WHAT’S IN A NAME
By Kyle LoJacono
This week will look into how LeHeup Hill, McLeod, Meridian Avenue, Prospect and Saint Leo got their names.
(1) LEHEUP HILL is named after William A. LeHeup Sr., who was born in Kingston, Ontario. He came to Florida from Wisconsin in 1911 and moved to east Pasco County with his eight children.
The hill with his name is located between Zephyrhills and Dade City, just east of Fort King Road and Lake Pasadena. It was on that very hill where, in 1909, Howard Jeffries signed the contract to buy 35,000 acres of land from James Lee Greer. That land today is Zephyrhills.
LeHeup’s son William A. “Bill” LeHeup lived in the area until he died on April 13, 2003 at age 98.
(2) MCLEOD is the original name for Trilby, which is located north of Dade City. The area was first settled in 1879 by William McLeod and his sons Daniel, Eligah, William Jr. and Freeman. The last name was adopted as the town’s name, but was changed to Macon and eventually Trilby.
(3) MERIDIAN AVENUE is the name for SR 52 through downtown Dade City. It was named by the surveyor, whose name is lost to time, who platted the streets of the city. The surveyor picked the name of his hometown — Meridian, Miss. — for the title.
(4) PROSPECT is the area around Prospect Road in Dade City just east of Saint Leo. It got its name from Prospect Branch Arbor Church, where many sects of Christians came together to worship. The original church was located next to a large spring that has since dried up.
(5) SAINT LEO the town is located between San Antonio and Dade City on SR 52. Saint Leo College, now university, and Abbey are within the town’s borders and are named for three Leos.
The first Leo is Pope Saint Leo I the Great. He was the pope who fended off Attila the Hun from the gates of Rome in 452. Secondly, the reigning pontiff at the time the college opened was Pope Leo XIII. Lastly Leo Haid, who accepted responsibility for the Florida mission in 1889 from Saint Vincent Archabbey. Haid (1849-1924) made the decision to found the college and bargained with Judge Edmund Dunne for the 36 acres on which it was built.
Haid got a charter for the college from the state, oversaw its construction and served as its first president from 1890-94.
For additional information on these areas and how they got their names, visit www.fivay.org.
*The Laker and the Lutz News series on how historic places were named will continue throughout the summer. Information is provided by interviews with Pasco County historian Jeff Miller of Fivay.org and the West Pasco Historical Society. See how Ten Cent Road, Tommytown, Trilcoochee, Trilby and Wesley Chapel got their names next week.