US Place Names ~ Ponca, Nebraska to Pysht River, Washington

Ponca; township, and city in Dixon County, in Nebraska, and town in Kay County, Oklahoma, named for the Ponca tribe of Indians. The word is supposed to mean "medicine."

Ponchartrain; lake in Louisiana, named for a French count who was an early explorer of the Mississippi Valley.

Ponkapog; town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. An Indian word meaning "sweet water."

Pontiac; city in Oakland County, Michigan, named for a chief of the Ottawa Indians.

Pontiac; township and city in Livingston County, Illinois, named from Pontiac, Michigan, whence many of the early settlers came.

Pontoosuc; hill in Glastonbury, Connecticut, village in Hancock County, Illinois, and village, and lake in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. An Indian word meaning "falls on the brook."

Pontotoc; town in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, and county, and town in same county, in Mississippi, named for a Chickasaw Indian chief. The word means "weed prairie."

Pope; county in Arkansas, named for John Pope, a former governor.

Pope; county in Illinois, named for Nathaniel Pope, a former Congressional delegate.

Pope; county in Minnesota, named for Gen. John Pope, who conducted the Minnesota exploring expedition to the Red River.

Popham; fort at the mouth of the Kennebec River, Maine, named for Capt. George Popham, its builder, when governor of the first English colony in New England.

Poplar Bluff; township and city in Butler County, Missouri, so named because of the belt of poplar trees in that section, and the location of the city on a bluff at the foot of the Ozark range of mountains.

Poplarville; town in Pearl River County, Mississippi, named for "Popular" Jim Smith, owner of the store in which the first railroad depot at this point was located.

Poponoming; lake in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. A Delaware Indian name meaning "where we are gazing."

Poquessing; stream in Pennsylvania. A Delaware Indian word meaning ''where there are mice."

Poquetanuck; stream and town in New London County, Connecticut. An Indian word meaning "land open" or "broken up."

Poquonoc; river and hill in Connecticut. An Indian word meaning "cleared land."

Porcupine; islands of Mount Desert, Maine, so called because at a distance they resemble a porcupine.

Portage; town in Livingston County, New York, and counties in Ohio and Wisconsin, so named because of their location between water courses.

Portage; city in Columbia County, Wisconsin. A French word meaning "carrying-place," boats having been carried from the Fox to the Wisconsin river.

Portage des Sioux; town in St. Charles County, Missouri, so named because at this point on the Mississippi River the Indians carried their canoes across the peninsula to the Missouri.

Port Angeles; town in Clallam County, Washington, named by Don Francisco Elisa, a Mexican.

Port Austin; village in Huron County, Michigan, named for the first man to establish a business there.

Port Chester; village in Westchester County, New York, named from the city in England, "port" being prefixed to distinguish it from other towns of the same name.

Port Clinton; village on the border of Lake Erie, Ottawa County, Ohio, named for ex-Governor Clinton of Northwest Territory.

Port Crane; village in Broome County, New York, named for one of the engineers of the Chenango Canal.

Port Deposit; town in Cecil County, Maryland, so named because it is one of the principal depots for the pine lumber rafted down the river.

Port Dickinson; town in Broome County, New York, named in honor of Daniel S. Dickinson, United States Senator, lieutenant governor, and attorney-general of New York.

Port Discovery; village in Jefferson County, Washington, named for a ship in the fleet of Vancouver, the explorer.

Porter; county in Indiana, named for Commodore David Porter.

Porter; town in Oxford County, Maine, named for Dr. Aaron Porter, an early proprietor.

Porter; town in Niagara County, New York, named for Judge Augustus Porter.

Port Gamble; village in Kitsap County, Washington, named for a United States naval officer.

Port Gibson; town in Claiborne County, Mississippi, named for David Gibson, the former owner of the town site.

Port Henry; village in Essex County, New York, named for the son of Maj. James Dalliba, United States Army, and from being a port on Lake Champlain.

Port Jervis; village in Orange County, New York, named for John B. Jervis, engineer of the Hudson and Delaware Canal.

Portland; city in Jay County, Indiana, named by early settlers from Portland, Me. Portland; city in Cumberland County, Maine, and borough in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, named, indirectly, from the town in England.

Portland; city in Multnomah County, Oregon. The name was decided by the toss of a copper by two settlers, one from Portland, Maine, and the other from Boston, Massachusetts.

Port Leyden; town in Lewis County, New York, named from Leyden, Netherlands. Port Morris; village in Westchester County, New York, named for Gouverneur Morris, an American statesman. Port Orchard; town and harbor in Kitsap County, Washington, named for its discoverer.

Port Orford; cape and town in Curry County, Oregon, named for George, Earl of Orford.

Port Penn; town in New Castle County, Delaware, named for William Penn.

Port Royal; river, and town in Beaufort County, in South Carolina, so named "because of the fairness and bigness thereof. "

Portsmouth; city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, first named Strawberry Banke, but later changed to its present name because situated at the river mouth and a good harbor.

Portsmouth; city in Scioto County, Ohio, named from the city in Virginia.

Portsmouth; city in Norfolk County, Virginia, named from Portsmouth in England.

Port Tobacco; town in Charles County, Maryland, and an inlet on the Potomac River in the same State; the name has no connection with the plant, but is a corruption of the Indian word pautapang, meaning a "bulging out," "bay," or "cove."

Port Townsend; harbor and village in Jefferson County, Washington, named for Marquis of Townsend.

Portville; town in Cattaraugus County, New York, so named because it was, at an early date, a prominent point for the shipment of lumber, shingles, etc.

Posey; county in Indiana.

Poseyville; town in Posey County, Indiana. Named for Gen. Thomas Posey, an early governor of the State.

Poso; town in Kern County, California. A Spanish word meaning "repose."

Possession; sound in Washington, so named by Vancouver, because he landed and took possession on the King's birthday.

Postboy; village in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, so named because a postboy was murdered in the neighborhood.

Potaligo; village in Madison County, Georgia. An Indian word meaning "plenty of fat ducks."

Poteau; river in Arkansas. A French word meaning "post," "stake," or "pillar."

Potencia; town in Los Angeles County, California. The Spanish word for "power."

Potosi; town in Washington County, Missouri, a mining town, named from the Peruvian mining town.

Potrero; town in San Diego County, California. A Spanish word meaning "pasture ground."

Potsdam; village in St. Lawrence County, New York, named from a town in Prussia.

Pottawattomie; counties in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Pottawattamie; county in Iowa. Named for the Indian tribe. The word means "makers of fire," and was used to signify that this tribe assumed separate sovereignty by building a council fire for themselves.

Potter; town in Yates County, New York, named for Arnold Potter, the original proprietor.

Potter; county, and township in Center County, in Pennsylvania, named for Gen. James Potter, a Revolutionary officer.

Potter; county in South Dakota, named for a prominent physician of the State.

Potter; county in Texas, named for Robert Potter, temporary secretary of the navy of Texas in 1836.

Potter Hollow; village in Albany County, New York, named for Samuel Potter.

Potterville; village in Eaton County, Michigan, named for George N. Potter.

Potts Camp; town in Marshall County, Mississippi, named for Col. E. F. Potts.

Pottstown; borough in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania;

Pottsville; borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Named for John Potts, a large landowner, who founded the town.

Poughkeepsie; city in Dutchess County, New York. Derived from the Delaware Indian word apokeepsingk, meaning "safe, pleasant harbor," or "shallow inlet," "safe harbor for small boats."

Powder; stream in Wyoming, so named because of the dark powder-colored sand on its banks.

Powell; county in Kentucky, named for Lazerus W. Powell, a former governor.

Powell; mountain in Colorado and county in Montana, named for Maj. J. W. Powell, geologist and explorer.

Powellsville; town in Bertie County, North Carolina, named for a prominent resident.

Powellton; town in Fayette County, West Virginia, named for E. Powell, interested m a large coal and coke company.

Powell Valley; Multnomah County, Oregon, named for an old settler.

Poweshiek; county in Iowa, named for an Indian chief.

Powhatan; county in Virginia and city in Brown County, Kansas, named for the celebrated Indian chief. The name means "at the falls."

Pownal; towns in Cumberland County, Maine, and Bennington County, Vermont, named for Governor Thomas Pownal, of Massachusetts.

Poygan; village in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. An Indian word meaning "pipe.''

Poynette; village in Columbia County, Wisconsin, named for Peter Paquette; the present orthography is a clerical error.

Poysippi; village in Waushara County, Wisconsin. Derived from the Indian word poygansippi, meaning "running into the lake."

Pozo; town in San Luis Obispo County, California, named from the wells in the neighborhood. A Spanish word meaning "well."

Prairie; county in Arkansas, so named on account of its treeless plains.

Prairie; stream in Wisconsin. Derived from the Indian word musk-ko-day yaw se-be, "prairie river."

Prairie City; township and village in McDonough County, Illinois, named from its location on a prairie.

Prairie du Chien; city in Crawford County, Wisconsin. A French phrase meaning "prairie of the dog."

Prairie du Rocker; village in Randolph County, Illinois, behind which is a rocky bluff. A French phrase meaning "meadow of the rock."

Prairie du Sac; village in Sauk County, Wisconsin, originally in the territory of the Sauk Indians. A French phrase meaning "meadow of the Sauks."

Prairie Home; village in Cooper County, Missouri, so named on account of the character of the land.

Pratt; county, and city in same county, in Kansas, named for Caleb Pratt, second lieutenant Company D, Second Kansas,

Prattsburg; town in Steuben County, New York, named for Capt. Joel Pratt, one of the first settlers.

Pratts Hollow; village in Madison County, New York, named for John and Matthew Pratt, early settlers.

Prattsville; town in Greene County, New York, named for Zadock Pratt.

Preble; county in Ohio, and town in Cortland County, New York, named for Commodore Edward Preble.

Prendra; town in Riverside County, California. A Spanish name meaning "pledge."

Prentice; village in Price County, Wisconsin, named for Alexander Prentice, the first postmaster.

Prentiss; county in Mississippi, named for Sergt. Smith Prentiss, a gifted forensic orator.

Prescott; town in Yavapai County, Arizona, named for W. H. Prescott, the historian.

Prescott; city in Linn County, Kansas, named for C. H. Prescott, a railroad official.

Prescott; town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, named for Col. William Prescott, commanding the Americans at the battle of Bunker Hill.

Prescott; city in Pierce County, Wisconsin, named for P. Prescott.

Presidio; station in San Francisco, California, the headquarters of the United States garrison and military reservation;

Presidio; county in Texas. A Spanish word meaning "garrison for soldiers."

Presque Isle; town in Aroostook County, Maine, and county in Michigan. A French phrase meaning "nearly an island."

Preston; township in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, named for Judge Samuel Preston, an early settler.

Preston; county in West Virginia;

Prestonburg; town in Floyd County, Kentucky. Named for James P. Preston, an early governor of Virginia.

Preston Hollow; village in Albany County, New York, named for the first family of settlers.

Prestonville; town in Carroll County, Kentucky, named for James P. Preston, an early governor of Virginia.

Presumpscot; village in Cumberland County, Maine. An Indian word meaning "rough place in the river."

Preuss; mountain in Idaho, named for a topographer of the Fremont exploring party.

Pribilof; islands of Alaska, named for the Russian navigator who discovered them.

Price; creek in Humboldt County, California, named for an early settler.

Price; county in Wisconsin, named for Congressman William T. Price.

Primghar; town in O'Brien County, Iowa, named by combining the initials of the persons present at the laying of the comer stone.

Prince Edward; county in Virginia, named in 1702 for Edward, a son of Frederick, Prince of Wales.

Prince George; counties in Maryland and Virginia, named for Prince George of Denmark, afterwards King of England.

Princes; stream in northern Illinois, named for Daniel Prince, one of the first settlers of Peoria County.

Princess Anne; county in Virginia, named for Princess, afterwards Queen, Anne of England; founded in 1691.

Princeton; mountain in Colorado, named from Princeton University.

Princeton; city in Gibson County, Indiana, named for Hon. William Prince.

Princeton; town in Caldwell County, Kentucky, named for William Prince, the first settler.

Princeton; town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, named for the Rev. Thomas Prince, pastor of the Old South Church, Boston.

Princeton; town in Mercer County, West Virginia, named for the battlefield upon which Gen. Hugh Mercer fell.

Princetown; town in Schenectady County, New York, named for John Prince, a member of Albany County's assembly.

Princeville; township and village in Peoria County, Illinois, named for Daniel Prince, an early settler in the county.

Prince William; county in Virginia, named for William, Duke of Cumberland, 1730.

Proctor; town in Lee County, Kentucky, named for the Rev. Joseph Proctor.

Proctor; town in Rutland County, Vermont, named for Redfield Proctor, Senator from that State.

Proctor Knott; village in St. Louis County, Minnesota, named for Proctor Knott, of Kentucky.

Proctorsville; village in Windsor County, Vermont, named for the father of Senator Redfield Proctor.

Promised Land; village in Suffolk County, New York, so named because the land for factories was promised but never given.

Promontory; village in Boxelder County, Utah, so named because it is the highest point of the Promontory Range.

Prophetstown; village in Whiteside County, Illinois, named for the "Shawnee

Prophet," the brother of the Indian chief, Tecumseh. Prospect; towns in New Haven County, Connecticut, and Waldo County, Maine, and peak in Yellowstone Park, so named because of the elevation.

Prosperity; town in Newberry County, South Carolina, so named by the optimistic settlers.

Providence; village in Bureau County, Illinois, and county and river in Rhode Island, named from Providence, Rhode Island.

Providence; city in Providence County, Rhode Island, so called by Roger Williams "for God's merciful providence to me in my distress."

Provincetown; town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, incorporated as the Province Town, because the inhabitants were exempt from taxation.

Prove; river, and town in Utah County, Utah; a contraction of the name, Provost, of the man for whom they were named.

Prowers; county in Colorado, named for John W. Prowers, a prominent stockman and trader in early days.

Psimmdse; several lakes in Minnesota, with wild rice growing on their banks. An Indian word, meaning "wild rice."

Ptansinta; peninsula on Lac Traverse and the Minnesota River. An Indian word meaning "otter tail."

Puckaway; lake in Green Lake County, Wisconsin. An Indian word meaning "cat-tail flag."

Puckety; stream in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. An Indian word meaning "throw it away."

Pueblo; county, and city in same county, in Colorado. A Spanish word meaning "town" or "village."

Puente; town, and range of hills in Los Angeles County, California. A Spanish word meaning "bridge."

Puerco; river in New Mexico. A Spanish word meaning "hog."

Puerto de Luna; village in San Miguel County, New Mexico. A Spanish phrase meaning "port of the moon."

Puget; sound in Washington, named for Peter Puget, its discoverer.

Pulaski; counties in Arkansas and Georgia; county, and town in same county, in Illinois; counties in Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri; village in Oswego County, New York; town in Giles County, Tennessee; and county, and town in same county, in Virginia. Named for the Polish patriot. Count Casimir Pulaski, friend of the Americans in the Revolutionary war.

Pulteney; town in Steuben County, New York, named for Sir William Pulteney.

Pungoteague; stream, and town in Accomac County, Virginia, supposed to be so named on account of the extremely sandy character of the county; the name, an Indian one, means "place of dust."

Punta Gorda; town in De Soto County, Florida, so named on account of the point nearby. A Spanish phrase meaning "large point."

Punxsutawney; borough in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. An Indian word meaning "sand-fly place."

Purgatory; river in Colorado, tributary of the Arkansas. A translation of the French name "riviere Purgatoire."

Purvis; town in Marion County, Mississippi, named for the former owner of the railroad station site.

Put in Bay; bay in Ottawa County, Ohio, Lake Erie, and village in same county; so named because Commodore Perry put in there with his fleet.

Putnam; city in Windham County, Connecticut; counties in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri; county, pond, and creek in New York; and counties in Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia; named for Gen. Israel Putnam, distinguished in the Revolutionary War.

Pymatuning; tributary of the Chenango in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. A Delaware Indian word meaning "crooked mouthed man's dwelling place."

Pyramid; canyon of the Colorado River, so named because of the monument-like pinnacle of porphyritic rock which crowns the left bank near the entrance.

Pyramid; harbor in Alaska, so named because of the conical shape of one of its islands.

Pyramid; lake in Nevada, so named on account of the shape of an island in the lake.

Pyroxene; peak in the same range as the Old Bald in Montana; another name for the mineral augite, found in the vicinity.

Pysht; river in Washington. The Clallam Indian word for fish.

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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