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AUBURN IN THE LONG AGO

 


J. Henry Burnett was the son of Rev. J. H. Burnett (Professor & Preacher). J. Henry lived in Auburn until the 1930s when he went to Atlanta, Georgia. His love of Auburn prompted him to write to the Auburn Times about the many people he knew and admired so well. He named his writings "Auburn in the Long Ago."

Subject:     Mr. Harry Woodward, Postmaster


Auburn Times –   April 14, 1939

Every town in the United States has a post office and a postmaster or postmistress, but only Auburn had an “Uncle Harry” Woodward as postmaster.

He was the BIGGEST man in town physically, and being postmaster was about the BIGGEST politically. In those days, every family appointed their own mail carrier. It was the duty of this mail carrier to go to the post office; usually reaching there about the time the mail in the bag was brought from the train. These mail carriers would assemble about twice daily and each time would have to wait until “Uncle Harry” opened the window, which was closed while the mail was “put up” as Uncle Harry called it. When he opened the window and called “all up,” the line formed and unless you were financially able to rent a box, you would pass by the open window. Uncle Harry would look over his specs, see who was there and hand out the mail if any for your family. It was customary in our home to care for some of the out-of-town students at the college. Sometimes one of these boarders would be appointed mailman.

One day the mailman came back and upon reaching our home he realized he had lost a possible card addressed to my father. With becoming embarrassment, he told my father of the loss and added, “but I can tell you what was on it.” Guess curiosity caused Uncle Harry also to read postal cards when he had a little spare time.

He had a very large home and ran a sort of hotel. It was half a block from the mill and across Main Street from Stagner’s Shop. The post office was in a front room of this residence. I recall when Yellow Fever rages in Memphis and refugees left there by the hundreds and thousands. Many stopped in Auburn and Uncle Harry had his place filled to overflowing, as did every home in town where there was a spare room. The hotel was full, of course. Some may have come from New Orleans also, as it was raging there at the same time. It is wonderful that Yellow Fever has now been stamped out in the United States.

Yours sincerely,

J. HENRY BURNETT
                        Macon, Georgia


 

 

 

 

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