Alvarado is the oldest city in Johnson County, and has a rich history.
Local historian Michael Percifield says that in 1849 William Balch staked out a claim near a spring close to the present site of the town.
A few years later he had built a cabin, purchased more land around the area, and decided to plot a townsite.
He wanted to name the town "Pittsburgh," but he lost out. The first sheriff, Abraham Hood Onstott desired to name it "Alvarado" for Alvarado, Vera Cruz, Mexico, where he fought in a battle during the Mexican War. It was put to a vote, and Alvarado came out on top.
In Spanish, it's pronounced Al-vuh-RAH-doe, but Percifield says the locals pretty quickly morphed the pronunciation into Al-vuh-RAY-doe.