The Known Towns/Villages of South Carolina with a US Post Office

ALL - Alphabetical Order

ALL - Sorted by Date Started

Per SC County

(Each Includes Start Date, First US Postmaster, and End Date, if Closed Down - from 1785 to 1971)

In 1783, the US Post Office Department was created at the Federal level, and it soon established guidelines on how towns and villages were to be named, what criteria must be met to be granted a US Post Office, and how each PO would be managed. Over the next two centuries the criteria were modified to include just who would be appointed as postmaster - some requiring Presidential appointment, some requiring US Senate confirmation.

Early in its existence the US Post Office Department decided that each state could not have two towns with the same name - zip codes had not yet been invented, so this mandate helped mail carriers to avoid confusion. However, it caused considerable consternation with the many small communities that sprang up - many opting not to get a US Post Office because they didn't want to change their town's name. Many others chose to change their names immediately after another Post Office was closed down - they had been waiting for years (or months) for the specific name that was already in use.

The US Post Office Department was abolished in 1971 and replaced with the US Postal Service (USPS), which remains in existence to this day. From 1783 to 1971, the US Post Office Department retained comprehensive records of ALL US Post Offices in the entire country. These records were not very detailed between 1783 and 1824 - merely a list of all POs in each state that did not even annotate in which county a particular PO was located. After 1824, these records included state, county, first postmaster, subsequent postmasters (if any), and later would include Presidential appointments as well as Senate confirmations of postmasters. After the Civil War, money orders (MOs) were introduced, and the records indicate which towns were authorized to issue MOs.

In the early 1800s, the US Post Office Department realized that it needed better maps of each state for its mail carriers to determine where to deliver the increasing amount of mail across the country. The earliest found map created specifically for the US Post Office Department in the Carolinas is dated 1822 for Sorth Carolina - and, it does not even show all the recorded towns with POs at that time (duh?). There may have been others that were issued earlier, but I have not located them as yet. These US Post Office Department maps continued throughout the department's existence, and they provide a lot of information. However, as with all maps, there are plenty of inaccuracies included therein.

The data provided herein are derived from official US Post Office Department records obtained from the US National Archives on microfilm.

Item M1131 is identified as "Record of Appointment of Post Masters Oct 1789 to 1832." It consists of four rolls of microfilm that lists all Post Offices in the United States, and actually begins in 1783. Roll #1 includes 1783-1818; Roll #2 includes 1814-1823 (overlap); Roll #3 includes 1824-1828; and, Roll #4 includes 1828-1832.

Item M841 is identified as "Record of Appointment of Post Masters 1832 to September, 1971." Roll #92 includes the NC counties of Alamance through Cleveland. Roll #93 includes the NC counties of Columbus through Iredell. Roll #94 includes the NC counties of Jackson through Polk. Roll #95 includes the NC counties of Randolph through Yancey. Roll #114 includes the SC counties of Abbeville through Greenwood. Roll #115 includes the SC counties of Hampton through York.

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved