I find it amusing that the US Postal Service insists on spelling our Everhart Road, Everhardt.

We have some very odd names on our streets here in Corpus and they have sent me at various times on a hunt for the names behind the names. Apparently I am not the only one. Murphy Givens, an author who writes for our local paper among other things, has written more than one column about our street names.
He writes that most of our streets were named for people. This isn’t an unusual circumstance and many have been changed over the years, some for good reason, some by arbitrary decision.
I especially like the fact the unofficial citizens won out on one name change…”Members of the City Council have always been the greatest threat to historic street names. They were in 1912 when they changed Tancahua Street to Pleasant Street and Carancahua to Liberty. You can still find tile insets with the Liberty Street name on Carancahua. The names were changed on April 5, 1912, then changed back on Sept. 12, 1913, because people didn’t like the new names.” The original names, BTW, were Indian tribes indigenous to the area which makes it appropriate and meaningful to leave the names alone. What the name itself means is a mystery.
But sometimes it is good to change street names. Laguna was named for a slough that ran from the bay. The name was changed to Sartain to honor John Sartain, a Corpus Christi policeman slain by a sniper in 1971. The sniper was convicted.
Another, fallen under different circumstances, law-enforcement officer who has a street named for him was City Marshal Elias Tyre Mussett, killed in 1892. Some say in the line of duty, but really he was shot by one of his own policemen, John T. Parker. They had twice run against each other for the Marshal job. Mussett won and there was known to be enmity between the two.
Davis Street was named for a Governor but changed to Brownlee to honor Texas native, William John Brownlee (colorfully known as Billy Jack) who was killed at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Twigg Street is still here, running past the Omni Hotel’s valet entrance. It did lose a letter in translation however. The street was named for David Twiggs, a US Army soldier. Twiggs became a brigadier general as a consequence of his service in the war with Mexico. In 1846 Twiggs led Zachary Taylor’s Army on its advance from North Texas to the Rio Grande and commanded the right wing during the Army’s successful battle with Santa Ana’s forces at Palo Alto.

Once upon a time Corpus Christi had a Tiger Street. Henry Kinney, the city’s founder it seems liked animal names. Tiger Street is now North Broadway which runs parallel to the Harbor Bridge until it reaches the water. Digressing from the street names I looked into Henry Kinney and found a “ghost town with an address” right here in city limits. Evidently someone else has looked into this history, too. We have a new housing development called Nuecestown Estates going up at the southern edge of Corpus.

NuecestownTXHistoricalMarkerWillBeauchampHarbor-Bridge1_LGfilename-t-34-and-t-44What with Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi parked firmly beside our bay, it is natural that Navy influence is seen in Saratoga, Lexington, Yorktown. Rodd Field Road was originally called Langley, but it was changed to honor Herbert C. Rodd, a naval aviation pioneer. Lexington Boulevard was renamed South Padre Island Drive in 1966. It is the main drag entering the city and leading across the causeway to the Island.

I find it amusing that the US Postal Service insists on spelling our Everhart Road, Everhardt.

I met Murphy once at a play at a local theater. I forget which play, but Murphy is unforgettable. He has a Texas-wide grin, an infectious laugh and has written that indeterminate number, I-don’t-know-how-many, books, all relating to history and recollections. Some are photographic collections. It’s the sort of thing I would have done if he hadn’t beaten me to it.

I worked at a museum at Balboa Park in San Diego one year cataloguing shelves and shelves of old stuff pertaining to the history of San Diego. This was small stuff, clothes, pitchers, dinnerware, that sort of thing. Nothing so solid and impressive as a street or a building.


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