White Oak, also known as Singleton Crossing, Mill Prairie, Black Jack, and Mapes, is a rural community in northwestern Wood County three miles west of Yantis on Farm Road 17. By the 1860s there was a school at a community known variously as Singleton Crossing, Black Jack, or Mill Prairie. Reportedly the short-lived Mapes community was established there because of a political feud. After the 1892 presidential campaign, Democrats W. R. D. Willett, Billy Gamblin, J. C. Mapes, and others petitioned for a post office for the small community to be located outside generally Populist Yantis. For a brief time after its post office opened in 1893, the Mapes community had a school, a church, two gins, and several stores, including a store that J. C. Mapes, who also served as postmaster, ran out of the post office. Mapes sold his store to Willett, who in 1895 moved it and one of the gins back to Yantis, leaving only a log church at the Mapes community. In 1905 a one-room school called White Oak had fifty-four White students taught by one teacher. By 1932 White Oak had seventy students in eight grades. The community was named for nearby White Oak Branch, which later was inundated by Lake Fork Reservoir. In the 1940s highway maps show only a few widely scattered dwellings in the area. By 1959 the site was marked by the White Oak church, which continued to be shown on highway maps in 1988.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Rachel Jenkins | © Texas State Historical Association
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