US Place Names ~ Onteora, New York to Ozark

Onteora; village in the Catskills in Ulster County, New York. An Indian word meaning "hills of the sky."

Ontonagon; county, and river in Michigan. An Ojibwa Indian word meaning "fishing place," or, according to another authority, so named because an Indian maiden lost a dish in the stream and exclaimed "nindonogan," which in her dialect meant "away goes my dish."

Oostanaula; river in Georgia, from a Cherokee Indian name signifying a rock ledge across a stream.

Opelika; city in Lee County, Alabama. An Indian word meaning "great swamp."

Opelousas; town in St.. Landry Parish, Louisiana, named from a tribe of Indians, the name signifying "black head," or " black moccasins."

Opequan; stream in Virginia. Derived from an Indian word meaning "froth-white stream," or perhaps from another, meaning "rain-worn stream."

Oquawka; village in Henderson County, Illinois, so named from the yellowish appearance of the river banks. From an Indian word meaning "yellow."

Orange; counties in California and Florida, so named on account of the large orange groves.

Orange; town in New Haven County, Connecticut, city in Essex County, New Jersey, counties in New York and North Carolina, and counties, and towns in same counties in Vermont and Virginia, named for William IV, Prince of Orange.

Orange; county in Indiana, named from the county in North Carolina, the home of its settlers.

Orange; county, and city in same county, in Texas, so named because of the luxuriant wild orange trees growing in the swamp of the Sabine River.

Orangeburg; county, and town in same county in South Carolina;

Orange City; town in Sioux County, Iowa, the center of a large settlement of Hollanders. Named for William IV, Prince of Orange.

Orbisonia; borough in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, named for William Orbison, an early settler.

Orchard; village in Morgan County, Colorado; so named from Fremont's encampment in an orchard of cottonwoods while reconnoitering.

Orchard; village in Antelope County, Nebraska, so named because of the presence of a large orchard of apple trees.

Ord; city in Valley County, Nebraska, named for Gen. E. O. C. Ord.

Ordway; town in Otero County, Colorado, named for George K. Ordway, of the Denver board of supervisors.

Oreana; village in Humboldt County, Nevada. A Latin word meaning "town of gold."

Oregon; State of the Union, and county in Missouri. The name said to have been derived from origanum a species of wild sage found along the coast in the State; but another authority states that it is derived from the Spanish Oregones, which name was given the Indian tribes inhabiting that region by a Jesuit priest, the word meaning "big-eared men."

Oregon; township and city in Ogle County, Illinois, named from the State.

Orejas Del Oso; mountain in Utah. A Spanish phrase meaning "bear's ears."

Organ; mountains in New Mexico, so called because of their resemblance to the pipes of an organ.

Orion; village in Oakland County, Michigan, named from the constellation.

Oriskany; creek, and village in Oneida County, in New York;

Oriskany Falls; village in Oneida County, New York. An Indian word meaning "place of nettles."

Orland; town in Glenn County, California, named from the town in Maine. Orland; town in Hancock County, Maine, said to have been so named by the first settler because of the finding of an oar upon the shore.

Orlando; city in Orange County, Florida. A Spanish word meaning "seat of justice."

Orleans; parish in Louisiana, township, and city in Harlan County, Nebraska, and counties in New York and Virginia, named from the city in France.

Orleans; town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, named in 1797 for the Duke of Orleans, alias Citizen Equality, popular for his democratic principles.

Ormsby; county in Nevada, named for Major Ormsby.

Orneville; town in Piscataquis County, New York, named for the Hon. Henry Orne, of Boston.

Ore Chino; town in Mariposa County, California, so named because of the Chinese employed in the gold placer mines. From the Spanish oro, meaning "gold," and chino, "Chinese."

Orofino; town in Siskiyou County, California, and town in Shoshone County, and creek in Idaho, so named by the Spanish because of their gold mines.

Oroville; town in Butte County, California, so named by the early miners because of the gold mines.

Orphans Island; island in Penobscot County, Maine, so named because it was an orphan's share of an estate of the Waldo Patent.

Orrick; town in Ray County, Missouri, named for John C. Orrick, of St. Louis. Orrington; town in Penobscot County, Maine, the name being a misspelling of the original name of "Orangetown."

Ortega; town in Santa Barbara County, California. A Spanish word meaning "grouse."

Orville; town in Hamilton County, Nebraska, named for Orville Westcott, a resident.

Orwigsburg; borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, named for Peter Orwig, its founder.

Osage; township and city in Mitchell County, Iowa, named for Orrin Osage, benefactor of the town.

Osage; counties in Kansas and Missouri, Indian reservation in Oklahoma, and many towns, cities, and rivers in the United States. Named from the Wasashi (French, Onasage) or Osage Indians. The meaning of the word is unknown.

Osakis; village in Douglas County, Minnesota. An Indian word meaning "yellow earth."

Osawatomie; city in Miami County, Kansas, a combination of the names of the two rivers at whose junction the town is situated, Osage and Pottawattomie.

Osborne; county, and city in same county, in Kansas, named for Vincent B. Osborne, of the Second Kansas Cavalry.

Osceola; town in Mississippi County, Arkansas; counties in Florida, Iowa, and Michigan; city in St. Clair County, Missouri; village in Polk County, Nebraska; mountain in New Hampshire; towns in Lewis County, New York, and Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and village in Polk County, Wisconsin; also many other cities and towns, named either directly or indirectly for the Seminole Indian chief. The name refers to a medicine drink used by the tribe in certain ceremonies.

Oscoda; county, and village in Iosco County, in Michigan. An Indian word, said by some to mean "fire," by others, "strong prairie."

Oshawa; village in Nicollet County, Minnesota. An Indian word meaning "ferry him over," or "across the river."

Oskaloosa; cities in Mahaska County, Iowa, and Jefferson County, Kansas, named for the wife of the Indian chief Mahaska.

Oshkosh; city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, named for an Indian chief; the name is said to mean "nail," "claw," or "homy part of the foot of beasts."

Oso; mountain in Colorado. A Spanish word meaning "bear."

Ossineke; village in Alpena County, Michigan. An Indian word meaning "stony land," or "place of a stone."

Ossining; town in Westchester County, New York; the name is said to have been derived from that of the Indian tribe Sintsink or Singsing, "stone upon stone," or from osinsing, "place of stones."

Ossipee; river in Maine. An Indian word meaning "pine river," or "stony river."

Oswegatchie; river in New York. An Indian word meaning "coming around a hill."

Oswego; village in Kendall County, Illinois, city in Labette County, Kansas, and county, city, and town in same County, and river in New York. Derived from the Indian on ti ahan toque, meaning "where the valley widens" or "flowing out."

Osweya; creek in McKean County, Pennsylvania. An Indian word meaning "place of flies."

Otay; town in San Diego County, California. Named from an Indian rancheria.

Otero; county in Colorado, named for Miguel Otero, of a prominent Mexican family.

Otero; county in New Mexico, named for Governor M. A. Otero.

Otis; town in Hancock County, Maine, named for James Otis, an early proprietor.

Otis; town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, named for Harrison Gray Otis.

Otisfield; town in Cumberland County, Maine, named for James Otis, an early proprietor.

Otisville; village in Genesee County, Michigan, named for Byron Otis, an early settler.

Otisville; village in Orange County, New York, named for Isaac Otis, its first settler.

Otoe; county in Nebraska, named for the Indian tribe.

Otsego; county, village, and township in Allegan County, Michigan; county, town, and lake in same county in New York; village in Muskingum County, Ohio, and town in Columbia County, Wisconsin. An Indian word meaning "welcome water," or "place where meetings are held."

Otselic; town in Chenango County, and creek in Madison County, New York. An Indian word meaning "plum creek."

Otsquago; creek in Montgomery County, New York. An Indian word signifying "under the bridge."

Ottawa; city in Lasalle County, Illinois; reservation in Indian Territory; county, and city in Franklin County, Kansas; county in Michigan; village in Lesueur County, Minnesota; county in Ohio, and several other places, named for the Indian tribe.

Otter; creek in Missouri. The present name is a translation of the original French name of "loutre."

Otter Lake; village in Lapeer County, Michigan, so named because of the abundance of otter in the adjacent lakes.

Otter Tail; lake in Ottertail County, Minnesota;

Ottertail; county, and town in same county in Minnesota. A translation of the Ojibwa name of the lake, referring to the form of a long and narrow sand bar which separates the lake from the last mile of the inflowing Otter Tail River.

Otto; town in Cattaraugus County, New York, named for Jacob S. Otto, of the Holland Land Company.

Ottumwa; city in Wapello County, Iowa. An Indian word said to mean "place of the lone chief," but more probably meaning "rapids," or "tumbling water."

Ouachita; county and river in Arkansas and parish in Louisiana, named for a now extinct Indian tribe. Ouray; county, city in same county, and mountain in Colorado, named for a friendly chief of the Ute Indians. The Ute Indian corruption of "Willie."

Outagamie; county in Wisconsin, named for the Outagamies, or "Fox'' Indians. By another authority said to mean ''those who live on the opposite side.''

Overton; county in Tennessee, named for Judge John Overton.

Ovid; township and village in Clinton County, Michigan, named from the town in New York.

Ovid; town in Seneca County, New York, named for the Roman poet. Owasco; lake, town, and creek in Cayuga County, New York. An Indian word meaning ''bridge,'' or "lake of the floating bridge."

Owassa; town in Hardin County, Iowa, derived from owasse, the Indian word for "bear."

Owatonna; river, and city in Steele County, in Minnesota. An Indian word meaning "straight river."

Owen; counties in Indian and Kentucky;

Owensboro; city in Daviess County, Kentucky. Named for Col. Abraham Owen, of Kentucky, killed at Tippecanoe.

Owensburg; village in Greene County, Indiana, named for its founder.

Owenyo; station in Inyo County, California. A compound of Owen and Inyo, from its situation near Owens Lake.

Owingsville; city in Bath County, Kentucky, named for Col. T. D. Owings.

Owobopta; tributary of the Minnesota River. An Indian word meaning "where they dig roots."

Owosso; city in Shiawassee County, Michigan, named for the principal chief of the Chippewas in that country, the word meaning "he is afar off."

Owsley; county in Kentucky, named for Judge William Owsley, a former governor.

Oxbow; village in Jefferson County, New York, on the Oswegatchie River, so named because of a bend in the river at this point in the form of an ox bow.

Oxford; town in Calhoun County, Alabama, named from the city in England.

Oxford; county, and town in same county, in Maine; town in Worcester County, Massachusetts; town in Chenango County, New York; township and village in Butler County, Ohio; and borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania; named from the university in England.

Oxford; city in Lafayette County, Mississippi, so named from the University City in England because it is the location of the State University.

Oxford Church; substation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, named from the cathedral of Oxford, England.

Oyster Bay; town in Nassau County, New York, so named because of the abundance of oysters found in the bay.

Ozan; town and stream in Hempstead County, Arkansas. A corruption of the French, prairie d'âne, "prairie of the donkey."

Ozark; group of hills principally in Arkansas and Mississippi; village in Dale County, Alabama, county and city in Christian County, Missouri, and several other places. The aux arcs were said to refer to the bends in the White River, and applied to the Ozark Mountains, through which the river pursues a wandering course; in other words, the mountains at the bends of the river. Ozaukee; county in Wisconsin. An Indian word meaning "yellow clay." The proper name of the Sauk Indians.

US Place Names

Source: The Origin of Certain Place Names the United States, Second Edition, Henry Gannett, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1906.

 

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