HOW ETOWAH GOT ITS NAME in 1895
Etowah, formerly called Money, is named after the Etowah River in north Georgia.
Margaret Indiana Stewart Gash chose this name when the railroad company asked her and Joseph for a new station (depot) name to replace "Money." The Gash's had donated the land for the station.
The Etowah River runs through the part of Georgia near the Stewart plantation farm, Margaret's childhood home and the place where she married Joseph in 1871.
Lenoir Ray tells the story in his 1970 book, "Postmarks," pg. 301, excerpt below.
Most likely, Ray based his account on daughter Pearl Gillie Gash's 1956 hand-written account, "History of Etowah P.O." Read a full transcription of Pearl's account.
Margaret Indiana Stewart Gash
born in Gordon County, GA
1850 - 1922
Joseph Leander Gash
born in Old Buncombe County, NC
(later aka Henderson County)
1833 - 1916
Excerpt from "Postmarks"
" The railroads were most particular about the names they put on their depots and Warren McNeely had no intention of naming this station "Money." The newly appointed station agent was J. Lee Gash. Mr. Gash had owned the property through which the railroad passed and on which the station was built.
Mr. McNeely asked the Gash family to think of a name and Mrs. Gash, thinking of her home in North Georgia (near Calhoun) suggested the Indian name of the river in that area - Etowah. The railroad approved and the name of the station in 1895 was Etowah.
In 1898, the Post Office Department changed the name of the office to conform, and the community was on its way. "
Joseph is remembered for helping to establish the Etowah Presbyterian Church, 1894.
According to Margaret Morris Gash's (1908-2008) history of the Etowah Presbyterian Church, Joseph Leander Gash purchased land from Noah Henry (son of Joseph Henry) which he then donated for the re-location of the Presbyterian Church. At the time, the Church was named Midway because it was located midway between Mills River and Davidson River Presbyterian Churches.
Pictures of Margaret and Joseph taken in May 1871, three months after their marriage on February 14, Valentines Day.
Joseph weds Margaret, 1871
At about age 27, Joseph, a Henderson County native, was living in Georgia prior to the beginning of the Civil War. He is listed in the 1860 Georgia Census with the Anderson household, of Margaret's married sister. In 1865 he was appointed postmaster of Adairsville, Bartow County, GA. Joseph and Margaret were married in 1871 at her mother's home. They had three children before moving to Henderson County, sometime between 1878-1880.