Monday, February 02, 2009

Prospect Hill, North Carolina Post Office

(click on photograph for larger image)

Prospect Hill Post Office

The post office at Prospect Hill, North Carolina, was established 15 August 1823. On the adjoining lot of the current post office is the building that housed it for more than one-hundred years, Warren's Store. Built in the 1850s, this old store building still has a corner set aside by Mrs. Geneva Warren that contains the Prospect Hill Postal Museum. In this fascinating corner are the old call letter boxes, letter scales, receipts, records, ancient postal manuals, and other post office memorabilia. One manual issued 1 April 1859 lists alphabetically every post office in operation that year along with the name of its postmaster. Another section of this manual lists every county of every state in the United States and gives the name of every post office located in each of the counties. Another portion of it has the postal rules and regulations in force at that time. Among the many interesting documents on display is a copy of a pardon given to Franklin Link Warren, postmaster 1842-1865. The pardon was for having operated the Prospect Hill Post Office under the Confederacy during the Civil War. [Note that the foregoing speaks as of 1985.]

Stephen E. Massengill, researcher for the North Carolina Archives and History Division of Cultural Resources, complied a history of the Prospect Hill Post Office.

Robert D. Satterfield, postmaster 1969-1988, related that his uncle B. C. Satterfield carried the mail by horse and buggy for more than thirty years. Irving Warren was also a rural carrier. James Rudolph Nelson resigned as postmaster in 1968 to take the rural carrier appointment and served until his retirement in 1978. At that time the Greensboro Sectional Center realigned some of the rural routes of its association offices. Since then most of Prospect Hill's rural route has been served by Charles N. Briggs, the rural carrier out of the Leasburg Post Office. The remainder is served by Eddie Jones, the rural carrier out of the Hurdle Mills Post Office. [Note that the foregoing speaks as of 1985.]

In 1975 a new modern brick post office was built and was occupied 29 December 1975. It stands at the corner of S.R. 1702, Ridgeville Road, and S.R. 1771, Main Street. Through every change of every administration when postmasters were changed by the Democratic or Republican part in power at the time, up through the permanent postmaster appointments of the present day, Robert D. Satterfield believes that Prospect Hill's Post Office has always been located on this same corner, although not always in the same building, since it was first established 15 August 1823.

Where no description is given of the office held it was postmaster.

1823 - 1831 William Anderson
1831 - 1842 William Corbett
1842 - 1865 Franklin L. Warren
1865 - 1867 Mrs. Franklin L. Warren (Mary Ann Wells Warren)
1867 - 1968 Mrs. Henrietta A. Gordon
1868 - 1869 Post office closed and mail sent to Yanceyville
1869 - 1874 Mrs. Henrietta A. Gordon
1874 - 1882 Franklin L. Warren
1882 - 1888 Julius B. Warren
1888 - 1910 Franklin R. Warren
1910 - 1914 Charles B. Smith
1914 - 1940 Franklin R. Warren
1940 - 1968 James Rudolph Nelson
1968 - 1969 Robert D. Satterfield (acting postmaster)
1969 - 1988 Robert D. Satterfield
1988 Beverly S. Anderson (officer-in-charge)
1989 - 1991 Kyle Tobin Carver
1991 Rene J. Brown (officer-in-charge)
1992 Barbara D. Davis (officer in-charge)
1992 Turnede Chestnut (officer-in-charge)
1992 - 2000 Joseph H. (Sandy) Warren
2000 Eva Kirby Crisp (officer-in-charge)
2000 Marylene S. McCain (officer-in-charge)
2000 - 2005 Marylene S. McCain
2005 Wayne Frazier (officer-in-charge)
2005 - 2006 Tammy Harvey (officer-in-charge)
2006 Patricia S. Brewer
2006 - 2008 Belinda Kirby (officer-in-charge)
2008 - Laurie H. Hunt

From 1836 to 1971, postmasters at the larger Post Offices were appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the Senate. Postmasters earning less than $1,000 per year were appointed by the Postmaster General, generally upon the advice of the local congressman or townspeople. Regulations required that postmasters execute a valid bond and take an oath of office. Minors were ineligible, and U.S. citizenship was required for appointment to all but the smallest Post Offices. Prior to 1971, it was also required that postmasters live in the delivery area of their Post Office. Since 1971, postmasters have been selected on the merit system.


1823 - 1968: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 56-57 ("Prospect Hill Post Office" by Jeannine D. Whitlow). Thus the 1985 date is the last year reported.

1969 - Present: United States Postal Service website:

The following is from the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper 10 November 1963:

Each morning, except on days of rain, sleet or snow, the postmistress or postmaster of the rural station raises the flag. Recently at the Prospect Hill post office the flag stood out briskly in the November wind. The post office is in a front corner of a general merchandise store which was built in 1857. Four or five senior citizens in their 80s sat around the store and discussed the tobacco market. James R. Nelson, who has been postmaster of the Prospect Hill post office since 1940, was sorting out the letters and magazines. "Yes, this post office was established in 1823," he said. "And my family has operated it over 100 years. My great-grandfather was made postmaster on November 25, 1842. Nelson's grandfather over the job in 1888 and ran it until 1940 when Nelson took charge.