Sunday, July 26, 2009

Leasburg, North Carolina Post Office History

Leasburg Post Office

The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 36 ("Leasburg Post Office" by Jeannine D. Whitlow):

With the passing of time, federal records have been lost, making it necessary to depend on existing records of accounts submitted by deputy postmasters and letters written to them to fix the approximate date a post office was established. The earliest available records show that the post office at Leasburg was established Oct. 1, 1794 as Caswell Old Courthouse, with Lawrence Lea its Deputy Postmaster. It is the oldest post office in Caswell County in continuous operation. When Vincent Lea became its second postmaster Apr. 13, 1809 it was called Leasburgh. On April 25, 1893 the "h" on the end was dropped and it became simply Leasburg.

Following Vincent Lea, subsequent postmasters and their appointment dates are:

Garbiel B. Lea, Feb 9, 1815
John C. Vanhook, Nov. 3, 1818
Joseph S. Thompson, Apr. 4, 1837
Addison Lea, Oct. 2, 1849
William Lea, Feb. 14, 1851
John A. Harrison, Jan. 28, 1856
William Paylor, Jr., Jan 10, 1859
Jefferson Whitfield, Jan. 14, 1859
Mrs. Susan B. Paylor, Sept. 4, 1865
Benjamin F. Stanfield, Feb. 14, 1870
William Paylor, Aug.6, 1873
William R. Hambrick, Jan. 30, 1882
Josephine Hambrick, Apr. 25, 1893
Josephine Hambrick Stanfield, Feb. 3, 1898
Walter L. Thomas, July 20, 1900
Samuel P. Newman, Sept. 28, 1912
Mattie L. Pulliam, Aug. 10, 1927
Jerry W. Dixon, Jr, (acting) April 1, 1940
Mattie L. Pulliam, Sept. 1, 1945
Mrs. Mary Stanfield Rittenbury (acting), May 31, 1959
Mrs. Mary Stanfield Rittenbury, Aug. 31, 1960
Mrs. Helen Carr Knight (Fox) (acting), Sept. 16, 1965
Jeannine D. Whitlow (acting), Sept. 2, 1966
Jeannine D. Whitlow, May 8, 1967

Some of the buildings Leasburg's post office was housed in are: William R. Hambrick's home adjoining the Leasburg Community Cemetery driveway. W. J. Pulliam's Store (now Martin's Store), W. J. Pulliam's small office building adjoining his home, and S. P. Newman's Store, which was torn down in the 1940s. The present building was completed in 1966 and occupancy taken May 1, of that year.

When the post office was located in S. P. Newman's Store, in Mr. Newman's absence Solomon Lea's son, Ed, tended store and post office. My mother said it was useless to call for mail when Ed Lea was there if he had just received his New York times. Without looking up from his newspaper, he always said, "You don't have any." In those days there were no lock boxes for customers to get their own mail.

Leasburg's rural carriers have been few and served long terms. Edwin Featherston was a horse-and-buggy carrier. John W. Stephens, Sr. replaced him by 1924. When he first began he used a horse and buggy also and delivered mail only three times a week. He was the rural carrier for 34 years, retiring about 1960. Voss Stephens, John's brother, was his substitute. After John's retirement, Charlie Wayne Coleman was substitute rural carrier until Charles N. Briggs was appointed rural carrier Jan 1963.

Alex Denny was a star route carrier for a while. His transportation then was horse and buggy. He picked up the mail at Semora and brought it to Leasburg. He served the rural boxes along his line of travel. Later Mr. Christenbury was the star route carrier and brought the mail to Leasburg from Yanceyville. After him there was Marvin Pleasant until star routes were changed about 1968. Lacy Daniel of Pelham is the present star route contractor.

Some of the clerks employed by the Leasburg Post Office in the last 35 years are: Mrs. Nancy Newman Stephens, Mrs. Wilma Coward Newman, Mrs. Helen Carr Knight (Fox), Mrs. Sally Harris Winstead, now deceased, Mary Arnold Stephens, a descendant of the first Postmaster, Lawrence Lea, and Mrs. Shirley Lassiter Winstead.

Sources: Archives records and microfilm reels of Postmaster Appointments from 1789, Arthur Hecht's Postal History of N.C., 1789-1795, and personal knowledge.

----- Jeannine D. Whitlow

Name Title Date Appointed

Vincent Lea Postmaster 04/13/1809
Gabriel B. Lea Postmaster 02/09/1815
John C. Vanhook Postmaster 11/03/1818
Joseph S. Thompson Postmaster 04/04/1837
Addison Lea Postmaster 10/02/1849
William Lea Postmaster 02/14/1851
John A. Harrison Postmaster 01/28/1856
Jefferson Whitfield Postmaster 01/14/1859
Mrs. Susan B. Paylor Postmaster 09/04/1865
Benjamin F. Stanfield Postmaster 02/14/1870
William Paylor Postmaster 08/06/1873
William R. Hambrick Postmaster 01/30/1882
Josephine Hambrick Postmaster 04/25/1893
Josephine H. Stanfield Postmaster 02/03/1898
Walter L. Thomas Postmaster 07/20/1900
Samuel P. Newman Postmaster 09/28/1912
Miss Mattie L. Pulliam Acting Postmaster 08/10/1927
Miss Mattie L. Pulliam Postmaster 11/05/1927
Jerry W. Dixon Jr. Acting Postmaster 04/01/1940
Miss Mattie L. Pulliam Postmaster 09/19/1940
Mrs. Mary S. Rittenbury Acting Postmaster 05/31/1959
Mrs. Mary S. Rittenbury Postmaster 09/02/1960
Mrs. Helen C. Knight Acting Postmaster 09/16/1965
Mrs. Jeannine D. Winstead Acting Postmaster 09/02/1966
Mrs. Jeannine D. Whitlow Postmaster 05/08/1967
( formerly Mrs. Jeannine D. Winstead )
Marylene McCain Officer-In-Charge 10/01/1992
Deborah Cox Fox Postmaster 03/20/1993
Barbara Duncan Davis Officer-In-Charge 08/15/1995
Robert L. Harbison Jr. Postmaster 04/27/1996
Pamela Hatchett Officer-In-Charge 08/08/2008