Ellsworth Schnebly and the Naming of Sedona, AZ

Hi there! Welcome back to the Blog of Funny Names. We were on a little hiatus last week, an unavoidable result of the Fourth of July holiday, during which I found myself well out of cell phone, interweb, or even Funny Names Blog signal range, and enjoyed the lack of beeping, buzzing, vibrating or fax-printing machines tremendously. OK, so I enjoy the lack of fax printing anyway because I’ve never had a fax machine, but this little detail did not detract from my joy of not having one last weekend either.

Things tend to look pretty snazzy no matter which way you look in Sedona.

Things tend to look pretty snazzy no matter which way you look in Sedona.

Back to the point (and I might just have one), I spent the holiday weekend in a lovely little cabin with my wife’s relatives in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. Not only was I amazed by the area’s wonderful natural beauty and enjoyed the good company on offer, it was also a great surprise to learn that the history of the town itself is littered with funny names. I hereby present to you that story.

In the early 1900’s, a splendidly named young man called Ellsworth Schnebly wrote to his brother Theodore Carlton “Carl” Schnebly back in their native Missouri about the thriving farming life he was enjoying in what is now the Arizona resort town. He invited Carl to join him and the younger Schnebly duly obliged. He brought along his lovely bride, Sedona Arabella Schnebly. She was such named by some peculiar fancy of her mother’s, who liked the pretty and unusual sound of the name.

A statue of Sedona Schnebly found in the town today. Her great-granddaughter Lisa Schnebly Hiedinger served as model for the work.

A statue of Sedona Schnebly found in the town today. Her great-granddaughter Lisa Schnebly Hiedinger served as model for the work.

After the Schneblys all moved to the area, it began to grow in popularity and eventually Carl decided it’d be a great idea to have a post office in town. He applied to the Postmaster General for the founding of a post office, for which he proposed the names Oak Creek Crossing, and terrifically, Schnebly Station. Neither was approved by the picky postmaster, but he did OK the name Sedona, Mr. Schnebly graciously deciding to name the town after his wife – as his third choice, sure, but who cares. It’s romantic, right?

Today, the little mountain resort town draws thousands of visitors a year, all of whom I’m sure are equally delighted by this little story of funny named wonder as I was. I hope you all enjoyed it as well. Happy Monday!



About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names. www.funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
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7 Responses to Ellsworth Schnebly and the Naming of Sedona, AZ

  1. amb says:

    I’ll have to come back and read this again later, because right now all I can think of is this:

  2. Dave says:

    I struggle to explain the feelings I experience when reading or saying the name “Schnebly” but I will try…

  3. Liz says:

    ‘k–when i went to Sedona a few years back, I hiked, enjoyed farmers’ markets, ate good food, hopped over to check out the Grand Canyon, etc. But I never once wondered about all the funny name connections. Great stories and I now have a new angle from which to appreciate this fine Arizona town 🙂 Glad if you had a good vacation.

  4. wdydfae says:

    Nice one! I appreciate it because Sedona’s on the short list of places I’ve got to go to if I can.

  5. Whoever took that sunset picture, wow! Love the funny names connection in Sedona, Arizona and the rhyming too.

    Regarding the fax, you have no idea the fun you’re missing. I sit next to one every day… 🙂

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