History of Santa Rosa County, A King's County

by M. Luther King. Used with permission.

HISTORY OF SANTA ROSA COUNTY

MILTON POST OFFICE

It is always so easy when you can't find the information that you seek about some institution to say that "The origin of _____ is shrouded in mystery." The reader is well aware of the fact that the origin of a post-office is never "shrouded in mystery." However it has seemed very difficult to pierce the shrouding veil of the years whose passing have lent at least some air of mystery to the beginnings of the post office at Milton.

The best information available seems to place the date of the first post office at Milton April 10, 1840, although there was a settlement here much earlier than that year. It seems from that record (which, by the way, is an old hand-drawn sketch apparently dated 1840) that the first post office was located almost directly across Berryhill Street from the present location of the First Methodist Church. Patrons expecting mail may have patronized another office at an earlier date. There was, for instance, a polling place at Blackwater, now Bagdad, as early as 1827.

The fact however that Santa Rosa County became a county of the State of Florida early in the year 1842 rather does lend credence to the 1840 date even though the county seat was located at Floridatown during those earliest years of the county.

During the year 1846 there was a sustained attempt, which was finally successful, to establish a mail route from Milton to Escambia, to Nathansville and on to Sparta in Conecuh County, Alabama. This route was about seventy-five miles in length and would have been a weekly service.

On October 23, 1852, apparently the first second-class permit was issued through a Milton Post Office when such permit was issued to The Milton Courier which began publication as the county's first newspaper. Then during the year 1855 a bit more was added to the roster of Federal officials in Milton when there was a United States Land Office established in the Post Office to serve the immediate territory. To this already growing list of officialdom was added an official cotton grader in the year 1858.

The war years 1861-1865 were stagnant ones for the Post Office as well as for many other lines of business. However, we note that on April 1, 1865 there was an observance of mourning declared for John Milton, who had committed suicide at his home near Marianna.

The year 1881 was a "red letter" one in Post Office history in Milton:

  • a new adjacent post office was established in Olahite
  • mail service was established for Havana

B. F. King, former Postmaster for Milton, was returned to jail in Pensacola from Texas to whence he had gone when accused of embezzling $1000.00 from the Post Office at Milton. Needless to say the money was found and the former postmaster released when his political opponents had succeeded in securing from President Hayes the appointment of their own favorite, a Democrat.

In 1886 there were listed these post offices in Santa Rosa County: Blackwater, Chaffin, Holt, Mary Esther, Milton, Oak Grove, Olahite.

Names of postmasters who have served Milton and the dates of their appointments are:

Stephen Gale

April 10, 1840

Mathias K. Bringharst

April 5, 1841

Lawrence N. Amos

November 17, 1841

James M. Amos

December 3, 1851

Lawrence M. Attaway

January 8, 1852

Lewis Frater

February 16, 1853

John Mitchell

May 24, 1853

William I. Stokes

October 10, 1853

William B. Amos

January 31, 1854

P. Mitchell

June 11, 1855

James H. Chaffin

September 4, 1855

W. W. Potter

October 18, 1865

Ebenezer B. Riley

January 19, 1866

T. E. Swift

March 8, 1867

Tyson T. Collins

July 15, 1869

Frank Smith

August 9, 1869

Benjamin F. King

December 16, 1878

John Carlovitz

August 13, 1879

Lewis T. Hamphill

July 28, 1896

Lawrence Brown

December 9, 1897

John H. Collins

February 7, 1916

Cason Walker

April 19, 1928

Stephen G. Allen (Acting)

November 26, 1936

Miss Kate T. McDaniel

April 20, 1939

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