BURLEY - Choosing a name for anything always seems like an important endeavor to me, even when choosing a moniker for a pet fish. It’s amusing to me how our counties and towns were named at times somewhat randomly, or how people don’t really remember how they got the name.
According to the Cassia County Historical Society and Museum, most residents in the county believe it’s named after the Cassia plant that does not grow along Cassia Creek at all. More likely, either it comes from the peasant French word cajeaur, which means raft, as in RaftRiver, or it was named for James John Cazier. Cazier was a member of the Mormon Battalion and a colorful captain of an emigrant train. Take your pick. Here are how some of the cities in CassiaCounty were named.
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- Burley: Named after David E. Burley, who was a passenger agent for the Oregon Short Line Railroad Co.
- Declo: When the community applied for a name in what was originally called Marshfield, it was told that five other communities already had that name. The Central Post Office told the community to choose another name and not to exceed five letters. The last initials of the first five men to enter the post office were recorded: August Detlef, George Eldredge, Hyrum S. Lewis, James Cooley and Carl Osterhout. The community submitted the name Delco. The Central Post Office said it preferred the name Declo rather than Delco, and such it was named.
- Oakley: The city was named after William Oakley, who settled in the Oakley Meadows around 1870. He operated a Pony Express Station.