I Grew Up Hearing These Names When Dad Told Stories
The following was compiled by Eugene Cypert, published in the Searcy Daily Citizen August 18, 1924, and prepared for this website by the White County Historical Society.
Albion - named for the Post Office bearing that name in Old England and still retained in poetry.
Antioch - named for a Post Office which had taken its name from a church in the vicinity.
Bald Knob - named for the town which was named for a ledge of rock within the corporate limits of the town.
Big Creek - named for a creek which flows through the township.
Cadron - named for Cadron Creek which flows along the border of White and Faulkner counties.
Cane - named for the creek which flows through the lower end of the township.
Chrisp - named for Col. R.W. Chrisp of Searcy.
Clay - named for Henry Clay who was three times a presidential candidate.
Crosby - named for the railroad station which bore the name of Dr. Crosby.
Coffey - named for Dr. Coffey, father of Hugh D. Coffey.
Cleveland - named for President Grover Cleveland.
Coldwell - named for a well of cold water on the old Gordon place in the township.
Cypert - named for Judge J.N. Cypert.
Denmark - named for the Post Office on the line between White and Jackson counties. The name of the Post Office was for the county in Europe.
Des Arc - named for a creek which flows through the township.
Dewey - named for Admiral George Dewey, hero of the naval battle of Manila.
Dogwood - named for the creek and for the numbers of dogwood trees in the adjacent bottom lands.
El Paso - named for the town of El Paso which got its name for a gap in the mountain north of the town. The Spanish words mean “The Pass”.
Francure - named for Francis Francure, a Frenchman who settled there in 1789, the first settler in White County.
Gravel Hill - named for the Gravel Hill School in the township which was named for a hill on which the building was formerly located.
Garner - named for the town, Garner, which was named in honor of an official of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad, which became the Missouri Pacific.
Gray - named for an early settler of Pulaski County who owned land near Searcy on the south side. From the tract is laid off what is known as “Woodruff Addition.” William E. Woodruff was administrator of the estate of Sampson Gray.
Gum Springs - named for a large spring near a church and a schoolhouse in the township.
Guthrie - named for Samuel Guthrie, first White County Judge. He lived, died and was buried in this township.
Harrison - named for President William Henry Harrison.
Higginson - named for the town which took its name from one of the stockholders of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad.
Hartsell - named for Morris Hartswell, an old resident.
Jackson - named for President Andrew Jackson. This is the second oldest township in the county.
Jefferson - named for President Thomas Jefferson who acquired this territory from France in 1803.
Joy - named South Cadron originally but was changed to Joy.
Kensett - named for the town which derived its name from a director of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad.
Kentucky - named for the Kentucky Valley, so named because of the number of Kentuckians who settled in this vicinity at an early date.
Liberty - named for a word always popular in America.
Marion - named for Gen. Francis Marion of the Revolutionary War.
McRae - named for the town which got its name from Gen. Dandridge McRae, White County’s only Civil War General.
Marshall - named for Chief Justice John Marshall.
Red River - named originally for Little Red River. This is the oldest township in the county for the reason that prior to the creation of the county in 1835 all of that portion, now in White County, was known as Red River Township in Pulaski County. All of the townships south of the river have been created out of this one township of Pulaski.
Royal - named for the Royall family who settled in this vicinity at an early date. It was first known as Royall Colony. The spelling has been changed from that of the early family.
Russell - named for the railroad station bearing the name of a stockholder of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad.
Union - named for Union Church near Stoney Point.
Velvet Ridge - named for the ridge which runs north and south through the township.
Walker - named for John T. Walker, a resident of the township.
The Oak Tree Inn
Kip Holt of McRae tells of the famous café in McRae. In most cafes, people may see a few plants hanging or sitting around, but having a tree in the center of the café was quite unusual. The name of the café was the Oak Tree Inn.
The café was built around one of McRae’s biggest oaks, 13 feet and 7 inches in circumference. The café was run by Speedy Fuller, but the building was owned by L.P. “Doc” Ernest, and he had no idea the wind would cause the tree to shift, so every time it rained the roof would need to be packed around the tree. The tree café was tremendously popular and received a great deal of business due to the oak tree. Tourists liked to take pictures of the café.
The Oak Tree Inn was located in the middle section of McRae, the most lively part of town. Surrounding the café were a pool hall, a beer joint and a liquor store. A great deal of commotion and fighting went on outside of the café. A fire destroyed the building in the late 1940s and killed the tree, and it finally had to be cut down
Dad remembered the place well as it was a few hundred feet from where he was born!