Uncle Bart Sims, Mail Man of the Depression




or as long as I can remember, Uncle Bart Sims took the mail from the Pangburn Post Office to the depot twice a day.  He had a two-wheel pushcart like the one pictured here, and he pushed it along the sidewalk with the mail sacks in it.  It was several blocks downhill from the post office to the depot, but coming back it was uphill all the way.  You could see him struggle as he pushed the cart back from the depot, especially when it was the season for the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs to come out.   There was a mail car on the train where the mail was sorted and dispatched to the towns along the track.  The trains didn’t stop at all of the little towns along the way.  For those towns, there was an arm near the track where the mail sack hung, and the train slowed enough that someone from the mail car would grab the mail sack and leave another one in its place.

Everyone called Uncle Bart’s wife Aunt Bart. I don’t think I ever knew what her name really was.  They were a likeable couple.  Aunt Bart had dark brown eyes that flashed and snapped when she spoke.

 Uncle Bart had a mule that he used for plowing people’s gardens.  The kids liked to get his mule at Halloween time and do something to it.  One time, they painted HOOVER on it and tied it up on Main Street.  It was known that Uncle Bart was a Democrat and hated Hoover.

  Things have changed.  The railroad workers went on strike in 1946 and the dispute was never settled. The railroad ceased operation and Uncle Bart was out of a job.  Trucks were used to haul the mail from Kensett to Pangburn.  Today there is a four-unit apartment building in the place where Uncle Bart and Aunt Bart lived.


(The author is a member of the White County Historical Society.)