By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
DENNIS – The U.S. Postal Service concept of a Village Post Office is taking a firm hold in Northeast Mississippi with opening of the state’s second village post office site in Dennis, on Highway 25 south of Tishomingo.
A ribbon-cutting at Dennis Discount Grocery on Tuesday announced the availability of some post office services in the privately owned business to help extend local residents’ postal access.
“We’re mainly here to serve the people of our community,” said Scott Eubanks, who owns the store with his wife, Tracy. “We want to do anything we can to help.”
The store will offer first-class mail Forever stamps, prepaid Priority Mail Flat Rate products and a mail collection box.
Public officials joined in helping with opening ceremonies, including Sen. J.P. Wilemon of Belmont.
“Dennis has always been a little special to me,” Wilemon said. “My father was a sharecropper, and when I was 16 he rented a farm there and we lived there for a few years. Back then, Dennis had a school, a cotton gin, four grocery stores – two that sold gas – and a post office. Miss Kate Campbell was the postmistress, and she knew everyone, even people who lived on the rural routes.”
Although technology has drastically changed delivery of postal services, Wilemon thanked the postal service for providing a way for people in rural communities to receive more services when it is not affordable to have a full-time post office.
Eubanks said he first learned about the Village Post Office concept in a mailing from the U.S. Postal Service, and he began the paperwork about 18 months ago.
Adding the Village Post Office service is also a way to bring additional traffic into his store, Eubanks said.
The Dennis post office is open only limited hours, 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, while Dennis Discount Grocery is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Mississippi’s first Village Post Office opened in May at the Knox Grocery in the Prairie community of Monroe County. Officials said a third Village Post Office soon will open in Northeast Mississippi in Vardaman, probably within weeks.
There are 708 such business-post office partnerships nationwide as the Postal Service seeks to cut costs.