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by Morris W. Werner

A post road was established in the early 1860s from Atchison to Louisville, Pottawatomie county, by the U.S. Postal Department. Post roads were necessary to provide mail delivery to rural post offices not served by stage lines. As railroads were constructed, the more remote areas were connected by a network of post roads, which came to be known as "Star Routes."

Contractors on these routes usually drove hacks capable of accommodating two or three passengers, and they were permitted to perform other services as long as they met the prescribed mail schedule.

Jacob Jacobia was a driver and perhaps contractor for the Atchison & Louisville route, which served Monrovia, Arrington, Holton, James' Crossing, Avoca, and Louisville. His hack left Atchison Monday A.M. and returned to Atchison on Friday P.M. Jacobia had been a freighter on the plains (perhaps on the Parallel Road?) and settled at America City, Nemaha county in 1858. His son, Billy, was Corning's first banker. In 1870, after the Union Pacific Eastern Division (Kansas Pacific) railroad had been constructed up the Kansas River valley, and the Union Pacific Central Branch (Missouri Pacific) railroad had been extended as far as Waterville in Marshall county, Jacobia's route was changed to connect Corning on the Central Branch, via America City to Louisville, serving several post offices enroute.

According to Frank Root, the Atchison/Louisville Post Road employed two-horse stages, and the contractor was an elderly gentleman named J. H. "Uncle Johnny" Thompson. The route served Monrovia, Arrington, Holton, James Crossing and Vienna. The fare was $8.00 one way. James Crossing and Vienna became post offices in 1862, which may be the inaugural date of the service.

References: KHQ v.2 p.25 & Seneca Courier-Tribune Anniv. Ed., 1938; The Overland Stage to California, p.416, Frank Root & Wm. Connelly.

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