could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

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Mail Delivery Service, Cont.


Door to Door Delivery

Kearney Delivery - Affect of trains

        Route delivery time – delayed if the train was late

        December 21, 1910 – Make a Protest

            Withdrawal of 2 UP trains & consequent delay of important eastern mails

            Early night trains bring only unimportant local stuff

        November 4, 1915 – Another UP train canceled

            Mail to come on another train due in at 2:22 but usually late

            Not in time for afternoon delivery so businessmen don’t get it until the next day unless they rent a box.


Rural Free Delivery

Started in late 1890’s – Piecemeal as applications came in

        September 24, 1902 – Application by postmaster general to congress for special appropriation of $12 million for the rural mail delivery service.

        Buffalo County - 1900 - applications from various areas began going in

                Whole county covered by 1906

Methods of rural delivery in 1913

Six Routes
3 motorcycles
1 bicycle
1 car (a Maxwell)
1 horse and cart –
        A mail cart used at Odessa – now at Trails & Rails Museum

Pay (August 9, 1919)


        Annual pay $1,500

        Rural mail carriers in NE were asking for a raise.

        Did not want more money

        Asking “government to furnish & maintain equipment required, such as car or horse & rig.”

Mail Delivery Contracts (before rural delivery)

        Mail delivered by rail to towns along the train routes

        Mail was carried from there to outlying towns where farmers came to pick it up

Phone call after last month’s program
        Todd Stover – Stover family settled in Cedar Township in Poole area
        Pat Stover, Todd’s father, Poole postmaster and then rural delivery mailman

Book of routes in Nebraska up for bids - Donated by Todd to Archives


        5-year delivery contracts from July 1, 1902 to June 30, 1906.
        Found in Poole post office
        Most routes ran six days a week, no Sunday delivery
                Otherwise Tuesday, Thursday & Saturdays.

        Winner of contract had live along the route
                Had to be covered by a bond

        Current annual pay given for each route
        Could be subcontracted for the lesser amount, also given

Union Pacific delivered mail to Shelton, Gibbon, Kearney (Odessa, & Elm Creek)

Shelton: From Luce to Shelton, [north of Sodtown] 10 miles and back, a 3 hour trip

Leave Luce at 9:30 a.m.;
Arrive Shelton by 12:30 p.m.;
Leave Shelton at 3 p.m.;
Arrive Luce by 6 p.m.
Present contract pay, $203.40 – [This new bid could be higher or lower]
    Subcontract pay, $180.

Gibbon: From Butler to Gibbon, 10 miles and back, six times a week. 3 hour trip

Leave Butler at 12:30 p.m.
Arrive Gibbon by 3:30 p.m.;
Leave Gibbon at 4 p.m.;
Arrive Butler by 7 p.m.
Present contract pay, $178; Subcontract pay, $140.

Two routes out of Kearney

Kearney, by Prairiecenter, to Majors, 20 miles and back. 6 hour trip each way.

Leave Kearney at 6:30 a.m.;
Arrive Majors by 12:30 p.m.;
Leave Majors at 1 p.m.;
Arrive at Kearney by 7 p.m.
Present contract pay, $176.14; Subcontract pay, $140.

Kearney, by Romeyn, to Haydon, Phelps Co. 17 miles and back, three times a week. 5 hour trip

Leave Kearney at 7 a.m.;
Arrive at Haydon by 12 noon;
Leave Hayden at 1 p m;
Arrive at Kearney by 6 p m;
Present contract pay, $186.59; Subcontract pay, $143.

Burlington delivered mail to Ravenna

From Ravenna, by Pool Siding and Pleasanton, to Sartoria, 22 miles and back. 5 ½ hour trip

Leave Ravenna at 6:30 a m;
Arrive Sartoria by 12 noon [after stops in Poole Siding & Pleasanton]
Leave Sartoria 20 min. later (20 min. after arrival of mail from Ravenna) approx. 12:20
Arrive at Pleasanton in 2 hours; (approx. 2:20)
Leave Pleasanton at 3 p m; 3 ½ hour trip
Arrive at Ravenna by 6:30 p m [12 hour day]
Present contract pay, $345; Subcontract pay, $325.

From Pleasanton to Peake, 9 miles and back, three times a week.

Leave Pleasanton after arrival of mail from Ravenna by no later than 10:15 a m;
Arrive at Peak in 2 ½ hours;
Leave Peake 15 minutes later (15 min. after arrival of mail from Pleasanton;)
Arrive at Pleasanton in 2 ½ hours;
Present contract pay, $92.18

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Revised: 02/06/2018