Sneed’s Palzo History

A post office was to open at a crossroad store in section 15 of Stonefort Township. The post office could not be established without a name. Several names were submitted and all refused for some reason. A name for the post office became a problem in the community. At that time there was an overgrown boy in the community who greeted everyone with a cheery, “Hi there Palzo.” That gave the boy the nickname, “Palzo.” One morning Reverend Martin Odum was in the store. The men gathered around the cast-iron pot belly stove were discussing the problem of naming the post office. The minister jokingly suggested it be named Palzo for the boy. The name was sent in and accepted. The post office was opened April 9, 1894, in Albert Michel’s Store and Michel was the postmaster. He served until July 20, 1899, when Reverend Martin Odem became postmaster.

James W.S. Allen built a large store in Palzo and a shed back of the store from which he sold threshing machines. The post office was moved to Allen’s store and Mr. Allen became postmaster. January 20, 1900. Parker Holms became postmaster October 21, 1900 and remained so until it was closed March 26. I90S.

The crossroad community grew until it had three stores, a threshing machine agency, a post office and eleven houses. Being on the Worthen Trail it soon became a trading center. However, Palzo had no railroad. When state highways were paved, the old Worthen Trail was not one of them. It became increasingly difficult to make a profit and compete with prices in the cities, while hauling goods over muddy roads. When the post office closed it took away an important part of the village. One by one the stores were closed. Walter Tanner, better known as “Wat” Tanner closed the last store in 1930. Peabody Coal Company’s Will Scarber Mine has stripped the land west and north of Palzo.

Today two houses, a mobile home and voting house for the precinct, make up the village. One house is occupied and the other is in ruins. Thanks to a large family in the house the population is nine.

Palzo does have Spring Hill Baptist Church. It was formed by merging Gum Springs and Pleasant Hill Baptist Churches. Gum Springs was organized in 1839 and Pleasant Hill in 1845. The Spring Hill Church is well kept, has a full basement, conducts regular services and has a full-time pastor. It has a membership of 213 and a Sunday school enrollment of 112 with an average attendance of 65.

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