Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Mrs. Walter Emmett Hunnicutt]
“Dr. Forbes had a gin a few hundred yards from his home. Later, Thomas Kerchain built a store and another man built a blacksmith shop. So, to a spot near the [??], came the first essentials of a community center, i. e., a doctor, a gin, a blacksmith shop, and a store. Kay's store was located where the present Hancock store stands today. Kerchain and others saw the advantage of having a post office up on the hill, and they wrote the government for blanks on which to make application for a post office. Kerchain received those blanks, worked out all the detalils and then they made their way to the nearest place to receive a hearing, probably Waco or Marlin.
“According to local history, the hearing was favorable and the need for a post office was established. And, the story goes, that the name the applicants suggested did not meet with the approval of those who held the hearing and that one of the officials, with some impatience, turned to Kerchain, who spoked English brokenly, and said: “Come, come! Can't you think of a suitable name?” To which Kerchain hesitantly replied, “Well, I don't know. I'm just a stranger in the community.” To this the official replied, “Well, that will do— Stranger,” and he wrote the word “Stranger” upon the application blank which went to Washington and was approved. So this is the story of how Stranger, on Blue Ridge, got its name.