|The Name Behind The Name:
By Candice Lynn Buchanan
1) A popular hangout for male deer, or 2) a town named for my father.
As a kid, these were my two theories on the name “Bucktown.” Both made me laugh and both seemed equally unlikely. However, as it turns out, on my latter theory, my childish humor was not too far off the mark.
Bucktown, in fact was once “Buck’s Town” possibly even more formally known as “Buchanan Town” in its early days. Not named for my dad, of course, but instead named for my great-great-great-granduncle James Andrew Jackson Buchanan. The nickname “Buck” for Buchanan men is evidently a generations old tradition.
J. A. J. Buchanan was born 8 February 1824 in his parents’ home on the northeast corner of High and Morgan Streets in Waynesburg. The next to youngest of ten children born to Andrew & Rhoda (Stevenson) Buchanan, J. A. J. was his father’s protégé and the only one of the children known to have received a formal education. He studied law at Greene Academy in Carmichaels and at Washington College, now W & J. In 1845 he was admitted to the Greene County bar and remained a prominent member of that organization until his death in 1910.
The father of six children, only three of whom survived to adulthood, J. A. J. demonstrated his forward thinking by sending these three, all daughters, to Waynesburg College and seeing them graduate during the earliest years of female education. He also was a staunch advocate and esteemed orator for the Union cause during the Civil War.
By 1877, the Washington & Waynesburg railroad was ready to begin construction. J. A. J. was keenly interested in the development and prosperity of Waynesburg and Greene County, so when the time came, J. A. J. allowed the railroad to pass through his land. The depot and engine house were established on property that had been his. Family legend as told in John O’Hara’s Fact & Folklore, states that J. A. J. donated the right-of-way to the railroad despite protests from other men that he should have contracted a high price for the rights. O’Hara quotes J. A. J. as having said, “I don’t give a damn if the train runs through my front door, they can have the right-of-way for nothing."
In January 1900, after his wife’s death, J. A. J. sold his 101 acre farm for the benefit of modern development. A part of his land became home base for a new tin mill and rows of houses for the tin mill’s employees. This familiar territory in West Waynesburg, affectionately took the name “Buck’s Town” (later condensed to “Bucktown”) after the man who had made his home there for twenty-five years and then lead the way for the hope of growth and opportunity in the area.
All material within this
web site has been compiled by Candice Buchanan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(63 W. Franklin St.; Waynesburg, PA 15370).
Data sources documented whenever possible. Contributors credited for shared information. Questions, feedback and contributions welcome.
Copyright © 2003-2008 Candice Buchanan. All rights reserved.