Like other towns created by the coming of the train, Estherwood was named by, and probably for a railroad official or member of his family. One opinion of how Estherwood’s name came about is a combination of two names, the result of a compromise made to end a controversy over whether to name the place Wood, for a Dr. Wood, or Esther, for the wife of the section foreman of the railroad. Another version explains the “wood” part as follows: the station was a re-fueling point for the early wood-burning engines, and the name was derived from the large quantities of wood which were stored near the station.
Before the railroad came through the place was known as Coulee Trieve, so named for an early settler, Jean Baptiste Trieve who had built a cabin on the coulee about 1816. A mysterious and sinister figure, Trieve was believed to have been a pirate. One of the early civic leaders of Estherwood was Jacob Kollitz, who established a place of business near the site of the old pirate’s cabin in 1891. When the Village was incorporated in 1901, Kollitz was one of the alderman. The village had a population of 300. The Kollitz home is still in existence, and is presently owned by the estate of Ms. Marilyn LeLeux. Another Estherwood landmark is the Hoyt home, which was built in 1899 by Edward T. Hoyt, better known as “Jasmine Lawn”. Although this home has had several owners since the Hoyt’s, it is now in the ownership of Edward & Paula Gonzalez.