A History of the Postal Service in Kendall County, Illinois

Table of Contents


 

A History of the Postal Service in Kendall County, Illinois

 

Introduction

Information regarding the appointment of postmasters was obtained from the Record Of Appointment Of Postmasters 1832 - September 30, 1971, Microfilm No. M841, Roll 29, Kane - Marion Counties, Illinois. The microfilm is a copy of the Post Office Department's record of appointment of postmasters for the approximate period 1832 - September 30, 1971. The names of postmasters appointed after September 30, 1971 are not included. The foregoing record shows the dates of establishment and discontinuance of post offices, their changes of name, and the names and appointment dates of their postmasters. Beginning in 1870, the record contains the names of post offices to which mail from discontinued offices was sent. The record also shows the dates of presidential appointments of postmasters and the dates of their confirmation by the Senate. The record usually contains the dates that post offices were authorized to issue money orders, and occasionally the dates on which the locations of offices were changes. Until 1844, the names of sureties for postmasters and the dates and amounts of their bonds are also given.

Before postal employees were placed under the Civil Service System, an appointment as postmaster in a reasonably large post office was considered to be one of the choicest plumbs of the patronage system. As long as the postmaster's political party remained in power and the postmaster did not engage in illegal activity they were assured of a relatively good job.

A postmaster's job was much like any merchant's. Successful postmasters had to have sufficient business ability to handle the position. Each stamp, even if it was only a one-cent stamp, had to be accounted for at the end of the day. The value and number of stamps sold and the remaining number on hand all had to balance.

Even though postmasters did not have to fear competition, they were still judged on their willingness to serve their patrons. The most popular postmasters were friendly and accommodating people.

Early post offices were often in general stores, taverns, or inns. In some cases, where there was no general store or tavern in the community, post offices were established in individual's homes and were often family affairs. Sometimes "post offices" were merely desks in someone's living room designated to hold mail for patrons. When George B. Hollenback became the postmaster at Newark the office was in his general store. The Hollenback family lived in the same building. Home, store, and post office were all contained in a building twelve feet square.

Moving the Mail

 

Mail delivery evolved from foot, to horseback, stagecoach, steamboat, canal boat, railroad, automobiles and trucks, and the airplane. Contracts to carry the mail were important to the development and success of the more complex modes used. Revenue from mail contracts ensured the income necessary to build stagecoach, railroad and airline systems that eventually spanned the continent. Passenger and freight revenue was insufficient to make a stage line a paying proposition and owners bid to carry the mail between two points for a specific price.

When railroads were built to serve the same area, a stagecoach lines' days were numbered. Railroads could carry passengers and mail faster at a lower cost. They didn't have to contend with terrible roads, inadequate bridges, and the inability to carry large numbers of passengers, or heavy and bulky freight. With the development of railroads, trip times were dramatically shortened and railroad passengers had an astonishingly more comfortable ride than their stagecoach counterparts who bounced along ungraded dirt roads full of potholes and wheel ruts.

Early post offices served as general places of assembly and were the hubs of communication. It was there that the pioneers often received important news from the outside world. Mail was received, tales were told and retold, jokes cracked, politics debated, and town elections held. The notice of an upcoming election, taxes due, and announcements of social events such as barn raisings and dances would all be publicized there.

Where a stage line or railroad did not serve a post office, other means were developed to move the mail from place to place. Independent contractors who were businessmen specializing in obtaining mail contracts would bid for the right to carry the mail. They often lived in Washington, DC but could live anywhere in the country. To obtain the mail contract they had to submit the lowest bid. Once a winning bid was accepted and the contract secured, successful bidders would seek someone locally to carry the mail. Successful bidders only made money when they could find someone willing to do the job for less than their bid. Generally the successful bidder would offer the contract at a stipulated price. Since the contract was originally obtained by making the lowest bid, many on-site mail carriers agreed to carry the mail for very small amounts.

Postage Rates and Stamps

 

United States postage stamps were not issued until 1847. Before this time, all mail was sent without a stamp. These were called "stampless letters" and the addressee often paid the postage. Letters usually consisted of a single sheet of paper folded to provide a blank space for the address and sealed with wax.

During the early stampless period, envelopes were not used because they were not readily available. The first machines for making envelopes were patented in 1848 and envelopes came into common usage sometime in the early to mid 1850s. A "stampless cover" was a letter in an envelope without a stamp.

The custom of the addressee paying the postage continued until January 1,1856 when prepayment of postage on domestic letters was required. However, there were exceptions to this rule. Postmasters in the hinterlands were sometimes unable to obtain stamps, so the sender could pay the postmaster the proper postage. If postage was pre-paid but a stamp was not available, the required postage would be written in the upper right corner of the envelope and the envelope marked PAID either with a Paid stamp or the word Paid handwritten with pen and ink.

Many post offices ignored the postage paid requirement after the deadline and continued to send letters with postage due. If the postage was not pre-paid, the amount of the postage due would be written in the upper right corner of the envelope and the envelope would be marked with a DUE stamp or Due written on the envelope with pen and ink.

When the mail was carried by stagecoach the typical cost for letter mail was six cents for one sheet of paper delivered within thirty miles. This rate was double for two sheets. An envelope was considered a "sheet" and a sheet of paper within an envelope doubled the postage rate. Therefore the rate structure provided an added incentive to use a single sheet of paper folded over and sealed with wax.

The cost to mail a letter increased with distance. Postage was ten cents for a letter delivered within 60-100 miles; twelve and a half cents for a letter delivered within 100-150 miles, and 25 cents for distances over 150 miles. Thus, postage rates were based on weight (for example, one sheet or two), the distance the letter was carried, or a flat rate for letters carried over 150 miles. The foregoing rates were in effect at a specific point in time. The cost to mail a letter varied over time with postage rates generally declining.

 

 

The above is an example of a "stampless cover" with six cents postage due. The cancellation stamp shows the letter was mailed from Nashville, TN August 29, 1864. The addressee was Mr. Henry Smith, Lewis P. O. Kendall County, ILL.

Prior to 1867, letters were often sent to post offices and not picked up by the intended recipient. Large post offices would accumulate sizeable amounts of unclaimed letters. To alleviate this, postal regulations required the publication of lists of unclaimed letters in local newspapers. On October 1, 1866 the publication of Letter Lists was discontinued in all but the largest post offices. The Postal Department "recommended" the universal adoption of "request envelopes." The sender was to request the letter be returned to the writer if the letter was not called for in a certain number of days. No addition postage was required if the letter was returned. The use of what we call "return to sender" requests all but eliminated the need for the "dead letter bureau."1

Earliest Post Offices in Kendall County

 

When the first settlers arrived in Kendall County the nearest post office was in Chicago. Twice weekly trips brought the mail from the east to Chicago. Single sheet letters sent to the eastern part of the United States took two weeks to reach there and cost twenty-five cents postage. Between Niles, Michigan and Chicago a man on a pony carried the mail. It was said the mail was easily carried in a single pouch.

December 20, 1832, a post office was opened at Ottawa making it the nearest post office for many residents of the future Kendall County. According to an account of Caroline (Hopkins) Rexford's life, the same man who brought the mail from Niles, Michigan to Chicago brought the mail to Ottawa.2 The first post office near the eastern part of Kendall County was located in DuPage County and was named Paw Paw. Later the name was changed to Naperville in honor of its founding father and patron, Joseph Napier.

According to pioneer Rufus Gray, the next post office near the eastern part of, what was to be Kendall County, was authorized at Montgomery, then called Graystown or Gray's Mills. Elisha Pierce was appointed postmaster and secured his commission, but the postmaster at Naperville withheld the key preventing him from opening the office. During this period the mail was carried by a stage wagon. The owner of the stage line was a man named Winters and the "stage" was an open wagon pulled by a team of mules.3

About the time Pierce was appointed postmaster, Joseph McCarty settled in Aurora and began building a dam and sawmill. The settlement east of the Fox River was then known as Waubonsie or Charlesville, in honor of Joseph McCarty's father. The area west of the river was called Hartford or Lowell.

By representing to the Postmaster General that the appointee, Pierce, was not competent for the position, McCarty secured the revocation of his commission and the post office at Gray's Mills was not opened. At the same time, McCarty tried to secure a post office for Charlesville. Pierce's friends opposed his move and McCarty was unable to obtain an office immediately.

Sometime in1836, the Naperville postmaster appointed Samuel McCarty as acting deputy postmaster. In essence, a branch of the Naperville office served Charlesville. It was not until March 2, 1837 that Burr Winton was appointed postmaster and the office designated Aurora.

A consequence of this political maneuvering was that Lodi, which became Oswego, obtained a post office before Aurora. Levi F. Arnold was appointed postmaster of Lodi, January 24, 1837 about five weeks ahead of Burr Winton's appointment. Philander P. Peck was appointed postmaster of Little Rock March 21, 1837, shortly after Winton's appointment.

Post Offices and Their Postmasters

 

Five post offices existed in Kendall County when the county was formed from parts of LaSalle and Kane County.

 

Bristol, "lately in Kane County."

Office established Jul 1, 1839.

Lisbon, "lately in LaSalle County."

Office established as Holderman's Grove Apr 4, 1834.

Holderman's Grove post office closed and moved to Lisbon Sep 17, 1836.

Little Rock village, "lately in Kane County."

Office established Mar 21, 1837.

Oswego, "lately in Kane County."

Office established as Lodi Jan 24, 1837.

Name changed to Oswego Jul 31, 1838.

Penfield, "lately in Kane County."

Office established Dec 28, 1839

 

The following is a complete list of Kendall County post offices and postmasters up to 1971.

Au Sable

 

Postmasters:

 

Jacob Patrick appointed May 29, 1841.

Office discontinued Mar 15, 1842.

Office re-established May 28, 1842.

Horace Gray appointed May 28, 1842.

Thomas Loring appointed Dec 14, 1843.

Alansing Milks appointed Aug 24, 1844.

Lemuel B. Gleason appointed May 4, 1848.

Moody G. Freemanappointed Jun 20, 1850.

John Davis appointed Apr 25, 1853.

Joseph Hath? Appointed Aug 29, 1854. Possibly Cath?

Ebenezer Henderson appointed Dec 26, 1854.

Office discontinued Jan 2, 1857.

 

In 1836, Alanson Milks purchased land owned by David E. Davis on the Aux Sable Creek in Seward Township. Shortly thereafter Milks built and opened a tavern, which served as a stage stop for routes between Joliet and Ottawa and Kankakee and Ottawa. In about 1839 Milks sold the tavern to Henry Kase Stevens and the tavern was known as Wolf Tavern. By 1840 Stevens had sold the place to Jacob Patrick who called it "Patrick Stand."4

Jacob Patrick was appointed postmaster at Au Sable on May 29, 1841. However the tavern probably served as post office much earlier. The stage stop was almost certainly the equivalent of a post office when the tavern opened in 1836.

When stagecoaches stopped running through the area, Patrick Stand was closed and converted to a private residence. After the inn closed, Au Sable post offices were presumably located in the postmasters' homes.

Bristol

 

Postmasters:

 

Joseph W. Helme appointed Jul 1, 1839.

Norman Dodge appointed Nov 4, 1844.

James Noble appointed Nov 19, 1845.

Stephen B. Craw appointed Jan 21, 1847.

John Short appointed Jul 17, 1849.

William A. Godard appointed May 22, 1852.

Andrew Hull Arnold appointed Sep 6, 1853.

John Short appointed Mar 15, 1854.

Orange Hulbert Arnold, appointed May 13, 1854.

Francis T. Seely appointed Apr 20, 1861.

Absalom "Townsend" Seelyappointed Dec 20, 1866.

Charles W. Sleeper appointed May 12, 1869.

Solomon Pope appointed Sep 14, 1870.

Office discontinued Dec 14, 1881.

 

In 1847, Stephen B. Craw was appointed postmaster of Bristol and the post office was in his home. In 1849, Craw left Bristol to look for gold in California and was succeeded by John Short who held the office until May 22, 1852. William A. Godard and Andrew H. Arnold held the office for brief periods until John Short was appointed postmaster a second time in 1854.

John Short's daughter, Susan (Short) May wrote an interesting description of the post office in their home. "The first Bristol post office that I can remember was in our living room in Bristol, in a small house, which stood and still stands, on the south side of the public square. The "office" was a homemade writing desk with lock and key, with a row of pigeonholes for papers over it. The letters, I think, were all kept inside the desk. My father was postmaster. And he gave strict orders to us children to, never, never, go near the desk or touch one of the papers, and we never did. His word was as much law unto us as Uncle Sam's was to him."5

When the county seat was returned to Yorkville from Oswego in 1864, the nearest post office was across the river in Bristol. At this time, the population of Bristol was greater than that of Yorkville and the majority of Yorkville business people lived in Bristol.

By law all county seats are entitled to a post office. With the successful relocation of the courthouse from Oswego to Yorkville, the residents of Yorkville decided they should have a post office even though the Bristol post office was nearby. Their petition to the Post Office Department was successful and George W. Hartwell was appointed postmaster at Yorkville, April 18, 1864. The establishment of a post office in Yorkville drew business from the Bristol post office to the point the office was closed December 14, 1881. The Yorkville postmaster was notified of the closure and ordered to take possession of the mail, equipment, and supplies at Bristol. From that date forward, Bristol residents received their mail at Yorkville.

Bristol Station

 

Postmasters:

 

Reuben Hunt appointed Dec 22, 1854.

Philip H. Merritt appointed Apr 20, 1861.

Henry S. Willett appointed Feb 4, 1862.

Philip H. Merritt appointed Apr 3, 1862.

Amos D. Curran appointed Jun 26, 1866.

Charles G. Morgan appointed Jun 24, 1872.

Horace Youngappointed Aug 2, 1872.

Name of office changed to Bristol Jun 22, 1882.

 

Amos D. Curran was appointed postmaster June 26, 1866 and for a number of years the post office was located in Robert Merritt's general store. In February 1869, Merritt's business, "The Farmers' Supply Store", failed and the post office was moved to the hardware store.6

By May of 1869 the post office had been relocated to Charles G. Morgan's store where Mr. Curran remained postmaster until June 24, 1872 when Charles G. Morgan was appointed postmaster.

Bristol: Formerly Bristol Station

 

The post office in Bristol (North Yorkville) was closed December 14, 1881, leaving the name Bristol open for use as a post office. The residents of Bristol Station requested and postal authorities approved a name change from Bristol Station to Bristol effective July 1, 1882. In the meantime the village of Bristol (North Yorkville), sans post office, still existed. To distinguish the new Bristol (formerly Bristol Station) from the village on the banks of the Fox River, the village continued to be known locally as Bristol Station even though their post office was named Bristol.

 

Postmasters:

 

Horace Youngappointed Jun 22, 1882.

Lewis A. Rickard appointed Jan 12, 1885.

John Dowd appointed Feb 28, 1888.

Lewis A. Rickard appointed May 28, 1889.

Ira S. Doten appointed Jun 12, 1890.

Joseph Kennedy appointed Jun 6, 1894.

Joseph M. Skelly appointed Sep 24, 1903.

Franklin H. Ernst appointed Feb 27, 1906.

Evan G. Thomas appointed Aug 17, 1907.

Oliver A. McDowell appointed Dec 10, 1910.

Frederick Y. O'Brien appointed Aug 15, 1913.

Agnes Coomes appointed Apr 26, 1923.

Agnes Coomes re-appointed Jun 1, 1949. Assumed charge Jul 1, 1949.

Agnes Coomes retired Jan 31, 1957.

Gerald A. Marquardt appointed acting postmaster Feb 13, 1957.

Gerald A. Marquardt appointed Apr 2, 1958.

 

In June 1894 Joseph Kennedy received his commission as postmaster and moved the post office into his store on the north side of the tracks.7

In April 1914 a disastrous fire destroyed McDowell and Curran's store in Bristol which housed the post office. Postmaster O'Brien reopened the post office in the Doten store building.8

Fox

Formerly Fox Station.

 

Postmasters:

 

Charles E. Tripp appointed May 14, 1883.

Worthy Quereau appointed Aug 14, 1888.

Asher D. Havenhill appointed Dec 26, 1889.

Edgar W. Faxon appointed Feb 11, 1890.

Frank C. Beane appointed Nov 16, 1895.

Mark Havenhill appointed May 29, 1909.

Mary Curren appointed Jan 15, 1914.

Cora T. Paulson appointed acting postmistress May 10, 1927.

Gunner Anderson appointed acting postmaster Mar 2, 1931.

Gunner Anderson appointed Mar 27, 1931.

Office discontinued Sep 12, 1933.

Mail to Yorkville effective Sep 30, 1933.

 

In 1909, Frank Beane resigned as postmaster and Mark Havenhill was appointed to replace him. The post office was moved from Frank Beane's store to the store owned by Mr. Wallace.9

Later in 1909, postmaster Havenhill built a new building to be used as a post office.10 Subsequent post offices were located in postmistress' and postmasters' homes.

Fox Station

 

Postmasters:

 

Lemuel Watkins appointed Sep 24, 1875.

William VanCleve appointed May 23, 1877.

Office discontinued Jul 17, 1877.

Office reestablished Jun 24, 1878.

Frank Brown appointed Jun 24, 1878.

Charles E. Triffe appointed Oct 20, 1882.

Name changed to Fox May 14, 1883.

 

The first post office at Fox Station was in the Watkins and Divers general store with Lemuel Watkins postmaster. The post office was discontinued when Watkins left the store. Postmaster Howard, of Yorkville went out to Fox Station and took possession of what was in the office.11 In June 1878, the post office was reopened in the depot with Frank Brown postmaster.12

Helmar

 

Postmasters:

 

Michael S. Fries appointed Jun 13, 1894.

Alfred H. Grundeis appointed Aug 2, 1909.

Office discontinued and mail moved to Newark Nov 30, 1912.

 

Before the Helmar post office became a reality, mail sent to people living in the area went to post offices at Lisbon, Newark, Plattville and Yorkville. These offices were from four to eight miles from many of the area residents.

There was a blacksmith shop at the four corners by the Norwegian Lutheran church. When neighborhood residents went to town they picked up their neighbor's mail and left it there. However, it often was inconvenient for the blacksmith to look after the mail and the farmers living nearby thought they should have a post office.13

In 1894, Michael S. "Mike" Fries opened a general store in the small community near the church and applied for a post office. At this time the area surrounding the church was known locally as North Prairie. There already was a post office named North Prairie near Quincy so residents of the area had to come up with a suitable name for their post office. After much discussion a vote was taken and Helmar was selected. A Norwegian immigrant named Andrew Anderson settled on the land and his son Newt owned the land where store was built. Andrew Anderson's Norwegian name was Hjalmer. Helmar is the anglicized version of the Norwegian name Hjalmer. With the opening of the new post office, the North Prairie Lutheran Church became known as the Helmar Lutheran Church.

Mike Fries was appointed postmaster of Helmar June 13, 1894. Initially, postmaster Fries or his agent picked up the mail for the Helmar post office three times a week at the Pavilion post office.14

On July 1, 1895, a contract to carry the mail between Yorkville and Helmar was let to Chester C. Call of Algona, Iowa. Mr. Call held the mail contract for the next eight years but let the route to a sub-contractor. The trip between Yorkville and Helmar was a fourteen-mile trip round trip and the mail was delivered six days a week. The job required a man and a horse to be on the road for as much as two hours per day when the roads were in good condition and considerably longer when they were in poor shape. In addition, the carrier had to spend about an hour in Yorkville. The second four-year contract to carry the mail between Yorkville and Helmar was awarded to Mr. Call for $166.46 per year. The winning bid was slightly more than fifty cents for each round trip.15 To make a profit, the contractor had to find someone willing to do the job for less than fifty cents per round trip.

Holderman's Grove: First Holderman's Grove post office.

 

Postmasters:

 

Levi Hills appointed Apr 4, 1834.

Name changed to Lisbon May 6, 1836.

 

The post office located in Levi Hills' tavern at Holderman's Grove was the first postal facility in what was to become Kendall County. A study of the land transactions suggests the post office was located in section 31, Big Grove Township, four or five miles south of Newark and approximately four to five miles southwest of Lisbon.

Prior to the opening of the office in Holderman's Grove, the nearest postal facility was in Ottawa. The Holderman's Grove post office served a wide area. Early patrons lived in Grundy, DeKalb and LaSalle Counties. Before a post office was opened in Somonauk, people living in southeastern DeKalb County traveled to Holderman's Grove to send and receive mail. The post office was about twelve miles from Sandwich so a system was established where different settlers would take turns traveling to Holderman's Grove to pick up the mail for everyone in that part of DeKalb County. If the person who was supposed to pick up the mail failed to do so, the mail would be picked up when the next person made their regularly scheduled trip. Should someone fail to go when it was their turn, that person's mail was left at the post office until it became their turn again to pick up the mail.

When Hills moved his tavern out on the prairie to what was to become Lisbon; the post office at Holderman's Grove was closed.

Holderman's Grove: Second Holderman's Grove post office.

 

Postmasters:

 

Alexander McCloskey appointed Apr 15, 1846.

Samuel C. Collins appointed May 1, 1848.

Brownell Wing appointed Nov 10, 1848.

Office discontinued Jan 25, 1857.

 

In April 1846 a post office was reopened in Holderman's Grove. Three different postmasters served during the next two and a half years. Typically the post office was located in the postmaster's home so the location changed as different postmasters were appointed.

Kendall

 

Postmasters:

 

Jeremiah Shepard appointed Feb 17, 1848.

Office located in section 13 Kendall Township.

Townsend Seely appointed Apr 24, 1857.

Office located in section18 NaAuSay Township.

Oliver C. Johnson appointed Jun 28, 1867.

Office located in section 20 NaAuSay Township.

Office discontinued Jul 12, 1867.

Office reestablished Aug 2, 1867.

Levi L. Thomas appointed Aug 2, 1867.

Office located in NaAuSay Township.

Mrs. Avis Johnson appointed Jun 24, 1868.

Office located in section18 NaAuSay Township.

Oliver Cromwell Johnson appointed Oct 9, 1868.

Office located in section 20 NaAuSay Township.

Office discontinued Jun 23, 1876.

Truman G. Johnson appointed Apr 7, 1879.

Edmund Seely appointed Mar 7, 1887.

Office located in section 18 NaAuSay Township.

James C. Vinson appointed Apr 18. 1894.

Office located in section 29 NaAuSay Township.

Office discontinued and mail sent to Yorkville Oct 14, 1905.

 

Rural areas needed post offices but being postmaster of a very small office like Kendall was unattractive. The postmaster's job was more honorary than profitable and to some it was considered a burden. Rural postmasters were poorly compensated and the job was quite confining. In addition, there was a constant stream of neighbors flowing in and out of their homes.

The first postmaster of the Kendall post office was Jeremiah Shepard who lived in Kendall Township. When Jeremiah gave up the job, Townsend "Town" Seely became postmaster. Townsend lived on the north side of present day Wheeler Road in NaAuSay Township. All subsequent postmasters of the Kendall post office lived in NaAuSay Township. However, the name of the post office could not be changed to NaAuSay, as there already was a NaAuSay post office in NaAuSay Township.

Oliver C. Johnson was appointed postmaster June 28, 1867. Two weeks later he resigned and the office was closed. The Post Office Department suspended the office and ordered the postmaster at Specie Grove to take charge of the post office property. When this occurred patrons of the office asked the Department for a little more time to see if they could get someone in their vicinity to accept the position. They were successful and induced Levi L. Thomas to serve. Thomas was appointed postmaster of the Kendall post office and the office was reestablished August 2, 1867. Area residents were fortunate to find someone to act as postmaster because a few months later, on April 7, 1868 the Specie Grove office was permanently closed.

Pliny Wilson was one of the contract mail carriers who carried the mail between the Kendall and Yorkville post offices. When the Kendall post office closed for the second time in 1876, former patrons of the Kendall post office were required to make private arrangements for delivery of their mail. Many put mailboxes along the road in front of their homes and paid Mr. Wilson to deliver their mail. The Kendall post office reopened a second time April 7, 1879, with Truman G. Johnson postmaster.

Rural free mail delivery was implemented in Kendall County in 1900 and routes were gradually established. The Kendall post office was closed the third and final time October 14, 1905. The property of the post office was turned over to the Yorkville postmaster and from that time forward rural carriers served the patrons.

Lewis

 

Postmasters:

 

Jacob J. Folts appointed Feb 18, 1864.

Office located in section 19 Kendall Township.

Office discontinued Oct 19, 1871.

 

Reverend Michael Lewis owned property in section 30 Kendall Township. Rev. Lewis was instrumental in establishing a school and Methodist Church in the immediate area, which was known as the "Lewis District." In 1864 a post office was established in section 19 Kendall Township near the present day intersection of Walker and Lisbon roads and named Lewis for the popular minister. Jacob J. Folts was named postmaster and the post office was in his home.

Lisbon

The first Holderman's Grove post office closed when Levi Hills moved his tavern from Holderman's Grove out on the prairie. A post office was opened Sep 17, 1836 in his newly located tavern and named Lisbon.

 

Postmasters:

 

Levi Hills, appointed Sep 17 1836.

Thomas J. Cody appointed Jun 3, 1846.

John Moore appointed Dec 30, 1848.

John McEwen appointed Apr 29, 1854.

George McEwen appointed Sep 2, 1854.

John B. Mooreappointed Apr 7, 1856.

John VanPelt appointed Mar 9, 1854.

William McEwen appointed Apr 9, 1861.

Willard W. Gifford appointed Jul 22, 1865.

James Franklin "Frank" Moore appointed Sep 7, 1866.

Willard W. Gifford appointed Dec 10, 1866.

George C. Gaylord appointed Jan 22, 1872.

H. M. Liscom appointed Sep 6, 1877.

James M. Willard appointed Sep 26, 1882.

Edwin Welsh appointed Oct 27, 1885.

Robert Leach appointed Oct 17, 1889.

Adelbert E. Washburn appointed Sep 17, 1910.

Cassius H. Shoemaker appointed acting postmaster Jul 13, 1927.

Cassius H. Shoemaker appointed Aug 31, 1927.

Cassius H. Shoemaker resigned Oct 27, 1934.

Mrs. Blanch Morrison appointed acting postmistress Dec 20, 1935.

Shurden E. Brewe appointed Dec 20, 1935.

Office discontinued Jul 8, 1955.

Mail to Newark effective Jul 31, 1955.

 

The history of the Lisbon post office goes back to the days of the Chicago to Ottawa stagecoach line when Lisbon was one of its regular stops. The Rock Island railroad reached Minooka and Morris in Grundy County in April 1853. Shortly after, the stagecoach line between Chicago and Ottawa ceased operation. The mail was brought to Morris by rail and moved by a contract mail carrier between Morris and Lisbon.

Following the Civil War there was strong support for appointing veterans to government positions, particularly those, who had been badly wounded. Willard W. Gifford was such a veteran and was appointed postmaster at Lisbon. When Republican President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Democrat Andrew Johnson became President. With the change in administration several disabled soldiers in the area were turned out of office. Willard W. Gifford lost his position to Democrat, James Franklin "Frank" MooreMr. Moore was a fairly well to do Lisbon merchant who had not served in the war.

The removal of Mr. Gifford from office created considerably more concern and dismay than the participants in the matter anticipated. Judge Caton, Col. Dickey and E. L. Waterman of Ottawa approved the petition for the removal of Mr. Gifford and the appointment of Frank Moore. In October 1866, a large and enthusiastic political meeting was held in Lisbon to see what could be done about reinstating Mr. Gifford.16 Colonel Dickey was running for Congress and as the pressure to reinstate Mr. Gifford mounted he stated he had been informed Gifford had resigned and was unaware he had been a soldier. The facts were, Mr. Gifford had not resigned, and had been so badly wounded there was little else he could do to make a living.17 18

Perhaps Col. Dickey was unaware of the facts but the circumstances of the case were well known to the citizens of Lisbon. If Col. Dickey was acting under a misrepresentation of the facts; it does not speak well for his supporters in Lisbon. In addition, all of the facts had been made know to the Postmaster General and an earnest plea made not to change postmasters.

The indignation of the people, and political pressure applied, was sufficient to persuade the Democratic administration to back down and try to undo the political damage produced. December 10, 1866, Frank Moore was removed from the office and Willard W. Gifford was reinstated as postmaster.19

The Fox River Valley Railroad between Aurora and Streator was completed in January 1871. Beginning September 1, 1871 Lisbon's mail was delivered to the railroad station at Millington. It was then delivered to Lisbon by contract mail carrier. The same contractor stopped at Newark on the way to and from Lisbon.

Record correspondent "Hampden" gave an interesting and colorful account of the history of the service between Morris and Lisbon. "The old mail route from Lisbon to Morris is dead. That poor, rickety stage had a sort of magnetic attraction to every stone, pothole and bumper. In a spirit of momentary kindness, at this abrupt parting, we note you were the golden chain that once bound us to that bright, busy world that lies beyond this reef of mud and dust that girt us around. Can it be that the shrill notes of the tinhorn have died away in their last and final echoes? Never more to "repeat that restrain again," "Nevermore."

Most of all we miss our friend Tommy, (Thomas C. Phillips) beaming all over with good nature, chatting and laughing. Except under the most provoking circumstances, joking with ease and freedom, or doling out the latest news. It is reported that he has gone into perpetual retirement, "absolute and final," after traveling miles enough on the abandoned road to almost girdle the globe one and half times.

The "New Departure" now runs from Lisbon to Millington, using a splendid high-pressure "bus." It embraces all the modern improvements, and is as neat as paint and varnish could make it. With a top light and airy, and a style of inviting comfort, it spins along on glittering wheels, bearing on its bright sides, in gay letters, the proud name "Newark." The conveyance is pulled by a fine, sleek span of bays that dash along the route as if it were holiday sport. The proprietor of this establishment is a dapper little fellow. He is kind and obliging to a fault. He not only has an eye on the "fare" but also the comfort and convenience of his passengers.

But what a muddle this change has thrown the mail into. Inaugurating the "New Departure" has been a very difficult process. Delivery of daily papers stopped, and then straggled along a week behind time. For nearly two weeks, letters from New York City and other distant points were unsure where Lisbon, Illinois might be found. Letters from places nearer followed in the same fashion. They reached the destination by accident, or were marked "miss-sent and forwarded." Disappointment grew more and more expressive as each day brought only an empty mailbag to our post office. Intense feelings were evoked and parties and measures received stinging rebukes. That "Fox River Cut-Off," plentifully interlaced with melting hot adjectives writhed under the scathing contempt of a "just indignation." The mail is growing more regular now. Straggling papers and letters are coming in from unknown pilgrimages. However, we are now a day farther from Chicago and the daily papers reach Lisbon twenty-four hours behind time. Of course, this renders them next to worthless and destroys their value. An express is talked of to put us in daily communication with Morris, so that morning papers may once more reach us with their fresh crisp news."20

In December 1875, application was made to re-establish a mail route between Morris and Lisbon. The Postmaster General ruled he did not think the demand for a mail route between these two points was sufficient to justify the expenditure required and refused to authorize the route.

In 1879, Joe Underwood was the contract mail carrier on the Millington-Newark-Lisbon route. On June 1, 1879, the contract for carrying the mail between Lisbon and Millington was let to a non-resident. Joe's friends thought he would stop making the trip but he decided to continue the same route carrying passengers and express. Joe was a popular man in the district but two people pursuing the limited business did not bode well for either.21

According to the Morris Herald, in 1883 a delegation of people from Lisbon came to Morris to request Lisbon's mail be sent from Morris rather than Millington. Their argument was the distance between Morris and Lisbon and Millington and Lisbon was about the same and the mail could be carried from Morris to Lisbon about as cheap as from Millington to Lisbon. Their strongest argument was that the average Lisbon resident went to Morris nine times for each time they went to Millington and it would be more convenient for them to get their mail at Morris.

Their argument was not relevant as the mail was carried to Lisbon by a contract mail carrier regardless of where it was dropped from the train. The Herald article went on to say that with a little effort on the part of the Morris and Lisbon people the change could be implemented. The writer argued that the change would prove beneficial to both Morris and Lisbon. However, it would seem that the major benefit would have been to Morris merchants. Editor Marshall of the Kendall County Record pointed out that the current mail route from Millington served both Newark and Lisbon. If the change promoted by the Morris Herald were made it would require either a longer route, Morris to Newark, or a second route from Morris to Lisbon as Newark would still be served from Millington.22

In July 1891, Henry Kissel replaced Lars Helland as proprietor of the transportation line between Lisbon, Newark and Millington.23 Lars had carried the mail between these points by hack for over two years, only failing to complete one trip.24

In January 1894, it was announced that a mail route between Morris and Lisbon would be added March 1, 1894. Anyone interested in carrying the mail was given until January 15 to submit proposals to postal authorities in Washington, DC.25

Shortly after the deadline, the Lisbon postmaster was notified that the new mail route had been let to a Washington resident named Steele. Local parties interested in carrying the mail were invited to submit bids to Mr. Steele.26 In late February 1894, agent Steele came to Lisbon from Washington, DC and gave Oliver Tweet the contract to carry the mail between Lisbon and Morris. Oliver carried passengers and was engaged in an express business in conjunction with transporting the mail. He came up with one of the more unique ways to generate extra income when he became the Lisbon agent for the Morris City Laundry. In May 1895, Oliver agreed to carry the mail for the next four years.

In 1895, there was no direct mail service between Lisbon and Yorkville the county seat.27 The mail left Lisbon about seven o'clock in the morning for Morris. At Morris it was moved to Chicago or Ottawa by mail train and then to Yorkville. The same route was used between Yorkville and Lisbon.28

Rural free delivery mail service was implemented in the Lisbon area in 1900. The new rural mail delivery routes upset many established arrangements to move the mail to inland post offices. The Post Office Department notified Postmaster Claypool that the Star Mail route between Morris and Lisbon was to be discontinued August 31, 1900.

When the change in the mail delivery system occurred, Oliver Tweet was still making daily trips between Lisbon and Morris. It was speculated that Oliver might be unable to continue his trips without the mail revenue. The Morris Post stated, Oliver Tweet the "Lisbon mail man," would continue to carry passengers, express and freight between Lisbon and Morris to accommodate the public. Oliver established a place in Morris where packages for Lisbon could be left or passengers wishing a ride to Lisbon could meet the stage.29

Beginning September 1, 1900 the mail was brought to Lisbon from Millington. Apparently there were a few glitches in the system and no mail was received in Lisbon from the outside world on the first day.30 All the mail sent from Lisbon on Tuesday was mistakenly returned Wednesday. The Lisbon correspondent to the Record wrote they hoped everything pertaining to the new mail route would soon be straightened out and mail would be delivered and received on time.31

When the rural free delivery system was implemented, a rural mailbox was placed in front of the Lisbon post office. The mailbox created some strong feelings regarding the system. People regarded it as an injustice to the business of the office, which had already been hurt by the loss of much of its cancellation profits.32

In 1955 the postal service proposed closing the Lisbon post office then located in Shurden E. Brewe's grocery store. The office served about 70 families in town and perhaps as many as 100 more families in the surrounding rural area. The Lisbon post office had served the community for nearly 119 years and the citizens of Lisbon and vicinity fought hard to keep their post office. They based their argument on the need and convenience of the patrons as well as the historical aspects of the office. Many petitions were gathered and sent to Senators Everett Dirksen and Paul Douglas. Representatives from Lisbon made several trips to Chicago to present their case to postal authorities. In the end, the office was closed and Lisbon's mail was handled on a rural route from the Newark post office. Percy J. Scofield delivered the Lisbon mail until his retirement October 1959

Post offices are classified according to the volume of business generated. At the time of its closing, Lisbon was a fourth class post office. The only other fourth class post office to be closed in Kendall County was the office at Fox which was discontinued September 12, 1933. When the Lisbon office closed, three other fourth class post offices remained in Kendall County, Bristol, Millbrook, and Millington.

Little Rock

 

Postmasters:

 

Philander P. Peck appointed Mar 21, 1837.

George E. Peck appointed Apr 16, 1839.

Lorenzo D. Brady appointed Jul 22, 1840.

John T. H. Brady appointed Jul 31, 1848.

Edward H. Birdsell appointed Jul 3, 1849.

John T. H. Brady appointed Sep 6, 1853.

Abraham Still appointed Oct 20, 1855.

Silas Bolster appointed Nov 12, 1857.

Josiah J. Shultz appointed Oct 7, 1859.

William B. Lord appointed Jul 3, 1861.

Samuel B. Bartlett appointed Nov 12, 1862.

Wallace Bartlett appointed Oct 3, 1882.

William F. Durell appointed 23 July 1888.

Nathaniel Lear appointed Nov 30, 1898.

Charles Cleveland appointed Sep 5, 1899.

Office discontinued Jul 16, 1900.

Mail transferred to Plano effective Jul 31, 1900.

 

When Kendall County was young, Little Rock was a flourishing community and a regular stop on the stage route between Chicago and Galena, Illinois. The first post office there was in Peck's general store. Weather permitting, the mail was brought to Little Rock twice a week. The arrival of the stage was announced by the sound of a tinhorn blown by the stage driver.

Deliveries were not always made on schedule. An early newspaper published in Little Rock made the following comment. "There is certainly some bad management somewhere in the Post Office Department. We haven't received a mail for nearly two weeks."33

On November 12, 1862, Samuel B. Bartlett was appointed postmaster at Little Rock and the post office was located in his store. Stagecoaches ceased running through Little Rock in 1872 shortly after the Chicago and Iowa Railroad was completed from Aurora west through Sugar Grove and Hinckley. When the stagecoach ceased its twice-weekly journey, the mail was brought to Plano by railroad. Initially a system for moving the mail between Little Rock and Plano had not been established and the Little Rock post office no longer received mail on a regular basis. With the approval of the Postal Department, postmaster Bartlett devised a system of moving the mail between Plano and Little Rock. The Department authorized him to have the mail carried "once a week or oftener" by "swearing in" as mail carriers the farmers and merchants in the area who traveled between the two towns. With this arrangement mail arrived at the Little Rock post office almost daily.34

In February 1891 thirty-five post office boxes were being rented in the Little Rock post office.35 Beginning July 1, 1891, Norman Ellis agreed to carry the mail twice weekly between Little Rock and Plano for $73.00 a year.36 Later the U. S. Postal Service assumed responsibility for moving the mail between these two points. The Plano postmaster was authorized to hire someone to carry the mail three times a week. Elias Tripp was one of the first carriers. This service was discontinued when the rural free delivery system was established in 1900. With the advent of rural free delivery, postal business at the Little Rock post office declined dramatically and the revenue was no longer sufficient to justify maintaining a post office. The office was closed July 1, 1900 and Little Rock patrons received their mail out of the Plano post office.

Lodi

Name changed to Oswego Jul 31, 1838

 

Postmaster:

 

Levi F. Arnold appointed Jan 24, 1837.

Mansfield

 

Name changed to Millbrook Jan 11, 1866.

 

Postmasters:

 

Whitman Stone appointed Feb 8, 1849.

George M. Hollenback appointed May 13, 1856.

William A. Hollenback appointed Aug 20, 1864.

 

When George M. Hollenback was postmaster the post office was in his home in section 22 of Fox Township, about two miles south and mile east of present day Millbrook.

Mellington

 

Name changed to Millington May 28, 1872.

 

Postmasters:

 

Seymour Delamatter appointed Jul 9, 1861.

Eva Delamatter appointed Apr 27, 1863.

Isaac B. S. Watters appointed Aug 10, 1868.

Millbrook

 

Formerly Mansfield.

 

Postmasters:

 

Peter S. Lott appointed Jan 11, 1866.

Jacob Budd appointed Mar 30, 1869.

W. J. B. Littlewood appointed Jun 9, 1874.

Jacob Budd appointed Aug 31, 1875.

George Washington Greenfield appointed Feb 15, 1886.

Ole B. Larson appointed Oct 19, 1888.

Alfred L. Larson appointed Jul 6, 1901.

Arthur G. Larson appointed Dec 23, 1912.

Nels N. Foss appointed Mar 24, 1919.

Bernell B. Larson appointed Oct 12, 1901.

Erwin L. Hutchinson appointed Jun 29, 1909.

Einer Ellertson appointed Nov 1, 1910.

John B. Schofield appointed Jan 4, 1921.

Oliver S. Hodney appointed acting postmaster Nov 3, 1923.

Oliver S. Hodney appointed Nov 12, 1923.

Oliver S. Hodney retired Aug 31, 1968.

Mrs. Dorothy D. Estes appointed acting postmistress Aug 31, 1968.

 

In October 1873, while Jacob Budd was postmaster at Millbrook, the post office was moved into Dr. W. J. B. Littlewood's drugstore.37 Dr. Littlewood was appointed postmaster June 9, 1874.

Millington

 

Formerly Mellington.

 

Postmasters:

 

Isaac B. S. Watters appointed May 28, 1872.

J. W. Richardson appointed Dec 3, 1873.

Francis P. Hallowell appointed Dec 24, 1874.

Samuel J. Bartlett appointed Aug 17, 1877.

Margaret N. Whitney appointed Dec 1, 1890.

Zelma (Burlew) Underwood appointed May 5, 1894.

Margaret N. Whitney appointed May 7, 1898.

Mrs. Mary E. Brodie appointed Oct 31, 1904.

Henrietta G. Boyne appointed Apr 2, 1920.

Ruth B. Miller appointed Apr 20, 1923.

Mrs. Mary E. Brodie appointed acting postmistress Dec 15, 1925.

Mrs. Mary E. Brodie appointed Mar 11, 1926.

Mrs. Mary E. Brodie retired Jan 31, 1940.

Miss Alda Louise Miller appointed acting postmistress Feb 1, 1940.

Miss Alda Louise Miller appointed Sep 17, 1940.

 

Francis P. Hallowell managed and edited the Millington Enterprise from December 1874 to August 1877. During part of the time he was also the Millington postmaster, and the post office was housed in the newspaper office.

When Mrs. Margaret "Maggie" Whitney was postmistress from May 7, 1898 until October 31, 1904 she lived in rooms at the rear of the post office.

In 1905 the rural free delivery system was established at Millington. George Brodie was the first rural mail carrier and carried the mail for twenty years. Andrew Brodie was the rural carrier from 1925-1943 and Harry Olson succeeded him from 1943-1954. Robert Brown followed Harry Olson for a few months as interim carrier, and Raymond Leonard followed him on an interim basis until October 1955. At this time Gene Whitfield was appointed rural route carrier. Later Gene became the Newark postmaster.

Miss Alda Louise Miller was appointed postmistress in 1940. Her sister Ruth B. (Miller) Hensley had been postmistress from April 20, 1923 until December 15, 1925.

In 1958, the post office was located in the front part of what was known as the Watters' store building.

NaAuSay

 

Postmasters:

 

Myron Smith appointed May 30, 1850.

James Stevenson appointed Oct 27, 1857.

Lachlan McLaren appointed Apr 25, 1856.

Office located section 1 NaAuSay Township.

Office discontinued Mar 12, 1864.

John V. Bronk appointed Oct 4, 1879.

Office located in section 35 NaAuSay Township

Jonathan C. Carpenter appointed Jul 21, 1886.

Jessie Louise Carpenter appointed Apr 16, 1887.

John V. Bronk appointed May 14, 1887.

Frederick W. Weese appointed Jul 16, 1891.

Office discontinued and mail sent to Plainfield Jul 20, 1893.

 

In 1891, Frederick Weese had a blacksmith shop in NaAuSay Township and was postmaster of the NaAuSay post office. When he closed his blacksmith shop in NaAuSay and moved it to Plainfield, the post office closed. The office didn't generate enough business to induce anyone to take his place.

New Ark

 

Formerly Georgetown.

 

Postmasters:

 

George B. Hollenback appointed Aug 9, 1837.

Walter Stowell appointed May 15, 1839.

George B. Hollenback appointed Mar 7, 1846.

Sidney S. Smith appointed May 1, 1851.

George B. Hollenback appointed Apr 22, 1853.

Thomas Hollenback appointed Jun 25, 1855.

Robert LeBeau appointed Oct 30, 1855.

Jacob Rothrock appointed Dec 5, 1856.

Alexander R. Niblo appointed Dec 8, 1856.

Sanford Robinson appointed Sep 9, 1858.

 

Before the post office was opened, Newark was named Georgetown after the town's founding father, George B. Hollenback. When Georgetown sought a post office it was learned that there already was a Georgetown post office in Vermillion County. Another name had to be selected and the villages' name was changed to Newark. For the first 24 years the name of the post office was spelled New Ark in official Postal Department Records. Beginning June 1, 1861 the name was changed in postal records to Newark.

Newark

 

Formerly New Ark.

 

Postmasters:

 

Albert Cook appointed Jun 1, 1861.

Don Alonzo "Lon" Munger appointed Oct 8, 1866.

Thomas F. Britton appointed Dec 13, 1867.

Albert Cook appointed Jan 25, 1869.

Sarah Cook appointed Feb 10, 1870.

William H. French appointed Mar 24, 1871.

Don Alonzo "Lon" Munger appointed Apr 22,1872.

Leslie S. Phillips appointed Feb 11, 1880.

Carcelious D. Cleveland appointed Mar 29, 1883.

Jennie E. Cleveland (Mrs. Carcelious D.) appointed Sep 22 1885.

Alfred Harding appointed Mar 8, 1887.

Clara H. Burlew appointed Feb 9, 1889.

Miss Florence I. Boyne appointed Oct 13, 1893.

Florence I. Bibbins appointed Nov 13, 1894.

Henry B. Peterson appointed May 10, 1904.

Orrie Dunbar appointed Jan 31, 1917.

Orrie Dunbar re-appointed Nov 8, 1921.

Edwin W. Perkins appointed Mar 23, 1926.

Irwin Knudson appointed acting postmaster May 14, 1934.

Irwin Knudson appointed Jul 23, 1935.

Irwin Knudson re-appointed Aug 4, 1939.

Irwin Knudson took military leave Apr 15, 1941.

Mrs. Clara Knudson appointed acting postmistress Apr 15, 1941.

Irwin Knudson returned from military leave Jan 31 1945.

Irwin Knudson retired Mar 31, 1969.

Gene Whitfield assumed charge Nov 28, 1970.

 

Hicks provided the first record of how the mail was carried to Newark. Initially Newark was without stagecoach service. The stage routes ran through Lisbon and mail for Newark was dropped there. As early as 1839, Jacob Giesler, who lived in or near Newark, carried the mail on his back and walked between Lisbon and Newark.38

When Simon James Ryan (1846-1924) was a young man he carried the mail on horseback on alternate days between Newark and Morris and Newark and Ottawa.

New stage routes were implemented and Newark eventually became a prominent stage stop. The village was on the direct road from Chicago to Ottawa and the horses and drivers were always changed there.

For many years Thomas C. Phillips carried the mail between Newark and Morris. Following his death December 6, 1892, a friend wrote a tribute to him, calling him "Uncle Sam's faithful servant."

"Before the Fox River Railroad was completed Thomas C. "Tommy" Phillips made daily trips between Newark and Morris. His career as a mail carrier and express agent extended over some sixteen or seventeen years. Many times during winter and spring the roads would be impassible for any kind of conveyance. Tommy with his characteristic pluck and vim would shoulder the mailbag and make the trip on foot. He never grumbled and always performed his duty patiently and cheerfully. Even though at times he suffered greatly from fever sores on his ankles, no one ever missed receiving their mail on his account. In 1871 the Fox River Railroad was built and changes were made to the mail service. His honesty, punctuality, and an unconquerable resolve characterized his public service. He was a remarkable character, and no matter how simple the message or valuable the package entrusted to his care, Tommy always completed the task he was entrusted with."39

With the coming of the railroad, stagecoaches generally were replaced as the major means of moving the mail. However, Newark was not served directly by rail service. The first railroad reached Kendall County in August 1853. The tracks connected the towns of Aurora, Bristol Station, Plano, and Newark Station, later called Sandwich. Newark station was the nearest railroad station to Newark. Bids were solicited to carry the mail between Newark and Newark Station and the low bidder was awarded the contract to carry the mail between these two places.

In 1866, Ami D. Newton won the contract to carry the mail between Newark and Sandwich. To fulfill his contract, Ami purchased a splendid new hack, built at Newark, for $275 in which he carried passengers, express, and mail.40 Joe Underwood succeeded Ami on the route.

When the Fox River Railroad was completed January 8, 1871, it connected the towns of Oswego, Yorkville, Millbrook, and Millington, to Aurora and Ottawa. Newark is about two miles from Millington, so Newark's mail was picked up and dropped off at that point. In the early days, the Millington-Newark route was a "Star Route" but later was renamed the "Mail Messenger Route."

On July 1, 1879 Mr. Litsey succeeded Joe Underwood on the mail route between Newark and Millington. He purchased the hack Joe had used to carry passengers, freight, and mail, and Joe purchased a new wagon and went into the teaming business.41

In about 1881, Benjamin B. Courtright became the mail carrier. At this time, Newark mail arrived in Millington by train twice daily. Beginning in February 1889 the mail was delivered four times a day to Millington. Mail delivery to the Newark post office continued at the twice-daily level until Mr. Courtright's contract was changed to compensate him for the additional work. When the contract was changed, Benjamin drove the stagecoach or "bus" from Newark to Millington four times a day, except Sundays and holidays, to meet the trains traveling up and down the Fox River Valley. In addition to mail, Courtright carried passengers and freight between the two villages.

Benjamin advertised his services in local newspapers. "Newark and Millington Bus Line. Four trips daily -- 7:30 and 10:30 am, 2:30 and 6:00 pm. Carries mail, express, and passengers. Fare one way 15 cents; round trip 25 cents. Any express entrusted to my care will receive careful and prompt attention. Am also prepared to do all kinds of freighting on short notice. B. B. Courtright, Newark, Illinois."42

As Benjamin became older his son Winfred "Win" Courtright began to drive for him. Win drove for his father until 1906, when he obtained the contract in his own name. He continued to make the four round trips daily between Newark and Millington.

During Win Courtright’stenure, there was a period of about four years during and after World War One, when he lost the mail contract. Charles Prickett, Milliard Hanson and Aldee Johnson each underbid him. Nevertheless he continued to carry passengers and freight between Newark and Millington, ultimately becoming the successful bidder to carry the mail. In 1933, Win lost the contract to carry the mail to Olaf C. Weeks. After forty years of service Win Courtrightretired from the passenger and freight business September 15, 1933.

The rural free delivery system was initiated in Newark in 1900. Previously the mail had been delivered from Millington to Newark via a Star Route or Mail Messenger Route. Star Routes were different from Rural Free Delivery Routes. The Contract Division of the Second Assistant Postmaster General's office managed Star Routes. The Superintendent of Free Delivery directed Rural Free Delivery routes and they operated under different rules and regulations. When the rural free delivery system was implemented, star route contractors began to fear for their livelihood and attempted to head off the growth of rural free delivery by voluntarily delivering mail in boxes along their routes where rural free delivery was wanted.

Star Route contractors were unable to provide the same level of service as rural free delivery carriers. In essence, rural free delivery carriers were traveling post offices bringing many of the services provided by the postal department to residents' front gates. Star Route contractors were at a distinct competitive disadvantage. They could not collect mail from the rural boxes, sell stamps, accept money for money orders, or pay money orders. The star route system was gradually phased out as the rural free delivery system expanded.

The beginning of the rural free delivery system in 1900 required some changes in the Newark post office. Postmaster Bibbins needed more room to accommodate the three rural mail routes created. In May 1900, the Newark post office was moved into the building formerly occupied by Samuel Bingham's shoe store. Bob Ruble was the carrier on the Helmar route, Chester Courtright the carrier on the Lisbon route and Judson Parker the carrier on the Nettle Creek route.

In May 1905, there were still three rural routes out of the Newark post office carrying the daily mail to nearly every farmer within a radius of seven or eight miles. Hans Fritz was the carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 1; Hans E. Olson was the carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 2; and Henry B. Peterson the carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 3.43

In June 1921, Percy J. Scofield began serving 80 residents on Route 1, a 27-mile route out of Newark. In 1955, Routes 1 and 3 were merged and he continued to carry the mail until his retirement in October 1959 when he was serving 230 families on a 65-mile route.

Ohio Farm

 

Name changed to White Willow

 

Postmaster:

 

John Widney appointed Jul 14, 1849.

Office located in section 26 Lisbon Township.

William A. Jordan appointed Jul 11, 1861.

Office located in section 36 Lisbon Township.

 

The John Widney family lived on the northwest corner of the intersection of Whitewillow and Church Roads. The stagecoach that ran between Joliet and Ottawa and Kankakee and Ottawa ran through the Widney's front yard where the drivers would stop to water their horses. A post office was needed in the area and John agreed to serve as postmaster. The Widney family lived in Ohio before coming to Illinois and named the post office Ohio Farm. The stagecoach continued to carry the mail until shortly after the Illinois and Michigan Canal was completed in 1848.

When the stagecoach route was discontinued, a man named Samuel Randall picked up the mail brought by packet boat44 to Channahon in Will County. From there he took it to Sand Ridge in Grundy County and then to the Widney home where the Ohio Farm post office was located. Later the mail was carried on horseback between Dresden Heights to Oswego three times a week stopping at Ohio Farm on the way.

On February 10, 1863 the name of the post office was changed to White Willow. See White Willow and Whitewillow.

Oswego

 

Formerly Lodi. Name changed from Lodi to Oswego Jul 31, 1838.

 

Postmasters:

 

Levi F. Arnold appointed Jul 31, 1838.

William "Oscar" Parke} appointed Sep 27, 1844.

Marcus A. Fenton appointed Jun 15, 1849.

William "Oscar" Parke appointed May 5, 1853.

Erasmus "Darwin" Bradley appointed Dec 26, 1854.

Samuel Roberts appointed Jul 31, 1855.

John W. Chapman appointed Nov 3, 1855.

Lorenzo Rank appointed Jul 11, 1861.

Charles E. Hubbard appointed Sep 21, 1887.

Harley S. Richards appointed Jul 22, 1897.

Charles S. Barker appointed Jan 31, 1914.

Charles S. Barker re-appointed Oct 24, 1918.

Lewis R. Inman appointed Jan 10, 1920 or 1923.

Lewis R. Inman re-appointed Feb 24, 1927.

Emma or Irma Inman appointed acting postmistress Mar 30, 1929.

Frank Wooley appointed Feb 9, 1932.

William B. Lamb appointed acting postmaster Mar 6, 1936.

William B. Lamb appointed Feb 2, 1937.

Earl McVicker appointed acting postmaster Jul 5, 1938.

Earl McVicker appointed Jun 21, 1939.

Emmett M. McCauley assumed charge Sep 15, 1949.

George C. Bartholomew assumed charge Sep 15, 1950.

George C. Bartholomew appointed Sep 26, 1951.

Gordon C. Wormley appointed acting postmaster Jan 19, 1960.

Wenscel A. Birschke appointed acting postmaster Mar 9, 1961.

John F. Michels appointed acting postmaster Oct 30, 1963.

Walter D. Hage appointed Aug 21, 1964.

 

Erasmus "Darwin" Bradley succeeded William "Oscar" Parke as Oswego postmaster December 26, 1854. For whatever reasons, Bradley apparently lacked the support of many of the patrons of the Oswego post office. When Samuel Roberts circulated a petition urging the removal of Bradley it was supported by many of the citizens of Oswego. Roberts' petition was successful and he succeeded Bradley July 31, 1855.45

Samuel Roberts owned the West Oswego Hotel, a store, and blacksmith shop across the river outside the corporate limits. It was understood by most of the people of Oswego that if Roberts were appointed postmaster, the office would be located somewhere within the village limits. The editor of the Kendall County Courier, claimed such a promise had been made at the time the petition to remove postmaster Bradley was circulated. When the post office was turned over to him, the equipment was loaded in his wagon and moved to the west side of the river. This created a firestorm of discontent. Patrons felt the new location was inconvenient and too far from the central business district. A meeting was called to discuss the problem and propose a solution. After discussion, participants formed a committee to convey their concerns to Mr. Roberts. The committee met with him and insisted that the office be moved back within the village or turned over to someone who would manage it for him within the village. When the committee confronted Mr. Roberts with their demands, he stated he was not prepared to give an immediate answer and requested a week to consider their ultimatum.46

The following week, Mr. Roberts refused to accede to the committee's demands. The residents of Oswego felt it was their responsibility and right to determine where the post office should be located. They felt the location was inconvenient and betrayed the confidence they had placed in Mr. Roberts. They felt there was no excuse for the deceitful act and intense bad feelings existed between patrons and postmaster.47

During this period, the following announcement was published in the Courier. "To Post Office Subscribers. Those of our subscribers, who have received their papers at the post office, will find them, hereafter, at Frederick Coffin's store. All who wish to get their mail matter on this side of the river, can do so by arrangement with Mr. Coffin, who has been chosen postmaster until post office difficulties are resolved."48

A short while later it was reported that complaints had been made to the Post Office Department, regarding letters being mailed on board the cars (railroad cars) to the injury of the business of post offices. The Department's view was that a post office was the only place, for mailing letters. Department regulations prohibited letters from being mailed at the cars, unless there were special circumstances that prohibited senders from getting them to the post office with reasonable diligence. Mail agents on the cars were instructed to refuse to mail any letters, which they believed had been submitted to them under any other circumstance.

An article in the Washington Union stated "Persons who have become offended with the postmaster of a town have been known to combine for the purpose of injuring the business and revenue of the post office by employing an agent to collect letters and mail them at the cars." The Post Office Department emphasized they would use all lawful means to counteract and suppress all such activity. At the local level it was noted that the mail agent on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad had not refused to receive letters sent from Oswego and it was hoped he would continue to do so.49

The Fox River Railroad, which came through Oswego, was not completed until January 1871. The nearest rail service during postmaster Roberts' tenure was at Oswego Station on the Aurora Extension Line between Aurora and Bristol Station. This meant Frederick Coffin, his agent, or anyone else who wanted to avoid using the Oswego post office, had to meet the train at Oswego Station.

A major objection expressed about the post office under postmaster Roberts was its location. Patrons felt it was a quarter of a mile beyond where it should have been. Oswego Station was about a mile and a half beyond the disputed post office location. It seems ironic that if a quarter of a mile was too far, someone would carry the mail another mile and a half to avoid using the office. Not only did they have to travel farther, but also trains were not always on time. No doubt those wishing to mail letters would frequently have to wait for the train's arrival. Obviously there were issues beyond the stated inconvenience.

Samuel Robert's tenure as postmaster was short lived. Citizen complaints and political pressure forced postal authorities to appoint John W. Chapman postmaster of the village of Oswego November 3, 1855. He immediately moved the office back within the village limits.50

Prior to July 1, 1866, Oswego received some of it mail by stagecoach from Morris. Beginning July 1, 1866 this mail was delivered to the Bristol Station post office by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and delivered from there to Oswego three times a week.

In 1900, Rural Delivery Route No. 1 was established by the Oswego post office. Rush Walker was the carrier on the route, which delivered mail to Specie Grove and part of NaAuSay Township. Rural free delivery was a great convenience to rural residents. The employment of rural route carriers also meant more jobs in the community and potentially a higher salary for the postmaster. In 1905 Oswego postmaster, Harley Richards traveled to Yorkville seeking assistance from Mr. MacSwain, an employee of the Postal Department, who was there on business. Postmaster Richards felt that Plainfield was overly aggressive in the expansion of rural mail routes. At this time there were two rural routes out of Oswego, three out of Yorkville, and four out of Plainfield. Postmaster Richards was concerned that while Plainfield covered about the same size territory as Oswego or Yorkville they already had four rural routes and contemplated adding two more routes.

The minimum number of families required to start a rural route was one hundred. It was alleged that Plainfield postal employees had solicited some of the farmers living on the Plainfield and Oswego Road to change their address from Oswego to Plainfield so the minimum number of families could be obtained for another rural route. The customers being solicited were already being covered by a rural route out of Oswego The Oswego postmaster saw this as an invasion of his territory and could see no reason for the farmers to change their address as long as they were receiving good service. The Oswego and Yorkville postmasters successfully argued that Plainfield had her full quota of rural routes.51

Pavilion

 

Postmasters:

 

John B. Hall appointed Feb 22, 1849.

Henry H. Moulton appointed Jun 25, 1855.

Blexton Harris appointed Mar 13, 1857.

Isaac Ives appointed Oct 3, 1859.

William G. Cole appointed Jul 1, 1872.

Isaac N. Harris appointed Aug 24, 1883.

Jemima S. Ives appointed Jan 16, 1892.

Charles M. Hill appointed Jun 23, 1896.

Office discontinued and mail moved to Yorkville Dec 14, 1896.

 

Pavilion was located in section 7 of Kendall Township. During its prime, the stage route between Chicago and Ottawa passed through Pavilion and mail destined for the village and vicinity was moved by stagecoach.

Beginning July 1, 1866, the Yorkville post office was made a "distributing office."52 The mail for Yorkville and vicinity was sorted on the mail train on the Aurora Extension, dropped off at Bristol (Bristol Station) and sent directly to the Yorkville office. The mail included mail destined for Yorkville, Bristol (North Yorkville) Plattville, Kendall, NaAuSay, Specie Grove and White Willow post offices.

Shortly after the railroad was completed through Yorkville in January 1871, stagecoaches ceased to run through Pavilion and Newark. In addition to the previously mentioned post offices Yorkville became the distribution center for mail destined for Newark and Pavilion. Two routes were established out of Yorkville to serve these points; Newark and Pavilion were on one route, Plattville, Kendall, NaAuSay and White Willow on the other, Specie Grove having been closed.

A mail delivery schedule published in September 1871 indicated the mail was delivered to Plattville, Kendall, and White Willow on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The mail for these points was to arrive at the Yorkville post office by 11:00 A.M. and would not be accepted after 12:00 noon.53

The schedule did not indicate which days the mail was delivered to Pavilion but it is known that the trip between Yorkville, and Pavilion and Newark was made three times a week.

The mail route between Yorkville and Newark, via Pavilion was discontinued February 14, 1871. The reason for the discontinuance undoubtedly related to the compensation. At that time, the carrier was paid $52 per year to carry the mail three times a week between these points. Carriers were expected to carry the mail during all kinds of weather and frequently over bad roads for the sum of thirty-three and a 1/3 cents per round trip. Carriers had to furnish his own vehicle and horses to pull the conveyance. Carriers potentially could generate some income by carrying packages and other freight but the opportunity to generate additional income from these sources was not great.54

 

Penfield

 

Postmasters:

 

Thomas Pike appointed Dec 28, 1839.

Josiah Lehman appointed Jul 16, 1842.

James Noble appointed Jan 7, 1854.

Office discontinued May 4, 1854.

 

Penfield was a community in Little Rock Township. In 1835 a man named Farley (Jabez?) opened a store on the River Road near the mouth of the Rob Roy Creek. According to Hicks, History of Kendall County, the store was "where John Gilman now lives."55 John Gilman's home was on the north side of River Road about 100 feet west of the section 34-35 line. Mary Ann (Carver) Steward wrote in her recollections of early days that the Penfield post office was near the bridge that crossed the Fox River south of Plano. Another historical reference was found indicating that the Penfield post office was located near the mouth of the Rob Roy Creek. A fourth historical reference indicated there was a post office near Post's mills. Frederick Post'smills were located in the SW quarter of section 34, Little Rock Township. None of these are mutually exclusive locations and all the parties were no doubt correct in their general placement of the Penfield post office.

Farley sold the store to Mr. Penfield who kept a "post office" in the store although he was never officially appointed postmaster. An official post office was opened at Penfield December 28, 1839 while Penfield was part of Kane County and Thomas Pike appointed postmaster. July 16, 1842, Josiah Lehman succeeded him and kept the post office in his tavern.

Before the railroad reached Plano the mail had been brought to Penfield by stagecoach. The railroad reached Plano in August 1853 and a post office opened there December 27, 1853. From that time forward the area around Penfield was served by the Plano post office and the Penfield office was closed.

Plano

 

Postmasters:

 

Gilbert "Denslow" Henning appointed Dec 27, 1853.

Daniel H. Eldridge appointed May 27, 1857.

George C. Gale appointed Mar 15, 1860.

Harvey E. Bullock appointed Jun 1, 1861.

Mrs. Jane Eastman appointed Jan 6, 1871.

Mrs. Jane Eastman appointed May 19, 1877.

Mrs. Jane Eastman re-appointed Dec 20, 1881.

David "Gordon" Grahamappointed Mar 1, 1883.

Sumner R. Sanderson appointed Feb 28, 1887.

James C. Harwood appointed May 7, 1890.

Henry Stahlle appointed May 31, 1894.

George S. Faxon appointed Mar 9, 1898.

George S. Faxon re-appointed Mar 14, 1902.

George S. Faxon re-appointed Mar 26, 1906.

Henry Stahlle re-appointed Mar 2, 1910.

Henry Stahlle re-appointed Mar 11, 1914.

George S. Faxon re-appointed Oct 24, 1918.

George S. Faxon re-appointed Mar 15, 1923.

George S. Faxon re-appointed Feb 12, 1927.

George S. Faxon re-appointed Feb 14, 1931.

George S. Faxon removed Jan 25, 1934.

Miss Ila W. Blakely appointed acting postmistress Jan 25, 1934.

William D. Steward appointed acting postmaster Sep 26, 1934.

William D. Steward appointed Jan 16, 1935.

William D. Steward re-appointed Jul 6, 1939.

Claude Frank assumed charge Feb 1, 1949.

Claude Frank appointed June 29, 1950.

Bernice F. Dannewitz appointed acting postmistress Jan 6, 1953.

Mrs. Ila W. Nelson appointed acting postmistress Oct 21, 1953.

Mrs. Ila W. Nelson appointed May 24, 1954.

Mrs. Ila W. Nelson retired May 31, 1958.

Gerald W. Sears appointed acting postmaster Jul 3, 1958.

Gerald W. Sears terminated Feb 24, 1961.

John E. Phebus appointed acting postmaster Mar 2, 1961.

John E. Phebus appointed Aug 21, 1964.

 

Plano was surveyed and platted in 1853. At first, contract mail carriers carried Plano's mail to and from Little Rock three days a week where the mail was delivered by stagecoach. Shortly after the railroad reached Plano, changes were made and Plano's mail was delivered directly by rail. Initially the mail arrived once a day but later deliveries were increased to twice daily.

Mail trains didn't always stop at Plano. Frequently bags containing mail for Plano were thrown from the baggage car as the train sped through town. A patented device that snagged the mailbag hanging from a post along the track grabbed the outgoing mail.

These steps expedited the delivery of mail but initially many problems occurred. In February 1888 the Plano postmaster complained that the clerks on the night train were careless where they threw off the mailbags. He stated the mailbags could be found anywhere between Bristol (Station) and Sandwich. He sardonically requested that the mail pouches be deposited somewhere within the city limits. In April 1888 Postmaster Sanderson reported the "irregularity" that the mailbag from the fast train had been delivered in good condition two days in a row. His luck did not last and the following Sunday morning, papers were distributed from the depot to the western city limits. Many were run over by the train's wheels ripping them to shreds. Similar mishaps continued to occur. One morning in September 1888 the Plano mail sack was thrown off at Bristol and cut to pieces under the wheels of the train. On another morning it was thrown off at Aurora and did not reach Plano until the eleven o'clock train came through town. Eventually the wrinkles were worked out of the delivery system and Plano received its mail on a regular basis.

For many years the post office was located in various Plano stores. It was not until September 1875 that the post office was housed in its own building. A correspondent wrote to the editor of the Record, "We are getting accustomed to the specious airy rooms to which the post office has been removed and are forgetting the dingy close corner it has occupied in a grocery store for the past five years."

During the previous five years, Plano's population had nearly doubled. Plano's major industry, Marsh Harvester, was manufacturing and shipping over 6,000 harvesters a year. The shipment of repairs and other business correspondence had become a significant factor. The Latter Day Saints' Herald Office also generated extensive mail matter. The post office was generating over $20,000 annual revenue and Plano's postmaster was the highest paid postal official in Kendall County.56

In 1883, Plano's postmaster's salary was considerably over $1,000 per annum. In February 1883 postmistress Jane Eastman died while in office. This set off a scramble for the position. Several hoped to succeed her but the principal candidates appeared to have been H. Bacon, Avery N. Beebe, David "Gordon" GrahamByron E. Shonts and Dr. David Cook. All were described as gentlemen of ability and integrity, any of whom who could have filled the position satisfactorily. D. Gordon Graham was appointed postmaster March 1, 1883.57

When the Plano Manufacturing company moved to Chicago 1887, the Plano post office revenue declined by over one-third. With the loss of business the salary of the Plano postmaster was reduced to $1,100 per annum.

In 1884, postmasters whose annual compensation was less than $1,000 were appointed by the Postmaster General and could be removed at his pleasure. The President appointed postmasters whose salary exceeded $1,000 per annum for a term of four years. Theoretically they could not be removed from office before the expiration of their term without the consent of the Senate, except for cause. The President only had the power to suspend a postmaster when the Senate was not in session.

When political parties changed they didn't always let the incumbents complete their terms. Republican, D. G. Graham had been appointed postmaster of Plano, March 1, 1883. In 1885 the Democrats were in power. There was agitation by some office seekers to replace Graham before the end of his four-year term. However, there was strong sentiment, even among the Democrats, to permit Graham to complete his term.

One correspondent wrote, "Mr. Graham has made an excellent officer in every respect. Postmaster Graham has never used his office for any partisan purposes and has shown no partiality to any parties or cliques. He has been equally accommodating to all. When Mr. Graham's term expires he is ready to step down without a murmur and transfer the keys to a Democrat. We believe we express the strong sentiments of the people, when we say that we sincerely hope he will be retained until that time comes."58 Democratic President Cleveland permitted Postmaster Graham to remain in office until February 28, 1887 when Sumner R. Sanderson succeeded him.

Unfortunately, Republican President Harrison was not as understanding as his predecessor was. Postmaster Sanderson had been appointed Feb 28, 1887. His four-year term did not end until March 1, 1891. His successor to the office, James C. Harwood was appointed May 7, 1890. According to contemporary reports, the citizens of Plano were surprised by the appointment. They believed that lacking good reason, a change would not be made in postmasters until Mr. Sanderson's term was completed.

In 1897, Henry Stahlle was the postmaster at Plano. The salaries of other Kendall County postmasters were scaled down from the annual stipend of $1,600 then allowed at Plano. The incumbent national administration had lost the election and applicants seeking postmaster positions at Millington, Oswego, Plano and Yorkville lined up. Contemporary reports indicated that George Faxonleft no stone unturned in seeking the office at Plano. John Schneider, Dr. Cook, Mrs. Goss, Miss Applegate and a score of other dark horses sought the office. Aspirants sought support by seeking the signatures of prominent businessmen and members of the winning political party. Candidates who were positive they had the inside track became worried when they learned many of the same signatures were on several petitions.

In November 1897, Congressman Hopkins was quizzed regarding who would be the next postmaster at Plano. The Congressman responded, "It will be George FaxonI can not do otherwise than recognize the splendid petition he presented. His list easily holds nine tenths of the best people of Plano and is endorsed by prominent workers over the county. He will be appointed."

George S. Faxon enjoyed two relative long runs as postmaster of Plano. Beginning March 9, 1898 he served for eight years having been re-appointed twice during this period. Starting October 24, 1918 he had another extraordinary run of almost 15 years as postmaster.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the rural free delivery system was introduced in the United States. The farmers looked upon the rural free delivery system favorably. However some merchants were concerned about the effect the system would have on their business. They were afraid farmers would not come to town as regularly as they had. Petitions were circulated in Plano by one of the merchants to stop the movement but the prospect of free delivery of mail was too attractive to derail.

It turned out that the rural mail service was a win-win situation. On the second anniversary of its establishment, an article in the Kendall County News concluded that the service had proven to be a success in every way. Farmers were happy to receive their mail in a box in front of their homes. Merchant's fear that farmers would not come to town as often as previously proved to be unfounded. Instead the farmers came to Plano just as often and stayed as long as previously. The News noted that the farm trade in Plano had increased by at least 25 percent in the past two years.59

Rural free delivery out of Plano was inaugurated Monday July 16, 1900. The mail was delivered on two rural routes plus the Little Rock post office. The rural carriers left the post office at 7:00 a.m. The carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 1 made the trip in four hours and fifty minutes covering a distance of twenty-two and a half miles. The carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 2 took an additional fifty minutes (five hours and forty minutes) to complete his route covering a distance of twenty-six and a half miles. The majority of those who chose rural free delivery had their mail before their noon meal. Mail destined for the Little Rock post office arrived before 8:00 a.m."60

George S. Faxon was postmaster at Plano when rural free delivery was established. Initially the Plano post office was not part of the Civil Service System. The postmaster had a free hand to decide who would be hired and what they would be paid. Postmaster Faxon set the first rural free delivery carrier's salary at $500 per year.

The first two rural carriers out of the Plano office were John Lyons and Marvin Hinckley. Later a third rural delivery route was established with Lew Stoutenburg as carrier. As the rural roads were lengthened and improved, many rural routes were consolidated. In 1940, the number of rural routes out of Plano was reduced to two.

Eventually, rural carriers were placed under the Civil Service System and a salary schedule implemented. On July 1, 1904, rural carriers' salaries were generally set at $720 per annum. Postal regulations established that every carrier who covered what was known as a full route was to receive $60 per month or $720 per year. Carriers who covered shorter routes were not to receive the maximum salary. The schedule, which could be varied when circumstances warranted, was as follows. Routes of not less than twenty miles paid $720 per annum. Routes of less than twenty miles and not less than sixteen miles paid $620 per annum. A route less than sixteen miles and not less than twelve miles, the compensation was $520 per year. Routes less than twelve miles and not less than eight miles, salaries were $420 per annum. For routes less than eight miles and not less than four miles, the compensation was $320 per year.61

Rural carriers' positions were considered good positions in rural communities. When Russell Stahlle resigned his position as a rural carrier out of the Plano post office in December 1922 it created a vacancy which needed to be filled. At this time the rural carrier position paid $1950.00 per year. When the vacancy occurred there was no list of eligible appointees. Postmaster Faxon had to request a Civil Service examination to establish such a list. Thirteen men from Plano and vicinity took the examination. Their papers were sent to the United States Civil Service board at Washington, DC, where the board ranked each candidate. The names of the top three, who would be eligible for appointment, were returned to postmaster Faxon.

The three highest ranking applicants were Leon Gilpatrick, first; Dr. Oscar V. Vermilyesecond; and Harry E. Lakin, third. Postmaster Faxon considered all three, high class, capable and worthy young men. Postmaster Faxon, obviously aware of the political implications of the appointment decided "the fairest" way to handle the situation was to let the applicants draw straws for the position. As it turned out, Leon Gilpatrick who had ranked first in the Civil Service examination pulled the lucky straw. The winner was a highly qualified applicant. Leon was a graduate of Plano High School and had completed four years of college. In addition, he had nearly four years experience as a rural carrier out of the Yorkville post office.

On October 1, 1931 free delivery of mail within Plano was started.

Prior to the "Great Depression," Plano had been classified as a second class post office. The slowdown in economic activity and the decline in business caused the office to revert back to third class status, July 31, 1934. The classification change altered the duties of the office and greatly reduced the allowance for clerk hire. Eventually, business did recover and Plano regained its classification as a second class post office.

George S. Faxon lost his job as postmaster of Plano a little over a year after the Democrats were swept into office in 1932. On January 15, 1934, Miss Ila BlakelyAssistant postmaster under postmaster Faxon, was appointed acting postmistress. About a week after her appointment, Miss Blakely wrote an interesting letter to the Kendall County News. The letter provides considerable insight regarding why George S. Faxon had been such a popular postmaster.

Because of the severe depression at the time, many financial institutions, including those in Plano, had failed. With the bank closings there was no place to cash payroll checks. In an effort to ease the problem, and help boost the local economy, postmaster Faxon had been cashing CWA (Works Project Administration) payroll checks at the post office.

Miss Blakelywrote, "Due to the change in management made in the Plano post office, it will be impossible for me to take care of the payroll of the CWA workers as has been so completely done by postmaster George S. Faxon. I will gladly cash as many of the checks as will be made possible by the regular day's Money Order funds available. I am taking this course because the Post Office Department at Washington might make serious objections and consider it a violation of rules to accumulate Money Order funds, which are supposed to be submitted promptly each day. Furthermore, I have no facilities for continuing the splendid and unselfish service to those workers, which they have been receiving from the retiring postmaster.

It has been the policy for the past twenty years that the Plano post office would be open on Sunday mornings and holidays. This was the policy of the retiring postmaster, who has done it wholly on his own responsibility as an accommodation to the public. I feel that a continuation of this service would be a greater burden than I will be able to carry. With only some exceptions, which might be sickness or death messages or letters of some other nature of vast importance anticipated by a patron, the Plano post office will only be open for the accommodation of box holders for thirty minutes from 9:00 to 9:30 A.M. commencing Sunday, February 4th.

The delivery of mail to patrons on Sunday mornings other than in extreme cases has become very burdensome. Since the free city delivery service was installed, sorting the mail from the city and rural carriers' desks requires two persons. This new position, coming to me unsought and under circumstances unknown to me has suddenly put new and greater responsibilities upon me. For this reason I am going to ask the public to lend their kind consideration and cooperation so that I may perform my duties in conformity with good and efficient service." Signed: Ila W. Blakelyacting Postmaster.62

September 26, 1934, William Deering Steward, a prominent Planoite and Democrat was appointed acting postmaster. The Senate confirmed Steward's permanent appointment January 16, 1937. He continued to serve until Claude Frank was appointed February 1, 1949.

Plattville

 

Postmasters:

 

Daniel Platt appointed Nov 4, 1847.

Daniel Krouse appointed Jul 15, 1851.

Alonzo P. Convis appointed Jan 3, 1854.

Daniel Platt, Jr. appointed Feb 9, 1859.

Henry Ricketson appointed Jan 10, 1868. Appointment rescinded Jan 21, 1868.

Albert B. Platt appointed Jan 21, 1868.

Henry M. Thayer appointed May 18, 1874.

Albert B. Platt appointed Jul 18, 1876.

Levi Platt appointed Aug 6, 1877.

Frank Platt appointed May 5, 1894.

David Munsonappointed Apr 22, 1898.

Office discontinued Feb 7, 1906.

Mail moved to Yorkville effective Feb 28, 1906.

 

When the Plattville post office first opened, the mail was moved by stagecoaches, which regularly passed through Plattville on the Chicago to Ottawa road. Stagecoaches ceased running through Plattville sometime after the Illinois and Michigan Canal was completed in 1848 and the Rock Island railroad reached Minooka and Morris in 1852. Before July 1, 1866, Plattville received some of it mail by stagecoach from Morris. Beginning July 1, 1866 the Plattville mail was delivered to Bristol Station by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and moved directly by stage or hack to Yorkville. On July 1, 1866 a tri-weekly mail route from Yorkville was established to serve Plattville, Kendall, NaAuSay, Specie Grove and White Willow post offices.63 The route covered a distance of about thirty miles and required a full day. George W. Edmunds of Plattville was the routes' first contract carrier.64 Mail carriers were also permitted to transport passengers and parcels between points on the route when someone wished to employ their service.

In 1870, Edmunds lost the contract to Thomas Naden of Plattville. Mr. Naden was a popular and accommodating man noted for his attention to detail, regularity and pleasant nature.65 Despite the fact that he only had one leg, the mail almost invariably reached its destination, even in the worst weather and seemingly impossible road conditions.66

In 1874, George W. Edmunds re-won the contract to carry the mail between Yorkville and Plattville starting July 1, 1874.

In 1875, Pliny Wilson underbid all others and became the contract carrier July 1, 1875. The route had been expanded to six days a week and the winning bid was for $400 a year or about $1.33 per day with Mr. Wilson furnishing his own team and buggy. Mr. Wilson offered to carry passengers for fifty cents and packages for ten cents between Yorkville and Plattville.67 While it was possible to generate a little extra income the additional revenue probably did not exceed $150 per year.

The winter of 1875-6 was worse than usual. In late March and early April, snowfall made the roads impassible in places and Mr. Wilson did not attempt to deliver the mail. Some Plattville residents were unhappy with the carrier's failure to make it through and the Plattville correspondent to the Record chastised him for not fulfilling his contract. Apparently Mr. Wilson told the Plattville postmaster his team was inadequate for the emergency and it was impossible to get through. After three days of no mail, Plattville merchants Al Plattand Levi Platt paid a man three dollars to go to Yorkville and bring the mail to town.68

Mr. Wilson's four year mail contract expired June 30, 1879. He resubmitted the same bid made four years earlier. His predecessor, George W. Edmunds also bid for the route. A man from Kentucky offered to carry the mail for less than either and obtained the job.69 When he came to Illinois to evaluate the situation he realized the enormity of the task and decided to step aside. The route was re-let to Mr. Wilson and he continued to carry the mail until July 1, 1883.

Mr. Wilson lost the mail contract in 1883 after carrying the mail for eight years. He had bid $800 for his service and another bidder offered to fulfill the contract for $700 per year. The contract to carry the Yorkville-Plattville mail had been let to a man who made a business of securing mail contracts. The contractor made two trips to Plattville looking for someone to carry the mail. Mrs. Munson a widow living near Plattville agreed to carry the mail beginning June 30, 1883, for $400 a year. The contractor apparently was a smooth talker and convinced her the mail could be carried at a profit for that figure. After a number of people talked to her, she realized the contractor had misrepresented the situation and refused to fulfill the contract. The contract again reverted to Mr. Wilson.70

In April 1891, it was rumored that a West Virginia man had agreed to carry the mail between Yorkville and Plattville for $396 per year. Apparently, the new carrier recognized his mistake before the contract began. When he failed to make an appearance on the starting date July 1, 1891 the route reverted to George Dupont the previous carrier.71 In August 1891, Charles Bennett, a resident of Bristol agreed to carry the mail between Yorkville and Plattville replacing George Dupont.72

In July 1894, a new arrangement for mail delivery between Plattville and Yorkville was implemented. The route was to begin at Plattville with the mail due in Yorkville no later than noon. The carrier was to leave Yorkville in time to have the mail at Plattville by 4:00 p.m. The contract called for the mail to be delivered daily except Sunday instead of the previous delivery schedule of three days a week. The contract was awarded to a Washington, DC bidder for a rumored $376.66 a year. The contract was sub-let to Mr. Atwood of Plattville who agreed to fulfill the terms of the contract for $350.00 a year.

July 1, 1895, Mr. Chester C. Call of Algona, Iowa won the bid to carry the mail between Yorkville, Kendall, and Plattville post offices. The terms of first contract are unknown to the compiler but in 1899, he agreed to carry the mail six days a week for the next four years for $286.46 a year. In turn, Mr. Call let the route to a sub-contractor.

Changes in the rural mail routes and increasing rural delivery decreased the patronage of the Plattville post office. Mail previously distributed by the Plattville office was now being delivered on rural routes from Minooka, Newark, Plainfield, and Yorkville. The defection from the office was great and revenues decreased dramatically. Postmaster, David E. Munson, who was very popular with the people in Plattville, decided to call it quits and tendered his resignation. People tried to induce him to reconsider but the income potential was insufficient to warrant the time and responsibility required. By this time, most of his workday was spent managing the Plattville telephone exchange.

An effort was made to find someone else to take the job, but no one was willing to accept the position. It was thought that general store owner; John LaForge might be induced to take the office. However he declined because he did not wish to antagonize those who wanted the rural mail delivery. The Plattville post office was discontinued February 28, 1906 and rural route carriers served former patrons of the office. When the Plattville post office closed, Henry A. Leifheit was the carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 2 between Yorkville and Plattville. Shortly after the closure he resigned his position because his workload increased without a compensating increase in salary.73 In 1912, Amos Rose was the carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 2 between Yorkville and Plattville.74

Seward

 

Postmasters:

 

Judson R. Fletcher appointed Mar 24, 1854.

Office located in section 2, Seward Township

William Patrick appointed Jan 29, 1862.

Office discontinued Nov 17, 1862.

Specie Grove

 

Postmaster:

 

John A. Newell appointed Jul 15, 1857.

Office located in section 10, Kendall Township.

Office discontinued Apr 7, 1868.

 

White Willow

 

Formerly Ohio Farm.

 

Postmasters:

 

William "Allen" Jordan appointed Feb 10, 1863.

Office located in section 36 Lisbon Township.

Edward Jordan appointed Feb 22, 1864.

William H. Shufelt, Sr., appointed Apr 11, 1866.

Office located in section 25 or 35 Lisbon Township.

 

White Willow was located at the intersection of present day Whitewillow and Church Roads in Lisbon Township. The place was first named Ohio Farm. On February 10, 1863 the name was changed to White Willow. It continued to be named White Willow until November 16, 1895 when the two words were combined and the name changed to Whitewillow. See Ohio Farm and Whitewillow.

Whitewillow

 

Formerly White Willow.

 

Postmasters:

 

Norman S. Shufelt appointed Nov 16, 1895.

Lucius W. Darnell appointed Apr 16, 1900.

Adelbert E. Washburn appointed May 12, 1903.

Office discontinued Nov 9, 1908.

 

Prior to the opening of the Whitewillow store the post office was located in postmaster's homes. When the Whitewillow store opened in 1899, the post office was moved to the store. Mr. and Mrs. Lucius W. Darnell operated the store until 1903 when Mr. and Mrs. "Dell" Washburn assumed the business. They continued in that capacity until 1910 when they sold out to Mr. and Mrs. Gunder Flatness. However the Whitewillow post office was discontinued November 9, 1908.

With the closing of the Whitewillow post office, mail service to Whitewillow patrons became part of Rural Delivery Route No. 2, Minooka. See Ohio Farm and White Willow.

Yorkville

 

Postmasters:

 

George W. Hartwell appointed Apr 18, 1864.

John Redman Marshallappointed Apr 17, 1865.

Thomas B. Morley appointed Jul 13, 1866.

Thomas Springer appointed Dec 3, 1866.

Absalom "Townsend" Seelyappointed Jun 17, 1869.

George O. Howard appointed Mar 1, 1876.

Charles E. Moore appointed Jun 9, 1881.

John McOmber appointed Aug 14, 1885.

George H. Schmidt appointed Jun 11, 1889.

George H. Schmidt re-appointed Dec 16, 1891.

William Crimmin appointed Mar 6, 1894.

John Redman Marshall appointed Feb 18, 1898.

John Redman Marshall re-appointed Mar 14, 1902.

John Redman Marshall re-appointed Mar 28, 1906.

John Redman Marshall re-appointed Mar 7, 1910.

Harry B. Fasmer appointed Jul 31, 1913.

Harry B. Fasmer re-appointed Feb 4, 1918.

William C. Ohse appointed acting postmaster Oct 1, 1920.

William C. Ohse appointed Aug 19, 1921.

William C. Ohse re-appointed Dec 18, 1925.

John Redman Marshall, IIappointed acting postmaster Sep 30, 1929.

John Redman Marshall, IIappointed Feb 6, 1930.

Mervin N. Beecher appointed acting postmaster Nov 15, 1933.

Mervin N. Beecher appointed Mar 19, 1934.

Mervin N. Beecher re-appointed Jun 7, 1938.

Mervin N. Beecher re-appointed Dec 16, 1942.

Harry L. Crawford appointed acting postmaster Jul 27, 1955.

Harry L. Crawford appointed Aug 5, 1957.

 

The railroad from Aurora west, then known as the Aurora Extension, was completed in August 1853. It served the village of Huntsville, renamed Bristol Station, and the new towns of Plano and Newark Station (later Sandwich) that sprung up along the route. With the advent of rail service the mail for Bristol (North Yorkville) and Yorkville was brought by rail to Bristol Station. From there it was moved to the Bristol post office by contract mail carriers. Yorkville residents received their mail across the river in Bristol.

John R. Marshall, editor of the Kendall County Record, and many of the Yorkville businessmen felt Yorkville should have its own post office. Through the Record, John advocated a post office on the south side of the river. The effort succeeded and a post office was opened in Yorkville in April 1864. George W. Hartwellwas appointed first postmaster.75

John R. Marshall was appointed Yorkville postmaster, for the first time, April 17, 1865. Rather than assuming the position he appointed Thomas B. Morley a disable veteran of the Civil War as his deputy to take charge of the office.

The first three Yorkville postmasters resigned their positions. They served a combined time of about two and a half years. During this period the position was more honorary than profitable. There simply wasn't enough profit to justify the time and energy required.

The contract for mail delivery to the Bristol-Yorkville area was for the mail to be brought from Bristol (Bristol Station) to the Bristol (North Yorkville) post office by stage or hack. It was not until February 1866 that the route was extended across the river to Yorkville. Before the route extension, Yorkville businesses and residents paid the contract mail carrier to bring the mail to the Yorkville post office every other day. With the change in the contract, the county seat received mail daily.76

Beginning July 1, 1866, the Yorkville post office was made a "distributing office."77 The mail for Yorkville and vicinity was sorted on the mail train on the Aurora Extension, dropped off at Bristol (Bristol Station) and sent directly to the Yorkville office. The mail included mail destined for Yorkville, Bristol (North Yorkville) Plattville, Kendall, NaAuSay, Specie Grove and White Willow post offices. With this change, mail was delivered to Yorkville twice a day rather than once a day. The morning mail arrived from the east at 9:30 a.m. and the afternoon mail arrived from the west at 4:00 p.m.78

While the increased frequency in mail delivery was appreciated by patrons, not everything ran smoothly. Some of the mail was delivered Bristol Station on the "lightning train" which did not stop. One report noted that the mail from the east for Bristol and Yorkville was nearly destroyed. The bag had been thrown off, but fell back under the train and was run over by the wheels. The bag was torn to pieces and bundles and papers scattered all over the track for a great distance. The remains were gathered up but were in horrible condition. Mud and water obliterated addresses, wrappers were torn off, and many of the items shredded beyond recognition. The postmasters tried to repair the damage but many letters and papers were undoubtedly lost.79

Outgoing mail was put in a mailbag and hung on a patented device to be caught by the train as it sped by. Weather conditions and mechanical problems with the mailbag catcher also contributed to miscues. One week the fast train going east missed catching the mail four days.80

In January 1871 the Fox River Railroad was completed providing rail service between Aurora, Streator and points in between, including Yorkville. Yorkville continued to be a distribution center for several outlying post offices. At this time the Yorkville office was the distribution office for Pavilion, Plattville and Kendall post offices. The Kendall post office was about six and a half miles southeast of Yorkville. Plattville was twelve miles southeast of Yorkville. The Pavilion post office was about three and a half miles southwest of Yorkville. Two separate routes served these points by stage or hack. One route served the Kendall and Plattville offices and another served Pavilion.

In July 1869 the Yorkville post office was located in Seely's Drug Store.81 In September 1876 the post office was located in George O. Howard's drug store on the west side of Bridge Street in the central part of downtown Yorkville. About midnight September 20, a disastrous fire broke out with its origin apparently in the drug store. The drug store and post office as well as Jesse H. Bridgen's dry good store were totally destroyed. Other nearby buildings were saved but incurred some damage.

The next morning a temporary post office was opened across the street in the Kendall County Record office. Mr. Howard ordered a new stock and within a short period of time moved into the northern part of the Union Building across the street from the destroyed building. The post office remained in the Union Building until it was moved to the Cotton Building at 301 South Bridge Street in June 1932.

Rural free delivery was initiated out of the Yorkville post office October 1, 1900. Rural Delivery Route No. 1 traveled from Yorkville to Millbrook, and back to Yorkville via Pavilion, a distance of 25 miles. Frank Weaver was the carrier. Rural Delivery Route No. 2 went south from Yorkville to Plattville, a distance of 26 and 3/4 miles. Henry A. Leifheit was the carrier. Rural Delivery Route No. 3 went along the south or east side of the Fox River to the Cutter schoolhouse and then proceeded south to the Kendall post office, a distance of 22 miles. Charles T. Bennett was the carrier. Oscar C. Knudson was bonded as a substitute carrier.82

Large United States mailboxes were placed on each route for general use. Boxes on Rural Delivery Route No. 1 were placed at Henry VanTassel's corner, Needham school, and Pavilion. On Rural Delivery Route No. 2, boxes were placed on E. W. Smith's corner, Plattville School, and Kendall post office. On Rural Delivery Route No. 3, boxes were placed at the Kendall school, Z. Whitlock's corner, and the Cutter school. The carriers opened the boxes daily and the mail was brought to the Yorkville post office.

Rural residents were asked to put up neat appearing mailboxes with their names on them. It was expected that every family on the routes would provide a suitable box for the delivery of the mail. They were to be placed in a position convenient to leave and take mail without requiring the carrier to get out of his vehicle. It was against postal regulations for two families to use the same mailbox.83

Carriers sold stamps, registered letters or packages, and took orders for postal money orders. They were not permitted to personally write postal money orders, which had to be done at the post office. Carriers were permitted to carry non-postal packages of merchandise and passengers when it did not delay them on their routes. Until the practice was prohibited in July 1911, rural carriers were allowed to accept subscriptions to newspapers thereby adding a little to their income by the commissions paid by the publishers. In some cases the rural carriers were acting as agents of the postmaster. In other cases they were acting on their own behalf.

Rural mail carriers were expected to be neat in personal appearance. Their vehicles were to be suitable for the job, kept in good shape and look presentable, and their animals were to be fit for work.84 Being a rural carrier was not an easy life. Carriers working out of the Yorkville post office left the office as soon as the mail from the west was distributed which, typically was about 9:30 am. If roads were decent they were expected to be back at the post office in time to get the mail collected on the 4:00 pm train to Chicago and by 6:00 pm at the latest.

Henry A. Leifheit was the first carrier on Rural Delivery Route No. 2, between Yorkville and Plattville. He also delivered the mail to Kendall and Plattville post offices and returned mail from these places to Yorkville. During the spring thaws the roads were horrible. He had to stop and pick up mail from mailboxes in all kinds of weather. When his round was completed he would return to the Yorkville post office at about six p.m., attend to money orders and registered letters received, and put stamps on unstamped letters. When he was finished he would go home, often in the dark, take care of three horses, and then get up in the morning and repeat the job. In addition to all his hard work he had the expense of keeping and shoeing three horses, keeping his vehicles repaired and other associated expenses.

There were reports of animals dying, equipment breaking down, and accidents, while delivering the mail. In August 1901, Henry Leifheit met with a serious accident when his horses' neck yoke broke allowing his buggy tongue to drop down onto the road. The horses were frightened and took off on a dead run, the buggy turned upside down trapping Henry beneath it and dragging him down the road with the buggy. The horses ran for a considerable distance before the buggy broke loose freeing the horses to continue on their journey. His buggy was totally demolished and he was badly bruised and shaken. Because he was hardworking and faithful public servant he was back on the job the following day despite his pain and soreness.85

Numerous comments were printed in local papers encouraging patrons to purchase stamps in advance rather than leaving money in the box for postage. Frequent reminders were published regarding postal regulations. Postal regulations required that articles or packages weighing four pounds or less have the necessary postage stamps attached for the rural carrier to transport them. Rural carriers were permitted to carry passengers and deliver packages weighing over four pounds for an amount set by the carrier.

In 1905 the Yorkville rural routes were fine tuned and changed to better serve rural residents.86 In 19ll, a fourth rural mail route was established to serve the people of Bristol (North Yorkville.)87 Delivery service on Rural Route No. 4 began November 1, 1911 with William T. Allen the first carrier.88

In 1913, after holding the office for approximately 15 years, John R. Marshall resigned as postmaster of Yorkville. John's commission did not expire until March 7, 1914, but his resignation was to be effective as soon as a successor could be found. He indicated he was feeling his age and decided to quit for the good of the service and himself.89 September 30, 1929 John's grandson and namesake became postmaster of Yorkville.

Delivering the Mail by Air

The Post Office Department began regular airmail routes on May 15, 1918. The first two routes established connected Philadelphia and New York City with Washington, DC. During the first three months of operation, the War Department provided the planes and pilots. On August 12, 1918, the Post Office Department took over the responsibility for flying the mail. Six especially built Standard Aircraft Corporation aircraft were purchased, civilian mechanics, and forty civilian pilots were hired. A minimum of 500 hours flying experience was required to become an airmail pilot.

The Postal Department's long-range plan was to eventually offer daily airmail service from coast to coast, and routes were gradually expanded westward. The route reached Omaha, NE in May 1920 and San Francisco in September 1920, thus completing the coast to coast transcontinental route from New York City to San Francisco.

At this time, airmail was still carried on trains at night and flown by day. On February 22, 1921, the mail was for the first time, flown both day and night for the entire distance from New York City to San Francisco.

Flying the mail was a risky business and many accidents occurred. Most crashes were caused when the pilots became lost during periods of poor weather and reduced visibility. Airmail pilots experience 89 crashes in 1920-1921, killing nineteen of the original forty. During the nine years the Post Office Department operated the Airmail Service, there were over 6,500 forced landings. Airmail pilots had an average life span of about 900 flying hours. Most of their names have been lost in antiquity.

February 2, 1925, Congress passed a law to encourage commercial aviation and to authorize the Postmaster General to contract for mail service. The Post office immediately invited bids for its airmail routes by commercial aviation. By the close of 1926, eleven of the twelve airmail routes had been contracted. The first commercial airmail flight in the United States took place February 15, 1926. By September 1, 1927, all airmail was carried under contract.

Three contract airmail planes made forced landings in Kendall County. The first landing occurred in July 1928 when a plane enroute from the west to Chicago was forced to land on the J. S. Burnham farm, later known as Cedar Dell Farms in sections 27 and 28, Little Rock Township about a mile south of Plano. The pilot encountered a dense fog making it impossible to go farther. He circled for a few minutes looking for a suitable place to land and eventually selected a site on the Burnham farm landing safely. He left his airplane there and went into Plano where he spent the night in the Plano Hotel. The next morning, after the fog had cleared, the pilot took off and completed the trip to Chicago. The name of the pilot was not learned.90

The second forced landing occurred in February 1935. A plane carrying airmail and one passenger flying from New Orleans to Chicago was forced to make a landing when a freezing mist caused severe icing on the wings. The plane was forced down on the Morley Norman farm in section 11, Fox Township and was badly damage in the process. Fortunately, neither the pilot nor passenger was injured. All the mail was saved and sent on its way by automobile.91

November 1, 1940 a twin engine DC-3 owned by Trans World Airways (TWA) flying from Kansas City to Chicago was forced to land on the John Ament farm in section 21, Kendall Township south of Yorkville due to an engine failure. The plane carried a crew of three, two pilots and a stewardess, and fourteen passengers plus the airmail. The pilot, Captain William Campbell made a fantastic landing under difficult circumstances. The aircraft was only slightly damaged as it plowed through two fences. TWA brought ground transportation to the site to complete the passenger's trip to Chicago. TWA mechanics spent two and half days making the necessary repairs and the airplane was flown off the field to complete the flight to Chicago.92

The first piece of airmail to arrive at the Yorkville post office was received November 5, 1918. A package weighing about three pounds was mailed from Napa, California to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hanna, Rural Delivery Route No. 3, Yorkville. The package was reported to have arrived in excellent shape and bore no signs of rough handling. The total cost to mail the package via "aeroplane" was thirty-five cents. The package had a sixteen-cent airmail stamp, a fifteen-cent regular stamp and a two-cent documentary stamp. Postmaster Fasmer commented that the cost of airmail was so high he felt it would discourage its frequent use.93

The first airmail letter received at the Yorkville post office was mailed from San Francisco. It was postmarked 5:00 a.m. July 1, 1924 and arrived at Yorkville at 4:14 p. m. July 2, 1924. The letter was carried on the eastbound transcontinental mail service airplane. The total elapsed time from San Francisco to Yorkville was thirty-five hours and fourteen minutes.94

 

Post Offices in Kendall County

(2002)

 

The northeastern part of Kendall County is experiencing rapid growth in population and development. Kendall County's newest post office is a branch of the Montgomery post office located at Village Center Parkway near U. S. Route 30 and Douglas Road in Kendall County. Some of the new subdivisions south of U. S. Route 30 in Kendall County have been annexed to Montgomery. Rural carriers out of the Montgomery post office will serve residents of the subdivisions in Montgomery.

Counting the Montgomery branch office, eight post offices are currently located in Kendall County.

 

Fourth Class: Now level eleven

Bristol

Millbrook

Millington

 

Second Class: Now level fifteen

Montgomery Branch

Newark

Oswego

Plano

Yorkville

 

Index

 

Allen, William T. 32

Anderson, Andrew 8

Anderson, Gunner 8

Applegate, Miss 25

Arnold, Andrew Hull 6

Arnold, Levi F. 5, 15, 20

Arnold, Orange H. 6

Arnold, Orange H., Sr. 6

Bacon, H. 25

Barker, Charles S. 20

Bartholomew, George C. 20

Bartlett, Samuel B. 14

Bartlett, Samuel J. 16

Bartlett, Wallace 14

Beane, Frank C. 8

Beebe, Avery N. 25

Beecher, Mervin N. 30

Bennett, Charles 28

Bennett, Charles T. 31

Bibbins, Florence I. 18

Bingham, Samuel 19

Birschke, Wenscel A. 20

Blakely, Ila W. 24, 26

Blakely, Miss 26, 27

Bolster, Silas 14

Boyne, Florence I. 18

Boyne, Henrietta G. 16

Bradley, Erasmus D. 20, 21

Brady, John T. H. 14

Brady, Lorenzo D. 14

Brewe, Shurden E. 11, 14

Bridgen, Jesse H. 31

Britton, Thomas F. 17

Brodie, Andrew 16

Brodie, George 16

Brodie, Mary E. 16

Bronk, John V. 17

Brown, Frank 8

Brown, Robert 16

Budd, Jacob 15, 16

Bullock, Harvey E. 23

Burlew, Clara H. 18

Call, Chester C. 9, 28

Carpenter, Jessie Louise 17

Carpenter, Jonathan C. 17

Caton, Judge 12

Chapman, John W. 20, 22

Cleveland, Carcelious D. 18

Cleveland, Charles 14

Cleveland, Jennie E. 18

Cleveland, President 25

Cody, Thomas J. 11

Coffin, Frederick 21

Coffin, Mr. 21

Cole, William G. 22

Collins, Samuel C. 9

Convis, Alonzo P. 27

Cook, Albert 17

Cook, Dr. David 25

Cook, Sarah 17

Coomes, Agnes 7

Courtright, Benjamin B. 19

Courtright, Chester 19

Courtright, Winfred 19

Craw, Stephen B. 6

Crawford, Harry L. 30

Crimmin, William 30

Curran, Amos D. 7

Curren, Mary 8

Dannewitz, Bernice F. 24

Darnell, Lucius W. 29, 30

Davis, John 5

Delamatter, Eva 15

Delamatter, Seymour 15

Dickey, Colonel 12

Dirksen, Everett 14

Dodge, Norman 6

Doten, Ira S. 7

Douglas, Paul 14

Dowd, John 7

Dunbar, Orrie 18

Dupont, George 28

Durell, William F. 14

Eastman, Jane 23, 24

Edmunds, George W. 27, 28

Eldridge, Daniel H. 23

Ellertson, Einer 16

Ellis, N. 15

Ernst, Franklin H. 7

Estes, Dorothy D. 16

Farley, Mr. 23

Fasmer, Harry B. 30

Faxon, Edgar W. 8

Faxon, George S. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

Faxon, Postmaster 26

Fenton, Marcus A. 20

Flatness, Gunder 30

Fletcher, Judson R. 29

Folts, Jacob J. 11

Foss, Nels N. 16

Frank, Claude 24, 27

Freeman, Moody G. 5

French, William H. 18

Fries, Michael S. 8

Fries, Michael S. 8

Fritz, Hans 19

Gale, George C. 23

Gaylord, George C. 11

Giesler, Mr. 18

Gifford, Mr. 12

Gifford, Willard W. 11, 12

Gilpatrick, Leon 26

Gleason, Lemuel B. 5

Godard William A. 6

Godard, William A. 6

Goss, Mrs. 25

Graham, David 23, 25

Graham, Mr. 25

Gray, Horace 5

Gray, Rufus 4

Greenfield, George Washington 15

Grundeis, Alfred H. 8

Hage, Walter D. 20

Hall, John B. 22

Hallowell, Francis P. 16

Hanson, Milliard 19

Harding, Alfred 18

Harris, Blexton 22

Harris, Isaac N. 22

Harrison, President 25

Hartwell, George W. 6, 30

Hartwell, Mr. 30

Harwood, James C. 23, 25

Hath, Joseph 5

Havenhill, Asher D. 7

Havenhill, Mark 8

Helme, Joseph W. 6

Henderson, Ebenezer 5

Henning, Gilbert 23

Hicks 23

Hicks, E. W. 40

Hicks, Rev. E. W. 18

Hill, Charles M. 22

Hills, Levi 9, 11

Hinckley, Marvin 26

Hodney, Oliver S. 16

Hollenback, George 15

Hollenback, George B. 2, 17

Hollenback, Thomas 17

Hollenback, William A. 15

Hopkins, Congressman 25

Howard, George O. 30, 31

Howard, Mr. 31

Howard, Postmaster 8

Hubbard, Charles E. 20

Hull, J. M. 18

Hunt, Reuben 6

Hutchinson, Erwin L. 16

Inman, Emma 20

Inman, Lewis R. 20

Ives, Isaac 22

Ives, Jemima S. 22

Johnson, Aldee 19

Johnson, Andrew 11

Johnson, Avis 10

Johnson, Oliver C. 10

Johnson, Truman G. 10

Jordan, Edward 29

Jordan, William 29

Jordan, William A. 20

Kennedy, Joseph 7

Knudson, Clara 18

Knudson, Irwin 18

Knudson, Oscar C. 31

Krouse, Daniel 27

LaForge, John. 29

Lakin, Harry E. 26

Lamb, William B. 20

Larson, Alfred L. 15

Larson, Arthur G. 16

Larson, Bernell B. 16

Larson, Ole B. 15

Leach, Robert 11

Lear, Nathaniel 14

LeBeau, Robert 17

Lehman, Josiah 23

Leifheit, Henry 32

Leifheit, Henry A. 31

Leifheit, Mr. 29

Leonard, Raymond 16

Lewis, Rev. Michael 11

Lincoln, President 11

Liscom, H. M. 11

Littlewood, Dr. 16

Littlewood, W. J. B. 15, 16

Lord, William B. 14

Loring, Thomas 5

Lott, Peter S. 15

Lyons, John 26

MacSwain, Mr. 22

Marquardt, Gerald A. 7

Marshall, Editor 13

Marshall, John R. 30, 31, 32

Marshall, John Redman 30

May, Susan (Short) 6

McCarty, Joseph 4

McCarty, Samuel 5

McCauley. Emmett M. 20

McCloskey, Alexander 9

McDowell, Oliver A. 7

McEwen, George 11

McEwen, John 11

McEwen, William 11

McLaren, Lachlan 17

McOmber, John 30

McVicker, Earl 20

Merritt, Philip H. 6, 7

Merritt, Robert 7

Michels, John F. 20

Milks, Alansing 5

Miller, Alda Louise 16

Miller, Ruth B. 16

Moore, Charles E. 30

Moore, Frank 12

Moore, James Franklin 11

Moore, John 11

Moore, John B. 11

Morgan, Charles G. 7

Morley, Thomas B. 30, 31

Morrison, Blanch 11

Moulton, Henry H. 22

Munger, Don Alonzo 17, 18

Munson, David 27

Naden, Thomas 28

Napier, Joseph 4

Nelson, Ila W. 24

Newell, John A. 29

Newton, Ami D. 18

Niblo, Alexander R. 17

Noble, James 6, 23

O'Brien, Frederick Y. 7

Ohse, William C. 30

Olson, Hans E. 19

Olson, Harry 16

Parke, William 20, 21

Parker, Judson 19

Patrick, Jacob 5, 6

Patrick, William 29

Paulson, Cora T. 8

Peck, George E. 14

Peck, Philander 5, 14

Penfield, Mr. 23

Perkins, Edwin W. 18

Peterson, Henry B. 18, 19

Phebus, John E. 24

Phillips, Leslie S. 18

Phillips, Thomas C. 18

Pierce, Elisha 4

Pike, Thomas 23

Platt, Albert B. 27, 28

Platt, Daniel 27

Platt, Daniel, Jr. 27

Platt, Frank 27

Platt, Levi 27, 28

Pope, Solomon 6

Post's, Frederick 23

Prickett, Charles 19

Quereau, Worthy 7

Randall, Samuel 20

Rank, Lorenzo 20

Rexford, Caroline (Hopkins) 4

Richards, Harley 22

Richards, Harley S. 20

Richardson, J. W. 16

Rickard, Lewis A. 7

Ricketson, Henry 27

Roberts, Mr. 21

Roberts, Samuel 20, 21

Robinson, Sanford 17

Rothrock, Jacob 17

Ruble, Bob 19

Ryan, Simon James 18

Sanderson, Mr. 25

Sanderson, Sumner R. 23, 25

Schmidt, George H. 30

Schneider, John 25

Schofield, John B. 16

Scofield, Percy J. 14, 19

Sears, Gerald W. 24

See, Reverend 20, 29, 30

Seely, Absalom 6, 30

Seely, Edmund 10

Seely, Francis T. 6

Seely, Townsend 10

Shepard, Jeremiah 10

Shoemaker, Cassius H. 11

Shonts, Byron E. 25

Short, John 6

Shufelt, Norman S. 29

Shufelt, William H., Sr. 29

Shultz, Josiah J. 14

Skelly, Joseph M. 7

Sleeper, Charles W. 6

Smith, E. W. 32

Smith, Henry 4

Smith, Myron 17

Smith, Sidney S. 17

Springer, Thomas 30

Stahlle, Henry 23, 24, 25

Stahlle, Russell 26

Steele, Mr. 13

Stephen B. Craw 6

Stevens, Henry Kase 5

Stevenson, James 17

Steward, Mary Ann (Carver) 23

Steward, William D. 24

Steward, William Deering 27

Still, Abraham 14

Stone, Whitman 15

Stoutenburg, Lew 26

Stowell, Walter 17

Thayer, Henry M. 27

Thomas, Evan G. 7

Thomas, Levi L. 10

Triffe, Charles E. 8

Tripp, Charles E. 7

Tripp, Elias 15

Tweet, Oliver 13

Underwood, Joe 13, 19

Underwood, Zelma (Burlew) 16

VanCleve, William 8

VanPelt, John 11

VanTassel, Henry 32

Vermilye, Dr. Oscar V. 26

Vinson, James C. 10

Washburn, Adelbert E. 11, 30

Waterman, E. L. 12

Watkins, Lemuel 8

Watters, Isaac. B. S. 15, 16

Weaver, Frank 31

Weeks, Olaf C. 19

Weese, Frederick W. 17

Welsh, Edwin 11

Whitfield, Gene 16, 18

Whitlock, Z. 32

Whitney, Margaret 16

Whitney, Margaret N. 16

Widney, John 20

Willard, James M. 11

Willard, Mr. 11

Willett, Henry S. 7

Wilson, Pliny 10, 28

Wing, Brownell 9

Winton, Burr 5

Wooley, Frank 20

Wormley, Gordon C. 20

Young, Horace 7

 

 

1 Grundy County Herald, Sep 12, 1866.

2 Kendall County Record, Nov 11, 1903.

3 "Rufus Grey's Reminiscences," Kendall County Record, Jul 21, 1897.

4 History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, pp. 173 & 207-8.

5 Kendall County Record, Mar 15, 1854.

6 Kendall County Record, Mar 4, 1869.

7 Kendall County Record, Jul 4, 1894.

8 Kendall County Record, Apr 29, 1914.

9 Kendall County Record, May 26, 1909.

10 Kendall County Record, Jun 29, 1910.

11 Kendall County Record, Jul 26, 1877.

12 Kendall County Record, Aug 15, 1878,

13 Kendall County Record, Feb 10, 1892.

14 Kendall County Record, Pavilion Column, Aug 22, 1894.

15 Kendall County Record, Jun 14, 1899.

16 Grundy County Herald, Sep 26, 1866.

17 Grundy County Herald, Oct 24, 1866.

18 Grundy County Herald, Oct 31, 1866.

19 Grundy County Herald, Dec 19, 1866.

20 Kendall County Record, Sep 14, 1871.

21 Kendall County Record, May 29, 1879.

22 Kendall County Record, Jun 7, 1883

23 Kendall County Record, Lisbon column, Jul 1, 1891.

24 Kendall County Record, Sep 11, 1889.

25 Kendall County Record, Jan 10, 1894.

26 Kendall County Record, Jan 24, 1894.

27 Kendall County Record, May 15, 1895.

28 Kendall County Record, Oct 12, 1895.

29 Kendall County Record, Aug 29, 1900.

30 Kendall County Record, Sep 5, 1900.

31 Kendall County Record, Lisbon column, Sep 12, 1900.

32 Kendall County Record, Lisbon column, Aug 29, 1900.

33 Little Rock Press, Mar 11, 1854.

34 Kendall County Record, Jun 13, 1872.

35 Kendall County Record, Little Rock column, Feb 11, 1891.

36 Kendall County Record, Little Rock column, Feb 11 and May 20, 1891.

37 Kendall County Record, Oct 23, 1873.

38 History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, p. 204

39 Kendall County Record, Dec 28, 1892.

40 Kendall County Record, Aug 9, 1866.

41 Kendall County Record, Jul 17, 1879.

42 Kendall County Record, Mar 21, 1894.

43Kendall County Record, May 31, 1905.

44 A canal boat designed to carry passengers.

45 Kendall County Courier, Aug 15, 1855.

46 Kendall County Courier, Aug 22, 1855.

47 Kendall County Courier, Aug 29, 1855.

48 Kendall County Courier, Aug 29, 1855.

49 Kendall County Courier, Sep 15, 1855.

50 Kendall County Courier, Nov 3, 1855.

51 Kendall County Record, Aug 9, 1905.

52 Grundy County Herald, Jun 27, 1866.

53 Kendall County Record, Sep 7, 1871.

54 Kendall County Record, Mar 2, 1871.

55 History of Kendall County, Rev. E. W. Hicks, 1877, p. 150

56 Kendall County Record, Sep 16, 1875.

57 Kendall County Record, Mar 1, 1883.

58 Kendall County News, May 14, 1885.

59 Kendall County News, Jul 23, 1902.

60 Kendall County News, Jul 18, 1900.

61 Kendall County News, May 25, 1904.

62 Kendall County News, Jan 31, 1934.

63 Grundy County Herald, Jun 27, 1866

64 Kendall County Record, Jun 7, 1865.

65 Kendall County Record, Mar 22, 1872.

66 Kendall County Record, Mar 26, 1874.

67 Kendall County Record, Jun 12, 1879.

68 Kendall County Record, Apr 6, 1876.

69 Kendall County Record, Apr 17, 1879.

70 Kendall County Record, Jun 28, 1883.

71 Kendall County Record, Plattville column, Jul 8, 1891.

72 Kendall County Record, Plattville column, Aug 26, 1891.

73 Kendall County Record, Feb 14, 1906.

74 Kendall County Record, Mar 20, 1912.

75 Kendall County Record, Jun 2, 1864.

76 Kendall County Record, Feb 15, 1866.

77 Grundy County Herald, Jun 27, 1866.

78 Kendall County Record, Feb 21, 1867.

79 Kendall County Record, Jul 1, 1869.

80 Kendall County Record, Apr 21, 1870.

81 Kendall County Record, Jul 15, 1869.

82 Kendall County Record, Sep 19, 1900.

83 Kendall County Record, Sep 26, 1900.

84 Postal Department Regulation, Sep 17, 1906.

85 Kendall County Record, Aug 14, 1901.

86 Kendall County Record, Nov 1, 1905.

87 Kendall County Record, Aug 23, 1911.

88 Kendall County Record, Sep 20, & Nov 8, 1911.

89 Kendall County Record, Feb 26, 1913.

90 Kendall County News, Jul 25, 1928.

91 Kendall County Record, Feb 13, 1935.

92 Kendall County Record, Nov 6, 1940.

93 Kendall County Record, Nov 16, 1918.

94 Kendall County Record, Jul 9, 1924.



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