Looking back: Sebrell post office closed

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

by Clyde Parker

August 10, 1968

Mrs. Evelyn Whitehead closed the doors to the Sebrell Post Office for the last time this past Friday. Mrs. Whitehead retired after 25 years as postmistress. The post office was located in the R.A. & R.N. Whitehead store in downtown Sebrell.

A native of Southampton County, Mrs. Whitehead (the former Evelyn Rowe Whitehead) is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Watt Whitehead. She was educated in Sebrell schools and Massey Business College in Richmond. For four years, she was a secretary at Jones-Hayes Department Store in Franklin. She married Willie N. Whitehead in 1930. The couple made their home in Norfolk until 1942; then they returned to Sebrell where she was acting postmistress from 1943 to 1948 for her brother, Ryland A. Whitehead, who was on leave of absence to serve in World War II. After her brother returned to Sebrell, following the war, he did not go back to the position and she was appointed permanent postmistress.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of the 25 years and I am going to miss the people. I loved serving them,” she said. “I’ve seen faces come and faces go.”

The Whiteheads have two children, Janet (Mrs. Emerson Kitchen) of Sebrell, Virginia, and Miss Bettie Whitehead of Fairfax, Virginia, and two grandchildren.

Patrons formerly receiving mail through the Sebrell Post Office are now being served by Rural Route No. 2, Courtland. The rural carrier is providing all full postal services to former Sebrell patrons, such as stamp sales, money orders, etc. And, of course, collection and delivery of mail to their rural mail boxes will be made daily except Sundays and holidays.

Stutts named UC Community Relations manager

Joseph H. Stutts has been named manager of Community Relations for Union Camp Corporation’s Franklin Mill. The announcement was made last week by Robert B. Allport Jr., manager of Industrial and Community Relations. Stutts succeeds H. S. “Jim” James Jr. 

A Franklin native, Stutts was formerly a conservation specialist for the state ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service) office in Richmond.

After graduating from Franklin High School, Stutts served in the Korean War and later attended Randolph-Macon College at Ashland.

He began his ASCS career as office manager for Henrico County in 1958. After serving there for three years, he was transferred to Southampton County where he was office manager for four years. In 1964, his Courtland office was honored as the outstanding ASCS office in the nation.

In 1965, he was promoted to conservation specialist in Richmond; and, his family moved to Ashland, a small community north of Richmond.

His outside activities included membership in the Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Hanover Rifle and Pistol Club, and the National Rifle Association. For a period of time, he published a newsletter for the Virginia Chapter of the Soil Conservation Society of America.

He is a member of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Ashland.

According to Allport, Stutts, in his new job, will act as a liaison between Union Camp Corporation and a very broad community — Virginia and North Carolina.

Stutts is married to the former Carolyn Carver Johnson of Franklin. They have four children: Jack, Lawrence, Sherwood and Douglas. Stutts says his family will move to Franklin as soon as he can locate accommodations. 

Shorter promoted

W. Wyatt Shorter, assistant mill manager of the Franklin, Virginia mill, has been promoted to the position of Mill Manager of the Company’s 500-employee paper mill in Montgomery, Alabama. That mill produces linerboard. 

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President John E. Ray III, former resident manager of the Franklin Mill, who now works out of the company’s New York office.   

Shorter has been employed by Union Camp since 1957 and has lived in Franklin during that time.

A graduate of Virginia Military Institute, he served two years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Shorter joined Union Camp after receiving his Master of Science degree in pulp and paper technology at the University of Maine.

In the near future, the Shorters, including their three children, Walter, Margaret Rose and Matthew, will leave their home on Robinhood Road and move to Montgomery. 

Vaughan appointed

Elvin Vaughan, a 44-year-old Franklin funeral home director and mortician, has been appointed to the City of Franklin School Board. He was nominated by City Councilman George Hedgepeth. His appointment fills the vacancy created when Dr. A.B. Harrison resigned from the School Board after being elected to the Franklin City Council.

Vaughan will complete the final months of Dr. Harrison’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 1969. The new School Board member will attend his first meeting when it meets on Sept. 3.

“It is indeed an honor, a privilege and a challenge to be appointed to the Franklin School Board,” Vaughan told reporters this week. “I will do my best to perform my duties to the best of my ability for the interests of schools as well as for the people of this community.”

Vaughan is a graduate of Franklin’s Hayden High School, Norfolk Division of Virginia State College, and Eckels College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia. 

Vaughan is a trustee of First Baptist Church, Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 317, and holds memberships in Virginia Mortician’s Association, Franklin American Legion, and Lodge 288 of the Franklin Masons.

He is married to the former Ethel Mutts of Scotland Neck, North Carolina. The couple and their seven-year-old daughter, Karen, reside at 405 Washington St.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is magnolia101@charter.net