Nearly 50 years ago, the Cleveland County Historical Society produced a booklet spotlighting the pioneers and early settlers of Cleveland County between 1889 and 1925. It's a great read for local history buffs. A small section in the back is just as interesting as the pioneer families roll.
Jo Hoskinson, a longtime Transcript writer, compiled the origin of dozens of Norman street names. Those 12 typewritten pages have helped me answer questions such as one received last month from a local author. He wanted to know the origin of Faerie Queen Lane, a short street east of the football stadium.
The street no longer exists, as it was absorbed by the university. Dr. Jewel Wurtzbaugh, who came to OU in 1926 to teach in the English department, once lived on the street and is credited with the name. She was a Spencer and Shakespeare scholar and named it after the famous poem.
Only in Norman would we have such a street name.
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We have streets honoring football coaches Barry Switzer and Bud Wilkinson, but how about Norman's first two-term woman mayor? June Benson served from 1957-58 and again from 1959-1961. Benson Drive is in the Morningside addition on Norman's east side.
A nearby street, Long Circle, is named for James. F. Long, former city commissioner and Norman's mayor from 1955-56. Also nearby, Tarman Circle was named by developer Frank Foreman to honor Fred E. Tarman, longtime editor and publisher of The Transcript.
University presidents David Ross Boyd, James Buchanan, Stratton Brooks, George Cross and David Boren have streets named for them. Numerous streets are named for early OU faculty and staff members, including Edwin DeBarr (later renamed Dean's Row Avenue), James Felgar and Edwin Richard Page, comptroller Josiah Lindsey and admissions administrator George Wadsack.
Some of Oklahoma's early governors have been honored with Norman streets. Cruce Street was named for Gov. Lee Cruce, a Kentucky Democrat elected Oklahoma's governor from 1911-1915. William M. Jenkins served briefly as Oklahoma's fifth territorial governor for eight months in 1901.
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A few early settlers earned street names. Wylie Road is named for Wylie H. Barbour, an Eightyniner, lumberman and longtime builder. Another longtime Norman resident, Emery Stubbeman, was honored with a street next to what is now Norman North High School.
Nathaniel and Elizabeth Robinson homesteaded a 160-acre farm in 1889 and sold it in 1893. Robinson Street bears their name. John Merkle served in the U.S. diplomatic corps from 1907 to 1912 before coming home to the family farm on west Main Street.
Brothers Hughbert and James Jones came to Norman on the day of the land run in 1889. They claimed land north of the railroad tracks and sold off town lots. Jones Avenue dead-ends at Duffy Street, named for another Eightyniner, Ephraim Duffy, who claimed land in Lexington.
Hal Muldrow was a major general in the U.S. Army and served as head of the 45th Division during World War II. William C. Crawford was an early Norman banker associated with First National Bank. Country doctor Dr. Alexander Barkley was honored with a street name. That street was called Florida Street at one time.
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Toberman Drive, a short, cut-through street connecting Elm Avenue to Park Drive, was once a street to a thriving Norman nursery operated by the family of the same name. The old nursery building is still there, but the plants are long gone.
Asp Avenue was named for Henry Asp, who became counsel to the Santa Fe Railroad Company in 1889. He was a members of the state's Constitutional Convention and later served as an OU Regent.
Alameda Avenue, which runs from near the railroad tracks east to its terminus at Lake Thunderbird, was named for Alice Alameda Reed, daughter of a Norman Mill and Elevator Company employee. It was State Highway 9 until the 1960s, when the state re-routed Highway 9 south and east of the city. Old-timers still refer to Alameda as "Old No. 9." There's even a roadside tavern bearing the name.