A Note from Cottonwood Corners

CARLOCK — The post office at Carlock was established May 4, 1905.  It was discontinued on July 31, 1937 with mail to Gregory.  Wayne Carlock, with the help of others, secured the relinquishment to the northeast quarter of section one six miles east of the Tripp County line in Carlock Township.  It was one of the first towns to be platted in the new part of the county after the homestead opening of 1904.  The site was selected because of the need for a town to serve the settlers in that fertile farming area.

DIXON — The Dixon post office was established May 12, 1905.  M. D. Wilcox was the first postmaster.  He named the town for Dixon, Illinois, his old home town.  The Post Office was discontinued on August 17, 1973 and changed to a CPO of Gregory on August 18, 1973.  The CPO status was discontinued March 15, 1983.

LUCAS — The “Lucas” post office was established June 13, 1905.   The townsite of “Wade” was proposed; however, it failed to develop and a new townsite was opened about a mile south and the town of Lucas was started.  The proposed name for the office was “Sully.”  In the first part of 1905, a number of weekly newspapers in the area printed this story:  “Jack Sully, the so-called ‘king of the cattle rustlers,’ who was killed about a year ago during a running fight with a posse of officers . . . has had the unusual distinction of having a post office in that part of the state named after him.  The new post office is named Sully, and is being established in a new town of that name which has been located near the scene of the killing of Sully in the northern part of Gregory County.”  They predicted a great future for the new town.  Needless to say, the proposed name of “Sully” was not approved by officials in South Dakota or Washington.  The Lucas post office operated until it was discontinued December 17, 1985 at which time mail went to nearby Burke.  It was designated as a “Place” for address purposes.

MURPHY — The Murphy Post Office was established August 1, 1905 and discontinued September 29, 1906.  It was located near Bull Creek in the northwest corner of Edens Township.  The 1909 Gregory County Townships Maps shows an eighty acre site for the town of Edens.  The town failed to develop; however folks in the area were able to get a post office established on a small part of the property.  Francis P. Murphy of Chicago, a homesteader in the vicinity became the first postmaster, apparently the reason for the name.  Mail was processed at Gregory upon closure of Murphy.

DAY — The post office at Day was established August 3, 1905 with Harry Soper as postmaster.  The community of Day is found in Scissons Township of the 1909 Gregory County Township Maps.  The community of about twenty-five acres is on the west side of the river. The proposed name for the office was “Dale.”  The “Day P. O.” is identified on the 1912 map of Gregory County as being located on the river in northeast Scissons Township.  It was discontinued on January 31, 1916 with the mail to Mullen.

SAINT CHARLES — The Saint Charles post office was established August 30, 1906.  It was named Hampton by Charles Johnson, president of the First National Bank of Fairfax who donated the land.  The postal officials in Washington, D. C. objected to that name and asked that it be changed.  It was then changed to Saint Charles.  The decision was made to use Mr. Johnson’s first name and the “Saint” was added to give it a more harmonious and pleasing sound.  The office was discontinued June 22, 1973 and then changed to a CPO of Herrick on June 23, 1973.  It is continued as a place name only.

MAURICE — The Maurice post office was established September 8, 1906.  It was located south of the river and southeast of Rosebud Landing in the northern part of Turney Township.  The office was discontinued January 15, 1908 with mail to Lucas.

HALL — The Hall Post Office was officially open a little more than two years, being established June 7, 1907 and discontinued September 30, 1909.  The location of the “Hall P. O.” was indicated on the 1909 Gregory County Township Maps.  The site was in Section Six of the Lucas Township twelve miles west of Day and the river.  When closed, the mail went to Lucas.

MULLEN — The post office at “Mullen” was established March 31, 1908.  The “Mullen P. O.” is identified as being in the northeast part of Scissons Township on the 1909 Gregory County Township Maps.  It was located about one and one-half miles southeast of the community of Day.  It was discontinued on November 15, 1927 with the mail to Lucas.

PAXTON — The Paxton post office was established on February 7, 1910 with Charles O’Kane as it first and only postmaster.  On the 1909 edition of Gregory County Townships Maps, the community of “Denver” is located in the far northwest corner (forty acres) of Carlock Township adjoining Tripp County.  The name had to be changed because of the possible confusion with Denver, Colorado.  The origin and meaning of the name is a mystery.  No information has been found which might explain the secret.  Paxton was discontinued June 15, 1917 with mail to Dallas.

LANDING — The Landing Post Office was officially open for a little more than one year.  It was established on June 22, 1912 and discontinued on October 15, 1913.  It was located on Landing Creek less than two miles from the Missouri River and Durex Island.  Landing Creek bears the name which dates back to the early days when steamboats brought tons of supplies up the Missouri River.  The boats made a practice of stopping at the mouth of this creek to unload (land) supplies for transfer overland to the Black Hills by freighting outfits.  Gradually the creek became known and referred to by everyone as “the landing creek.”  It kept that name long after the steamboats had disappeared.  When the Landing post office was closed, the mail went to Lucas.  Landing was the last post office to be established in Gregory County.


Author Clarence Shoemaker, originally published in the Gregory-Times Advocate on February 5, 2020.

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