Little (and big) towns on the prairie


Source: fws.com

Source: fws.com

North America’s magnificent Great Plains and prairie region generally extends westward from Central Ohio to the Rocky Mountains and southward from boreal Canada through Texas to the Rio Grande Valley.  This is one of my favorite natural ecosystems due to the vast array of wildflowers, birds, and butterflies that can be seen/found in prairie habitat. The vast and rolling vistas, particularly west of the Mississippi River, are awe-inspiring as well. One can still imagine Prairie Schooners crossing this massive ocean of grass.

Source: frontporchpublic.com

Source: frontporchpublic.com

Here’s a list of communities that incorporate plain, prairie (French for “meadow”), meadow, or a similar terms in their name and which personifies this enormous geographic and topographic region.  My personal favorites are italicized.  Any additions or corrections are welcome. Enjoy!

  • Bald Prairie, TX
  • Belle Plaine, IA, MN, and SK
  • Belle Prairie, MN
  • Belle Prairie City, IL
  • Big Foot Prairie, IL
  • Big Plain, OH
  • Big Prairie, OH
  • Blooming Prairie, MN
  • Blue Grass, IA
  • Brushy Prairie, IN
  • Buffalo Prairie, IL
  • Burnt Prairie, IL
  • Clay’s Prairie, IL
  • Cranberry Prairie, OH
  • Dardenne Prairie, MO
  • Des Plaines, IL
  • Duplain, MI
  • East Prairie, MO
  • Eden Prairie, MN
  • Ellis Prairie, MO
  • Fancy Prairie, IL
  • Flatville, IL
  • Garden Plain, IL and KS
  • Garden Prairie, IL
  • Gilbert Plains, MB
  • Golden Prairie, SK
  • Grand Meadow, MN
  • Grand Plain, MN
  • Grande Prairie, AB
  • Grand Prairie, TX
  • Grassland, TX
  • Grass Range, MT
  • Gray’s Prairie, TX
  • Gulf Prairie, TX
  • Ham’s Prairie, MO
  • High Prairie, AB
  • Hill’s Prairie, TX
  • Lanes Prairie, MO
  • La Prairie, IL and WI
  • Lester Prairie, MN
  • Levelland, TX
  • Llano, TX (Spanish for “plain”)
  • Lodge Grass, MT
  • Lone Tree, CO and IA
  • Long Prairie, MN
  • Longview, TX and AB
  • Maple Plain, MN
  • Meadow, TX
  • Meadowbrook, IL and WI
  • Meadow Grove, NE
  • Meadow Lake, SK
  • Mullins Prairie, TX
  • Nogalus Prairie, TX
  • North Prairie, WI
  • Orange Prairie, IL
  • Plain, WI
  • Plain City, OH
  • Plainfield, IL, IN, MI, OH, and WI
  • Plains, KS and MT
  • Plainview, IL, MN, MO, NE, SD, and TX
  • Plainville, IL, IN, KS, and WI
  • Plainwell, MI
  • Plano, IA, IL, IN, MO, SD, and TX (Spanish for “level” or “flat”)
  • Pleasant Plain, IA, IN, and OH
  • Pleasant Plains, IL
  • Pleasant Prairie, WI
  • Portage la Prairie, MB
  • Prado Verde, TX (Spanish for “green meadow”)
  • Prairie, IL
  • Prairieburg, IA
  • Prairie Center, NE
  • Prairie City, IA, IL, IN, MO, and SD
  • Prairie Creek, IN
  • Prairie Dell, TX
  • Prairie du Chien, WI
  • Prairie du Rocher, IL
  • Prairie du Sac, WI
  • Prairie Farm, WI
  • Prairie Grove, AR and IL
  • Prairie Hill, MO, and TX
  • Prairie Home, MO and NE
  • Prairie Lea, TX
  • Prairie Mountain, TX
  • Prairie River, SK
  • Prairie Ronde, MI
  • Prairieton, IN
  • Prairietown, IL
  • Prairie View, TX and IL
  • Prairie Village, KS
  • Prairieville, MI and TX
  • Pretty Prairie, KS
  • Rabbs Prairie, TX
  • Roans Prairie, TX
  • Rolling Meadows, IL
  • Rolling Prairie, IN
  • Round Prairie, MN
  • Savanna, IL
  • Savannah, MO
  • Spring Prairie, WI
  • Star Prairie, WI
  • Stony Plain, AB
  • String Prairie, TX
  • Strong’s Prairie, WI
  • Sun Prairie, WI and MT
  • The Plains, OH
  • Tupper’s Plains, OH
  • West Plains, MO
  • Yellowgrass, SK
Source: fao.org

Source: fao.org

In terms of the number of such communities names found per state or province, here are the leaders. Not a big surprise that Illinois would be the leader given one of its nicknames is “The Prairie State.”

  1. Illinois = 26
  2. Texas = 24
  3. Wisconsin = 13
  4. Missouri = 12
  5. Minnesota = 11
  6. Indiana = 9
  7. Iowa = 8
  8. Ohio = 8

Sources: 

  • 2016 Rand McNally Road Atlas
  • Indiana Place Names
  • Ohio Place Names
  • Places Names of Illinois
  • The Pocket Guide to Minnesota Place Names
  • The Romance of Wisconsin Place Names
  • citytown.info.com
  • en.wikipedia.org
  • iowaleague.org
  • hometownlocator.com
  • texascapes.com
  • http://www.mo.gov
  • http://www.prairie-towns.com
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This entry was posted in branding, Canada, cities, civics, environment, geography, Geology, historic preservation, history, land use, Maps, nature, North America, planning, States, topography, weather, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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