Sentinel-Echo.com

Opinion

April 3, 2014

Traces of Laurel: More on Star Mail Routes

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — It is my intention to write three columns about the Star Mail Route era in Laurel County’s history – one based on the writings of Logan Ewell, another on general information found in Russell Dyche’s “Laurel County History” and a third profiling the one woman involved in contracting for mail routes. 

I found that the Laurel County Historical Society has more information on this subject than I at first thought.  For instance, a copy of the contract and sub-contract each contractor and carrier was asked to sign.  The length of these documents preclude their use here, but make interesting reading. These may be seen at the historical society’s library. For purposes of this column, however, I will stick with my original plan.

In connection with the 1938 Laurel County Homecoming, Russell Dyche published a pamphlet titled “Star Route News” in which he gave the history of the Star Route business and announced that some of those who had carried the mail back then and were still living would be honored at the Homecoming.

Dyche wrote:  “London had already become an important center in the business of contracting and sub-letting Star Mail routes in many parts of the United States, when it was still very much in the ‘sticks’ and when Livingston, 17 miles away, was the nearest railroad point.  By the time a new regulation by the post office department late in the 1890s, requiring all bidders on contracts to live in or contiguous to the places served by the particular route, made general mail contracting impossible, London had become probably the most important center of mail contracting. In many years . . . London (bidders) got more than half of all the contracts let.”

One source reported by Dyche said that one year Laurel County secured three-fourths of the contracts in the nation. Mail contracting became the biggest business in London for more than a quarter of a century. As a young man in his father’s printing office, Russell Dyche had “literally fed tens of thousands of sheets of white paper into the old Non-pareil job press to come out mail contract blanks, bonds and all.” Dyche would further help by stamping the notary seal on each of these contracts.  This was done by hand, one at a time, and would “wear out the hands” of the person doing it, according to Dyche.

Text Only
Opinion
  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: An almost completely true fish tale

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

Facebook
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results