In December 1904, construction began on a company store to serve the residents of Heilwood. Not only would this store provide the much needed necessities but would also contain the first post office for the community. John McMurray Thompson, the store manager at the time, was also the town’s first postmaster.
The post office remained part of the store until 1910, at which time a new company store was constructed a short distance away. The post office was then relocated to the eastern side of the new building, and remained there until the store was closed in 1954 (see photo).
The post office was an important social hub for the townspeople. It was not only a place to get their mail twice a day, but also a gathering place whereby they could exchange news from their homelands and their daily lives. Many residents used the facility to send money to their families in the ‘old county’ – money that allowed new immigrants to buy passage and join their husbands, brothers, and sisters in Heilwood.