yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Decatur County Printers, 1983). Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.


Mrs. Scott Ends Postal Career

By Lillye Younger

A door closed a very interesting, informative and satisfying career for a Scotts Hill lady.

Mrs. Raymond (Hettie L.) Scott chalked up 30 years of service with Scotts Hill Post Office. Her husband was serving as Post Master and she would drop by the post office and assist him a bit. From this stemmed the desire for the attractive brunette to work here. She begin work in 1947. Her appointment came through Civil Service.

"I was employed as a clerk when the post office was located on Main Street in Scotts Hill," she smiled and said. Later this building was sold and the post office was housed in a mobile unit awaiting the construction of a new air-conditioned structure located near Taylor's Crossing in Scotts Hill. "In the old building we had no telephone but a neighborly merchant, located next door delivered messages to us. When we moved into the mobile unit it seemed very crowded at first, however after remaining here for two years we became accustomed to it," she explained. "Then after graduating to the 34 x 61 foot present modern building there was so much more territory to cover. There are eight rooms to the well lighted air-conditioned building and there is plenty of space for employees."

With a nostalgic note in her voice, she turned and quickly described her early experiences. "A lady dropped in the post office with a big lamp with a huge crushable shade and wanted to mail it to a relative. She had nothing in which to pack it so we had to find a big cardboard box and pack it for her, after explaining that it might get crushed in transit. Even the suggestion that she mail the relative the money to buy a lamp failed and away it went."

"Other unusual happenings arose in the spring when baby chickens arrived at the post office COD. Many times customers failed to call for their chickens and we had to dispose of them. They usually came in lots of 100 or more and some were already dead upon arrival. They couldn't be returned so we had to auction them off and sent the small amount they brought to the company. These noisy little creatures had to go regardless of price."

Another interesting incident was when the Zip Code became effective in 1962. Some of our customers got mixed up and put their own zip code on the address rather than looking up the correct zip code of the town or city. When their letter came back undelivered they were very surprised and asked the question, "Why?"

Mrs. Scott began work before Women's Lib esculated and explains that she was truly treated like a lady during her term of office. "When I started work here postage for letters was three cents and a postal card cost one and one-half cent to mail."

The energetic lady served under seven presidents, President Harry Truman, President Dwight Eisenhower, President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson, President Richard Nixon, President Gerald Ford and President Jimmy Carter.

"The postal department was controlled by Congress until July 1971 when it became a separate branch of government," she said.

The creative postal employee received a number of certificates and merits, some of monetary value for each of her suggestions adopted by the department

The punctual employee was late only once during her whole 30 years of service. "I looked at the clock wrong and was around an hour late," she laughed and admitted. "However I had a good boss, Post Master Gordon Scott, and he never said a word."

She oft times went beyond the line of duty, especially to older people. For some she addressed their letters and others she even put the stamps on their letters.

When she first went to work her husband was serving as Post Master. Later Gordon Scott was appointed and he served as letter carrier on Route 1. Jerry Taylor is letter carrier on Route 1.

Despite the fact that the post office department was her oyster and she was one of it's shining pearls, she is happy to join the ranks of retirees even though her experience with the Post Office may echo in her ears from time to time. Wilson Miller will fill her position until another clerk is employed.

When she retired she received the following letter from James J. Symbol, Regional Postmaster General, Southern Region, Memphis. It reads thus: "Dear Mrs. Scott: I am pleased to present you with this letter and certificate in appreciation of your 30 years of faithful government service. Many valuable experiences were gained by you during this period of long and devoted service. The U.S. Postal Service loses this experience because of your retirement. Please accept the good wishes of myself and my staff for many years in which to enjoy your well earned retirement."

"I do not plan to sit down and do nothing," she explained. "I plan to do more volunteer work, assist with the Senior Citizens program and give more time to my church."

A member of the Scotts Hill Baptist Church, Mrs. Scott teaches an intermediate Sunday School class. She servse on the Beauty Pageant Committee of the Decatur County Fair.

She finished high school in Scotts Hill and attended Memphis State University. Her college career was cut short as she entered the role of housekeeper by becoming the wife of Raymond Scott.

They are the parents of a daughter, Mrs. Melinda Krei, who teaches school at Northside in Jackson.

She received an award when she retired which reads: "This certificate is awarded to Hettie L. Scott in grateful appreciation for dedicated service during an honorable career of 30 years service to the Government of the United States. Given by the United States Postal Service on this occasion of your retirement." Dated December 30, 1977 and signed by James J. Symbol.

Female Breaks Into Former Male Job

By Lillye Younger

Decatur County Women have broken ranks of the traditional "All-Male" officies and positions. Despite the fact that it's quite a challenge for a woman, the tradition was broken in the office of County Judge and City Judge.

Now it has reached another milestone. It is in the postal department of Parsons, Mrs. Carolyn Davis Weatherford, 20, is the first lady City Mail Carrier in the history of Parsons.

She dons comfortable walking shoes each morning as she faces her new Man-Size role around 6 a.m.

The brown-eyed brunette personality has been on the job around two and one half months and likes it better each passing day. "I like the work," she smiled and admitted. "The personnel at the post office have been real helpful to me during my training period." She agrees she gets "Very Tired" but will get use to it.

City delivery spirals at 8 am. each morning however, the incoming mail must be worked up, prior to delivery. Her mail pack weighs up to 35 pounds, according to the mail received.

The two mile route is traversed in a right handed Mail Jeep however the carrier has quite a bit of walking to do. The jeep is parked at various designated points along the route and mail is delivered to the section on foot. It is called a "Park and Loop Route" and she has ten stops on the route. "It takes to around 11 a.m. for delivery each morning," she said.

Learning her route posed no problem for the intellectual personality. "I received training for approximately 18 hours, route wise," she revealed. Practice cards were used to teach her how to case the mall for route delivery.

"The flexible career employee also serves as postal clerk at the post office and also fills in at other positions when the needs arise," Postmaster, Alma Primm said.

"I think she is doing a good job and we are glad to have her join our work force at Parsons Post Office," he continued.

Mrs. Weatherford transferred from Darden Post Office where she was employed as a clerk. She admits that carrying the mail is quite different from her former position.

"Its a real good job and the pay is higher than in private industry," she said.

She is also owner of Grapel's Cloth Shop on Tennessee Avenue in Parsons where she works after postal hours. Assisting her in her business is her mother, Mrs. Grapel Davis and aunt, Mrs. Ruth Austin.

Amid the fact that women have been described as a "Powder-Puff Perfumed" female, she has risen to a higher level since Woman's Suffrage.

"Salty" Yarbro Retires From Post Office After 28 Years

By Lillye Younger

Page 10 The News Leader, Parsons, Tenn., July 6, 1972

Friday, June 30th, a door closed a very interesting, informative and satisfying career for a local citizen.

Leo Yarbro had chalked up 28 years of service at Parsons Post Office, including a stretch he served in the Korean conflict plus sick leave. He ranked second in seniority.

"I was employed as a temporary substitute clerk carrier May 1, 1948 by former Post Master, Mr. Raymond Townsend. Mr. Townsend retired the day after I started work and Mr. Ruble Dodd was appointed to serve as acting Post Master.

With a nostalgic note in his voice, he turned and quickly described his early experience with the postal department.

"The post office was located at 113 Tennessee Avenue South. Our lighting system included only one 60 watt light bulb and the building was heated by a pot bellied stove. Later we moved to 200 Tennessee Avenue and we felt like we were really 'up town' here."

With a dreamy look intermingled with much pride he said, "The modern brick post office spiraled and was opened in 1963. It included modem facilities, adequate space, lighting and plenty of parking space for vehicles in maneuvering areas."

Before long the versatile young man was promoted to permanent substitute clerk and then to permanent clerk. In 1963 he was elevate to the position of assistant to the postmaster. He held this position until his retirement.

During his initial years of service his mall route was 20 miles long. "I walked it back then and believe you me, I didn't let any grass grow under my feet," he smiled and said. Some days it seemed impossible to make the route due to rain, sleet or snow but the mail must go through and it was always delivered." Now all routes are motorized.

Leo served under five presidents, President Harry Truman, President Dwight Eisenhower, President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson and President Richard Nixon.

"I think Arthur Summerfield who served under President Eisenhower, was the best Postmaster General," he said. He initiated the modernization of the postal department.

"The Postal Department was controlled by Congress until July 1971 when it became a separate branch of government similar to the T.V.A.," he explained." Within five years it is supposed to be sell-supporting."

The creative postal employee received a number of certificates and merits, some of monetary value for each of his suggestions adopted by the department.

"The technical work becomes the most difficult," Leo admitted. "What the general public sees isn't bad and looks quite simple."

The punctual employee was never late for work a single day. He arrived early and stayed late.

"My relationship with the public has been very rewarding. If you try to meet people half way, the most of them will do likewise."

In conclusion he remarked, "I feel like I owe the public a debt of gratitude for allowing me to serve them in the postal department."

He plans to take it easy after retirement, do a lot of fishing, gardening and traveling.

Despite the fact that the post office department was his oyster and he was one of its shining pearls, he is happy to join the number of retirees and "live it up" even though his experience with the department may echo in his ears from time to time.

He is married to the former Miss Will E. Jennings and they live at 423 West Main Street in Parsons. The couple have two daughters who are engaged in the educational field as teachers, Miss Georgia Ann Yarbro who is teaching in Orlando, Florida and Mrs. Joy Veazey who taught in Camden last year.

Sugar Tree Post-Mistress Retires After Thirty-Two Years Of Service

By Lillye Younger

A Decatur Countian has hung up the "Fiddle and the Bow" after thirty-two years of continuous service.

Mrs. Holland Odle Miller closed up shop Wednesday, September 1, at Sugar Tree post office, which is located in the heart of the community.

"I have been planning to retire for quiet some time so on an impulse I picked up the phone and called the Sectional Center in Jackson advising them of my decision," Mrs. Miller admitted. That was about a month ago. She told no one of her decision, not even her husband, Sherman Miller. "I just got tired," she admits, however she explained that she has enjoyed serving as postmaster in the community in which she grew up.

With a nostalgic note in her voice, the attractive brunette recalled her early experiences in this capacity. The post office was located in what was known as the Fry-Wesson building in the early days. Conditions here were not very conducive to a young energetic postmaster. "The building leaked, there was no electricity and a wood stove was the only type of heat," she recalls. The century old building had only four windows with shutters on them and it was very hard to heat in winter.

"I zipped in every morning around seven a.m, built a fire in the wood stove and then stood around and shivered until the heat floated slowly into the building," she notes. "There was no specific schedule back then, due to bad roads. The mail went out just when the mail carriers could get to the post office to pick it up. In winter during snows, etc. it was quite a bit later going out since dirt roads had to be traversed."

When Mrs. Miller took over the post off ice Frank Smothers was serving as the rural carrier and C. J. Melton served the Star Route.

The routes were shortened a bit after the entrance of T.V.A. One route extended the entire length of Morgan's Creek to the Tennessee River. When the land was flooded families were forced to move away and that shortened the route. Now the Star route includes Woodland Shores, Cherokee heights and Lick Creek and the rural route takes in the Ponderosa and Morgan Creek families.

Mrs. Miller explains that there are fewer packages mailed today as in the early days of her service. However letters have increased. This is due primarily to the tremendous number of Government checks issued today as well as credit cards and utility bills. The supplement check, now issued, is jokingly called the "Gold Check" at Sugar Tree post office.

Turning back to the early days Mrs. Miller shares an unusual setting. She discovered a baby casket beneath the counter in the old building and walked around it for quite some time until one day it had to go. She told her husband and he disposed of it. It was perhaps a new casket the former owners were unable to sell.

"You really get to know your regular customers," she explained. "I learned many of them on the route by their handwriting only, despite the fact I have never seen them,"

An interesting incident which occurred about Christmas time, as she recalls was when a man and little boy came to the post office, loaded with Christmas cards, and the man purchased stamps for them. He divided the stamps in groups of ten and the little boy stuck his tongue out while the man wet the stamps then put them on his Christmas cards It was kinda like an assembly line.

The post office has been located across the street from the former location in a new building constructed by the couple ten years ago. Like the former location, the couple operate a grocer store in connection with the post office, which is located at one end of the building.

Three wars have spiraled during Mrs. Miller's term office, World War II, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. Postage rates have hiked from three cents a letter to the present thirteen cents.

Despite the fact that the versatile personality has closed the door on her postal career, she is taking a part of it home with her. It's the General Delivery window, with its cubby holes in the back. The antique collector revealed that she is planning to use it for a china cabinet to underscore a part of her vast collection of glassware of the yesteryear." The front of the window-door combination will face her den and the back, the kitchen.

Sugar Tree post office will continue to serve the community in keeping with a Congressional bill to stop closing small post offices until in February when later action will be taken. Sugar Tree is a fourth class post office.

Mrs Miller will be replaced by Mr. Ray Barton, former postal employee. Present rural route carrier is Eulon Cox and Star Route carrier is E. J. Berry.

In her closing remarks, Mrs. Miller shares her secret of success as postmaster. "When I started, I told my customers, I said what I meant and meant what I said. This has carried me through," she concluded.

She assumed charge at Sugar Tree, September 1, 1944. The first postmaster here was Joseph H. Fry, whose appointment date was June 19, 1874. Others who have served are John W. Cobble, James L. Jones, Richard S. Wesson, Joseph Odle and John F. Wilson.

Parsons Post Office Finally Found A Home!

By Lillye Younger, Decatur County Historian

Despite the fact that there are many business places in Parsons who are vying for business, there is one whose doors swing open many more times. Not only do the doors swing open more often but those who enter stay only a short time. In fact, it's against the law to loiter therein.

It is the Parsons Post Office, located at 104 East Second Street. One time the post office was kind of like an orphan child, moving here and there but not any more.

The modern brick structure was dedicated September 8, 1963. Chairs were placed in front of the new building which townsmen filled for the program.

Spiraling the dedication was the concert presented by Parsons High School Band. Postmaster, F. A. W. Primm made the opening remarks and Rev. W. A. Edwards, pastor of Parsons United Methodist Church gave the invocation.

Welcome and recognition of Honored guests was performed by Edwin C. Townsend. At this time Postmaster Primm presented Honorary Recognition Certificate to Mr. Joe Marshall upon his retirement.

The address was presented by Hon. William H. McConnell Assistant to Regional Director Memphis Region Post Office Department. Mr. Jack Woodall of Jackson made a few remarks and presented the Flag and Charley Collett gave the Ode to the Flag.

The Flag raising ceremony was under the directions of Color Guard, Mort & DC Platoon, Tennessee National Guard, Parsons, Tennessee.

Mrs. Bill Hammonds, vocalist, sang "The National Anthem", accompanied by music of Parsons High School Band. Mr. Bill Johnson, pastor of Parsons Church of Christ gave the benediction.

Following the dedication open house was held inside and Decatur Countians were exposed to the new and modern equipment, which reflected the progress and growth of Parsons.

The Parsons Lions Club sponsored the dedication program of the new Post Office Building.

The postal service continued to keep in pace and in 1965 a mailster was put into use by city carrier, Keylon Barrett. This vehicle speeded up the city mail delivery considerably and is an asset to the tired, weary feet of the carriers. Since then another mailster has been added. A new one was purchased in 1971 and another in 1972, according to Mr. Alma Primm Postmaster. These mailsters cover around 22 miles a day.

Parsons Post Office has volume of two million pieces of incoming and outgoing mail annually. It has a staff of 13 employees. In 1965 Mr. Leo Yarbro was serving as assistant postmaster.

Mr. Yarbro and Mr. Coleman Bartholomew, Clerk, received special awards for beneficial suggestions to the postal service from the Suggestions and Awards Office in Memphis. The awards were presented by Holland Rice. Since that date the Assistant Postmaster has retired.

Today the staff includes Postmaster A.W. Primin, two clerks, Mr. Jack Houston and Mr. Sybern Riggs, three carriers, Mr. Keylon Barrett, Mr. O.C. Jordan, Jr., and Mr. Colen Mathis, three rural carriers, Mr. J. D. White, Mr. Max Ray Maxwell and Mr. Vernal Pettigrew, three assistant carriers. Mr. Harold White, Mrs. Linda Miller and Mr. Colin K. Mathis and one cleaner, Mr. Colin E. Mathis.

Besides Parsons residents the Post Office serves Perryville, Beacon, Darden and Jeanette. They are now serving a population of around 6,500.

The Post Office was first established in Partinville, now Bear Creek, November 13, 1885 by Mr. George Partin. Later it was moved to Parsons and the name changed to Parsons on July 25, 1903.

Postmasters who have served since that time are: George W. Partin, J. S. Barham, Leslie Rains, George W. Partin, Newton J. Arnold, Joseph H. Jennings, Herbert G. Roberts, Terrell McIllwain, Raymond C. Townsend, Ernest R. Dodd (acting); and A.W. Primm.

The first rural routes were established in 1904 and in 1905 route three was established.

Among those who have served the three routes are Mr. John Warden, first rural carrier on Route 1, Mr. Houston Partin, first rural carrier on route 2, and Mr. Ezra Jennings, first rural carrier on route 3. Others serving the three routes are Mr. Frank Arnold, Mr. Edward L. Mays, Mrs. Sue Carrington, Mr. Dee M. Hayes, Mr. C. A. Burton, Mr. Cecil Carrington, Mr. Vernal Pettigrew, Mr. Cecil Townsend and Mr. Warden Arnold.

Hats off to Parsons Post Office. May it continue to spread sunshine into the lives of its population by way of letters and packages.

History Of Post Office In Parsons Is Recounted

By Lillye Younger, Decatur County Historian

The statement, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these carriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," made by Herodotus, Greek historian 484 B.C., describing the performance of the postman, was applied in this section even before the dawn of Parsons.

The first postoffice was established at Partonville, Tennessee November 13, 1885. Partonville, located between Bear Creek Church and Highway 20, was settled by Mr. George W. Partin, father of Mr. Carl Partin. Mr. Partin also served as the first postmaster.

"My dad ran a General Mercantile Store at Partonville and reserved one corner for the U.S. mail," Mr. Carl Partin explained. He served as postmaster from 1885 until 1893.

"When the Tennessee Midland railroad, later N.C. & St. L. Railroad, was built from Lexington to Perryville it bypassed Partonville so Dad moved to Parsons. The name of the postoffice was changed from Partonville to Parsons July 25, 1893 and Judge John H. Barham became the second postmaster. It was located in his law office at 106 Main Street," Mr. Partin added.

Mail arrived once a week by horseback and stagecoach in pioneer days. It was carried from Perryville to Clifton via gasoline boats, operated by Watt N. Russ and Tom Hassell, Sr. boatlines which plied the Tennessee River.

Postmen blew a big horn upon entering a town and the people came to the postoffice to call for their mail. Of course the mail wasn't very heavy in those days even though those from the surrounding area came to town to get their mail. There were no rural routes at this time. The railroad speeded up the mail service in Decatur County.

From 1893 until 1963 Parsons postoffice sprouted up all over town. It was similar to a merry-go-round, following the initial pattern of locating in the business place of each postmaster.

Mrs. Bonnie Keeton said, "My dad, Leslie Rains served as postmaster from 1897 until 1903 and the postoffice was in the Newt Arnold Leslie Rains General Mercantile Store, located at the corner of Main and Tennessee Avenue North.

After Mr. George Partin moved to Parsons he had the Tulane Hotel constructed and in 1903 he served as postmaster once again. This time it was moved into his store building, located on the first floor of the hotel building. Business became so flourishing that Mr. Partin had to move the postoffice out. He moved it into a small office adjacent to the hotel. It also required additional employees and Mrs. Nola Ivy, the former Nola Arnold, became the first postal clerk, according to Mr. Carl Partin. Her salary was $15 a mouth. Mr. Partin also helped out during rush hours.

Postmasters salary was based on the number of stamps and money orders he issued. Mr. Freeman Wilson was the second postal clerk and at this time the salary of postal clerks was increased.

Succeeding Mr. George Partin as postmaster was Mr. Newt Arnold, who served from 1909 until 1914. He moved the postoffice into his store on the corner of Tennessee Avenue and Main Street. Mrs. Vada Warden, niece of Mr. Arnold, said "It was a real treat to call for the mail at Uncle Newt's store, especially for a teenager."

Joseph H. Jennings was appointed postmaster in 1914 and served until 1920. The postoffice was moved to W. D. Colwick & Son building, 108 Tennessee Avenue S. which had a petition [partition?] in it at that time. "The postoffice occupied the south side of the building." Mr. Hobart Townsend, son-in-law of Mr. Jennings said. In 1917 Mr. Jennings moved the postoffice to Farmers Bank at 111 Tennessee, the present location of Gravel's Dress Shoppe.

Hebert G. Roberts became postmaster in 1920 and the postoffice was moved to Roberts and White's General Mercantile Store, located in the old Wheat building, at the present location of Farmers Bank, 121 Tennessee Ave. S., according to Mrs. R. W. White, sister of Mrs. Roberts. "Later we moved our business and postoffice into a new two story building located at the south corner of Tennessee Avenue and West Second Street, present location of Jennings Radio Shop. This building burned after Mr. Robert's term expired.

In 1926 Mr. Terrell McIllwain was appointed postmaster and served until 1934.

Another move found the postoffice in the building across from Parsons depot, which is the present furniture department of Maxwell's Department Store, according to Mrs. Terrel McIllwain. "Before my hustand's term was up, the postoffice moved to 111 West Main Street," Mrs. McIllwain said. Assisting him in the postoffice was Mrs. Lelia Conder.

In 1934 Raymond C. Townsend became postmaster and served until 1948. "The postoffice moved up the street to 105 Tennessee Avenue, present location of Dr. Davis," Mr. Townsend explained. In 1943 the postoffice was moved to 113 Tennessee Avenue S. present location of Hill Tile and Decorating Co.

Ernest E. Dodd was appointed acting postmaster in 1948 and served until 1950. November 16, 1950 Almi Primm was appointed postmaster. At this time the postoffice was located at the corner of Tennessee Avenue and Second Street E.

In 1950 it seemed periodical changes came to a halt when Alma Primm was appointed postmaster. He has served in this capacity for the past 20 years and is still going strong.

Parsons postoffice esculated from rental buildings to a new modern brick home, with modern furnishings, located at 104 East Second Street. The post-office was dedicated September 8, 1963.

Not only has the building been updated but the number of employees has also increased.

"We now have ten employees," Mr. Prirnm explained. Serving as assistant postmaster is Leo Yarbro. Clerks are Sybern Riggs, Jack V. Houston. City mail carriers are Keylon Barrett, O. C. Jordan. Jr., Colin Mathis and rural carriers are Mrs. Sue Carrington, Max R. Maxwell and Vernal Pettigrew.

September 15, 1904 rural mail routes one and two were established in Decatur County. John Warden was the first rural carrier on route one, serving until January 31, 1909. Serving as first mal carrier of route two was Houston Partin, who served from September 15, 1904 until September 30. 1906.

On August 1, 1905 Ezra Jennings was appointed as first rural carrier on route three and served until his death January 13, 1936.

Others serving as rural mail carriers were Frank Arnold who served from October 1, 1906 until his retirement September 30, 1946. Edward L. Mays served temporarily from October 1, 1946 until March 26, 1949. Mrs. Sue Carrington was appointed rural carrier March 28, 1949 and is still serving on route one. Dee M. Hays served from February 1, 1909 until his retirement March 31, 1946. Cuthbert A. Burton served from July 6, 1937 until his death January 26, 1962. Cecil Carrington served temporarily from January 14, 1936 to January 25, 1936 and again April 1, 1936 and served to March 26, 1949. Cecil M. Townsend was appointed temporarily January 27, 1936 and served until July 3, 1937. Vernal Pettigrew was transferred from city carrier March 28, 1949 and is still serving as rural carrier on Route 3. Leonard Warden Arnold served as substitute carrier on route one from October 13, 1932 until Mav 6, 1938.

So goes the history of Parsons mail service.

Mrs. Carrington Joins Ranks Of Retired Postal Workers

By Lillye Younger

A day in the life of a rural letter carrier is a busy one, according to Mrs. Sue Carrington, who has served 23 years and three mouths, including sick leave, in this capacity.

She began work March 28, 1949. Friday, June 30th, 1972 was a "Red Letter" day for the blonde postal employee. It was the day she hung up the "Fiddle and the Bow," and joined the rank of retirees. She ranked third in seniority.

"I had the opportunity to retire with additional benefits if I choose to do so by June 30th, the slender attractive blonde explained. However it came quite unexpectedly and I was really rushed for time in making the important decision."

To be eligible for retirement one is required to work 20 years or more and be over fifty years of age.

Sue was employed as rural letter carrier on Route One, alter the retirement of the late Frank Arnold. The route extended a total of 27.9 miles at that time and at the present time the route measures 55.2 miles.

The latest addition to route one was in November 1971 when Perryville Postoffice was discontinued and 60 bones, over a stretch of five miles, were added.

"I enjoyed serving my former Perryville neighbors," she remarked, "however it did make the load much heavier."

In the early days of her service there were very few paved roads on her route. "I had to ford the creeks and branches quite often and the water was so high at times my car would drown out." This was especially true at Short and Dirty Creek.

At these times the quick thinking mail carrier just stepped out into the water, and called for help to pull her out, for the mail must go through. Later the greater percent of these roads were paved.

During the early days she left Parsons Postoffice around 8 a.m. and returned by 11 a.m. even on gravel roads. Now despite good roads, it took her from 8:30 until 2:30 to complete her route.

"There has been less packages since good roads, however the first, second and third class mall has increased more than tripled," Sue noted. She attributed this to better economy enabling patrons to subscribe for magazines and newspapers.

"I thoroughly enjoyed working as a letter carrier," she turned and said. "Most of all I felt I was doing a service, especially among the Senior Citizens. They always looked forward to meeting the mail carrier every morning, who kept them in contact with the outside world.

They oft times begged Sue to stay longer and chat with them saying, "You've got all day," not realizing that she had many other places to go.

Among the hazard connected to her work, she related were flat tires. "At first I didn't know how to fix a tire, but I really learned quick when I got in a pinch," she admitted. "I didn't have to fix very many, most times a "Good Samaritan" always came by and helped me out."

The efficient postal employee was so anxious to keep everyones name on her roster at the postoffice, she soon learned each family. She relates an amusing incident which happened one day.

"I knew one family who were expecting a new baby. Being overly anxious one day, I asked the father, who came for his mall, what they named their baby. To my surprise as well as embarrassment he said _____ [remainder of article missing]

Perryville Loses Identity As Post Office

By Lillye Younger

Friday, November 26, 1971 was the day the town of Perryville met its "Waterloo" Post Office wise. It was the last day the townsmen percolated with activity at the post office to call for their mail and get it out of private boxes.

The orders, handed down from the regional postmaster general at Memphis, stated that "Effective at the close of business November 26, the U.S. Post Office," which was opened in 1824, three years after the town was established as Perry County's seat, "will be discontinued in a federal economy move."

Therefore the 84 patrons of the post office will be served with other residents of the area along Route 1, Parsons, according to Parsons Postmaster, Alma Primm. Mrs. Sue Carrington, mall carrier of Route 1, is serving the additional 84 families.

Disappointment was the pattern when the last vestige postal equipment was loaded into the postal van and slid away, leaving the tiny little wood building vacant. The last thing to come down was the sign, "Perryville Post Office," thus leaving the once thriving river town as a village.

Mrs. Velma Bibbs, last officer in charge at the post office, said, "I took the American flag down almost amid tears. It was about the sadest thing I ever did."

Despite the fact that the 4th class postoffice, which had been established 69 years longer than the Parsons Postoffice, had to bow down to the 2nd class postoffice, it didn't fall without a struggle. Every possible thing that could have been done was done to keep the landmark, but to no avail. Even Congressmen and Senators assisted. It had to go.

Jessie Veal served as first postmaster and Mrs. Dorothy Brasher served as the last postmaster for ten years prior to her death in July 1971. Mrs. Edna Moore of Parsons served as postmaster from 1941 until 1962 and constructed and leased the present building to the postal department. It is now owned by Mrs. Velma Blbbs.

Beacon ‘Depot' Is Community Center

By Lillye Younger, Sun Correspondent

Jackson Sun, Thursday, March 21, 1968

BEACON —. The Jet age is overtaking the Beacon postoffice.

Located in one end of an abandoned depot, vestige of an earlier, more prosperous day, the postoffice is facing probable closure by the U.S. government. The move is in keeping with a trend of shutting down small, rural mail centers.

Mrs. Lois Frizzell, who had served as postmaster at Beacon for 32 years, retired in mid-January and was succeeded by Mrs. Jo Yates, 29, who is working on a temporary basis.

"I am working until a decision is made concerning the postoffice," says Mrs. Yates, who adds: "There is a possibility it may be discontinued." She sorts mail only three hours a day — 8:30 to 9:30 am. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Forty-seven families receive mail out of the office at present compared with more than 150 families when Mrs. Frizzell was appointed postmaster back on July 6, 1935.

"There have been many changes within the past 30 years in mail delivery," Mrs. Frizzell points out. "The first two years I worked, the ‘Peevine Train' brought the mail, arriving four times daily," she recalls.

"At 7 a.m. every morning it could be heard puffing and blowing en route from Perryville to Lexington. Again at 12:30 it arrived on its afternoon run to Perryville, then at 3:30 on the return trip to Lexington and finally at 5 p.m. on its way to retire for the night in Perryville."

Mrs. Frizzeil served as mail messenger the last two years the train ran, transferring mail to and from the train. "At the time we also had a Star mail route from Lexington to Clifton by car which arrived anywhere from 8 a.m. to noon, depending on the weather," she remembers.

After the depot agent's services were discontinued, the railroad company furnished the postoffice coal for fuel in order to have someone meet the train.

The Beacon depot, aside from the postoffice, looks much as it did in the l950s. There are two waiting rooms, seats and a ticket window.

No mail deliveries are made. Letters are deposited in numbored pigeonholes and packages delivered at the window.

The tracks on which the "Peevine Train" ran were a part of the Tennessee Midland Railroad built in 1888 from Memphis to Perryville on the Tennessee River. The original intent was to extend the railroad to Nashville, but the company ran out of funds.

Later the Lexington-to-Perryvile tracks became a branch of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad. Operations on the line were discontinued Nov. 10, 1936 and the tracks were taken up.

Two seats grace the entrance hall to the Beacon depot; however, no one "sits a spell" since loitering is prohibited. The Beacon postoffice is a place where neighbors meet and exchange greetings.

"I used to work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. six days a week unless the mail was late, and then I had to work later," Mrs. Frizzell says. "It was too confining with too little time off."

"During World War II the mail was quite heavy and I worked alone," she continued. "Numerous letters to servicemen went through the postoffice as well as packages."

"In the early days I served there were more packages from mail order houses than now," she added, explaining there "were fewer businesses in the area at the time."

Possibly the greatest commotion at the "depot postoffice" occurred one day when honey bees invaded the postoffice while Mrs. Frizzell was out to lunch.

"When I opened the door that day the house was roaring and full of bees and they were swarming in the letter slot. I bounced out of there yelling for help and we later disposed of the bees with insect spray. Fortunately no one got stung and no one came to mail a letter."

Before the Beacon postoffice moved into its present location, its home was in a number of general mercantile stores in the community, which is located in Decatur County five miles west of Parsons on Highway 20.

In 1911 W. J. Long was postmaster when the office was located in one corner of his store. Succeeding him was Aussie Duke who moved the office across the railroad into his general mercantile business.

A rural route served community mail patrons at the time. Sam Walters was the first rural mail carrier and he was succeeded by Edgar Hobbs. The late Chess Myracle served as postmaster at Beacon after Duke.

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