TEMPLE Place Names

For whom are places with "TEMPLE" in them named? You might be surprised - they aren't always TEMPLE surnames. If you have the history of a TEMPLE place name, please e-mail me at and I'll include it here.

1. Temple, Carroll, GA

from:Georgia Place Names Kenneth K. Krakow Winship Press, Macon, GA, 1975

p. 228

Temple, Carroll County. Incorporated 28 Aug 1883. The earlier name of the town was Ringer's Cross Road, after the original settler, B. R. Ringer. The Georgia Pacific Railroad reached here in 1883, and the station was named for a Mr. Temple, the civil engineer of the railroad.

2. Temple, Franklin, ME

from: The History of the State of Maine from Its First Discovery AD 1602 to the Separation, AD 1820, Inclusive. William D. Williamson Glazier, Masters & Co., Hallowell, ME, 1832

Temple was incorporated 15 March 1803, along with Albany. Temple had been called Abbotstown, or No. 1.

3. Temple, MI

from: A History of Northern Michigan and its People. Perry F. Powers. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1912.

p. 554, and

Michigan Place Names. Walter Romig. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1986

p. 552.

This was a station on the Toledo, Ann Arbor and Northern Michigan Railroad, in Winterfield Township, where it crossed the Muskegon river, twelve miles west of Harrison. It had a shingle, stave and heading factory and several general stores. Its nearest banking point was Marion, Osceola, MI, eight miles to its northwest. Founded in 1889 on land donated by Mary L. Campbell, originally taking the name of Campbell City after her. However, it was named for Martin Temple, on 21 Apr 1890. The post office operated until 1966.

4. Temple, Hillsborough, NH

from: New Hampshire - Resources, Attractions and Its People, A History Hobart Pillsbury. The Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, NY, 1927.

Vol. 1, p. 267:

Temple Incorporated, 1769--Temple was granted in 1750 by Masonian proprietors and called "Peterborough Slip," which was later changed to "Sliptown." This included what is now Sharon. The town was incorporated in 1768 and the name changed to Temple in honor of John Temple. Ephraim Heald called the first town meeting in 1768, and for many years there was disputed land between Temple and New Ipswich, which was finally annexed by Temple.

from:A History of Temple, New Hampshire, 1768-1976. William L. Bauhan, Publisher, Dublin, NH, 1976

John Temple had been Lieutenant Governor under Governor John Wentworth. The name for the town was chosen by the Governor. Sir John was a native, born on Noodle's Island in Boston Harbor.

5. Temple, OK

from: Oklahoma Place Names. George H. Shirk. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1974.

p. 233.

Formerly Botsford. In Cotton County, 8 miles southeast of Walters. Post office name changed to Temple, August 8, 1902. Named for Temple Houston, son of Sam Houston.

6. Temple, Bell, TX

Source: Temple Texas Home Page

The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway Company founded Temple on June 29, 1881. The Santa Fe needed a town at a major junction point to provide services for railroad equipment and passengers. Jonathan Ewing Moore sold 181 acres of farmland for $27 an acre to the railroad, which many thought to be an astronomical price for land with limited water sources. The Santa Fe scheduled a land auction for June 29th. Railroad trains were brought from five cities in Texas with prospective buyers. Those passengers who bought land were refunded their passenger ticket price. There was a party, barbecue and auction of town lots. After June 29th, land continued to be sold to new residents for $45 to $300 a lot from Moore and other sources. Temple was named for Mr. Bernard Moore Temple, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway chief engineer, who built the tracks through Bell County.

Temple had many nicknames in its earlier days. It was named Mudville for its thick blackland prairie soil; Tanglefoot for both its mud and for its reputation as a wild frontier town; and Ratsville for its abundant supply of those four-legged creatures. However, the face of Temple was soon to change. Arriving trains brought women, children, china, crystal, and all the touches of modern society. Whole families loaded their furniture, tools, animals and sometimes even themselves onto boxcars and came to Temple to settle. Temple grew very fast, and became "Progressive Temple" and the "Prairie Queen." It also became known as the "City of Trees" due to Mr. Goodrich Jones, a resident who is the father of Arbor Day in Texas and the Texas Forestry Association.

7. Templeville, Queen Anne's Co., MD

from: Queen Anne's County, Maryland - Its Early History and Development. Frederic Emory The Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD, 1950

p. 563

"About the time of the decline of Crumpton, Templeville, formerly Bullock Town, which derives its name from the Temple family of which Ex-Governor Temple of Del., was a member, and which is situated partly in Queen Anne's and partly in Caroline County, was incorporated. Laws for the governments of the town were published in 1867..."

6. Templeton, Benton, IN

Research provided by Richard Eastridge relates that James L. Temple platted the town on 21 Oct 1885. James may be the James L. Temple, born 10 Jun 1818 in Crawford County, and married Anastasia Hughes about 1861.

7. Temple City, California

Thanks to Jason Edward Temple, who led me to the Temple City web site at Temple City History

Behind the story of the proud family bearing the name of Temple, lies the romance of missions and ranchos, the gallantry of the pioneering dons and beautiful seņoritas, and the history of the San Gabriel Valley including the derivation of many of the street names in Temple City.

William Workman was an Englishman by birth. In 1823, he met John Rowland at Taos, New Mexico, and accepted him as a partner. Both Workman and Rowland married Spanish women. During the revolution in Texas, they were forced to flee with their families in fear of their lives.

They had heard of a fair land in the west and traveled to see it. They followed the old Chihuahua trail through Silver City, Yuma, and Palm Springs, west of the area now known as the Salton Sea to Indio and through the Cajon Pass. The journey covered 1,200 miles. The party that arrived in California consisted of 40 persons, including riders at the head, scouts, and roustabouts with pack animals, herds of cattle, and covered wagons.

After leading his friends to the beautiful San Gabriel Valley, Rowland and his friend Benito Wilson petitioned the Spanish government at Monterey for some of the San Gabriel Valley Mission lands. Rowland and Workman were granted the "La Puente" site of 48,000 acres, where they built ranchos and settled down. They paid a sum of gold and promised to care for the Indians already living on the land, in accordance with an agreement made with the San Gabriel Mission priests and the governor.

William Workman became acquainted with Pliny Fisk Temple, who married Workman's daughter. Pliny had been baptized in the Catholic faith at the San Gabriel Mission shortly prior to accepting the Christian name of Francisco P.F. Temple.

Temple was the son of Pliny Fisk Temple of Massachusetts. Pliny's eldest brother, Jonathan, or Don Juan as he became known in Alta, California, was the first merchant of the Pueblo de Los Angeles in an adobe building at the intersection of what is now Spring and Main Streets. They later built the first important buildings there, including a market, a theater, and a courthouse. In 1841, at the age of 17, Pliny Fisk Temple joined his brother at the Pueblo de Los Angeles.

That same year, the Workman-Rowland party arrived in Los Angeles from Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was then part of Old Mexico. The party was the first immigrant caravan to travel the trade route to Southern California. Trade caravans, which ran from Santa Fe to Los Angeles and back in the early 1830's were the only overland connection Los Angeles had with the East. The Workman-Rowland expedition brought rugs, blankets, and other native goods from Santa Fe. Workman and Rowland did not make the trip for commercial reasons, however, they intended to settle in the San Gabriel Valley with their families.

In 1850, "Templito," or "Little Temple" as Pliny had been nicknamed by the natives because of his five feet, four inch height, was granted the Las Merced Rancho 12 miles east of Los Angeles where he made his home. He planted a vineyard of 30,000 vines, 30 acres of fruit trees, and a beautiful garden. This was near the site of the original San Gabriel Mission founded by the Franciscan Fathers next to the rich bottom lands of the San Gabriel Rivers called "Rio de los Temblores", or "River of the Earthquakes."

During the years at La Merced, 11 children were born to Pliny and his wife; the 10th child was Walter P. Temple. In 1903, Walter Temple married Laurenza Gonsalez, a member of an early Spanish-California family, who, it has been said, was related to half the residents of San Gabriel. Some years later, Temple purchased 400 acres of land four miles east of San Gabriel which had been part of Lucky Baldwin's vast Rancho Santa Anita.

Envisioning a community where people of medium income could afford to live and own their homes, he divided the area into lots and laid out the park facing Las Tunas Drive. He named other streets after those close and dear to the family, such as Workman, Kauffman, Temple and Agnes. Bond issues initiated by Temple were responsible for street paving and electrification.

He also petitioned the Pacific Electric Railway Company to extend its Los Angeles to Alhambra line to a depot adjacent to Temple City Park. Residents and merchants attributed the steady growth of Temple City to the extensions of the railway to the community.

In 1936, the town officially was designated Temple City, but remained a City in name only until after the post-World War II population explosion and incorporation of the community on May 25, 1960.

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