Sneed’s Halfway History

There were two Half Ways in Williamson County. The first one began thus: Vancleve Hendrickson opened a post office in his farm home on the west township line in section 30 of Corinth Township. October 30, 1871 and became its postmaster. James Hearn bought the farm and became postmaster November 11, 1872. It was closed December 15, 1876 and the community was without a post office for 18 years.

Joseph Williams kept a general store in section 25 of Lake Creek Township, just a quarter of a mile from the spot where Hendrickson had his Oak Hill Post Office. Williams’ store was across the road from his farmhouse. Williams opened a post office in his store February 5, 1895 and named it Half Way.

Williams sold his store to his grandson, Reverend James Chadwell and he became postmaster, May 20, 1906. Chadwell sold to Riggs Brothers, Albert and Nicholis, and Albert became postmaster June 14, 1905.

The new town of Pittsburg began in 1905 and Albert Riggs became postmaster there. December 15, 1906. Nicholis became postmaster of Half Way the same day and remained in that position until it closed December 15, 1911 and Half Way became R.F.D. Pittsburg.

Today the sight of both Oak Hill and Half Way are gone. The sight of the Williams’ store is grown up in underbrush and briars.

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(Ghost Towns of Southern Illinois, by Glenn J. Sneed, published 1977)