Hi All! Welcome back to The Hogue Connection! I hope life is going well for everyone. A new Charley Hogue discovery has recently come to light and I wanted to share it. A story told to me early on in my Hogue family research has just been confirmed through the Hints feature at Ancestry.com. While I believed this legend to be true, I needed documentation of it.
On page 62 of RED RIVER TRAILS , I mention that my great grandfather, Charles Sherman Hogue (1865-1917), “went to work as a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service, running the mail on horseback between Rubottom and Grady, a distance of about 15 miles…, Again, records about anything like this are scarce, but, these facts have grown out of related family history”. I was excited to find this evidence among my unreviewed hints.
Official Register of the United States
The Hints on Ancestry showed three documents out of the publications which listed all of the employees of the Civil, Military and Naval Service of the U.S., including all employees of the Postal Service. These books were released in two volumes every other year starting in 1863. They listed not only higher up managers of The Postal Department, but folks that ran the Post Offices nationwide and rural delivery people and contractors, as well.
An act of Congress (they actually had those at one time) on 3 Mar 1845 opened hundreds of mail routes to the lowest bidder. All mail routes were included on Route Registers. Contracted routes were designated by three stars after the route number, e.g. 53355***. These routes became known as Star Routes, and the folks who worked them were part of the Star Service. Star Service existed until 1970, when these mail routes became known as Highway Contract Routes, or HCR’s.
And The Records Show…
Not much, unfortunately. They do show the route number, his name, the length of the contract period, and the amount he received in payment. We know that Charley had the contract for Route #53355 from 1 July 1902 to at least 30 June 1906. Things may have changed after Oklahoma became a state in 1907, but I haven’t found him in any other registry. He made only $4.51 a week for pretty hard work. The average pay in the U.S. was about $10 a week in 1905.
I tried to research the guy who had that route previously, but didn’t come up with much. I believe his name was Henry G. Ogden, Jr. Ogden ran several routes, including #53355, from the Oklahoma City area. He was a truck driver at the end of his life, which fits. We don’t know how Charley got this contract. The little bit of cash he made truly helped him start to build his family with Nora Gatlin in February 1903.
Until Next Time…
So, just a quick post to share the new Charley Hogue discovery. Thanks to all my readers out there, and to the new subscribers I’ve picked up lately. Right now, my most popular post has been my article about Hannah Hale and Far-Off Warrior. Stay safe and enjoy the upcoming holiday season! You can return to the Home Page here.