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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 14
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

As we get closer to the Christmas holiday and the cards, letters and packages that we will both send and receive, it’s interesting to realize that mail service was available here in Colquitt County even before the county was created!

It’s the only institution in existence today that was here before there was such a place as Moultrie! Mail service was available for five years before the county was incorporated.

In 1851, a one-room log house located where Moultrie is today, was used as a post office. Letters were dispatched once a week to Thomasville and bore the postmark "Ocklockney."

As the area attracted more settlers, the mail delivery from Thomas County was changed to twice a week. By then, sometimes as many as 100 letters a week were delivered by horse and buggy to the few families scattered over the piney woods.

With the creation of Colquitt by the legislature, Ocklockney was changed to Moultrie and old-timers boasted "you could tell by the mail that Colquitt was growing."

The first regular post office to serve the community was set up soon after Moultrie became a town in the store of Millsap and McPhaul. Mr. W.B. McPhaul was made postmaster.

McPhaul resigned in 1894 and J. Frank Monk was named postmaster although the mail was still dispatched from the Millsap and McPhaul Store.

Monk served through the second term of Governor Cleveland’s presidency, but gave way to Hugh Pierce in 1900 when the Republicans were voted into office.

Pierce was in office through 1913, thus attaining the honor of holding the job longer than any other.

He was followed by J. W. Adams, who also served as postmaster under the Republicans. After four years, Adams was succeeded by Charles Beaty.

During Beaty’s tenure of office from 1915 – 1919 – the post office was in the old Norman Hotel. Before then, it had been moved from place to place.

An application was made for a federal building while Beaty was in office. During that time, horse and buggies were carrying mail over five rural routes.

Construction was started on a permanent post office building in February of 1917 and the equipment was moved in the new building late in 1919. By then, Oscar O. Owens had been appointed postmaster.

When Calvin Coolidge was elected President in 1924, he appointed D. M. McKee, father of the present postmaster, Albert D. McKee. (Remember, we’re browsing in October 1956 Moultrie Observer’s.)

The elder McKee served for 11 years, from 1924-1935, and was succeeded by Grady Adams in 1935 near the end of the first Roosevelt administration. Adams was the brother of Moultrie’s fourth postmaster.

When he became postmaster, according to available information, it was the only case on record where two brothers had served as postmasters, one under the Republicans and the other under the Democrats.

Two years after Grady Adams took office, the post office was given first-class rating by Postmaster James A. Farley. This was on July 1, 1937.

Adams was in office when the first loss of mail by fire occurred in this area. Georgia Northern Railroad caught fire November 19, 1943, near Boston. Engineer Judson Ott, escaped, but the car and contents went up in flames.

After serving as postmaster for nine years, Adams was succeeded in 1944 by J. B. Monk, who was postmaster through April of 1952.

We’ll learn more about the history of our local post office next week!

By the way, if you’d like to travel to Scotland us next summer, visit and go to The Family Tree page. The trip information is right at the top of our page! My life-long best friend, Marti Van Horne (who now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina) is a Scots Travel Specialist. She and I plan trips each summer. About half of the folks who go with us each year have been with us before! We do have a good time!

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