|Oldest surviving post office in Oklahoma|
|Tuesday, 02 July 2013 00:00|
Karen Collier treasures the history of Fort Towson, where she spent her childhood, and its U. S. Post Offi ce, where she devoted her career as Postmaster.
She has diligently gathered historical documents listing the name of every Fort Towson Postmaster and when they served since its beginning. Sorting mail daily, for years, also caused Karen’s fingerprints to be worn smooth out.
On July Fourth, Karen celebrates the traditional date, and the date of July 4, 1982, when the Post Office of Fort Towson received offi cial recognition as the oldest surviving postal service in the state of Oklahoma.
The current Fort Towson Postmaster, Sonja A. Davis, as of Feb. 22, 2000, stepped up when Postmaster Karen Collier, who served from Dec. 19, 1976 to February 2000, retired. Sonja values the trust and bonding with postal customers, who are neighbors, as Karen has.
In interviews with the two ladies, they shared with great pride the facts, figures and legends of the history of the Fort Towson community U. S. Post Offi ce, and reflections of persons who served as Postmaster there during the many years of mail service. They’ve more memories, in fact, than this article can contain; however, the ladies often share them with frequent visitors.
Theirs is a story about local history and the people who lived it. Located in southeast Oklahoma, Choctaw County, are several esteemed locations of early Choctaw Nation and Oklahoma history; from the times of Indian Territory and Statehood, Nov. 16, 1907.
Along U. S. Highway 70, tourists are drawn to the remains of the Fort Towson military post; the nearby cemetery, and ghost town of what began as a trading post called Doaksville where a Post Office was set up in a tent. Nearby, the community of Fort Towson lives on.
According to the National Archives, Washington D. C., George C. Gooding served as the first Postmaster in Choctaw County in 1832. Thomas Fennell is recorded having built the first Fort Towson Post Office and served as Postmaster in 1899. The Post Office’s name was changed from Doaksville to Fort Towson in 1903.