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Postcard From South Mcalester, It To Manhattan, KS 1907

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Valued Member
United States
87 Posts
Posted 04/14/2019   09:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Moschophoros to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Pictured below is a postcard from my collection.

The front of the card shows a Choctaw Indian Ball Game in McAlester, OK. The game was similar to lacrosse.

Here is the back of the card. The card is addressed to Mr. A Browning, Box #397, Manhattan, KS. The card was postmarked in South McAlester, Indian Territory on Feb (15)th 1907, and posted as received in Manhattan, KS on Feb 16th (1907).

Here is a closeup of the South McAlester postmark:

South McAlester: South McAlester existed from ca. 1888 until July 1st, 1907. The town was founded when investors could not come to terms for a right of way for a coal railroad through the town of McAlester, so bought land south of the town. South McAlester stopped being a separate town from McAlester when Congress passed an act joining the 2 towns into one, named McAlester. The United States Post Offices then designated the two as one on July 1st, 1907. This all occured about 5 months before Oklahoma statehood on Nov 16th, 1907.

McAlester, OK: Founded as Perryville in 1838 on the crossroads of the E-W California Road and the N-S Texas Road in Choctaw Nation. James Perry had married into the Choctaw Nation, so was able to establish a trading post on the spot. The town existed until Aug 26th 1863, when Union Forces burned the town for being a Confederate supply depot.

J.J. McAlester, who also married into the Choctaw Nation, set up a trading post on the spot in 1869. He convinced the Union Pacific Railway to connect to the town (named McAlester) due to the coal deposits in the area. McAlester still exists today and is the largest city in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Mr. A Browning: The recipient of the card is Mr. Asaph "Asa" Browning (b. 1831 in Petersham, MA, d. 1913 in Manhattan, KS). At some point during his lifetime (prior to 1857), Asa relocated from MA to Manhattan, KS. Among his 5 children was a daughter: Hattie Browning Hylton (b. 1868 in Manhattan, KS, d. 1934 in Manhattan, KS).

Here is Asa's Gravestone in Sunset Cemetery, Manhattan, KS:

John B. Hylton: The sender of this card is John Browning Hylton (b. 1898 in McAlester, IT (OK), d. 1950 in Manhattan, KS). John was 9 years old when he sent this card to his maternal Grandfather in 1907. John's 3 siblings (Albert, Virginia and Mary) were all born in McAlester, and all are buried in Sunset Cemetery in Manhattan, KS. Here is John's Gravestone (the Hylton family marker is nearby):

In the 1940 census, John is listed as living on RR1 in Manhattan, KS with his sister Mary and his maternal uncle Charles Browning. Virginia never married (nor did John or Mary) so I don't know where she lived at the time of the census. Here is a picture of John, Mary, Virginia and Uncle Charlie in front of their house on RR1 in Manhattan, KS.

By 1950 the sole occupants of the house were Mary and Virginia Hylton. They lived alone in the house until their deaths in 1982 and 1985, respectively. At the time of the picture, the house was at the end of RR1 (now Claflin Rd) and was beyond the city limits. The house is no longer standing. The position of the house can be seen below, shown by the red arrow (there is an empty lot there now.)

The green arrow shows the position of my grandparents' house, which they built ca. 1950, still beyond the city limits. When my grandparents built their house, a dirt road connecting the end of Claflin Rd with the end of Anderson Rd was added. This created a turnaround outside of town. See the blue arrows below for the roads in the 1950s:

As my grandparents were the sole residents on the new road, they were allowed to name the road, with the city's approval. They chose the name "Hylton Heights." Hylton for John, Mary and Virginia, who lived in the house at the time, and Heights because the houses were on the end of a ridge. In the map above, where Hylton Heights angles to the left is a steep decline. Both the liquor store and pizza place are downhill from the Hylton house.

Mary and Virginia gave this card to me when I was a child, along with a few covers, when they learned of my budding interest in philately. My grandfather had been postmaster of Manhattan, KS, so he got me started.

I love the postal history of (and personal connection I have with) this postcard. The sender had a road, albeit 2 blocks long, named after him, the card was sent from a town that ceased to exist 5 months later in a Territory that ceased to exist 9 months later.

Hope you enjoyed my story.

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Valued Member
United States
87 Posts
Posted 04/14/2019   09:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moschophoros to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do have a conservation question about the card: the US 300 is starting separate and is only attached by about the top third right now. What can/should I do either tokeep it from getting worse and/or repair it?
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Rest in Peace
United States
4052 Posts
Posted 04/14/2019   2:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well-posted, Moschophoros !

When a card or cover has little/no value, and I just want the stamp to stay put, I wet the back of the stamp with a bit of clean water and give it a good pressing, in the hope that a little residual adhesive and some fiber-to-fiber surface contact will do the job without my introducing any new materials.


/s/ ikeyPikey
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