U. S. MAIL SERVICE
IN SOUTH CENTRAL KANSAS
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Compiled by Jerry L. Wallace
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Walnut Valley Times, May 26, 1871.
Messrs. Baker and Manning secured the passage of a bill in the Legislature, last winter, for the location of a State road from Florence to Arkansas City, and had J. C. Lambdin, of Eldorado, J. M. Herman, of Augusta, and D. A. Millington, of Winfield, appointed viewers. These gentlemen have just located this road, making the distance from Eldorado to Florence thirty-one miles. The Stage Company, in the meantime, have opened a daily route from Florence to Eldorado, and made the necessary arrangements for a permanent line from Florence to Arkansas City, via Eldorado, Augusta, Douglass, Walnut, Lone Tree, Rock, and Winfield.
Prominent gentlemen of this Stage Company came to Eldorado and said that if we would make them a donation of lots, they would establish a daily line from the railroad to our town; and that they would also build their repair shops and offices here, and make this town the Headquarters for all their lines in this portion of the State. We proceeded to "shell out" town lots to the number of twenty-five. We are well satisfied that Eldorado cannot influence the Stage Company to run their lines either by the way of Chelsea or Plum Grove. We expect to get a new route opened from Eldorado via Little Walnut, Hickory and Rock Creeks to Elk Falls, in Howard County. This will supply a large portion of the southeastern part of the County with mail, direct from the railroad. The people on Little Walnut and Hickory Creeks have not had any mail facilities, whatever.
It takes time and work to establish mail routes, and it is necessary for the people to act harmoniously if they expect to secure what they want.
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Winfield Messenger, July 12, 1872.
We announce to the citizens of Winfield and Cowley County that through the efforts of our Post Master his office has become a Money Order Office, and that citizens can now make remittances, without the usual delay attending "Registered letters," or the danger of losing their funds. Mr. Johnston drew his first order this A.M.
Winfield Messenger, September 6, 1872.
T. K. Johnston, at the post office, has on exhibition the largest water melon of the season.
It was donated to Mr. Johnston by L. Small, of Posey Creek, and weighs 42 pounds.
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Winfield Courier, Saturday, January 11, 1873.
Mails. The worthy efforts of the mail contractors to supply us with mail through the prevailing epidemic among horses will be appreciated by everyone. They certainly labor under great difficulties and deserve credit for their untiring exertions and risks to stock in favoring our people. [Winfield Courier, Saturday, January 11, 1873. Case of the epizootic has yet fallen upon Winfield. There are very few horses that have not become affected, but the disease appears to have lost in fatality as it traveled toward the setting sun.]
Winfield Courier, Saturday, January 18, 1873.
Mails arrive from the North and East via Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, and Augusta, at 6 o'clock p.m. daily, Sundays excepted.
From the East via Independence, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 6 o'clock p.m.
From Arkansas City, at 8 o'clock a.m., daily, Sundays excepted.
Mails leave for the East via Augusta, Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, at 8 o'clock a.m., daily, Sundays excepted.
For the East via Independence at 8 o'clock a.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
For Arkansas City, at 6 o'clock p.m., daily, Sundays excepted.
All letters must be mailed one hour before the time of departure.
Mails arriving after 9 o'clock p.m. distributed the following morning.
Office hours, from 7 o'clock a.m. to 9 o'clock p.m. Office open on Sunday from 6 o'clock p.m. to 8 o'clock p.m.
Money orders issued from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
T. K. JOHNSTON, P. M.
Winfield Courier, Saturday, January 18, 1873.
Mail. Stages from the East which have heretofore run tri-weekly are now making two trips a week.
Winfield Courier, Saturday, February 1, 1873.
New Mail Route. From Winfield, by Oxford, to Sumner and back, once a week. Bidders will state distance and propose schedule. Our worthy Postmaster is now receiving bids for the above.
Winfield Courier, February 15, 1873.
Facilities for Telegraphing. Through the energy of Postmaster Johnston, our citizens can now receive and send messages without a trip to Wichita. The Telegraph Company has furnished Mr. Johnston a schedule with authority to receive and transmit dispatches from this office to Wichita. A message placed in his hands in the morning will be forwarded promptly from Wichita the same evening.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 20, 1873.
Money Orders. Winfield Post-office has issued at the rate of twenty-seven money orders per week. Mr. Johnston is kept on the move to transact the business of his office.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 6, 1873.
List of Letters remaining in the
Post-office at Winfield, Kansas, March 1st, 1873.
Thomas Anderson; Enos W. Buffington; Thomas W. Dickin (3); Kendal E. Dryden; William Davis; Hustin Erwin; John Flink; L. F. Fisher (3); J. C. Fislor; James Greenshields; Samuel Harrison; Howe; John N. Hall; F. M. Higginbottom; Frank K. Johnson; Louis P. King; Milton Laycock; Emmet Mark; Mrs. A. McLellan; McMiller; Mrs. Jane Melson; Edward Province; John Pack; Peter Pixler; Richard Page; Francis Stillway; Jacob B. Shin; C. W. Smith; Thomas Tharp; Sammie Taylor; Joseph D. Wilson; T. F. Weels; W. E. Woodard; Philo Winter; Win Winfred; Elemuel Wilson; C. R. Wilson.
Persons calling for the above will please say "Advertised."
T. K. JOHNSTON, Postmaster.
Winfield Courier, December 12, 1873.
Our patrons will take notice that our day of publication is changed from Thursday to Friday. The change was made on account of the mails.
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Arkansas City Traveler, November 15, 1876.
CATS. A few months ago the Assistant Postmaster made himself the possessor of a cat, regardless of sex. He now has five, namely: Old Lady, Blazes, Tempest, Ginger, and Mixed. If the increase continues, either the Postmaster or the cats will have to vacate the office, Tilden or no Tilden. [Reference to the disputed election of 1877.]
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Arkansas City Traveler, March 7, 1877.
They carry the mail between Winfield and Arkansas City in a lumber wagon. Courier.
Everyone cognizant with the facts knows the above to be an unmitigated lie. The mails on any route to this place have not been carried in a lumber wagon for several years.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 21, 1877.
THE P. M. AT WINFIELD sports a plug hat, but his hair is growing gray. The anxiety of the late campaign tells on him. However, he gives satisfaction and has a sure lease for four long years. May he enjoy peace and prosperity.
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Winfield Courier, January 17, 1878.
There was a certain man in Winfield and he played a joke upon the clerks in the post office. He went into Baird's store and procured two mice which had been caught and killed, and laid his diabolical plans. He wrapped the mice in paper, placed them in a paper box, directed them to "Winfield," and, when he thought no eye was upon him, he slipped them in the post office, stole silently away, and laughed and chuckled and told the "boys" what a joke he had played. But there had been an eye upon him, and those wicked clerks laid a counter-plot deep and dark. They sealed the mice up in a different box, put on some old stamps, filled out half a dozen receipts, and that evening a "certain" man received notice to apply to the register clerk for a registered letter. He applied, and while going through all the formula necessary to procure a registered letter, and considerable more than wasn't necessary, quite a crowd had accidentally (?) gathered around. That man was eager; his hands trembled, and his face beamed with silent expectation. He paid a fee of ten cents, but he didn't care for that. He wanted to know what was in that box awful bad, and when he lifted the cover he found out. The crowd howled, and those wicked clerks danced and hooted. That man had immediate business out doors, and when last seen was journeying toward the setting sun.
Winfield Courier, March 21, 1878.
There is something grossly wrong about the way mails are handled between Wichita and Winfield. We have been unable to find out why it takes from two to three days to carry mail matter between this place and Ninnescah, a distance of only fifteen miles, and a daily mail both ways. Is it a fact that the way mail goes to Oxford both ways and lays over a day or two, and if so, who is to blame? Is there a way mail between Wichita and Winfield? If not, why not? If there is, why does it not serve the post office at Ninnescah and Littleton? We are hearing loud and constant complaint, are much annoyed by the failure of our papers to arrive at their destination, and are getting to feel quite belligerent on this subject. At whom shall we strike first.
Winfield Courier, March 21, 1878.
The following awards were made at the Post Office Department at Washington on the 9th inst. for carrying the mails in this vicinity.
Coffeyville to Arkansas City, 100 miles, 2 times per week; $972. B. Magoffin.
Elk Falls to Wichita, 86 miles, 3 times per week; $1,475. H. B. Gurnesey.
Elk Falls to Winfield, 58 miles, 3 times per week; $939. A. A. Call.
Eureka to Arkansas City, 70 miles, once a week, $488. J. W. Darsey.
Eldorado to Winfield, 45 miles, 6 times per week, $1,344. H. Tisdale.
Augusta to Ninnescah, 34 miles, once a week, $244. A. J. Vail.
Arkansas City to South Haven, 19 miles, 2 times per week, $228. W. C. Brown.
Oxford to Medicine Lodge, 90 miles, 2 times per week, $838. J. R. Miner.
Wellington to Arkansas City, 36 miles, once a week, $263. B. Magoffin.
Wichita to Arkansas City, 60 miles, 6 times per week, $1,220. H. Tisdale.
Wichita to Caldwell, 66 miles, 6 times per week, $1,584. H. Tisdale.
Winfield Courier, April 4, 1878.
From the Traveler we get the following items.
The Postmaster General has changed the name and site of the post office now called Ninnescah, in Sumner County, on route No. 33,234, from Wichita to Arkansas City, to Bushnell, two miles and a half northeast, and appointed J. M. Napier postmaster.
The name of Belleview post office, Sumner County, has been changed to Marengo. Wm. H. Claunch has been appointed postmaster at Littleton, and Ansen Gridley postmaster at Oxford, Sumner County, and James W. Crawford, P. M. at Medicine Lodge, Kansas.
Winfield Courier, April 11, 1878.
No railroad mail came in last Friday night on account of a strike among the engineers on the A. T. & S. F. R. R.
Winfield Courier, May 23, 1878.
Some think our post office very much crowded at the time of the evening mail; but we have some satisfaction in knowing that there are some places where it is much greater. Mr. Roberts informs us that he has been obliged to wait three hours at Deadwood in order to get an opportunity to inquire for mail.
Winfield Courier, May 23, 1878.
Among recent decisions made by the Post Office Department, are the following.
1. The transportation of flour in the mails is prohibited.
2. No package containing glass, liquids, needles, or anything of a nature to inflict damages, can be sent through the mails.
3. No mail matter whatever, while in the custody of the Postmaster, is subject to any process of garnishment.
4. A telegram from a person requesting that a registered letter be forwarded to another cannot be complied with.
5. Postal clerks refusing or neglecting, by May 15th, to put on the uniform prescribed by the department, will be suspended from duty.
Winfield Courier, August 8, 1878. Editorial Columns.
The mail route from Winfield via Thomasville, Salt City, and South Haven to Caldwell is an important one; but as the bill establishing the route did not get through both houses of Congress before the adjournment, the matter will not be consummated until next December. In the meantime the Post Office Department under the existing law may make the letting to be valid until the next meeting of Congress. A movement is on foot to procure such letting immediately with a good prospect of success.
This is a good route and much needed. There is at Salt City the best ferry that there is on the Arkansas River. The salt works and the mineral springs at Salt City are going to attract a great deal of attention and Salt City will become a great attraction to invalids. The travel and business by this route will become large.
Winfield Courier, August 8, 1878. Editorial Columns.
THE NEW MAIL ARRANGEMENT.
It has been understood that a new arrangement was to be effected by which we at Winfield would be more promptly supplied with our mails. The idea was that the eastern and northern mails would come and go by way of El Dorado and make close connection with the trains on the railroad; but the change has taken place on a far different basis, one which will not improve our mail facilities in any respect while it will frequently disrupt and delay our mails for days at a time.
Under the new arrangement mails are to leave El Dorado at 8 o'clock a.m., and arrive at Winfield by 7 o'clock p.m., which, at best, is no improvement on the former delivery by way of Wichita, and as there are frequently times when some of the streams between here and El Dorado cannot be crossed for days together on account of high water, the change will greatly damage our mail facilities and is an outrage.
It is true that we are promised the early completion of bridges across the Walnut near Augusta and the Little Walnut between Walnut City and Douglass, but there remain Rock and Muddy Creeks unbridged and frequently impassable.
On the Wichita route are no streams of consequence except the Walnut, which has three good bridges, and the probability of interruption of the mails by heavy rains is slight in comparison with the certainty of frequent interruptions on the El Dorado route.
We should have accepted this change in route without grumbling had we been given some advantage to compensate for this disadvantage. Had the arrangement included close connection with the trains we would have favored the change, for in that case we would get the mails on the next morning after their arrival in El Dorado, whereas now we get them the following evening. But even in this we should suffer one disadvantage. There is no Sunday train on the El Dorado branch while there is one on the Wichita branch, so that while we have been getting on Monday evening the mails which come down the railroad on Sunday, we should not then get them until Tuesday morning.
Under the present arrangement, we do not get them until Tuesday night, which is an additional outrage. We propose to be very careful not to grumble without a cause, but here we have plenty of cause and we propose to follow up this matter until we get relief "if it takes all summer." We can stand a moderate amount of abuse, but this is piling it on too thick.
We demand that the mails shall leave El Dorado on the arrival of the trains and arrive here the next morning, Sundays included; or if that cannot be done, that they come by way of Wichita as formerly, giving us one mail every week 24 hours earlier than now and all regularly on time, which would be impossible by the El Dorado route.
We do not know by what influence or what kind of sell out the present arrangement was effected. If it is the invention of El Dorado men, they will not make anything by it. It cannot do them any particular good to have our mails lay over in their ambitious city for ten hours to two days; and if they are to be delayed for the purpose of keeping over a few passengers in their town of nights, we will see them in Halifax before we travel that way, or patronize their town in any other way, and there are lots of people about here that feel in the same way.
We are all friendly to El Dorado down here and would gladly trade with her if she wants our trade and will try to treat us well; but when she delays our mails to get trade, it is too black a mail for us and won't pay.
Winfield Courier, September 12, 1878.
Our postmaster, Mr. James Kelley, has succeeded in obtaining a Sunday mail for this place for which he is entitled to credit. It will be a great convenience to our citizens, not only for the daily mails for seven days in the week, but for the convenience of travel, as a four- horse Concord coach will be run each way between here and Wichita every day in the week.
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Winfield Courier, February 6, 1879.
D. A. Millington received his commission and assumed the office of postmaster at this place on February 1st.
Winfield Courier, February 20, 1879.
The crowd of loafers that congregate nightly at the post office is a disgrace. No lady can enter without coming in contact with these hoodlums. The post office is a place to get mail, not a public loafing place.
Winfield Courier, March 13, 1879.
WALTER'S OYSTER SALOON, RESTAURANT, AND DINING HALL.
REAR OF POST OFFICE.
Winfield Courier, March 20, 1879.
Post Offices in the United States.
On the first of March there were 40,007 post offices in the United States, 1,314 of which were in the State of Kansas.
Winfield Courier, March 27, 1879.
NEW MAIL ROUTES.
Through the persistent efforts of Hon. Thomas Ryan, four new mail routes have been established in this county and the lettings for mail services will be made with the general lettings of mail contracts for this spring. The routes alluded to are
1st. Winfield via. Tannehill, Salt City, Guelph, and South Haven to Caldwell, tri-weekly.
2nd. Winfield via. Silverdale and Maple City to Otto, tri-weekly.
3rd. Winfield via. Bushnell, Littleton, and El Paso to Wichita, daily.
4th. Winfield via. Floral to Polo, tri-weekly.
The last has been run for a while as a semi-weekly before being established by Congress. It will now be regularly let.
The Winfield to Wichita route will be direct and will supercede the route via Oxford and to Arkansas City. A separate daily mail will be established from Winfield to Arkansas City and probably another from Winfield via. Oxford to Wellington. The Wichita mail will probably be required to reach this place at 3 o'clock p.m. and leave at 9 o'clock a.m.
Winfield Courier, April 24, 1879.
Persons wishing to telegraph to any point will be accommodated with all the information and conveniences at the Winfield post office, where their dispatches will be received and forwarded. Dispatches left with the postmaster before 7 1/2 o'clock in the morning will be passed over the wires on the evening of the same day.
Winfield Courier, May 1, 1879.
The Sunday mail will be made up on Saturday evening.
The post office will not be open Sunday mornings, but will open in the evening for one hour from 5 to 6 o'clock, except in bad traveling when the mail fails to arrive in time.
On and after May 1st mails will leave Winfield for Wichita Sunday mornings at 8 o'clock, and mails will arrive at Winfield from Wichita and be distributed here at about 5 1/2 o'clock p.m., after which the Winfield post office will be open one hour for delivery.
D. A. MILLINGTON, P. M.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 15, 1879.
Mails now leave for Salt City and Wellington twice a week, having commenced semi- weekly since the 1st inst.
Winfield Courier, October 30, 1879.
The postmaster at Winfield is notified by the Department that the mails from Wichita and the East will be delivered at this office by the railroad on and after the 15th of November. The Stage company will then carry the mail between Winfield and Arkansas City; and Oxford will be supplied direct from Winfield.
The mails will close at 7-1/2 o'clock, p.m., and will be distributed ready for delivery at 7-1/2 a.m.
The postmaster desires to call the attention of the patrons of this office to the fact that the hours for attending to Money Order and registry business are from 8 o'clock, a.m., to 4 o'clock, p.m., and while he is desirous to accommodate at other hours, when possible, it occasions him a large amount of extra work by disarranging the balances of the day in the same manner it would the work of a bank.
Winfield Courier, October 30, 1879.
The Oxford post office is all right, is in good condition, and is an important money order office. Mr. Gridley, the postmaster, is a bright, active, and reliable young gentleman and is a very efficient postmaster.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 12, 1879.
The Post Office has been made somewhat larger than heretofore, on account of the increase in business, and a large number of boxes added. At the small price charged per quarter, we should think everyone who takes any mail of any amount would take one, and save a great deal of trouble to themselves and the postmaster.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 26, 1879.
The Post Office will open on Thanksgiving day at 1 o'clock p.m., and remain open
for one hour only. This will enable all who desire to attend Divine Worship on that day to obtain their mail after service is over.
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Winfield Courier, March 25, 1880.
The K. C., L. & S. road commences to carry the mail to Oxford on April 1.
Winfield Courier, December 30, 1880.
The post office squabble is over. Mr. J. C. Topliff has received the appointment as postmaster at this place. Mr. Topliff has for the past two years served in the capacity of assistant, and has, so far as we have been able to observe, given universal satisfaction. Speaking for all: the honors have been conferred on a deserving gentleman; and if the postal affairs of the city be conducted in the future as in the past, there can be no reason for complaint. Arkansas City Democrat.
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Arkansas City Traveler, July 13, 1881.
The new sign at the Post office is nobby in style, and withal a new departure from the usual pattern. It is a feather in the cap of the painters, Messrs. Allen & Braggins.
Winfield Courier, July 28, 1881.
The mail will hereafter be carried regularly from Winfield to Salt City by way of Tannehill. Messrs. Burkhalter & Newcomb are the contractors. It leaves Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
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Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884.
J. C. Topliff, postmaster of Arkansas City, came up Tuesday to see contractors about building a fine post office at that place. He is one of the cleverest men of the Terminus and is always heartily greeted by his Winfield friends.
Winfield Courier, September 18, 1884.
WINFIELD POST OFFICE.
MAILS CLOSE FOR
R. R. East daily at 4:45 and 9:00 p.m.
R. R. North daily at 2:30 except Sundays.
R. R. West daily at 9:20 a.m.
R. R. South daily at 10:25 a.m. except Sunday.
Douglass hack daily at 7:00 a.m. except Sunday.
Dexter hack daily at 2:00 p.m. except Sundays.
Salt City hack Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m.
Polo hack, Tuesday and Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
MAILS ARRIVE AND ARE DISTRIBUTED.
By R. R. from East daily at 7:30 a.m. and 11:10 a.m.
By R. R. from North daily at 12 noon except Sundays.
By R. R. from West daily at 5:45 p.m. except Sunday.
By R. R. South daily at 3:30 p.m. except Sundays.
By Douglass hack daily at 6:15 p.m. except Sunday.
By Dexter hack daily at 12 noon except Sunday.
By Salt City hack, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 5:15 p.m.
By Polo hack, Tuesday and Saturday, 12 noon.
POST OFFICE OPEN, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. except Sundays 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Closes week days from 10:15 a.m. to 12 noon for distribution of the large mails from the East and North.
SPECIAL NOTICE TO BOX RENTERS.
The rents for post office boxes for the last quarter of 1884 are due October 1st.
THOSE NOT PAID BY OCT. 10th WILL BE VACATED in strict compliance with Sec. 301 of Postal Laws & Regulations. Key deposits will be forfeited unless the rents are paid or the Keys returned by Oct. 10 for in such cases new locks must then be put on for new renters and the old Keys will be valueless to the postmaster and department.
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Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 29, 1885.
The Wellington Standard explains the superiority of the business of the Winfield and Wellington postoffice by the assertion that Winfield's business comes from the country and has no other postoffice nearer than Arkansas City, 14 miles, while Wellington is surrounded by five postoffices within that distance. We remark that Winfield is surrounded by postoffices as follows: Kellogg, 5 miles; Constant, 5 miles; Seeley, 8 miles; Akron, 8 miles; Floral, 8 miles; New Salem, 8 miles; Tisdale, 8 miles; Tannehill, 8 miles; Oxford, 10 miles; Udall, 12 miles; Rock, 13 miles; Wilmot, 13 miles; Arkansas City, 13 miles; making thirteen postoffices within the distance of Wellington's surrounding five. Try again, Mr. Standard.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 29, 1885.
The Oxford Register objects to Rev. J. H. Kinney, of Winfield, holding religious services in the postoffice of that place, claiming that the church is the proper place for such exercises.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 2, 1885.
POSTOFFICE JULY 4.
The postoffice at Winfield will be open for delivery on Saturday, July 4th, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 2, 1885.
Next Wednesday morning, July 1st, commences the operation of the new law concerning postage under which letter postage will be two cents per ounce or fraction thereof instead of two cents per half ounce or fraction thereof as at present. This change will not have the effect to reduce the postage on the largest class of letters, those weighing a half ounce or less, and will therefore be no perceptible relief to the most of the letter writers, but there is a large class of mail matter on which it will reduce the postage about one-half, and it will be a great relief to real estate men, insurance agents, registers of deeds, clerks of the courts, superintendents of public instruction, sheriffs, bankers, and others who send many heavy letters. Persons receiving such letters will be relieved of a large amount of the "postage due" which they now have to pay on letters coming to them on which the prepaid postage is insufficient. The operation of the "postage due" system discloses a large class of penurious or careless correspondents who victimize the persons to whom they address heavy letters. This new law will relieve these victims to a considerable extent. For instance, the register of deeds, First National Bank, P. H. Albright & Co., and Jarvis, Conklin & Co., pay each from ten to twenty dollars a year for postage due stamps, and considering that they fully prepay the postage on the letters they mail, it is likely that the new law will reduce their postage to the extent of forty to one hundred dollars per year. It may be surprising to some to learn that some firms in this city pay from two hundred to five hundred dollars a year in postage and that with some of these a great bulk of their postage is on letters, weighing more than half an ounce. We estimate that the new law will make the receipts of the Winfield office for postage on first-class matter one thousand dollars per year less than it would be under the old law.
The other change in the postage, which takes effect July 1st, relates only to newspapers direct from the office of publication and dealers in newspapers, making the rate one cent per pound instead of two cents as heretofore. As nearly the whole bulk of the newspapers published in this city are circulated in the county and through the mails free, this change will not amount to much reduction in postage here. For instance, the DAILY COURIER sends only three pounds out of the county daily, paying only six cents a day, which amounts to about eighteen dollars a year. This will be reduced about eight dollars a year. The weekly COURIER sends about fifty pounds a week out of the county, which amounts to a dollar a week, or fifty-two dollars a year. This saving is hardly worth mentioning when we consider in comparison the great metropolitan newspapers whose circulations of thirty thousand to two hundred thousand copies, are mostly outside of their own counties. A New York daily which circulates sixty-seven thousand copies through the mails outside of New York County, prepays postage at the rate of about four hundred thousand dollars a year, and the new law will reduce its expense for postage about two hundred thousand dollars a year. This law was engineered through in the interest of the great metropolitan monopolies in newspapers, to give them additional advantages over the newspapers published in smaller cities and towns and enable them to monopolize the newspaper business still more. The paper on which newspapers are printed costs us two or three cents per pound more than it does them because we have to pay more than two cents a pound freight from the east. They have the paper at their doors, with minimum freight charges, and have been sending their papers here to compete with ours, through the mails, at less freight charges than we have to pay. Now the government has reduced their freight charges one half, while ours remain at the old price.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 6, 1885.
The Winfield post office will be closed from 1 to 5 p.m. on the day of General Grant's funeral (August 8th). By order of Postmaster General.
ARKANSAS CITY -- US MAIL
[HISTORY OF THE CITY IS FOUND IN OLD POST OFFICE RECORDS. ARKANSAS CITY TRAVELER]
MONDAY, JULY 17, 1922 - FRONT PAGE.
While Marion Smith, assistant postmaster, was looking over some old records of the Arkansas City post office recently, he dug up the record which showed when the money order business was established in this post office. It was just fifty years ago today. The first money order was written by the postmaster himself and was for $25, dated July 17, 1872. The postmaster at that time was Aylmer D. Keith.
According to Postmaster Hartley and Assistant Smith, Keith was the first postmaster, but according to some older residents, particularly M. N. Sinnott, the city clerk, the first postmaster was Capt. Norton. Both Captain Sinnott and Judge C. L. Swarts say that Captain Norton had the original post office in a combined store and residence at 104 North B Street, the corner now occupied by Senator R. C. Howard's modern residence.
The first uptown location of the post office, it seems, was on the corner of Summit Street and Central Avenue, in the William Rowan building. This building still stands the same as it was nearly half a century ago, except that it had a new roof put on it the other day.
During the reign of C. M. Scott as postmaster, the post office was moved to the location now occupied by the Saddle Rock cafe. It being the general tendency of the post offfice to travel southwest, its next location was in the 200 block on the west side of Summit Street, either in what is now Kuntz's clothing store or the building adjacent to it on the north occupied by the New Home restaurant.
When the post office was young, it was active and didn't like to stay in one place very long. It saw a good location on West Fifth Avenue in the building now occupied by the Fifth Avenue Book Store, and proceeded to move into it. After resting for a time, it then roamed up the avenue a little farther and stopped in the old Carder building, only three doors west of its previous location.
Here it stayed until a contract was entered into with the Odd Fellows for the occupancy of the first floor of their building, corner of Fifth Avenue and First Street. The first floor of this building was built especially for the home of the post office, and here it proceeded to stay and grow.
The majority of Arkansas City residents know the movements and conduct of the post office from that time on and know that it has behaved itself very well. Only a few years ago it made its last and final move for an indefinite time, when it went into a home of its own and stopped paying rent, made possible by an appropriation secured by Congressman P. P. Campbell of the third congressional district. Ever since, both the post office and Mr. Campbell have been doing business at the old stand.
The order in which the postmasters served Uncle Sam and the people of this community is said to be as follows: Captain Norton, Aylmer D. Keith, C. M. Scott, Dr. Hughes, J. C. Topliff, M. N. Sinnott, W. H. Nelson, M. N. Sinnott, R. C. Howard, C. M. Scott, C. N. Hunt, and George S. Hartley, the two-times being C. M. Scott and M. N. Sinnott.
Mail Carrier By Stage
The first mail was carried to Arkansas City by stage, the Santa Fe railroad not having been extended to Arkansas City till the late '70s. Billy Preston was the first stage driver. The mail was carried from Emporia, that being the terminus of the Santa Fe. Preston operated a two-horse-power stage between this city and El Dorado, and from there a four-horse stage was run to Emporia. They resembled an automobile in that they got stuck in the mud, but they were not equipped with speedometers.
The driver occupied a seat high and dry on top of the omnibus, and it is said that on some occasions when crossing streams raging with high water, the water would come up a foot or two in the stage, almost floating its occupants, and the matter would not be noticed by the driver until some of the passengers called his attention to it after getting on dry land.
By and by the Santa Fe was seized with worldly enthusiasm and extended its line west from Emporia, running a spur from its main line down to a little cow town called Wichita. Then a stage was operated out of Wichita to Arkansas City and a lot of other towns in the southwest. It was near 1880 when the Santa Fe ruthlessly competed the stage lines along its route out of business, little realizing that in forty years it would have a competitor in the automobile and aeroplane.
Business Doubled in Ten Years
The growth of the post office business is indicated in the cash receipts for years selected about five years apart as follows: 1907, $20,728.95; 1913, $27,460.70; 1916, $29,513.54; 1921, $53,258.24; ending December 31, 1921.
It will be seen from the above figures that the business of the office practically doubled in the last ten years. For the first quarter in 1922, the figures show a gain of $809.26 over the first quarter of 1921. "Regardless of war conditions and the stringency following the war, the post office has never shown a loss or slump, but has continued to increase each year," said Postmaster Hartley.
Pay Roll is $4,000 a Month
Money orders issued since the money order business was established amount to a total of $314,515. The post office force consists of the postmaster, assistant postmaster, superintendent, 9 clerks, 9 city carriers, 6 rural carriers, and 2 janitors. The payroll if about $4,000 a month.
Clerks and carriers receive from $1,400 to $1,300 per year according to length of time they have been in the service or in the case of rural carriers according to miles traveled. The pay of a rural carrier is $1,800 on a 24-mile basis, and $30 a year for each mile in excess of that. The carrier on route 6 makes 32 miles daily, drawing down pay for eight miles in excess of the 24-mile minimum, which would be $240 a year, thus making his annual income $2,040.
In the original record which the assistant postmaster dug up, some of the names familiar to the Arkansas City public are: E. D. Eddy, who is reported to be living in Chicago; H. O. Meigs, who has been dead several years; Amos Walton, whose widow is a resident here; E. J. Hoyt, "Buckeye Joe," who is dead; T. H. McLaughlin, who is a merchant in Pawhuska; Herman Godehard, who was a merchant here, but is now dead; I. H. Bonsall, dead; C. R. Sipes, hardware merchant, dead.
George S. Hartley's tenure in the post office will expire July 29, 1923. The present post office building was completed in 1915. Although there are no vacancies at the present time, twelve men took the civil service examination held in the post office building, Saturday. Those passing will be qualified as clerks to take any vacancy in that line that might occur here or anywhere in the country.