Appalachia, Chapmanville, Dingess, Ernestine Tomblin, Guyandotte River, Harts Creek, history, James Mullins, Kirk, Lawrence Riddle, Lindsey Blair, Logan, Logan County, McCloud Post Office, Mingo County, Moses Tomblin, Pearl Lowe, Shirley Smith, Shively, Sol Riddle, Tema Workman, Verdunville, Verlie Smith, W.J. Carle, West Virginia, Whirlwind, writing, Zama
Between 1909 and 1952, Whirlwind Post Office served the postal needs for residents of Upper Hart. What follows is an attempt to reconstruct a history of its postmasters and its locations. All information is based on official post office records located in Washington, DC.
In 1908, Lawrence W. Riddle petitioned the Postmaster General for the creation of a post office called “Zama” in the Upper Hart section of Logan County, West Virginia. This proposed post office would be situated twenty feet west of Harts Creek, three miles west of the Norfolk & Southern Railway, six miles northwest of McCloud Post Office, seven miles south of the town of Dingess in Mingo County, and eight miles east of the Guyandotte River. The total population to be supplied with mail would be 200 persons. In January 1909, the First Assistant Postmaster General responded in a letter that marked out the proposed name of this post office, “Zama,” and replaced it with “Whirlwind.”
Early postmasters at Whirlwind included: Lawrence W. Riddle (March 31, 1910, appointed; April 25, 1910, commissioned; May 16, 1910, took possession), Moses Tomblin (February 13, 1911, appointed), Sol Riddle (May 7, 1913, order; May 25, 1911, appointed; June 12, 1911, commissioned; June 30, 1911, took possession), and James Mullins (April 30, 1914, confirmed; May 19, 1914, commission signed and mailed; May 23, 1914, assumed charge). On June 26, 1925, Mr. Mullins requested to change the site of the post office to a spot 600 feet southwest of its current location.
Lindsey Blair next served as postmaster (April 28, 1938, confirmed; May 6, 1938, commission signed and mailed; May 11, 1938, assumed charge; resigned without prejudice). On July 15, 1938, Mr. Blair requested to relocate the post office to a spot 1652 feet east of its present location.
Shirley Smith replaced Mr. Blair (October 22 or 23, 1940, assumed charge; October 26, 1940, appointed acting postmaster). In a letter dated October 1940, Smith requested a relocation of the post office. The new post office location would be 5/10th of a mile southeast from the old location, 100 feet west of Harts Creek, nine miles southwest of Dingess, ten miles north of Harts, twelve miles southeast of Verdunville, and fourteen miles from Logan. Ms. Smith asked that the post office be relocated “so I can take care of it at my own home.” Twenty-eight patrons resided within a one-mile radius. Postmasters in this era include: Shirley Smith (December 5, 1940, confirmed; December 27, 1940, commission signed and mailed; December 31, 1940, took possession; January 1, 1941, assumed charge; resigned without prejudice) and Pearl Lowe (July 11 or 12, 1941, assumed charge).
In a letter dated August 19, 1941, Pearl Lowe wrote the Postmaster General requesting that Whirlwind Post Office relocate to a new site. The proposed location would be one mile north of its present location, about forty feet west of Harts Creek, two miles southwest of a county line, nine miles southwest from Dingess, nine miles south of Verdunville, ten miles from the Guyandotte River, and ten miles from Chapmanville. This location was approved and became effective as of September 18, 1941.
Pearl Lowe served as the only postmaster at this location: (September 19, 1941, appointed acting postmaster; November 5, 1941, appointed postmaster; January 2, 1942, commission signed and mailed; January 22 or 23, 1942, assumed charge). On April 14, 1942, Mrs. Lowe requested that the post office be relocated to a new site 1500 feet east of the present location. Shortly thereafter, on July 6, she requested that it be relocated to a site 1/8 mile away. This new spot would be 300 feet east of Harts Creek, nine miles southwest of Dingess, eleven miles northeast of Harts, and twelve miles southeast of Verdunville. On April 8, 1944, Ms. Lowe requested the site be moved 1/2 mile to the east. This latter site became effective May 1, 1944.
On July 15, 1944, someone (the paperwork does not specify who) requested that the post office be relocated 1/4 mile south of the old post office, about forty feet east of Harts Creek, two miles from Mingo County, nine miles southwest of Dingess, ten miles north of Harts, eleven miles south of Verdunville, thirteen miles east of the Guyandotte River, and thirteen miles northeast of Chapmanville.
Tema Workman took possession of the Whirlwind Post Office on February 28, 1947 and was “appointed” on March 12, 1947. On April 22, 1947, Ms. Workman requested that the post office be relocated to a site one mile north of the old location. The new post office would be 1/2 miles from Mingo County, 7 1/2 miles south of Dingess, 8 1/10 miles northeast of Shively, 9 1/2 miles north of Harts, and 10 8/10 miles southeast of Verdunville. This letter cites another name which the community was then known: Bulwark.
Subsequent postmasters included: Tema Workman (June 16, 1947, confirmed; July 11, 1947, commission signed and mailed; September 30, 1947, took possession; October 1, 1947, assumed charge; removed) and Verlie Smith (November 5, 1947, assumed charge; November 5, 1949, took possession; November 15, 1949, appointed).
On November 16, 1949, W.J. Carle, Post Office Inspector, wrote a letter requesting the post office be moved to a site one mile southeast. The new location would be situated two miles from Mingo County, 6 1/2 miles east of Shively, 8 1/2 miles north of Harts, ten miles south of Dingess, and fourteen miles west of Kirk.
Ernestine Tomblin served as the final postmaster at Whirlwind (March 31, 1951, assumed charge; April 17, 1951, appointed).
Whirlwind Post Office was discontinued on January 5, 1952, effective January 31, 1952, “mail to Harts.” Documents cite the post office as “unnecessary.” An investigation determined “reestablishment unnecessary” on May 1, 1953.