Zerah Hinman (1859-1923) was the first rural mail carrier out of Collinsville. He died in the performance of his duties less than a month before he was to turn 64.
Hinman was born on March 3, 1859 in his family home. He attended school in Canton, and was married in 1884 to Jennie Hinman of Ohio. He worked the ancestral farm until 1906 when he sold it and joined the postal service, moving to Collinsville on the west side of the river. “He was one of the most useful citizens of Collinsville and was better known to more people than any man living in the village,” according to one newspaper.
Hinman had not been his usual self for a week, but that did not deter him from his route. On February 19, 1923, he stopped at the home of Irwin Mills in Canton Center, took out a bundle of mail and remarked to Mills that he was not feeling very well. On reaching for a second bundle, he collapsed. The coroner found apoplexy (stroke) as the cause of death.
Hinman was survived by his wife and two sons. He was a Mason and a member of the Cawasa Grange. His friend, Mrs. Ida L. A. Pattison, wrote that “his was a sunny jovial nature and always had a cordial greeting for one whenever he met them, and his character and spirit ever endeared him to his family, relatives and other friends. . . . His place on the R. F. D. Route after 17 years of service will be hard to fill and it is there that he will be sadly missed as well as in his home.”
Zerah Hinman is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville.
“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.