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September 5, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night”

1892 Columbian Exposition

In the late 19th century, carrying the mail in Buckingham County was a coveted, paid position at a time when cash was scare in the rural community.   Appointments were news worthy.

On August 3, 1893, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times announced, “Mr. John T. L. Woodson has the contract for carrying the mail from Oslins by Well Water, Centenary and Tucker, to Payne’s.” The mail route from Oslins Mill (formerly Chambers Mill) to Payne’s Mill was Woodson’s home territory and mail carrier was just one of many county positions he held over the years.  Shortly thereafter, Woodson moved to Richmond and his neighbor, W.A. Maxey, took over the mail contract, as reported in the Times in May of 1897.

Within a few years, the position of postmaster at Well Water, established by Frank N. Maxey, was soon hotly contested and the competition made the papers.  On April 6, 1899, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times announced that in Well Water, “The contest for the post office at this place, which has been raging for six months or more, has at last ended. Mr. R.M. Agee, a Democrat, has been appointed postmaster, with Mrs. Alice S. Maxey assistant. The office will remain at the same old site.” Robert Moseley Agee (b. 1860), was John T. L. Woodson’s younger half-brother.

Though the April notice appeared conclusive, it was followed on May 4th, by this announcement: “A.S. W. Maxey, Well Water, Buckingham county, and J. J. Blanton, Guina Mills, Cumberland county, have been appointed postmasters at the above-named places.”

Turbulent days in Buckingham!

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