Albion, Oklahoma

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Albion is a town in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 143 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

A United States Post Office opened at Albion, Indian Territory on December 6, 1887 and is still in operation.

Prior to Oklahoma's statehood Albion was located in Wade County, Choctaw Nation.

In its early days Albion—named by John T. Bailey, an Englishman, using the [Ancient Greek] name for England—was a sawmill town in the Indian Territory. Later it became a trading center in an agricultural region in which cotton and other crops were grown.[3]

During the 1880s the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, more popularly known as the “Frisco”, built a line from north to south through the Choctaw Nation, connecting Fort Smith, Arkansas with Paris, Texas. The railroad paralleled the Kiamichi River throughout much of its route in present-day Pushmataha County, Oklahoma. Train stations were established every few miles to aid in opening up the land and, more particularly, to serve as the locations of section houses. Supervisors for their respective miles of track lived in the section houses to administer the track and its right-of-way. These stations also served as points at which the trains could draw water.

The site of Albion was selected because of its proximity to the Kiamichi River, with its abundant water supply. Adjacent station stops were established at Talihina, Oklahoma to the north, and Kiamichi, Oklahoma to the south.

The sparsely-populated area, at that time known as Wade County, Choctaw Nation, in the Indian Territory, was home to Choctaw Indians who farmed or subsisted on the land.

Few roads or trails existed. Transportation was provided by the Frisco Railroad, which offered six trains per day—three in each direction—until it closed to passenger traffic during the late 1950s. It continued freight operations until 1981, when it closed altogether and its rails were removed. The loss of passenger rail fortunately coincided with the construction of U.S. Highway 271.

Albion has more in common economically with Talihina, Oklahoma, the town to its north. Planners of the proposed State of Sequoyah, who in 1905 proposed a state to be formed from the Indian Territory, realized this, and called for Albion to be the southernmost town in a county, Wade County, which was also to include Talihina and towns to its north, and stretch far to the north and west. Instead, Sequoyah was not admitted to the Union by Congress, and in the State of Oklahoma which followed it Albion became the northeastern-most town of a county whose geographic and population centers are far to Albion’s southwest.

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