U.S. Geographic Board Backs Name Change of "Negro Bill" Canyon

Oct 16, 2017

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has made the final decision to remove a racially based name from a canyon on Bureau of Land Management land near Moab, Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the board voted Thursday to rename Negro Bill Canyon as Grandstaff Canyon. The change recognizes the real name of William Grandstaff, a black rancher and former slave who lived in the area. The Grand County Council had sought the change, but some people opposed it. They said the name represented history and the word “Negro” is not offensive. But one member of the Board of Geographic Names, Wendi-Starr Brown, told the Tribune she was “pretty sure” Grandstaff would not have wanted to be addressed as Negro Bill.

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