One of the first settlers of record in the area that became Union Parish was a Mr. Linville from North Carolina. The area was still owned by the Spanish, but the governor of the Louisiana Territory had sent letters to Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama encouraging pioneer families to move to the area. He said “You will be given land grants and you won’t have to join the Catholic Church.”
Mr. Linville arrived in the area in 1778. There is some speculation as to whether he entered the area from the Ouachita City or Alabama Landing. The Indians had a road from Ouachita City to Arkansas. Linville established his trading post on this road. He was eleven miles north of Ouachita City and eight miles west of Alabama Landing.
The Ouachita Indians (Caddos) were still in the area in 1778. A roving war tribe of Indians called the Osage resented the white man coming into the area. The Osage attacked and destroyed the Ouachita City port and several homes in the area in 1789.
Vincente Michel, living at Ouachita City, constructed the first port in the early 1780’s. After the port was destroyed, John Price and Balthazer Fouquel were granted permission to rebuild the port in 1790.
No church of record was in the area until 1833. Several Christian men from Morehouse Parish and the surrounding area had visited in the area for several years, witnessing to the early pioneer families. The church was organized a short distance from the trading post. According to the old records, the church was organized in 1833. The church, under the leadership of Elder George, joined the Concord Baptist Association in the late 1840’s.
Om 1842. the Union Parish Police Jury constructed a road from Farmerville (Wards Chapel Road) to intersect the Arkansas Road from Ouachita City to Union Cross Roads. The road crossed Bayou DeLoutre (Ned Lee’s crossing) and went east until it intersected the Arkansas Road near the Linville Trading post. The ports at Ouachita and Alabama Landing could be served by all Union Parish farmers.
The Liberty Baptist Church was one-fourth mile off of the new road. On January 11, 1850, the church obtained two acres of land on the new road from Lewis Lanair. A new church building was constructed.
There was no school n the area in the 1850’s, the Barrs (postmaster), Normans, Loves and Liberty Thomas children rode a wagon from below the Haile area to Marion to attend the Bell Academy.
Educational opportunities during the Civil War (1862 – 1865) and for several years after, were curtailed in the area. Some churches operated short term schools.
The first school of record in the Linville area was in 1881. The building was of the log-pen type construction. The school taught the three R’s (reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic). The organizers of the school served as trustees. They were: Bill Kilpatrick, Ike Reppond and Dick Pillgreen. The school was named “Oak Grove School.”
John D. Crow operated a large farm and sawmill in the Linville area for many years. He was a deacon in the Liberty Baptist Church and a mason.
P. M. Turner, a businessman, postmaster and carpenter, was most helpful in developing the early school program at Linville.