South Plains History - (NRHP nomination)

“Prior to 1890 and the establishment of the community of Lubbock, much of the South Plains region lay on the fringes of the United States Postal Service’s range of operation. The flat grasslands that characterized the region were sparsely populated by Anglo Americans. The operator of a store in Yellowhouse Canyon, E.R. DeQuazy served as the first official postmaster in the vicinity of the present community, receiving his appointment on 31 March 1884 (Levacy, 1992). George Singer operated another trading post in the same canyon. When DeQuazy closed his operation in mid-summer of 1884, Singer assumed the role of postmaster. Singer’s store thereafter functioned as the social center for the area. In August 1890 two towns were established near Singer’s store – Lubbock on the north side of Yellowhouse Canyon and Monterey on the south side. The position of postmaster subsequently shifted to Lubbock, where Frank E. Wheelock assumed the duties of postmaster in November 1890 (Levacy, 1992)”

“In late 1890 local citizens joined forces to establish a central town for the area to avoid a fight over the designation of the county seat. They selected a neutral site near the two older communities, keeping the Lubbock name to facilitate postal service. They quickly migrated to the new town site, moving buildings in their entirety from Monterey and the original Lubbock site (Graves, 78). Wheelock brought the mail service with him to the new community, operating out of his land office on South First Street, now the 900 block of Broadway (Perkins, 46). This location placed the post office facing north onto the town’s courthouse square.”

“The introduction of rail service by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1909 clearly established Lubbock as the postal distribution center for the South Plains. As a result, the Post Office moved into a dedicated facility in a small frame building at the northwest corner of Cedar Ave. and North First Street, now Texas Ave and Main Street (Graves, 14). Rail service also facilitated the replacement of less fire-resistant buildings in the city with masonry buildings. The railroad’s lower freight costs increased access to building materials such as brick and stone lacking in the sandy South Plains region. In response, citizens began campaigning for a new and more permanent postal facility, resulting in the allocation of $60,000 in federal money for a new postal facility in February 1919 (Lubbock AJ 20 Feb 1919). The new building just past South First Street (now Broadway) on Cedar Ave (now Texas Ave) opened in November 1919.”

“During the 1920s, Lubbock’s heavy population growth greatly affected the city’s postal system. Recognizing the need for a new facility, Chamber of Commerce officials began writing to postal authorities as early as 1923 (Chamber of Commerce records, 1923). These efforts marked the beginning of the endeavor to build a new Lubbock Post Office. Local leaders regularly corresponded with officials in Washington during this period, increasing their efforts following the designation of Lubbock as the site of the Texas Technological College in 1925. Natural forces escalated the campaign when heavy rains collapsed the roof of the existing post office on 30 May 1926 for the second time in nine months. Postmaster John L. Vaughn appealed to public and private organizations to lobby government officials for a new and well-built federal building (Lubbock Journal, 30 May 1926).”

1 comment:

Vevay said...

This is great info to know.