Ollie Faye Bishop was surrounded by friends and family Wednesday at Heritage Living Center in honor of her 102nd birthday.

The party met over old photos and articles that Ollie Bishop, a reputed chronologer, collected over her lifetime.

Miss Ollie, as her friends call her, was born on the 19th day of January in the year 1909. 

According to her son, Patrick Bishop, of Greenbrier, she was born and spent much of her life in what was known as the Republican community, the areas surrounding what is now Republican Road located north of Greenbrier. 

Patrick Bishop said that his mother was a part of a thriving community that centered around a cotton gin, a school house and a heavy-flowing stream.

"She taught school in an old rock school house. The building is still there. It’s amazing to see it now. It’s surrounded by pumping stations and other gas and oil industry rigs. I suppose someone is trying to preserve it," said Bishop.

According to her own records, Ollie Bishop obtained her teaching certificate from Arkansas State Teacher’s College in 1928, which is now known as the University of Central Arkansas.

Ollie Bishop said that she met her husband, Addy Bishop, in Conway and the two were married in Damascus.

According to her son, the couple maintained a restaurant in Clinton for a short while called The Court Café, and after "falling on hard times," the family moved to Flint, Michigan so that his father might find work with General Motors. 

The family returned to the area in 1979, save Patrick Bishop’s sister, who is still a Michigan resident.

Of his mother, Patrick Bishop said, "She was almost always in the country. She picked cotton and would go north to Missouri in the fall to pick cotton there. That’s just how she got by."

Joe Bishop, Ollie Bishop’s youngest son, said that she has always been a hard worker and an amiable player of the piano.

"Her dad was a good fiddle player and she played the piano. They would go to peoples’ houses and have singings. She was also religious and church oriented."

Joe Bishop added that he believes that his mother is alive today because of the strict ethic of hard work and difficult labor that was instilled in her by her father and then carried out throughout her own life.

"She started plowing at nine years old. She never had a day off unless it was a Sunday."

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)