By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer on Nov. 7, 1949
It is interesting to note how rural people over North Carolina are doing those little things which add so much to the beauty of their homesteads. In Rowan County a mail box improvement contest started in the Corriher community by the local Grange has made that community a much more attractive place.
Last spring in April, Phillip Sloop of Mooresville, Route 1, was appointed chairman of a committee to promote this mail box improvement contest. Associated with him were Mrs. Harry P. Corriher of China Grove, Route 1, and T.N. McLaughlin of Mooresville, Route 3. These three persons planned the campaign. They divided the whole community into different areas with a committee chairman responsible for this area. The committee member then contacted every box holder in his particular selection regardless of age, race, color or creed, and explained the contest. The boxholder was given a copy of the score card, rules of the contest, and amounts of the prizes.
Business men of Salisbury and the Corriher section sponsored the contest and offered $25 as a first prize; $15, second; $10, third; and $6 for the best group of boxes; that is two or more in one group.
As a result of this beautification or improvement work, nearly every mail box in that entire community was improved in some manner. Two hundred and seventy-two were definitely entered for the prize money, and 160 of these showed the results of considerable interest and effort in beautifying the boxes and their immediate surroundings. The contest actually got under way in May and was ended in September with the prizes awarded at a big meeting of the Corriher Grange in early October. Everyone turned out for the meeting because there was considerable competition for first honors. The judges were Mrs. Mildred Seaber, home economist with the Duke Power Company; J.H. McKenzie, postmaster of Salisbury; and Tom McKnight, publisher of the Mooresville Tribune. The judges had a hard task and they were really on the spot. Finally, the first prize was awarded to W.L. Teeter of Mooresville, Route 3. Second prize went to Vernon H. Bost of Mt. Ulla, Route 1; and third place was awarded to Oron M. Deal of China Grove, Route 1. The first prize of $6 for the best group of boxes went to Roland White, Clyde Deal, and R.M. Edmiston, all of Mooresville, Route 3.
The committee in charge of this contest helped the box holders to get attractive metal name plates to hang above or alongside their boxes. Every person in the community took the idea very seriously and while the women, of course, did most of the actual beautification and improvement work, the men did help because it became a matter of neighborhood pride. County Agent P.H. Satterwhite says that a ride of 25 miles through the Corriher section will show some excellent work having been done at the site of nearly every box on the side of the roads.
Mr. Teeter, who won the first prize, had an unusual and very neat box. His mail box is fastened on a wrought iron post with a lattice frame work in the background, and this lattice work is topped with a bird house. Flowers were planted in a bed about the site and the whole presented a most attractive appearance. Mr. Bost erected his mailbox on a wooden V-brace in front of a small lattice fence, extending about a bed of evergreens and flowers. Both men used the metal name plate above their respective boxes. The judge said that many of the entrants showed considerable ingenuity in improving and decorating the boxes and the sites about them. Most of them used lattice work and flowers with wrought iron posts to hold the box out so that the mail carrier could reach it without trouble.