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Post Offices & General Stores

Yorklyn Post Office, 1946

In 1946 the Yorklyn Post Office was located at the entrance to the Garrett Snuff Mill property (then owned by the George W. Helme Company), occupying the former paymaster’s shack. Photo, Hagley Museum & Library, Thomas C. Marshall Photograph Collection.

Small town post offices of the early 20th century brokered in more than mail. They were the epicenter of the communities they served, often trading in local news, gossip, dry goods and even gasoline. The Yorklyn Post Office was no exception. 

Appointed in 1873 as Yorklyn’s first postmaster, William S. Moore sold dry goods, groceries and hard­ware in addition to processing the area’s mail. Like Moore, Edward H. Dennison (Yorklyn’s third postmaster in 1887) also operated a country store that was at one time located near the rail­road. Eventually, Grover C. Gregg Sr., who succeeded him as post­master in 1915, opened yet another store, and through­out the early 20th century, the post office would move to different loca­tions in the fibre and snuff mills, depending on who had been appointed postmaster.

In the 1920s, Samuel S. Dennison, paymaster for National Vulcanized Fibre, occupied a tiny office in the No. 1 Mill and replaced Gregg as postmaster, processing mail from there twice on weekdays and once on Satur­day. Philip E. Touhey, in line to be­come super­intendent of the snuff mill, was named postmaster, and the post office moved again, to a quaint brick building alongside the snuff mills. There it remained until Grover C. Gregg Jr., appointed to the role in 1949, moved it to Gregg’s store. Although the store closed in the 1980s, the post office remains in the old store building today.

June Gregg, 1980s

Grover Gregg, 1940s. Photo, courtesy Jim Gregg.

Grover C. Gregg

Until 1969, the role of U.S. Postmaster was a political appointment, with those assigned to the role receiving presidential certificates after passing a postal exam. Woodrow Wilson appointed Grover C. Gregg Sr. as Yorklyn’s Postmaster in 1917, and Harry S. Truman bestowed the position on Gregg's son 33 years later.

Nicknamed “Junie” (short for Junior),  Grover C. Gregg Jr. served as postmaster for 34 years (the longest tenure of any Yorklyn postmaster). An avid baseball fan like his father, Gregg played semi-pro ball while fulfilling his postal duties, becoming manager of the Yorklyn baseball club in 1956.

 

Gregg Store

Gregg Store. Photo, courtesy Jim Gregg.

Gregg Store closing, full store front, 1980s

Gregg Store closing. Photo, courtesy Jim Gregg.

Yorklyn post office today

Yorklyn Post Office today.

 

Post Offices & General Stores