Card 116 is a rare (I think) three-for. With a finite amount (presumably) of post office history to draw from and no plans for when to stop, I try to make each card about just one(ish) thing.
One: Stevan Dohanos
Stevan Dohanos was another of The Section’s post office muralists, though he was probably best known for his Saturday Evening Post covers (he did 125 — hmmm…card 125…nah…). In 1939, he painted a series of murals for the West Palm Beach Post Office depicting the legend of James Edward Hamilton, one of Florida’s “barefoot mailmen.”
Two: Barefoot Mailmen
Barefoot mailmen is a term that was used to describe letter carriers who delivered mail between Palm Beach and the Lake Worth area in Florida from 1885 to 1892. The route was 68 miles long and roadless. The carriers rowed boats for 28 miles of the route and walked the rest. At the time, they were known as “beach walkers” or “beach walkists.” The term “barefoot mailman” allegedly came into use when one of the former “beach walkers” used it in correspondence with Stevan Dohanos in 1939.
Three: James Edward Hamilton
The most well known barefoot mailman was James Edward Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton died in the line of duty. Perhaps he was attacked by alligators while trying to retrieve mail from a boat. Maybe when he returned to his hidden boat, it was gone, forcing him to swim and thus be washed out to sea and eaten by sharks. It could be that, someone moved his boat, forcing him to swim the inlet where he drowned. Whatever the case, all seem to agree that Mr. Hamilton died while completing his rough and unusual mail route.