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Post, James Francis

by Leora Hiatt McEachern, 1994

24 Feb. 1851–5 Jan. 1918

Photograph of the Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington, North Carolina.  Image by Frances Benjamin Johnston, between 1935-1938.  From the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.  The Bellamy Mansion was designed by James Francis Post. James Francis Post, railroad official and a native of Wilmington, was the son of James Francis and Mary A. Russell Post. His father was born in New Jersey and moved in 1849 to Wilmington, where he became one of the first men to devote himself exclusively to the practice of architecture in North Carolina. He enlisted in the Confederate army and served throughout the Civil War as a lieutenant, having charge of the fortifications in the harbor. Later he was the architect of City Hall, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, the John D. Bellamy mansion, and other buildings in Wilmington.

The younger Post was educated in the public schools and at Wilmington Academy. At age nineteen he entered the railroad service as a freight clerk of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, a part of the Atlantic Coast Line system. He held various positions in the company and was treasurer of the entire system for the last sixteen years of his life.

A Methodist, Post was superintendent of the Sunday school at Grace Church for twenty-five years, a magistrate for ten years, and at one time acting mayor. Interested in education, he was chairman of the Wilmington School Board and a trustee of the Agricultural School for Negroes and for the State Normal School for Women. He was a member of St. John's Masonic Lodge, Woodmen of the World, Knights of Pythias, Cape Fear Club, and Cape Fear Country Club. He also was a member of the Society of Railway Financial Officials of America, an honorary Fellow of the American Geological Society, and a member of the National Society of Political Economy.

On 6 Apr. 1876 Post married Sarah Virginia Jacobs of Wilmington. They had seven children: Virginia who died at age four, Robert E., James Francis, William N., Mary Russell, Julia B., and Lydia. Lydia became Mrs. Herbert Scott Snead and Mary married G. M. M. James. Post lived at 112 North Seventh Street in Wilmington. His funeral was held from Grace Methodist Church and he was buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington.

References:

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society Handbook (1970).

North Carolina Biography, vol. 5 (1919).

Wilmington Star, 6 Jan. 1918.

Additional Resources:

"Post, James F. (1818-1899)." North Carolina Architects & Builders, A Biographical Dictionary. NCSU Libraries.  http://ncarchitects.lib.ncsu.edu/people/P000212 (accessed July 16, 2014).

Image Credits:

Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952. "Bellamy House, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina". Photograph. [between 1935 and 1938]. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/csas200802958/ (accessed July 15, 2014).

Origin - location: 

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