Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©2001 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Air mail, the White County way

The Times recently ran an ad wanting someone to deliver papers, and it
mentioned that a reliable vehicle was a necessity. That made me think of
something I found in the White County Democrat, June 21, 1928. This was
a front-page item, and I quote:


James and John Sanders are making the circuit of the county with The
Democrat in the plane they flew from Akron to Carmi, and papers will be
dropped at various towns.

Today is the day of pioneers. The old ox cart has gone forever. The
times demand more speed, and the untraveled pathways of the air give the

And today, for the first time in history, The White County Democrat is
meeting the new times face to face, and is taking advantage of the new
methods of transportation.

If the weather permits, the Sanders boys will leave Arbaugh Field at
Carmi, with The White County Democrat intended for the various post
offices and routes of the county, this morning at 8. The running
schedule calls for a speed exceeding a mile a minute, with a five-minute
interval allowed at each town, in order to circle the place, and locate
exactly the spot to drop the air mail.

The postmasters of the county have promised their cooperation, and the
bundle will be rushed to the post office, there to be distributed in the
regular way.

The Democrat is wrapping its outgoing mail especially for the hardships
that it will encounter on this trip. Even though the plane slows down as
much as possible at the time the bundle is thrown out, it will still be
going about 50 m.p.h., and the bundle will probably roll quite a

Here is the schedule that has been worked out for the air delivery. Note
that eight minutes on the second trip are all that are allowed between
Carmi and Herald. Some speed.

First Trip: Leave Arbaugh landing field, Carmi 8 a.m. Over Norris City,
dropping mail at 8:12 a.m. Over Enfield, dropping mail at 8:27 a.m. Over
Springerton, dropping mail at 8:37 a.m. Over Mill Shoals, dropping mail
at 8:48 a.m. Over Burnt Prairie, dropping mail, at 9 a.m. Over
Crossville, dropping mail at 9:20 a.m. Return to Arbaugh field at 9:30

Second Trip: Leave Arbaugh field, Carmi, at 10 a.m. Over Herald,
dropping mail at 10:08 a.m. Over New Haven, dropping mail at 10:20 a.m.
Over Maunie, dropping mail at 10:27 a.m. Over Epworth, dropping mail, at
10:48 a.m. Return to Arbaugh field at 10:56 a.m.

Watch for it. See how near it makes schedule time.

The Sanders boys are to be congratulated on their pioneering
instincts, and White County is to be congratulated that it has, as its
first flying representatives, two young men of such caliber.

Both are graduates of the Carmi Township High School, James in the Class
of 1925 and John a year later.

Both are hard working boys, James having been employed for years by the
Goodrich Tire Co. at Akron, and John being still in the employ of the
General Tire Co. of that place.

It has only been a year since the elder learned to fly, and about six
months since he purchased his plane.

These boys are forerunners of what is to come, and come quickly.
Planes are not expensive; flying instruction can be gained at nearly any
large city in the country, and The Democrat predicts that in a few short
years, many planes will be owned by citizens of the county, and that
they will be used for work as well as for sport.

The Democrat takes a little pride in being the first country newspaper
in the United States to deliver its entire edition throughout the county
by air.

What the future may bring you cannot tell, but any method that puts the
paper at the post office door throughout the entire county within
seventy minutes from the time it leaves the home office will bear

Save this edition; in future years it may be regarded as a real

Keep out of the way this morning, for some of the editorials in The
Democrat might land on your head, and they carry a good deal of weight.


Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.

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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Copyright © 2001 by Cindy Birk Conley, all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.