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The rest of the story

So many times, the answer to a genealogical question can be found with a simple action.

Turn the page.

And … sigh … The Legal Genealogist occasionally needs a reminder to find the book that has the pages to turn them.

Case in point.

Some years ago, an older cousin who had the history books for Tillman County, Oklahoma, shared some images of pages from the books. And down at the bottom right of one page in the second volume was this tidbit:

Hollister history

You’ll understand why I was interested when I tell you that Jasper Carlton “Jap” Robertson was my great grandfather.1

Except for one minor detail. The official records of appointments of postmasters in Tillman County, Oklahoma, doesn’t list him. At all. Not in Hollister. Not in any other town in Tillman County. Not anywhere in Oklahoma, nor in Indian or Oklahoma Territory.2

Bummer. It was kind of fun thinking that Jasper had been postmaster. I put the matter aside and went on to other things like chasing crazy Germans who all have the same names.3

Then Bob Gordon of Books & Things was kind enough to loan me both volumes of the Tillman County History. And, for the first time, I was able to — yep, you guessed it — turn the page.4 And there at the top of that next page:

Hollister post office history

Sigh… Hollister appears to have had an unofficial post office when the trains began to arrive in 1907 before the first official government post office was established in 1909.

Reminder to self: turn the page.

Even if it means going back and finding the page to turn.

Now to try to verify that unofficial post office story…

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Turn the page,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted date).


  1. Tillman County Historical Society, History of Tillman County, vol. II (p.p. : Frederick, Okla., 1978), 269. And yes, I know his name is given as “Robinson” here. And — sigh — in about half the census and other records where he appears. But his name really was Robertson. Trust me…
  2. National Archives and Records Administration, Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-September 30, 1971, Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group Number 28 (NARA : Washington, D.C. 1977), rolls 101-104. Today available as digital images, “Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971,”, if you wanna look at ’em online.
  3. See e.g. Judy G. Russell, “Navigating the Johanns,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 31 Aug 2019 ( : accessed 3 Sep 2019).
  4. History of Tillman County, vol. II : 270.
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