First postmaster paid $1 per month

Longview was still part of Upshur County when the post office was established Jan. 27, 1871.

According to News-Journal archives, Oliver H. Pegues, the first postmaster, received the princely wage of $1 monthly for his services.

Pegues, who owned a general store with his brother Dock Pegues, operated the fourth class postal facility alongside bolts of cloth and bags of feed.

J. Manning Taylor succeeded Pegues later the same year, but on May 1, 1872, Thomas M. Coleman was appointed to the post. Coleman was serving during the period when Gregg County was organized.

The first postmaster appointment after establishment of Gregg County went to John S. Lacy in 1874. The office was still rated as a fourth class facility under Lacy and, in 1875, Loring P. Harris.

Longview’s first post office was shepherded by U.S. Sen. J.W. Flanagan. The little building was located on land owned by Sen. Flanagan near the present Glover-Crim Building. The postmaster was James W. Flanagan in 1882.

Flanagan was succeeded by John T. Kilgore in July 1885, but the U.S. Postal Service records questions as to whether he actually served. Longview’s first female postmaster, Mrs. Fidelia Kilgore, took office that September after her husband’s death. She left the post office in 1890 when Lincoln H. Gray received the appointment, but returned for three more years in 1894.

Taylor E. Kennard, in 1897, and Samuel H. Flanagan, in 1898, then received appointments to head the Longview office.

Rural delivery service was established in 1904 and city delivery began in 1909.

Shortly after the service was rated second class in 1908, the post office began looking for a permanent home. The postmaster, Joshua Cook, then headed a staff of 16, which included an assistant postmaster, two city carriers, three clerks and nine rural delivery carriers.

In 1909, Thomas M. Welch was postmaster, followed in 1913 by Thomas E. Durham.

The site of the main office at 201 E. Methvin St. was purchased Oct. 13, 1911, from Mrs. J.W. Yates. The first permanent postal building was constructed and occupied in 1912 and not replaced until 1940, when the present building was erected there.

Robert G. Brown (1914), Oscar L. Gallman (1919), Evans H. Angeli (1923), and John T. Hopkins (1928) served as postmasters during the next era until the oil boom elevated Longview to a first class post office operation.

Postal receipts of $6,266 in 1905 had increased to $27,592 the year before oil was discovered. By 1940, receipts were $114,672, and by 1950 had reached $214,027. By 1970, annual receipts topped $1.25 million.

Modern postmasters and their year of appointment, according to USPS records, are:

■ John T. Hopkins, 1928

■ Roger H. Henderson, 1935

■ James Knox Bivins Jr., 1940

■ Mrs. Tom Hazle Bivins, 1944

■ Guy Wetzel, 1954

■ Daniel T. Bailey Jr., 1968

■ Mrs. Patricia K. Fisher, 1974

■ John R. White, 1987

■ Elmer Ken Drain, 1994

■ Tommy W. Few, 1999

■ Frank T. Richards, 2011

■ Johnny E. Wright, 2014

■ Shiniqua L. Toliver, 2015