1870

Folks are reading Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude, the Civil War ended five years ago with the last battle in nearby Waynesboro, VA. 

This home was constructed onsite using hand formed bricks made of clay from the property.  Previously, this was work done by slaves - the 15th Amendment was ratified this same year and Confederate Virginians still don't have the right to vote until 1872.  During the Reconstruction Era and just prior to the Depression of 1873 there was great disagreement between a Republican Congress and Presidents Lincoln and Johnson in regards to how the rebuilding of the southern states should proceed.  In 1866, all former Confederates were removed from power by a Republican dominated Congress and the beginning of decades of disenfranchisement began for millions of US citizens. 

We have not yet discovered who built the house, as this was a difficult time for all in this area and indeed our collective history.  Mr. Jim Willis a local resident, who at 91, recalled that the house was a post office "for as long as he could remember and long, long before he was born" gave our research direction.  Thank you sir. 

The House is the Avon Post Office  

James W. Marshall, First Assistnat Postmaster General grants a commission to Mrs. Mildred A. Powers effective January 24, 1877.

James William Marshall (August 14, 1822 – February 5, 1910) was a United States Postmaster General under President Ulysses S. Grant as well as a government administrator in several capacities for presidents Lincoln, Grant, and Hayes. Marshall was the third to last surviving cabinet member of the Grant Administration.

James William Marshall (August 14, 1822 – February 5, 1910) was a United States Postmaster General under President Ulysses S. Grant as well as a government administrator in several capacities for presidents Lincoln, Grant, and Hayes. Marshall was the third to last surviving cabinet member of the Grant Administration.

Who is Mildred A. Powers?  The first census begins in 1890, so that is not a resourse here.  Historically, after the Civil War, many of the postmasters were women due to the high cost of war.  Rosie the riveter was not new, just packaged differently.

1877

Times are a Changing

The 1876 World's Fair in Philadelphia is often credited with healing the woulds of the Civil War.  It was the Centennial and a Corliss Steam Engine powered the entire fair.  Bell's Telephone is all the rage along with Edison's Telegraph/Phonograph,  and the top portion of the Statue of Liberty was on display.

 

We Now have a list

Armed with a list of names, Next off to the local records room to see what we may unearth.