In 1971, the editors of American Heritage asked readers to tell them about people who were “named after places, institutions, and events.” They offered examples like Wilmot Proviso Ragsdale, Legal Tender Coxey, Monongahela de Beaujeau and Illinois Central Wilson.
In 1972, the best of the submitted names were published. Here’s most of that list (with a few extra details):
Boston Raspberry, born circa 1900. While playing in a sandlot baseball game in Florida, he “clubbed the opposing shortstop to death with a bat after an argument over a called third strike.” He was sentenced to life in prison, but was later pardoned by Gov. Millard Fillmore Caldwell, “who said that anybody with a name like Boston Raspberry should have a full pardon.”
(Gov. Caldwell was named for his father, who was named for Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States.)
Budweiser Hawkins and Falstaff Hawkins. Brothers from Arkansas. Budweiser Hawkins upheld the tradition by naming his children Budweiser Jr., Falstaff, Virginia Dare (wine), Ron Rico (rum), Jose Cuervo (tequila), and Courvoisier (cognac). Bud Jr. is now Dr. Budweiser, and he has a website/blog called Weiser Living.
Carbon Petroleum Dubbs, 1881-1962. Named “Carbon P” at birth by his father, oil magnate Jesse Dubbs. He extended his middle name (the letter P) to “Petroleum” as an adult.
Easter Lily Gates, born on Easter Sunday (April 21) in 1889. She was the Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, FL, from 1929 to 1969. “Hats were her trademark.”
Eiffel Tower Sutherland, born circa 1894. On October 10, 1952, the Miami News mentioned her in this one-sentence story: “Danville, Ind. — When Betty Jean Weesney, home from a recent European trip, brought back a souvenir replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it was the logical gift for just one friend–Eiffel Tower Sutherland.”
Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown, 1876-1948. Major League Baseball pitcher from Indiana. Born the year of the centennial. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.
States Rights Gist, 1831-1864, and States Rights Jones, Jr., 1920-2002. The first was a Confederate brigadier general from South Carolina. His father, Nathaniel, was a fan of John C. Calhoun’s nullification politics (i.e. he thought states should have the right to nullify federal laws they deemed unconstitutional). The second was a USMC Colonel from Mississippi.
Through Trial And Tribulation We Enter Into The Kingdom Of Heaven Lindloff, 1881-1947. Known as “Trib.” Son of German immigrants.
- “Appropriate Gift.” Miami Daily News 10 Oct. 1952: 2-A.
- “As Wilmot Proviso Was Saying To Legal Tender…” American Heritage 22.5 (1971): 97.
- “Contest Winners.” American Heritage 23.2 (1972): 109.
- Drown, Michelle. “A Plot with a View.” Santa Barbara Independent 26 Oct. 2006.
- “History-Making Folks Aren’t All Well-Known.” Miami Herald 1 Nov. 1990: 2G.
- The Story of My Name – Weiser Living
- “Riverside.” American Chemical Society.