Funk family, some of the first settlers to the area. In 1878, the station added a post office and, for a short while, shortened its name to just Funks. Perhaps the family wanted a name for their fledgling village that was prettier sounding; thus Funks was changed to Linwood in the same year.
Greek and Roman Classics
New Columbus in Adams Township actually went by two names simultaneously throughout most of 19th century and into the 20th. Abraham Adams, 1770-1848, who had brought his family to southern Madison County in 1823, donated part of his property and laid out a village in 1834. He named it New Columbus probably for Columbus, Ohio, a location many settlers passed through and rested in as they migrated west.