History of Campbell County, Tennessee

Time Line


By Dallas Bogan

Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan.  This article was published in the LaFollette Press.

     Shortly after Campbell County was formed the mail was sent to the post office at Jacksborough (Jacksboro) in a bundle plainly marked Campbell County. This mail arrived from Knoxville which was carried by horseback or stagecoach. It arrived in this small borough twice weekly. A great deal of this mail was delivered by individuals who happened to be going in the direction the mail was going. This continued until after the Civil War when small post offices were established over the County. Sometime later, rural mail carriers were sent out daily from Jellico, Jacksboro, LaFollette and Caryville.

     At first the carriers went by horseback or a one horse, two wheel shay. Later, as roads improved and automobiles appeared, the present method of delivery was utilized. 
These small post offices were usually located in some merchant's store or in a private dwelling house. The equipment used was a roll-top desk with six to twelve pigeon-holes, a few stamps and a stamp to cancel them. Also, a bottle of ink that was mixed by the postmaster and a few staff pens that employed a steel pen point were used.

     The post office at Jellico was established October 29, 1878 and named Smithburgh, Thomas Smith being the first Postmaster. On August 6, 1883, the name was changed to Jellico.

     The post office at LaFollette was called Big Creek Gap with the name being changed in the 1890's. On Cedar Creek was Primroy located at the Roach Mill, Paris Roach being postmaster for several years. The post office Boy was located down the creek, named in honor of Judge Elihu Hall Boy. J.M. Heatherly was the Postmaster.

     Across the ridge at the mouth of Whitman Hollow was Girl, located in a small store operated by a man named Lindsay. At the forks of the river was Agee, and at Walnut Creek was Fork Vale, located in one room of the home of Mr.Walker, the Postmaster. At the mouth of Powder Mill Hollow was Powell's River post office operated by a Mr. Lay.

     The first postmaster at Fincastle was John Meadors, who was also at one time a Justice of the Peace. This office was in an old shoemaker's shop with Mr..Meadors delivering mail on Tuesday and Saturday. The last postmaster was Hazel Hill. 

     Mr. Meadors' mother was a member of the Glade Spring Baptist Church which she attended accompanied with her dogs. At that time there were not many song books so the preacher would read a line and the congregation would sing it. On the second line the dogs got into a fight and the preacher said "take them out and bring them here no more."

     The congregation immediately sang this line, and the preacher apparently annoyed said, "the devil must have got into them," which the congregation also sang. 

     Some of the post offices that were discontinued after the rural mail system was established were Primroy, Boy, Girl, Fincastle, Powell's River, Agee, Pine Mountain, Chaska, Nick's Creek, Fork Vale, Buckeye and Highcliff.

     Each mining camp usually had a post office located in the company store or in a building nearby and these were discontinued when the company quit operations. Some of these were Kimberly, Block, Peabody, Cotula, Clinchmore, Peewee, Woolridge, Red Ash, Turley, Anthras, Westbourne and Gatliff. 

(The preceding was compiled from the historical works of the late Ted Miller of LaFollette.)

Time Line

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