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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rural Mail Delivery in Atlanta

On June 3, 1901 the Atlanta Journal published an article declaring that mail would be delivered to rural Fulton County. A horse and wagon was incorporated for use. The area included was Atlanta Heights, Bolton, Fort McPherson and East Point and was free. Compare this one with today's budgets! “the department would not be warranted in burdening the people with such a great expense.” In 1894 the City of Atlanta declined to expend the small appropriation of $10,000 made by Congress to test the feasibility of the scheme. The following year, Atlanta refused to accept a $20,000 appropriation from Congress. However, in 1896 Congress $40,000, an amount considered inappropriate. By 1898, Congress had appropriated $150,000 to further test the mail system, which reached $300,000 by 1899, $450,000 by 1900 and by 1901 the appropriation was $1,750,000! This horse and wagon traveled about twenty-five miles per day and the route was so arranged as not to have to retrace tracks or go over the same road twice! Imagine that! The carriers sold stamps and registered letters and some money orders. The service was a result of petitions signed by Fulton County residents wishing to keep in touch with the markets, the news and the world generally.

By Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books
Georgia Pioneers

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