Originally Posted by Wedema
Hammond was named after George Hammond in the late 1800's after he came to the area from Detroit opened a meat packing company. At the time, the Hammond Co. was larger than the Union Stock Yards and continued to be until Hammond passed away near the turn of the century.
Originally Posted by DSpivack
WTTW was replaying one of Geoffrey Baer's programs the other day, and he mentioned that the area was called Hohman before the meat-packing plant opened. I want to say there was some crazy story involving a train conductor named Hohman saving a slow freight train from a speeding passenger train behind it, and switching on to a siding, and that siding was what would become Hammond. Maybe I'm confusing that with another region town...
EDIT: The Hohmans were apparently some of the first settlers in the area. Not sure where the train story comes from...
My understanding is that the town's name was determined by a coin flip. Hammond and Hohman were local leading citizens when the city incorporated and a name needed to be chosen. I don't have a reference for the coin-flip story, but I'll poke around to find out.
Most towns have colorful origin stories. Communities were established not by any plan but by whoever showed up and planted a flag someplace.