How Washington DC Picked the Name Glensboro

Glensboro in 1904

Glensboro in 1904

Although many now tend to equate Lawrenceburg with Anderson County, the little communities dotting around the county have just as long and interesting history as Lawrenceburg has.  Much of the stories in these little communities have been lost through time, but the community known as Glensboro is an exception.

William Townsend, who became a well known author and lawyer, grew up in Glensboro during the early 1900’s.  William documented much of the little community’s history in his writings.  According to William, Glensboro used to be nothing more than a great opportunity for a prospective grist mill owner.

During the first half of the 1800s, Elijah Orr traveled ten miles west of Lawrenceburg along the Salt River.  Seeing a drop in the river to allow for easy water powered operations, he decided to construct a grist mill on the location.  Then Tom Montgomery decided to open a wool processing factory and a small still that would become John E Day Distillery.

The fledgling industry sparked a building craze and the community was born, although it wasn’t called Glensboro.  The area would become known as Camden or Camdenville, but the post office in the area was called Orr.

This difference in names would later cause a contentious problem that would go all the way to the nation’s capital.  According to William, residents of Camdenville hated using the official name of Orr as people outside the area when asking where they’re from would reply “Or what?”

During the Presidential election of 1904, residents of Camdenville wanted to name their town after the then Democratic candidate, Alton Parker.  But the post office authorities were not fond of Parkersburg or Parkersville.

The community, knowing they weren’t going to get far with persuading the post office authorities to change the local post office name, decided to draw on another native of the area and who had substantial influence in Washington, DC.  Champ Clark, a congressman and who was also a Presidential candidate, decided to take the lead.

After someone suggested to him that the village was located in a valley or “glen,” Champ took the idea and ran with it.  Submitting the name, “Glensboro,” the post office authorities agreed to the change and the little community became what it is now known as today.

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