Sometimes, biblical place names were chosen due to a perceived likeness between a U.S. landscape or landform and a biblical one. Joshua Tree, California came by its name when Anglo settlers venturing into the desert southwest encountered a barren landscape with distinctive yucca trees. The trees reminded them of Joshua’s outstretched, javelin-bearing hand in his conquest of Ai (Josh 8:18, 26). French Jesuits in the early eighteenth century named the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin for the twelve largest of twenty-two islands in Lake Superior.
These biblical analogues established what sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called “a network of connections,” conveying and shoring up shared cultural references. 
Prior to the industrial era, water and watercourses played a large role in the life of average citizens. Much of the nineteenth century was characterized by migration, both forced and voluntary, and settlers were well aware of the need for fresh, clean water.  In a century of repeated cholera epidemics, people readily made the connection between wellness and water. Then as now, certain waters were prized for their medicinal and therapeutic qualities.
As it happened, western Arkansas had an abundance of fresh water springs and thermal mineral waters. Nearby Hot Springs and Eureka Springs, Arkansas both enjoyed enormous success as health resorts. After purchasing land at the western border of Arkansas that was originally known by its Cherokee name, “Hico,” meaning clear or sparkling water, and later called Sager Creek, John Valentine tried to exploit the site for tourists interested in "taking the waters."
The problem with his plan was that instead of offering warm immersive water, Sager Creek’s waters were best ingested. A bottling and export operation was much too expensive; there were plans for a railroad, but it was years off.
As a way to generate tourist traffic, someone suggest that Hargrove should change the name to “Siloam Springs,” after the story in John’s gospel about Jesus healing a blind man at the pool of Siloam. 
Hargrove thought this was a great idea. In 1881, the town was incorporated as Siloam Springs. Unfortunately, flooding, financial recessions, and the establishment of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1893, the same year the rail line to Siloam Springs was finally finished, “contributed significantly to the decline of water treatment cures.” 
Good name. Bad timing.
 Pierre Bourdieu, “The Forms of Capital,” trans. Richard Nice, in Handbook of Theory of Research for the Sociology of Education, ed. J.E. Richardson (Greenwood Press, 1986), 52.
 Valenčius Conevery Bolton, The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land (New York: Basic Books, 2002).
 In the miracle story (more properly, the sign story) of "Siloam Springs," (John 9:1-41), Jesus spits on the ground, makes a paste to apply to a blind man’s eyes, and then tells him to “go wash in the pool of Siloam (meaning sent).” The author of John's gospel notoriously uses puns and play with words. The gloss on Siloam (meaning sent) refers to apostalmenos, a word Jesus frequently applies to himself throughout John’s gospel – the one who has been sent. In this way the author makes clear that Jesus, not the water of Siloam, cures the man of his blindness.
 William Back, Edward R. Landa and Lisa Meeks, “Bottled Water, Spas, and Early Years of Water Chemistry,” Ground Water 33:4 (Summer 1995): 605.