Arcadia and the Post Office called "Toomie"

        This data on this site is taken from the Light Newspaper, from an article by Patricia McCoy.  Retired Judge V. V. Pate grew up in Arcadia.  He was born January 6, 1907 and died March 4, 1991.  He is buried in Oaklawn Memorial Park. 

The words in this article are the statements made my Judge Pate to the author of the article, Patricia McCoy. 

        The Arcadia Post office, aka "Toomie" Post Office was located in Arcadia.  It was designated Toomie because there was another Texas town called Arcadia.  The post office was in the back of one store, in a corner partitioned off by a low railing with entrance by a swinging gate.  It was equipped with cubbyholes into which mail was place as it was sorted. 

        Jim Walker ran the store and Post Office, there was another store in area owned by Singleton Cox.  Arcadia also had a Church, School and Cotton Gin with a Grist Mill.  Earlier there was a Water Mill on Pounds Branch by the Snow Hill Community, which was four miles from Arcadia. 

        The Woodman of the World had a hall upstairs over the Church.  Most of the families in Arcadia farmed, raising cotton, Corn, Ribbon Cane, Sweet and Irish Potatoes, Peas, Peanuts and Vegetables.  Every farmer had at least one Milk Cow. 

        Arcadia was a progressive, friendly community.  When a neighbor got sick, people laid down their own work and would go "work the neighbor's crop."  Log Rollings were a community event.  Mr. Pate remembers one (Log Rollings) that his father gave when he was about six.  All the neighbors would help pile logs and brush for burning so the land could be cleared for planting.  Log Rollings were never complete without Butter Rolls, loaded with Cinnamon.

        Like any other community of that time, folks had nothing but horses, wagons and buggies.  It was a long time before there were many automobiles in Arcadia, because the roads were so bad in the winter you couldn't get out.

        Two doctors practicing in Arcadia were Larry and Eula Griffin.  Dr. Spencer Warren was born in the Community

        At its full strength, Arcadia was home for about 350 to 500 people. On Saturday afternoons, everyone would congregate in town to ride horses, pitch  horseshoes or play marbles.  Mr. Pate remembers there were two schools in Arcadia.  Cooper School, about one mile from town.  It was consolidated with Arcadia, which at one time had about 120 students.  Teachers were Marvin Hayes, Sam McGee, Burton Sanford and Miss Vada Murray.  The school was through the ninth grade, then the students went to Center for the last two years.  Schools only went through the 11th grade, the extra year, 12th grade, was established in the early 1940s.

        In 1912 there was a Waterman Train Wreck, about a mile from Arcadia in the Walnut Grove Community.  Waterman was a large sawmill town and kind of rough.  The train tracks let to the mill from the front camps out in the woods.  This particular train was headed in with a load of logs and crew members at the end of the day when it lost its brakes.  The sheer weight of the logs drove the train on.  The whistle began blowing a distress signal.  The train left the tracks, throwing logs and men high into the air when it crashed.  There were several killed, including Ernest Wise, Asberry Adams and Dexter Mancil, and many were seriously injured.  Some of the logs were driven deep into the ground by the crash.  Mr. Pate's father loaded his family onto a wagon to go see the train wreck.  They brought in a steamrun shay, sort of a wrecker on wheels that rode the tracks.  It had a boom on it that was used to set the cars back on the tracks. 

        Mr. Pate believes the wreck happened in the Spring.  Those who died in the wreck were torn all to pieces.  It was a terrible site.

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