How Auburn Street Was Named

By Edward M. Graff
Short Sketches of Passaic County History, August 1935

How streets receive their names is often an interesting subject.  Captain H. C. Irish, a proprietor of the Paterson Guardian, was building a new residence, the third house on the street, then called East Carroll Street which was considered at that time out in the wilderness.  Captain Irish did not like the name so he requested a petition to be drawn and presented to the board of Aldermen to have the name changed.    Mr. Irish, however, could not decide on a name, although a dozen were suggested, so the name was left blank.

As the Alderman called to pick up the petition to take to the meeting, he asked Mr. Irish if he had decided on a name. “No” he replied, “I never was so stuck on a little thing.”  Mr. Irish had previously been in the printing business at Auburn, N.Y. and the business was merged with the Guardian establishment.  At the very moment of the above conversation, an expressman came in with some things from the Auburn office.  This suggested an idea and the Alderman told Mr. Irish he had hit on a name.  “What is it?” asked Irish.  “Auburn” was the reply.  Mr. Irish was intensely pleased and the name was placed on the petition so on a motion by Alderman Harold the name was changed from East Carroll to Auburn Street, Monday, November 17, 1861.

(Captain Irish was killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.  See the letter written by  Herber Wells about  Capt. Irish’s death and the battle.   Also see the following two articles:  Captain and Mrs. Irish, and The Soldiers and Sailor’s Monument.)