Award winning veteran photojournalist
Post Offices in East Texas in the 1930's were in the heart of what many thought was the largest oil reserve in the world.
Going back to day it is interesting to compare and imagine what life was like back in the Depression and Texas oil boom. With so much oil there was no control over how much, where or who could sell the oil. They were nearly giving it away and this led to Texas putting the Texas Railroad Commission in charge of regulating to stabilize both production and prizes and preserve a natural resource.
H.L. Hunt lived in Tyler as he gobbled up oil reserves in East Texas and negotiated with Dallas bankers. And the Post Office and Federal Courthouse is one of a kind. First post office to have a woman architect, Shirley Simons.
Kilgore shows off it's "Million Dollar Mile," but had a small post office which is now the town library. The mural showing drilling is now displayed high up in the East Texas Oil Museum.
The Tyler PO is now the Federal Courthouse and in Longview the postmaster's office is used by a lawyer.
The old main Post Office in Austin Texas
James Bruns in his book, Great American Post Offices lists the old Main as one of ten in Texas worth seeing. Noting how resembles overall proportions and contours of the PO in Cairo, Illinois. But look at how it compares to the former post office in Waxahachie that is now the City Hall.
Austin's modeled after Italian High Renaissance palace and build in 1870. Architect thought to be Alfred Mullett and built in 1878. Today it's part of the University of Texas and known as O'Henry Hall. With a booming city it is preserved as the rest of the block goes under construction for a new skyscraper.
The post office in Waxahachie became the City Hall in 2000, built in 1911 and in use as a post office till 1967. It has significant changes inside, but has been preserved as additions were added. Just look at the photos.
Above is Waxahachie City Hall. and they are proud of preserving a historic structure. Where Austin was capitol of the State of Texas, Waxahachie was a cotton capital and known for it's pre-1900
"Ginger Bread" houses as well as the Ellis County Courthouse built in 1897. Look at some other photos of these "similar" Texas post offices.
We take them for granted, just another old building. Most people simply take these historic landmarks for granted. The post office once was the only source of information, delivering newspapers, personal letters, catalogs, along with bills and checks.
These monuments shouldn't be forgotten. I want to get up close and look at all sides inside and out. Hopefully this blog will tell the story of people and pride in various communities around Texas.