The "One and Only Cornland"
celebrates Zip Code Day
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[June 29, 2019]
Tuesday night in the little town named "Cornland" located in the
southwest corner of Logan County, residents gathered to celebrate
Zip Code Day. Why you might wonder? Because the zip code in this
tiny community has the zip code 62519 or as the date indicated
6-25-19, hence the proclamation "Zip Code Day."
Local resident Kelley Tierney, who resides with her husband, Bob, in
the former Methodist Church building in the town, was the mastermind
behind "Zip Code Day" but she will be the first to say it was a team
effort. Tierney's vibrant personality and creative mind made her the
perfect person to carry out the dream of gathering folks on this
once-in-a-lifetime day. You see, this day will only come around once
in a hundred years.
"It is beyond our wildest dreams," said Tierney of the crowd of
people who gathered Tuesday evening around the little post office.
"I'm telling you what, who knew when you say to somebody, "You want
to have a little something for Zip Code Day and everybody says,
"What's Zip Code Day?" And then to have a turnout like this."
The population of Cornland is currently estimated at 73 residents.
Yes, Tierney counted the residents herself. After Tierney checked
the signup sheet for the Zip Code Day photo she counted 78 names
signed up. Impressive turnout.
Both local current residents and former residents who made the trek
to the little town were treated to two photo opportunities, one that
was taken in front of the post office and another by the "One and
Only Cornland" sign located at the entrance into town off Illinois
State Route 54. An interesting side note about the sign at the edge
of town: The original sign was damaged and stolen some time ago and
then one day this new, beautiful sign showed up in its place.
Residents still do not know who painted the new sign but they are so
thankful that someone thought enough of their town to replace the
sign that disappeared.
Providentially, people pull off the highway all the time to take
their picture with the "One and Only Cornland" sign.
"One and Only" is pretty self-explanatory and yes, it's true. There
is not another Cornland in the entire United States of America,
according to the local residents. The town of Cornland was surveyed
in August of 1871 by Joshua Day and as the founder of the town,
legend has it that he proclaimed, "I've never seen land that will
grow better corn and therewith it should be named Cornland."
Tuesday night brought about a reunion of sorts on the street in
front of the post office and even founder Joshua Day was
represented. Direct descendants of Joshua Day attended Zip Code Day
and they are some pretty recognizable Logan County names.
descendants of Hardin Cherry are front row: Mary Thomas George and
Vera Thomas. Back row: Melissa Cherry Beal, Julie Cherry
Cooper, Laura Cherry Hanner, Becky Cherry Simko and Jean Meadows
The Joshua Day descendants in attendance are all
great-granddaughters of Hardin Cherry. Those granddaughters who
gathered in Cornland included sisters Mary Thomas George and Vera
Thomas of Lincoln, Cherry cousins Melissa Beal, Julie Cooper, Laura
Hanner and Becky Simko, and Jean Hannah Meadows Guffey. Guffey
traveled the farthest on Tuesday, coming all the way from southern
Missouri for the event. Guffey's mom, Vera Meadows, worked at the
Cornland Post Office for a number of years.
Sam Koehl and his sister Lillian Koehl hold up the commemorative
postcards by the highway sign.
[to top of second column]
Left to right: Kelby Ford, Gayla
Hughes, Lisa Mikuleza, Debbie Greenwood, Barb Hodel and Anna Krug.
Kelby Ford is the current rural carrier for Cornland and his grandfather owned
and operated Fordís Store that once housed the post office. Gayla Hughes and
Lisa Mikuleza work in the Riverton Post Office and helped with Zip Code Day.
Debbie Greenwood is the current postmaster of Cornland. Barb Hodel worked for 20
years in the Cornland post office with former postmaster Barbara Harlean Veech.
Anna Krug succeeded Veech as postmaster and worked in Cornland for 10 years.
The current postmaster of Cornland is Debbie Greenwood. Greenwood
has worked in Cornland for three years. She was on hand Tuesday
night overseeing the selling of the four different designed Cornland
The post office also created a special commemorative cancellation
stamp just for Cornland. Customers can get mail cancelled with the
special stamp for thirty days after 6-25-19. In fact, the post
office has already gotten mail from ten different states of people
sending mail to Cornland to get the stamp cancelled.
T-shirt orders are also still being taken by Tierney.
The crowd hung around Cornland for a good hour and a half after the
6 p.m. photo op on Tuesday night, as folks enjoyed snacks and
reminisced about Cornland history.
Mary George and Vera Thomas both vividly remembered when the post
office used to be located in the back of Fordís Store in Cornland.
Ford's Store was located just next to the building that houses the
current post office the two said. "You went through the grocery part
to the post office in the back," said George. Customers could buy
stamps and pick up their mail from the post office boxes in the back
of the store. George even recalled their post office box was number
34. "You went three this way and four that way and then it came
open," said George, demonstrating the turns in mid-air. "Those were
the good old days," she added.
The current post office was built in the mid 70s, residents
As the event came to an end, Tierney smiled and gazed around at the
last of the long-time Cornland couples hanging around and taking
ďIt just goes to show you, you donít need much of an excuse to have
a party, do you?Ē laughed Tierney.
Joe and Kay Hickey
(57 years of marriage).
Leroy and Bev Ramthun
(51 years of marriage).
"Newbies" Bob and
Kelley Tierney (28 years of marriage).
By the way those royal couples of Cornland who boast
decades of togetherness in the tiny town are pretty impressive. The
longest married couple residing in Cornland is Joe and Kay Hickey,
with 57 years of marriage. Coming in second is Leroy and Bev Ramthun
with 51 years of marriage. Although Leroy is a life-long resident of
the town. Meanwhile, Tierney and her husband, Bob, call themselves
the "newbies" of the town with 28 years of married life in Cornland.
That's it from the "One and Only Cornland" for now. Stay tuned in 2021 when the
community celebrates 150 years.