Stagg Street

Named in 1917 per city ordinance; it was formerly Orange Drive. (The City of L.A. had annexed the Valley two years prior, and since there was already an Orange Drive in Hollywood, this one had to go.) Ordinance-derived street names are usually impossible to source: the civil engineers who coined them rarely had personal ties to them – and if they did, the engineers themselves remained anonymous, so we can’t know their reasons. It is known that they kept files of potential street names drawn from a variety of sources, so I think “Stagg” came out of such a file. Since there were no notable Staggs in L.A. at the time, the likeliest inspiration was University of Chicago football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg (1862-1965). Called “the grand old man of football”, A.A. Stagg was a nationally famous figure in 1917, as well-known as later coaches like Knute Rockne and Bear Bryant. Schools and playing fields were named after him across the country, so why not this street? The New Jersey native spent the last three decades of his very long life in Stockton, CA.