White County Courthouse in 1903

Poetic Albion – still called Oak Grove by some – retains its identity despite changes over time


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 31, 1999

Albion, formerly known as the community of Oak Grove, sits along Arkansas 16 on a northwestern angle of the White County border. A very small community, the convenience store/gas station stays busy with traffic traveling to and from nearby Searcy, which is located just a few miles south of Albion.
A post office was located in the community of old Oak Grove in the very late 1800s, and as soon as it was to be made official, the common name of Oak Grove had to be changed because it was already taken in Arkansas.
The name Albion, according to the book Humorous History of White County, was a name given to a post office in Great Britain and the name had been retained in poetry. Hence, the name was given to the old Oak Grove community. The post office began in 1892 and remained until many years later.
Mildred Moore, a lifelong resident of Albion, says she always called the hamlet "Oak Grove" and always will. "I live on the land where my momma and daddy lived when we were growing up," said Mildred. "It was always Oak Grove, named, I think, after the old Methodist Church that used to sit way off the road, back in an old grove of oak trees," she said. "But the church is gone now and there is a new Methodist church in town."
Mildred also remembered there was a grocery store, owned by Arch Patterson. "Mr. Patterson owned a grocery when I was just a little kid and later, L.F. Martin ran it for a long time," she said. "After he left, it closed for good."

Some of the names of the families from past days in Albion, says Mildred, include her family, the Moores; the Davises and the Whites. She could remember her grandmother living in an old log house just up the street from where Mildred lives today.
Ollie Bea Reaper remembered that Arkansas 16 changed from a dirt road to a new highway in the 1930s. She also remembered the old Methodist Church. "Back then, we had a school in Albion that went through the eighth grade. In approximately 1945, the school was sold and we consolidated with Pangburn," said Ollie Bea. "My whole family was transferred to Pangburn to go to school after that. We do have the Albion township voting precinct here."
At present day, there is a gas station/convenience store and grocery store, a check cashing business, a specialty shop with lawn ornaments and other outdoor décor and several different churches. Located smack dab in the middle between Searcy and Pangburn, the residents don’t have far to drive for other supplies they might need. Last year the Reaper family of Albion was nominated as the White County Farm Family of the Year. They continue to farm the land around Albion.