Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2001

DeSoto officially changes spelling of name to De Soto

April 5, 2001

The city of DeSoto has recovered its lost space.

In February, City Clerk Lana McPherson asked the DeSoto City Council to consider the proper spelling of the city's name. The issue is whether it should be spelled De Soto or DeSoto.

McPherson said long-time residents maintained it should be spelled with a space and asked her to investigate the matter.

Research she completed since making the request to the city council indicated DeSoto is correctly spelled with a space, McPherson said. She found 41 federal documents dating from as far back as 1857 that include the space in the city's name, she said.

More importantly, the city is De Soto according to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. The board was given the final authority on such matters when it was founded by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890. It was given the responsibility to standardize place names by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

The De Soto spelling also appears on the first ordinances the city filed with the Kansas Secretary of State's office in 1902 establishing the city's government, McPherson said.

"The answer is in," the city clerk said. "The correct spelling is with a space."

The wrong no-space spelling of DeSoto started showing up on city letterheads and documents in the 1980s for some unknown reason, McPherson said.

Mayor Steve Prudden said McPherson's research convinced him.

"I knew basically that is the way it was in the past," he said. "I told Lana just to correct it. We won't need council action."

The city will order new stationary with the correct spelling, McPherson said. The stationary will also include the name of the newly-elected mayor and City Hall's new address, she said.

That won't be the only corrective action. In a letter to city employees, McPherson asked them to correct all logos, signs, letters and documents to read De Soto.

"All those people who wanted me to look into this when I first started in this job can rest easy," McPherson said.

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