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History of Bogata

What's in a Name?

William and Mary McGill Humphries settled near springs on Little Mustang Creek in 1836 and called the settlement that grew up around them Maple Springs. In 1844, the Maple Springs community comprised enough families to support a school and in 1851 along came a post office. In 1880 the settlement divided. The old Maple Springs post office adopted the name of Rosalie and in 1881 a second post office opened a few miles to the west, slightly north of the site of present Bogata. When the United States government refused to accept Maple Springs as the new post office's name, postmaster James E. Horner submitted an alternative. Horner, who had a romantic enthusiasm for Latin-American republican revolution against Spanish rule, suggested the name Bogata', after the Colombian capital, which was the scene of his hero Simon Bolivar's victory in 1814. The suggestion was accepted, but perhaps owing to Horner's penmanship, the name was misspelled B-o-g-a-t-a. The town inhabitants accepted the official spelling but pronounce the name "Buh-goh-ta".

During the 1885 Bogata had two churches, four cotton gins, six gristmills, and a population of 400. The Paris and Mount Pleasant Railway arrived in 1910, causing the town to move its commercial establishments to a new main street nearer the railroad tracks. Train service was discontinued in 1956. The town's population, which grew slowly through the decades when most of the area was losing ground, reached 1,508 in 1980, when Bogata had a 154-bed nursing home, medical and dental clinics, a locally owned bank, and thirty business establishments. In 1990 the population was 1,421 and in 2000 it was 1,396.

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