By Lois Barefoot Mays

In January 1909, Porte Crayon Tracy, [Aug. 7, 1866-April 9, 1943] a resident of Florida and owner of Tracy’s Ferry at Traders Hill landing, became the first postmaster.

There was no post office at Traders Hill and the growing community needed a better way of handing the mail than the usual practice of dumping it out on a counter in an unused corner of someone's business, and letting people sort through it whenever they expected a letter or a package.

The people of Traders Hill begged Mr. Tracy to be postmaster, but he didn’t want the job as he was too busy to be tied down to this responsibility. His neighbors said that he could set his own terms, if he would just agree to be their postmaster.

Mrs. Minnie Haddock Tracy, wife of Mr. P.C. Tracy, in an interview of January 17, 1974, told of the terms under which he accepted this responsibility:

Porte Tracy told his friends that he would agree to work in the post office only two hours each weekday, and that arrangement was accepted. He picked out a good location, which was an old cooper's shed (for barrel-making) that was on the left side of the road as you go toward the river. It was about 15' x 15', which he divided up into a waiting room and the post office, separated by a wooden customer counter.

Then for two hours each weekday, the new post office became the gathering place at Traders Hill. After the letters were delivered by a mailman on horseback (for a while W.R. Keene, of Traders Hill, was the carrier) patrons came to the little building, asked for their mail and bought stamps, money orders and postcards.

Postmaster Tracy installed four boxes and collected rent on them each month. He was paid a commission of three cents for each money order and the fees from all stamps sold. (Stamps were two cents at that time.)

Continuing under this informal agreement, Mr. Tracy carried out his postmaster duties until March 1913, when the government eliminated the Traders Hill Post Office and the mail for this village was sent to Folkston.

According to the official records of the Charlton County, Ga. post offices in the National Archives of History in Washington D.C., the following citizens served as Postmasters at Traders Hill, Georgia, beginning in 1852:

Roberts, John, April 1852

Mizell, John, October 1852

Smith, Francis M., November 1856

Guckenheimer, Isaac December 1858

Smith, Francis M., September, 1859

Jones, Benjamin F., February 1866

Copp, Allen, December 1867

Jones, Benjamin F. February 1870

Hatcher, Robert, February 1874

Crabtree, James B., February 1887

Crabtree, James B., February 1889

Leigh, Owen R., June 1889

Mizell, J.S., January 1897

Mattox, Sarah J., April 1899

Hatcher, Isaac T., July 1905

Hatcher, Robert, July 1906 He died in September 1908.


Charlton  County Archives