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Home / Browse / Allport (Lonoke County)
Latitude and Longitude:
0.174 square miles (2010 Census)
115 (2010 Census)
April 10, 1967
Historical Population as per the U.S. Census:
Allport is a town on Highway 165 in southern Lonoke County located two miles west of Humnoke (Lonoke County). Allport is largely populated by African Americans, although Lonoke County’s population is nearly ninety percent white.
Southern Lonoke County has rich alluvial soil that attracted cotton farmers who created large plantations operated with slave labor. When the Civil War ended the practice of slavery in Arkansas and other Southern states, many freed slaves became tenant farmers. Others were able to purchase land; African Americans often were sold the lower land, more prone to flooding, while white farmers retained possession of the higher agricultural land. An African-American community developed along Crooked Creek in southern Lonoke County; by 1878, the community had a school—long known as Lonoke Colored School but later renamed for George Washington Carver. Allport had a post office from 1914 to 1926; after it closed, mail delivery came from Humnoke. The reason the name Allport was chosen has not been determined.
School desegregation began in Arkansas as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in 1954. Change came slowly to rural areas such as Allport, however, but the Carver school was closed in 1967, and its students were added to the Humnoke School District.
No attempt was made to restrict the community to African Americans, but it remained largely black throughout the twentieth century. In 1967, led by Johnnie Gay, leaders of the community succeeded in incorporating the town. Gay was elected Allport’s first mayor. Gay told a reporter from the Arkansas Gazette that the town incorporated to be a more effective bargaining force for improvement, negotiating with state and federal government officials. Incorporation did lead to funding from the state government, helping the new town to install street lights and to purchase a police car and a road grader. The town also sought its own water system (after declining an offer from Humnoke to be included in that city’s water system) and negotiated with the school district to buy the abandoned Carver building. Mayor Gay was shot and killed in his store in September 1979 by a robber.
Since its incorporation, the population of Allport has dwindled to 115 as of the 2010 census. There is a community church, but no stores or other businesses. The census reported ninety-three African American citizens, thirteen white citizens, and nine of two or more racial backgrounds.
For additional information:“Allport Mayor Shot to Death at his Grocery.” Arkansas Gazette, September 4, 1979, p. 3A.
Dodson, Aretha. That’s the Way It “Wuz” Back Then. Bloomington, IN: Westbow Press, 2014.
Shiras, Ginger. “All-Negro Town of Allport is Proud of Its Street Lights and Civic Spirit.” Arkansas Gazette, September 1, 1968, p. 10A.
Steven Teske Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Last Updated 11/7/2016
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