VICKSBURG FACTS: Mamie Thomas proves the future is fe-mail

Published 8:00 am Friday, November 4, 2022

By Vera Ann Fedell | The Vicksburg Post

Did you know that Vicksburg is the first city in the United States to have a female rural mail carrier?

On Jan. 27, 1912, it was announced that Mamie Thomas would begin her career as a rural mail carrier at the beginning of February, according to the 1912 Vicksburg Evening Post. Thomas’s application went through an extensive examination but she received the best percentage score, which was an average of 99.25.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

In the article by The Post, it was stated that Thomas would have to travel 24 miles within an eight-hour period to complete her tasks. Prior to becoming a mail carrier, Thomas was a school teacher for several years and was used to traveling the 24-mile route for school. According to the 1912 Vicksburg Evening Post article, she received $1,000 per year as a mail carrier. 

However, Thomas had to overcome some obstacles before she could start her new position. The United States Postal Service found out about Thomas starting as a rural mail carrier and stated that she was not allowed to continue, according to the Feb. 2, 1912, edition of The Vicksburg Evening Post. While she was fighting for her position, the postal service assigned a substitute on her route.

Luckily, Thomas had friends in Washington, D.C. to help her with her situation. Because of her friends’ influence, the postal service gave her back her 24-mile route within a matter of weeks. Thomas continued to be a rural mail carrier and was making great strides for the post office.

In the 1918 June Vicksburg Evening Post, Thomas was part of the Honor Mail Carriers in May for her efforts selling stamps during World War 1.

In the June 23, 1918, edition of the Vicksburg Herald, Thomas’s revenue was reported as: “number of stamps previously reported sold, 304; number of stamps sold during the month of May, 217; total number of stamps sold to date, 31; value in money of stamps for the month of May, $52.50.”