www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Library to premiere short film about Hays Arts Council -9/30/2014, 12:11 PM

'The Equalizer' ends up in the green -9/30/2014, 9:18 AM

Fondue the perfect treat for party -9/30/2014, 9:08 AM

Clubs and meetings (Sept. 28, 2014) -9/28/2014, 3:37 PM

As winter wheat insurance deadline approaches, consider SCO -9/28/2014, 3:37 PM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 28, 2014) -9/28/2014, 3:37 PM

Huelskamp to host additional October town halls -9/26/2014, 4:32 PM

FHSU Theatre season premiers in October with 'Hello, Dolly!' -9/26/2014, 4:23 PM

American Democracy Project presents Ukraine series -9/26/2014, 3:46 PM

Black Madonna replica coming to Hays in October -9/26/2014, 10:10 AM

For 3rd year, FHSU makes national grouping of Lead Initiative civic engagement institutions -9/25/2014, 4:45 PM

Robots developed in France will enter curriculum for teaching, research -9/25/2014, 4:44 PM

FHSU Hispanic American Leadership Organization presents Antonio Neves -9/25/2014, 4:44 PM

Be aware to build an emergency fund -9/25/2014, 8:32 AM

Downs grad named RA at Cloud County -9/24/2014, 2:07 PM

Road project meeting planned in Norton -9/24/2014, 4:55 PM

Girl Scouts hosting free community event -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

Hays Symphony Orchestra to open 2014-15 music season -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

Students assemble for the 6th annual Poetry Slam -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

FHSU to host annual majors and graduate programs fair -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

Nation's largest taxpayer group honors Huelskamp -9/24/2014, 10:51 AM

Teach Ag Day celebrates opportunities -9/24/2014, 10:24 AM

HaysMed co-hosts summit on human trafficking -9/24/2014, 2:15 PM

American Farm Bureau Federation names Kansas lawmakers 'Friends of Farm Bureau' -9/24/2014, 10:24 AM

Looking to the past in dealing with the present, future -9/24/2014, 9:55 AM

Fun at the fair -- once again -9/24/2014, 9:55 AM

Nex-Tech Wireless to offer iPhone 6, iPhone6 Plus -9/23/2014, 11:11 AM

'This is Where I Leave You' leaves room for improvement -9/23/2014, 9:02 AM

Birthdays and gluten-free goodies -9/23/2014, 9:02 AM

Kansas Originals market plans Spirit of Kansas Festival -9/22/2014, 8:01 PM

Electric cars to test their endurance at the High Plains ElectroRally -9/22/2014, 12:06 PM

FHSU students can now earn a sustainability certificate -9/22/2014, 11:20 AM

Local students among 39 awarded for Hunter Scholarships at FHSU -9/22/2014, 11:19 AM

Peer pressure can play role in raising adolescents -9/22/2014, 8:45 AM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 21, 2014) -9/21/2014, 2:33 PM

FHSU one of 25 schools across the nation selected for 'hackathon' -9/19/2014, 3:55 PM

Cities to receive funding for road improvement projects -9/19/2014, 2:24 PM

Kansas Farm Bureau celebrates Farm Safety Week -9/19/2014, 2:15 PM

McDonald’s of WaKeeney invests in library -9/18/2014, 5:45 PM

State receives $3.5 million grant to reduce infant mortality -9/18/2014, 3:00 PM

Kansas highway system ranked 5th in national report -9/18/2014, 11:51 AM

Dixon joins FHSU with social media marketing as her mission -9/18/2014, 11:15 AM

In case of emergency, prepare a grab-and-go kit -9/18/2014, 9:08 AM

Birthday -9/18/2014, 9:07 AM

Association donates 105 car seats to KHP -9/18/2014, 4:50 PM

Kansas receives CDC funding to gather data -9/17/2014, 4:14 PM

Brownback orders flags lowered -9/17/2014, 11:08 AM

Life during retirement is still plenty busy -9/17/2014, 8:51 AM

Generations briefs (Sept. 17, 2014) -9/17/2014, 8:50 AM

Military marquee -9/17/2014, 12:00 PM

'No Good Deed?' More like, 'No good, dude' -9/16/2014, 9:38 PM

Delta Zeta Turtle Tug: Tug your heart out -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art hosts exhibitions throughout the year -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moran names service academy selection board -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Department of Informatics offers a new concentration in health informatics -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Magician on this season's 'America's Got Talent' will perform on the FHSU campus -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Parenting adolescents takes many twists, turns -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

-9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Capital investments for cow-calf enterprises in profitable times -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Business briefcase (Sept. 14, 2014) -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Stork club -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

The Paradox of the cross -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Halls of ivy -9/11/2014, 2:16 PM

Local celebs to get behind wheels of race cars -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Make and take a pizza for family meal -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Children's center hosting events in October -9/9/2014, 5:03 PM

NKAVI meeting Saturday -9/8/2014, 2:34 PM

During September, pay it forward by giving blood -9/8/2014, 4:54 PM

Ribbon cut on K-23 project north of Hoxie -9/8/2014, 11:46 AM

AG Schmidt to visit western Kansas -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Kansans invited to come to statewide transportation meetings -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Pilot projects to launch Kanstarter -9/8/2014, 11:28 AM

Parenting adolescents starts when they are younger -9/8/2014, 9:11 AM

Clubs and meetings -9/7/2014, 3:59 PM

NSP elects officers -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Busting myths about ticks in the U.S. -- Part II -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 7, 2014) -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Kansas Lottery launches new 'Frogger' game -9/5/2014, 10:26 AM

Dealing with mental illness -9/5/2014, 8:52 AM

Schodorf points to discrepancy in U.S. Senate ruling -9/4/2014, 4:58 PM

Kansas Emergency Preparedness Day is Monday -9/4/2014, 2:59 PM

Guidebook, videos offer convenient information for travel planning -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

State treasurer announces $1K giveaway at state fair -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

Extension series brings knowledge -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

FHSU's Career Services hosts its 27th annual Career-Internship Day -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Discuss watering tips for the drought during Science Cafe -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Tigers in Service, Hays Rotary Club host 4th annual Paint-A-Thon -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

FHSU's online degree program earns national recognition -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Massage therapy training now offered through Department of Health and Human Performance -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

5th-graders will take a field trip to Forsyth Library -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Local grocery store partners with FHSU to donate food items -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

FHSU alumnus accepted into the 2015 NCECA exhibition -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Dedication ceremony for K-161 in Bird City planned -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Local students awarded degrees from FHSU -9/3/2014, 1:44 PM

Estes brings unclaimed property to state fair -9/3/2014, 11:01 AM

Awards announced for Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Mini-Grants -9/3/2014, 11:01 AM

Delving into the past to discover language barriers -9/3/2014, 8:28 AM

KDOT announces approved August bids -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

'The November Man' brings an end to summer -9/2/2014, 10:37 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Nostalgic look back at postal history

Published on -8/28/2013, 10:15 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

The United States Postal Service does not have a motto or slogan, but this Greek saying was translated and seemed to fit. It is printed on the outside wall of the General Post Office building in New York City.

One day, I heard a complaint about our mail service, and I got to thinking. We should be so happy it isn't like it was back when our ancestors settled out here on the open prairie. There sure wasn't mail delivery to our mailbox. Have we forgotten to be thankful, or do we just take it all for granted?

So I decided I'd look for the history of the Postal System. Steve Arthur, Ellis librarian, handed me 44 pages of material from Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. I read over the interesting history, highlighted parts to share with you. I was thinking a short quick history, but the information was more than I anticipated -- hard to cut short.

The first postal service in America arose in 1692 when a grant from King William and Queen Mary empowered Thomas Neal "to erect, settle and establish a system to send and receive correspondence in their majesties colonies and plantations in America."

After the Revolutionary War, the United States Post Office was created on July 26, 1775, by decree of the Second Continental Congress -- Benjamin Franklin was in charge.

The modern post office originated in 1792 after Rufus Easton was appointed by Thomas Jefferson to be the first postmaster and built the first post office west of the Mississippi River.

The use of railroads to transport mail in the East was instituted in 1832. By 1869, with 27,000 local post offices to deal with, sorting occurred en route in specialized railroad mail cars.

The first stamp was issued March 3, 1847. In 1863, free delivery began in larger cities. In 1864, the system of postal money orders began.

Free rural delivery in the U.S. began in 1896. In 1913, parcel post was inaugurated, which led to the growth of mail-order business.

From 1911 to 1967, the USPS operated the U.S. Postal Savings System.

Currently, the USPS employs 574,000 workers and is third largest employer in the U.S. behind the federal government and Walmart. Each day the USPS delivers approximately 660 million pieces of mail to as many as 142 million delivery points.

As of 2011, the USPS operates 31,000 post offices and delivers 177 billion pieces of mail annually.

There is much more history, but I'm cutting off the history lesson -- I hope I haven't lost you.

The mail has always meant a lot to me. When I was a kid, I couldn't hardly wait till the mailman came. Our box was a quarter-mile from the house. I'd run down the hill to get it, check to see if there was a letter from my many pen pals. Then I'd carefully carry the bundle up the hill, making sure I didn't drop anything. A friend of mine said she and her brother waited at the mailbox because their mailman always had a candy for them.

The mailbox is usually full -- daily paper, magazines, catalogs, letter requesting a donation, monthly bills and personal correspondence. A lot of the mail ends up in the trash barrel. I've got enough free name labels to last forever or until I move, since I've been at the same address since 1960.

My son reminded me about the time someone used our mailbox for target practice. We hammered the holes flat so rain couldn't get in.

The kids surprised us one Christmas with a large odd-shaped gift wrapped in pretty paper. We tore into it, finding a neat mailbox, handmade with a dairy cow and "Flinn" cut out of metal. I still use this gift that was set in concrete at my driveway entrance.

Nowadays, those with email get information, news from family, greeting cards, pay bills ... almost everything can be done that way. I'm still old-fashioned. I want the personal letter I can hold in my hand and know it was touched by the sender; I can stick it under my pillow if I want it close.

I wondered what happens when I drop a letter in the box. I found out it goes to the PMPC (priority mail processing center) then sent to the DC (distribution center), which is the post office where it will be delivered by a carrier.

The troubling thing about this seemingly simple process is that a letter I mail in Ellis to someone in Ellis has to go out of town to a processing center then sent back to be delivered.

When the weather is hot, cold or rainy, keep your mailman and paperboy in your prayers, and be thankful they continue to serve us faithfully day after day.

Opal Flinn is a member of The Hays Daily News Generations advisory group.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.