LETTER TO THE EDITOR: More airmail news
Reading Lewis Bramlett’s Peeking Into The Past (The Stanly News & Press – Sept. 14, 2021) noting the first airmail delivery to Stanly County, it occurred to me that readers might find interesting the fact that the very first airmail letter was sent by Albert Sidney Burleson (1863-1937). He was appointed Postmaster General by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913, and held that post until 1921.
Burleson was born in San Marcos, Texas, but he has many kinfolks in Stanly County. He was a grandson of Edward S. Burleson Sr. (1798-1864), who was born in Buncombe County and who went on to serve as an officer in the Texas military under the command of Gen. Sam Houston.
Albert Sidney Burleson attended Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (later renamed Texas A&M) and graduated from Baylor University before going to University of Texas for a law degree.
Another man with Stanly County kin and Albert’s second cousin once removed, Rev. Rufus Columbus Burleson, baptized Sam Houston at a pool near Little Rocky Creek in 1854. Rufus said to him afterward, “Your sins are washed away,” to which Houston reportedly replied, “God save the fishes!” Rufus later served as president of Baylor University from 1886 to 1897.
Additional information about Albert and Rufus Burleson is available online and at Stanly County Public Library.
Steve N. Almond