Gallery: "Hub Cities of America"
Hattiesburg earned its "Hub City" nickname in the early 1900's when it served as a hub for four railroad lines. Additionally, The Leaf and Bouie Rivers converge in the downtown area, while U.S. Highways 11, 49 & 98 and Interstate 59 currently intersect in or near the city.
A recent web search yielded a list of no less than 17 additional American towns with a "Hub City" moniker. Like Hattiesburg, most derived the nickname because they served as a transportation (primarily railroad) intersection at some point during their history.
With so many "hubs" spread over so much territory, one gains an appreciation of the far-reaching impact that the transportation industry had on the growth and development of the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Read on to meet our sister "Hub" cities and learn a little about them.
1- Aberdeen, South Dakota
Aberdeen, established in 1881, was named after the Scottish hometown of Alexander Mitchell, (then) president of the Milwaukee Rail Road. At one point, the town boasted four different railroads and depots that extended in all directions from its central location.
2- Alice, Texas
The town adopted the slogan "Hub City of South Texas" in the 1920's during the oil boom. Its geographic location made it an ideal distribution center for cities such as Corpus Christi, McAllen, Laredo and San Antonio.
3- Belen, New Mexico
Belen, founded in 1740 and named after the Spanish town of Bethlehem, serves as a rail, interstate highway and air transportation hub for central New Mexico.
4- Burlington, Washington
Burlington, incorporated in 1902, earned its "Hub City" title in the late 1920's when it served as the railroad center of Skagit County.
5- Compton, California
The city, settled in 1867, is strategically located along the Alameda Corridor. It provides a rail passageway for waterborne international trade and serves as a transit and distribution point for a variety of products and services.
6- Crestview, Florida
Incorporated in 1916, Crestview earned its title because of the convergence (in or near the city) of Interstate 10, State Road 85, U.S. Highway 90, the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad, and the Yellow & Shoal Rivers.
7- Hagerstown, Maryland
Jonathan Hager established the town in 1762. It eventually became the center of the Western Maryland Railway and served as a stop on the Pennsylvania, Norfolk & Western, Baltimore & Ohio, and Hagerstown & Frederick Railroads. More recently, it is served by the CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Winchester & Western Railroads.
8- Jackson, Tennessee
The Mississippi & Tennessee Central and the Mobile & Ohio were the first railroads to hub into the city of Jackson (named after General Andrew Jackson). The Louisville & Nashville, the Illinois Central, and the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroads served the city after the Civil War. By the way, Jackson's most legendary figure, Casey Jones, was an engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad.
9- Lafayette, Louisiana
Originally established as Vermilionville in the 1820's, the city later connected with rail lines to Houston, Alexandria and Baton Rouge. Highways radiate to the towns of Lake Charles, Breaux Bridge and Carencro, Abbeville and Opelousas. It serves as a regional center for the oil and gas industry.
10- Limon, Colorado
Named after regional railroad supervisor John Limon (or Lymon), the 1880's saw the town intersect with the Kansas Pacific Railroad and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. Interstate 70, U.S. Highways 24, 40, and 287, and State Highways 71 & 86 also intersect through or near the town.
11- Lubbock, Texas
Named after Thomas Saltus Lubbock, a former Texas Ranger, the city of Lubbock is the economic, educational, and health-care hub of the multicounty region, north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas Panhandle, commonly called the South Plains.
12- Mount Pleasant, Utah
Established at its present site in 1859, the city's population and prosperity grew dramatically with the arrival of the Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1890. By 1900, it became another member of the "Hub City" family.
13- New Brunswick, New Jersey
Incorporated as a town in 1736, New Brunswick's subsequent "Hub City" title is the result of a concentration of medical facilities in the area that include Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital & Medical School and Saint Peter's University Hospital.
14- Oelwein, Iowa
Named after Gustav Oelwein and incorporated in 1873, Oelwein would become known as the "Shop City" and later the "Hub City" when the Chicago Great Western Railway made the town the site of the company's central repair shop.
15- Rochelle, Illinois
Originally named Hickory Grove, the town has served, at different times, as the meeting point for the Airline Railroad, The Chicago & Iowa Railroad, Union Pacific and the BNSF Railway. The first transcontinental highway in the United States, the Lincoln Highway, as well as Interstates 88 & 39 also cross Rochelle.
16- Spartanburg, South Carolina
Formed in 1785 and incorporated in 1831, the town eventually served as the center of social and business activities and a transportion focal point for seven railroad lines.
17- Union City, Indiana
Union City was platted in 1849 and would, in time, derive its "Hub City" nickname given the town's intersection of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad and the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway.
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