Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Learn From Early Post Offices
though we live in an age of electronic communication and e-mail is the
today’s exchange of letters, there still is a fascination about
by post. If you have a post office box
and go there to check your mail, no doubt you spend time to greet
the lobby or in the parking lot. You
exchange pleasantries, news of the day, and talk of the world
politics or the weather (none of which we can change much by talk
the mail is delivered to your home address and you are there near the
the postman to come, you begin to watch the clock.
If you are away at work when the postman
arrives at your address, you most assuredly will check your box soon
arriving home. We may deplore the
excesses of “junk” mail. We could wish
our bills were not so prompt in delivery.
But still there is the fascination for the mail.
And so has it been through many a day of
the last column we sought to locate where Polk, Union County
might have been. Noting that the post
name changed from Polk, founded in 1844 to Choestoe in 1851, we listed
known postmasters until the Choestoe post office closed in 1938.
complications are noted about Polk as a post office.
In the old Coopers Creek District were five
post offices: Baxter, Clemeth, Polk, Seabolt and Shopes.
L. Smith made application for a post office to be named Polk, Georgia
on December 23,
1891. It was approved January 11, 1892
and Mr. Smith was the first
postmaster. Evidently the authorities at
the U. S. Postal Services considered that enough time had elapsed since
September 25, 1851
Joseph F. England “across the mountain” had requested that the Polk
there be changed to Choestoe. That was,
after all, forty years in the past.
post office opened in the Coopers Creek District. James
H. Shope was appointed second
postmaster at Polk on October 15, 1892, but his appointment was soon
rescinded. Smith resumed the duties until
Cavender was appointed on April 14, 1893. Next
sister, Mary A. Cavender, who began as postmaster on March 30, 1894. Samuel A. Dixon began duties on April 2, 1895. Polk,
office was discontinued on October 7, 1897. This
for the U. S.
mails lasted almost five years. When the
last postmaster had the charge, it was located at his home on Dixon
mile south of Mulky Gap. When Polk was
closed, the mail was routed to the Coosa
office, which closed March
post office had an interesting history.
It was the forty-fifth post office to be established in Union County. Dates
of appointment and postmasters
were: David M. Jarrard, June 16, 1900;
James H. Cavender, April 15, 1901; Mary Ann Cavender (James’ sister),
20, 1903; Nellie Cavender Grizzle (sister to James and Mary Ann),
1935; Mrs. Lillie Gurley moved the post office to her home January 26,
served until the office was discontinued April 15, 1953.
Two of the postmasters served until their
deaths: Ms. Mary Ann Cavender and Ms.
Nellie Cavender Grizzle.
post office in Coopers Creek District was opened June 21, 1880, with Clemeth
Cavender the first
postmaster. The office had the given
name of its first postmaster. It had a
short life until April
26, 1887, two months shy of seven years.
Yet in that seven year period, there were
seven postmaster appointments, some serving twice:
Clemeth Cavender, Andrew B. Campbell, James
A. Cavender, William Jones, William A. Jones, William F. Cavender and
post office was located in the Coopers Creek District.
The initial application asked for the name
Mist, due to the mist from the waterfalls near Coopers Creek
Bridge as well as
many morning fogs that left mist like a veil over the valley. The application was approved on May 25, 1903 but
name Mist. Instead, Seabolt was the
assigned name. Seabolt was designated in
honor of the first settlers to the area.
It lasted the first time until October 31, 1907 when it was
discontinued and the mail
routed through Suches. However, Seabolt
was reopened July
by James Frank Seabolt and operated until July 31. 1924 and the mail
routed to Baxter, GA.
last of the five post offices in the Cooper Creek District was named
Shope. The application requested
Harkinsville as the name, but instead the U. S. Postmaster General
Shope after early settlers. Opened August 8, 1880 with
W. O’Kelley as postmaster, he served until the office closed March 2, 1883 and
was routed to Clemeth.
for new post office charters had to give approximate number of families
would be served by the office, the names of some citizens in the
occupations. Even being in close
proximity to those the office served, postmasters could not always
delivery for they depended on mail to arrive at their office by a
horseback. The Pony Express of the west
had a kindred tie to the station-to-station carriers of the nineteenth
early twentieth century. Through rain,
flood, snow, sleet or sun’s burning rays, they sought to do their jobs
the mail on its way.
Jones; published Mar. 31, 2005 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708
Updated August 31,
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