Ancestral Postmasters

In my years of researching my family history I have come across at least two ancestors who were postmasters.

Maybe this is why I took up Stamp Collecting when I was a kid.

Post Office Directory, Post Office, Postmaster, Rome, WisconsinI was able to find my 4th great-grandfather, Orsamus Braman, in Rode’s United States Post Office Directory.

Postmaster, Post Office Directory, Rode's, 1853The directory gives a list of distributing offices for 1853. This was the earliest directory that I could find.

Rome, Wisconsin, Jefferson, Postmaster, Orsamus BramanHere is the actual listing for Orsamus Braman. He is the postmaster for Rome, Wisconsin which is in Jefferson County. It is interesting that there is also a Rome in Jefferson County, Illinois. You can also see that there is a Romeo, Illinois.

Orsamus was Postmaster during the early days of postage stamps. The first stamps in the US were issued in 1847.

Post Office Directory, Business Man's Guide, 1856I also found Orsamus in Post Office Directory or Business Man’s Guide to the Post Offices in the United States, etc…

This directory shows the Postmasters in July 1856 and also shows the revenue for each post office for the previous year.

Postal Revenue, Wisconsin, PostmasterJefferson County, Wisconsin, Postmaster, Orsamus Braman, 1856Here is a list of all the post offices in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. This also reflects the relative size of the towns in the county. Watertown had the largest numbers.

The left-hand column is how much the Postmaster was paid and the right-hand column is the net revenue. Orsamus did not make much money as Postmaster he only made $28.76 for his year of work. However, this was simply a part time job to meet the needs of his small community.

I also found in a Federal Register that Orsamus turned over the title of Postmaster to Smith Tubbs on January 26, 1857. He probably just missed working with the first stamps that were perforated as they came out in 1857. Before this time they had to hand cut stamps from a larger sheet.

My other ancestor who was a Postmaster was my 2nd great-grandfather Lorenzo Dow Cochran. He was appointed as Postmaster of Powellton, Illinois on October 18, 1892. Powellton is in Hancock County just east of Nauvoo.

Lorenzo was not the Postmaster very long as he moved his family (wife and eight kids) to the Lebanon, Missouri area sometime in 1894 or 1895.

It is interesting that both of these ancestors have interesting names.

Orsamus is a very uncommon name. In the past I have searched for the origin of the name and the first instances I see are from the late 1700’s and early 1800’s in Connecticut, Vermont and New York. My Orsamus was born in 1799 in Connecticut.

Lorenzo Dow was a very popular name in the mid 1800’s, but that is a different story that needs a separate post someday.

Do you have any Postmasters in your ancestry?

Steven

 

 

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6 Responses to Ancestral Postmasters

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  6. James andrew stricker says:

    Wonderful old photos. I have a copy of the photo you have labelled as Sarah Ann Sears and mine says that the picture is of her granddaughter, Lottie Mae (Simpson) McGinnis, daughter of Mary/Mollie Ramsey. Seems to be a bit of confusion on the identity on this picture, at least on my part.

    Jim Stricker

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