Baby Named Nira After Iowa Town

While doing research for the NIRA post, I discovered that there’s a town in Iowa called Nira.

The town wasn’t named in 1933 after the legislation. It was named decades before, by Col. W. B. Bell, an early postmaster of Iowa’s Washington County. He named the town after his wife, Nira.

What I found especially interesting was that the town of Nira, Iowa — much like the town of Salida, Colorado — held a baby name contest in its early days. (In the 1880s, I’m guessing.)

Col. Bell watched the growth of the village named for his wife, Nira, and offered a gold dollar to the first baby girl born in the town who was named Nira.

The gold dollar eventually was awarded Nira Moffitt, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Moffitt. Her present location is unknown.

I wonder how many other U.S. towns held similar contests.

Source: “Nira Enjoys New Boom.” Telegraph-Herald 17 Aug. 1933: 1+.

EDIT: I’ve found Nira Moffitt on the 1900 census! She was born in June of 1880, to George and Anna Moffitt, and had a big sister named Lottie.


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