Days Gone By - stories from the past

Early pictures and film of early stagecoach stops and post office in early North Alabama

(This has been transcribed from Chapter Two  of Jefferson County and Birmingham History 1887 by Teeple & Smith Publishers)

Our mail facilities in the early history of Jefferson county were very poor. The mail from Huntsville to Tuscaloosa was carried on horseback once a week. This state of affairs continued for several years. It was succeeded first by a two-horse hack, and afterward by fine four-horse coaches from Huntsville to Tuscaloosa.

Stage Coach Hotel in Mooresville

This was one of the early stagecoach stops in North Alabama. The post office was on the first floor, and mail was sorted while the passengers ate.

Historic Mooresville)


For this last improvement the county was indebted to the energy and good management of Robert Jemison, of Tuscaloosa. Before the invention of the telegraph, under the administration of President Jackson, his enterprising Postmaster-General, Amos Kendall, conceived the idea of an express mail, by which news could be sent through the principal mail routes much more expeditiously than by the old plan. He accordingly established lines of that kind between the principal cities of the country.

Robert Jemison, Sr. residence in Glen Iris Park, Birmingham, Alabama ca. 1910

Robert Jemison, Sr. residence in Glen Iris Park, Birmingham, Alabama ca. 1910

We had one between Nashville and Montgomery. He had relays of horses of the best blood every ten miles and boys who were fearless riders. The speed adopted was ten miles per hour. The writer of this lived on the line of that route, and frequently heard them pass at the dead hour of night. The boy who rode that ten miles was one of Birmingham’s first settlers, and is now a prosperous and wealthy citizen. I allude to J. B. Webb.

But the express mail was unpopular with the mercantile community of the country, as it gave, great advantages for favoritism, and was soon abandoned. The mail stage system was carried to great perfection in consequence of the rivalry between two large contractors, Robert Jemison and James R. Powell, and was continued till superseded by the railroad system.

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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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