It's no secret that the Texas panhandle is home to all manner of wild tales and frontier legends. Deaf Smith county is home to its fair share, and I've covered a few. Today, while doing some digging I realized I might owe Deaf Smith an apology.

Apparently there is a forgotten pronunciation I was unaware of when it comes to Deaf Smith County.

The Basin's Classic Rock logo
Get our free mobile app

Hooked On Phonics Worked Too Good For Me

You always have to start at the beginning. I don't make the rules. I just barely follow them.

In the beginning was a kid named Erastus Smith. As a child, Erastus suffered hearing loss. As is the case with anything that sets a young child apart from the rest of the crowd, it earned him a nickname.

Thus, the name Deaf Smith came into being.

Except it wasn't pronounced the way you would think. It was pronounced deef.


Deaf Smith, The Texas Spy

Deaf Smith lived a pretty incredible life. He was a frontiersman. He was a part of the Texas Revolution. Smith even eventually led a company of Texas Rangers.

After he died, a marker was placed at an Episcopal church. The engraving on it reads "Deaf Smith, the Texas Spy." To make matters even more interesting, no one is really sure where his remains are actually buried.

He died in 1837.

Deef's Legacy Lives On

Such an incredible life must be celebrated, and it has been. Deaf Smith has been portrayed in several films. There's even been peanut butter named after him.

The biggest tribute, literally, is the naming of an entire county in the Texas panhandle after him. This is where my apology to Deaf Smith begins...sort of.

Pretty much everyone and their three-legged dog says Def Smith. I haven't heard a single person say Deef Smith County. It's safe to say none of the 18,500 or so people who live there say Deef Smith.

Everyone says Def Smith. But, does that make it right?

Either way, once again Deaf Smith County comes away with another "most interesting story of the day."

The Legendary Stories Behind These Six Weird Texas Town Names

It's no secret that Texas is home to some pretty strange town names. While the names of these places are strange enough on their own, sometimes the story behind the name is even stranger.

Visit These 16 Texas Cities And Towns At Least Once As A Texan

It's a fact that Texas is a huge state and because of its size, there are also a lot of things to see, visit and experience in The Lone Star State. Both Texas visitors and Texans alike should visit our awesome cities and attractions. By no means are these all the activities in these wonderful cities. They're just a few examples of things to do.

Teeny Tiny Towns of the Texas Panhandle

Don't blink! You just might miss these TINY towns that are dotted around the Texas Panhandle.

Some of these are unincorporated communities and some of these are just plain ol' small!

Either way, these teensy weensy tiny towns and their populations will make you say "wow" (and maybe even squint and say "that's all!?"). Check them out:

More From The Basin's Classic Rock