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Mike Watson: Sano/Santo name changes & county-jumping

Not only was Sano at times Santo, but the post office there jumped the county Adair-Russell countyline on occasion, and there was once an Adair County School at Santo, taught by Mrs. Nora Bradshaw
Comments re article 83913 Charles Marshburn asks: Why the change of Santo to Sano?

By Mike Watson
Adair County Historian

Not only was this post office a name-changing one, but, like Tampico, was a line-jumping one as well.

Santo vs Sano--The U.S. post office at Santo was established on September 28, 1894 in Adair County with William S. Rexroat as the first postmaster. This post office was quite close to the Adair-Russell County line. I'm not the expert on this section of the county, but do know that the general area is today known as Sano, not Santo.

Postal records show that on December 19, 1896 Thomas W. Bryant was installed as the postmaster. This office was closed by the Postal Department as of August 20, 1898 with mail going to the nearby office at Gentry's Mill.

The community around this post office kept the name "Santo" for some years. The school maintained the name as well; in July 1901 Miss Nora Bradshaw, of Montpelier, had been engaged to teach the pupils for the coming term.

Postal appointments were political at this time and Congressmen were often liberal when it came to requesting new post offices be opened or re-opened. Such may have been the case when "Sano" post office was established--note, not re-established as there was a spelling change--on January 20, 1902. The first post master was William L. Brockman. He was succeeded by Emma J. Grandstaff in January 1903, and she by William L. Brockman, again, in April 1904. John C. White was appointed to the office in April 1908 and Thomas W. Bryant in November 1909--note he had been post master at Santo. Joe G. Grimsley was appointed in July 1925 and was succeeded by Dewey E. Grimsley in February 1930.

During Dewey Grimsley's time as post master the office was moved physically across the county line into Russell County. When Sano post office was discontinued in 1966 it was in Russell County.

J.W. Bryant, of Santo, was married to Mrs. Margaret Wilson, of near Font Hill, Russell County, in December 1901. "John W. Bryant, of Sano, died of flux at Irvin's Store last Sunday...he was 55 and left a wife and several children, all grown," as per a brief death notice in the July 16, 1902 issue of the News.

The Brockman Brothers, merchants at "Sano" sold their stock of goods to R.W. Allen in September of 1902. It would appear William L. Brockman continued as postmaster until Mrs. Grandstaff was appointed, and was reappointed upon her resignation.

Sano is first mentioned in the old issues of the Adair County News in June of 1902, via the Gentry's Mill community newsletter, reporting the death of Jakey Kerns, of Sano, from an accidental gunshot wound.

Santo and Sano were, at least for some years following the established of the Sano post office, interchangeable, but in time Santo disappeared from all but the memories of Adair and Russell County residents.

- Mike Watson

This story was posted on 2016-06-20 05:32:57
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