Broughton Post Office

by C. E. Hatton
From: Goshen Trails, Vol. 3, No. 4; October 1967
Reprinted by permission.

Slow to load, but worth it!

Broughton Postmaster, Fred Wilson and staff
Photo taken about 1910.

Left to Right
J. B. Hatton, Sherman Porter, Ed Gholson, Harry Hughes, Arthur Wilson, Fred Wilson.
[Fred Wilson was asst. postmaster to brother, Fred Wilson].

A POST OFFICE was established at Rector, Ill. August 18, 1853 and was moved to Rectorville May 18, 1858, and to Broughton, Ill. September 13, 1887.  Mr. T. Leo Dodd of Eldorado, says these changes were made because the railroad missed Rector.  Rectorville, surveyed February 25, 1857 was established about three-quarters of a mile west of Rector.

It is said that the sweet gum timber is what brought Rectorville into existence and when it was all cut Rectorville waned rapidly and was vacated by 1887.  Broughton was surveyed May 4, 1872 and the post office moved from Rectorville to Broughton September 13, 1887.

The postmasters serving this office and the date of their appointments are as follows: Hezekiah Gregg, August 18, 1853; Samuel Wilson, May 18, 1858; Rhesa R. Sullivant, January 2, 1864; Samuel B. Allen, July 16, 1864; Israel N. Mercer, November 22, 1878; Daniel Reeves, November 14, 1883; Daniel A. Reeves, November 26, 1883; Wm. Hardesty, March 29, 1889; Wesley W. Gholson, June 3, 1893; Charles W. Allen, March 2, 1898; James H. Allen, January 3, 1905; James M. Richardson, October 5, 1906; Fred Wilson, April 27, 1910; Fred Wilson, February 6, 1930 (no explanation for the two appointments).  Others were: Mrs. Ruth McElvain, January 17, 1934; Ruby A. Irvin, July 8, 1945; Miss Ruby A. Bealmer, name changed from Mrs. Ruby A. Irvin, October 2, 1945; Miss Winifred Hughes, August 1, 1948; Otis G. Sutton, July 13, 1956; John F. Woolridge, July 3, 1958; Claude Lasater, March 19, 1965.

Joseph F. Wooldridge who served as postmaster from 1958-1965 told me the equipment shown in the picture (above) was still in use in 1957.

Joshua B. Hatton served as carrier on Rural Route No. 1 from its establishment on October 1, 1903 until August 20, 1920.  He was my father's brother and I can remember visiting in Broughton with them for a week just about the time I started to school in 1908.

In an interview with Mrs. Fred Wilson in 1966 she said that when her husband took over the office in 1910 the carriers used horsed for transportation, hitched to carts or buggies and when the ground thawed in the spring and most country roads became nearly impassable, they rode horseback.  Uncle J. B.'s route was 25 miles long and during the early spring when it took until after dark to get around it, she said Fred would watch for his lantern as he came down the road to town.  Then he would go over and open the office to check him in.  This he did for the other carriers too.

William S. Porter served as carrier on Rural Route No. 2 from its establishment on October 1, 1903 until March 31, 1918.  I remember playing with his sons during my visits with Uncle J. B. and Aunt Emma.

Robert Wilson (not in picture) served as carrier on the original Route No. 3 from its establishment on February 1, 1905 until its discontinuance on February 15, 1907.

Edward Gholson served as carrier on Route No. 4, which was renumbered Route No. 3, when the original Route No. 3 was discontinued, from its establishment on September 15, 1905 until January 31, 1920.  He also served later from August 21, 1920 until November 30, 1942.

Harry Hughes was substitute carrier for all three routes at that time and is the only one still living.

The classification of the post office at Broughton was changed from a 4th class office to a Presidential Class office on April 1, 1921.

The present rural carriers are: John F. Wooldridge, Route No. 1, substitute is John F. Deen; Dean Myres, Route No. 2, with John W. Owen substitute.  Anna B. Griswold is the clerk.  The two routes are much longer and with modern roads and transportation the carriers are home much earlier.

At the dedication of the remodeled postal facilities on Tuesday, July 5, 1966, Senator Paul Douglas said the payroll at the Broughton post office exceed several times the receipts, but that the people of the community had a right to its service.

Copyright 1999.  All rights Reserved

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