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Vicksburg History

Mrs. Mamie Thomas, first female rural mail carrier delivered in Vicksburg

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Mrs. Mamie Thomas

In 1914, Mrs. Mamie Thomas made history when she became the first female rural mail carrier in the United States. Using a buggy to deliver mail to the area southeast of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Mrs. Thomas paved the way for future generations of women to enter the male-dominated field of mail delivery.

Born in 1873 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Mamie Thomas grew up in a time when women’s opportunities were limited. However, she was determined to make a difference and break through the barriers that kept her and other women from achieving their goals. After marrying John Thomas, she moved to the small community of Beechwood, Mississippi, where she began her pioneering career as a rural mail carrier.

At the time, the U.S. Postal Service was expanding its delivery services to rural areas, and many small communities lacked access to regular mail delivery. In 1896, the Rural Free Delivery (RFD) system was established, and by 1914, rural mail carriers were a common sight on country roads across the United States. However, all of these carriers were men, and it was unheard of for a woman to hold such a position.

Undeterred, Mamie Thomas applied for the position of rural mail carrier and was hired by the Postal Service. She used her own buggy to deliver mail to the communities in her area, covering a route that was over 50 miles long. Her dedication to her work and her commitment to providing excellent service soon earned her the respect and admiration of her customers, who came to rely on her for their mail delivery needs.

Despite facing discrimination and harassment from some of her male colleagues, Mamie Thomas persevered, determined to prove that women were just as capable as men when it came to delivering the mail. She continued to work as a rural mail carrier until her retirement in 1943, and her legacy continues to inspire women who seek to break through gender barriers in the workplace.

Today, Mamie Thomas is remembered as a trailblazer and a pioneer, whose determination and hard work paved the way for future generations of women in the mail delivery industry. Her courage and perseverance continue to inspire and motivate women to pursue their dreams and break through the barriers that stand in their way.

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