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Madras, Almost Named Palmain, Turns 100

The city of Madras, Oregon turns one hundred years old today.  Amelia Templeton reports.

Madras began as a tiny agricultural community in 1910. The following year two competing rail lines passed through the town and helped it become a destination for homesteaders.

The fledgling settlement was almost named Palmain after a prominent settler, but authorities at the time worried it would be confused with the Palmer post office. 

Lewis L. MacArthur has spent decades researching Oregon geographic names. He says a popular Indian cotton cloth inspired the name of the town.

Lewis L. MacArthur: "The story is that there was two or three people gathered around in the store which had some…there was a piece of cloth and somebody said that’s like Madras cloth, we’ll call it Madras”

6,500 people live in Madras today.

Events to celebrate the centennial will take place throughout the year.