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ALBION

Located in northeastern Pushmataha County, Albion is situated on U.S. Highway 271, about two miles south of the Pushmataha-Latimer county line. The area was originally in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. A post office was established there on December 6, 1887. The St. Louis and San Francisco Railway built a line through the area in 1886 87. During the 1880s the Shine Brothers operated a sawmill. Other early businesses included the Jerome Clayton Lumber Company and the Albion Mercantile. When the town was platted and incorporated in 1906, John T. Bailey named it Albion, which is a Roman/ancient word for England. In that year the Farmers' Union built a cotton gin.

The town served an agricultural region producing cotton and hay as well as cattle, sheep, and turkeys. In 1911 R. L. Polk's Oklahoma State Gazetteer and Business Directory estimated Albion's population at 300. At that time a bank, a hotel, three general stores, a livery, a blacksmith, a shoemaker, and a confectionery constituted the business district. E. E. Lenhart published the Albion Advocate newspaper. L. A. Reynolds owned the hotel and served as postmaster. Early churches included Methodist, Baptist, and Church of Christ. A 1920 population of 301 dropped to a low of 161 in 1960 and 88 in 1990.

Around 1913 Mato Kosyk (1853-1940), a Lutheran minister who had immigrated to the United States from Werben, Lower Lusatia, East Germany, in 1883, retired to a farm near Albion. A poet, he is considered one of three great Serbian (a Slavic language) writers. Therefore, Europeans acknowledged his one-hundred-fiftieth birthday in 2003.

At the turn of the twenty-first century Albion, with 143 residents, served as a "bedroom" community. Albion's school provided an education from kindergarten through eighth grade. High school students attended Clayton schools. The Albion State Bank (NR 79002024) and the Mato Kosyk House (NR 79002025) were listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Albion," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003). Dorothy Arnote West, Pushmataha County: The Early Years (N.p.: Dorothy Arnote West, 2002).

Linda D. Wilson

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