Allamakee co. IAGenWeb Project
updated 03/18/2013


Allamakee co.
Post Offices & Postmasters
1849 - 1981
(misc. years)

 

*Background information: From 1836 to 1864 Postmasters were appointed by the President of the United States. The position of Postmaster was very much a political appointment, and often there was fierce competition for the job. Selections for Postmasters were made by Congressmen under a complicated "advisor" system, requiring a would-be Postmaster to solicit the support of his Congressional Representative or Senator, then Presidential nomination to the Senate, and finally Senate confirmation. ~abstracted from "US Postal Service History" by S. Ferrall

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1849 Postoffice & Postmaster Appointments

January 1849 -- A postoffice was established in Postville with Joel Post appointed postmaster. He died on the 24th of January and never knew of the appointment as it did not arrive until several days after his death. His wife, Zeruih (Stevenson) Post, served in his stead until her brother Elijah W. Stevenson was appointed Postmaster in July or August 1849.

May 14th, 1849 -- Tom Corwin, Allamakee county, established and Stephen Holcomb appointed P.M.

Sept. 1849 -- Lansing, Allamakee county, established and W.S. Garrison appointed P.M.

~ Burlington Hawk Eye, June, August & Sept. 1849 issues

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1855 Postoffices & Postmasters

Capoli
French Creek
Hardin
Ion
Lansing
Lybrand
Lycurgus
Makee
Ossian (Winneshiek co.)
Painted Rock
Postville
Rossville
Union Prairie
Volney
Waterville
Waukon
Wexford
O.S. Conkey
Wm. Brooks
Alonzo D. Frazier
Charles W. Cutter
Thompson E Williams
Hiram Jones
James Shepard
Sanford C. Marsh
John O. Porter
William H. Morrison
Emera Higbey
William F. Ross
Edward Eells
Thomas Crawford
D. P. Carpenter
L. T. Woodcock
William Ryan

~US Post Office Department publication: 'List of Post Offices in the United States with the Names of Postmasters on the 1st of July, 1855'
~contributed by Cindy Bray Lovell

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1856 Postoffices

Hamlin Grove
Lycurgus
Markee
Ossian (Winneshiek co.)
Painted Rock
Postville
Rossville
Union Prairie
Volney
Waterville
Wawkon
Wexford
Bellows
Bryson
Bunker Hill
Capoli
Columbus
French Creek
Grantville
Hardin
Ion
Lansing
Lybrand

~ Iowa as it is in 1856; Parker, Nathan Howe; Chicago, Keen and Lee,1856
~data extracted by S. Ferrall

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1860 Postoffice & Postmasters

Alamakee
Capoli
Clear Creek
Cleveland
Dorchester
Elon
French Creek
Hardin
Ion
Lansing
Lybrand
Lycurgus
Makee
New Galena
Nezeka
Ossian (Winneshiek co.)
Postville
Rossville
Union Prairie
Village Creek
Volney
Waterville
Wawkon
Wexford
Wilson's Ford
Geo. L. Miller
O.S. Conkey
M.S. Merritt
J.M. Arnold
T.S. Smith
John Reed
Wm. Brooks
Crawford Breedlone
S. Goodridge
A.W. Purdy
Noah Maltbie
Wm. J. Shep
S.C. Marsh
J.L. Paxon
Wm. C. Booth
John O. Porter
Emera Higbey
Wm. F. Ross
Ed Eells
Jas. Erickson
Isaiah Wood
Jedu Spooner
R.C. Armstrong
David Harper
J.T. Wagoner

~ Iowa State Almanac & Statistical Register (1860 Postoffices & Postmasters)
~data extracted by S. Ferrall

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1878 Postmaster Appointment

Rossville, Allamakee county, Jackson Mitchell appointed May 18th, 1878

~ Burlington Hawk Eye, May 1878 issue

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1904 Postoffices

Church
Connor
Dorchester
Egan
Elder Grove
Elon
Harpers Ferry
Ion
Lansing
Lycurgus
Lyndale
Maud
New Albin
Postville
Quandahl
Rossville
Village Creek
Volney
Waterville
Waukon
Waukon Junction

~ Iowa Official Register, 1904, compiled by W.B. Martin, Secretary of State
~data extracted by S. Ferrall

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1916 Postoffices

Church
Dorchester
Harpers Ferry
Lansing
Maud
New Albin
Postville
Waterville
Waukon
Waukon Junction

Rossville - served by Waukon
Village Creek - served by Lansing

~ Iowa Official Register, 1915-16, compiled under the supervision of William S. Allen, Secretary of State, by Henry C. Baumgartner
~data extracted by S. Ferrall

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1927 Postoffices

Church
Dorchester
Harpers Ferry
Lansing
New Albin
Postville
Waterville
Waukon
Waukon Junction

~ State of Iowa 1927-1928 Official Register, compiled under the direction of Robert Henderson, superintendant of printing, by H.N. Whitney
~data extracted by S. Ferrall

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New Albin Postoffices, Postmasters, rural mail carriers
& other employees

~the New Albin information & photos were contributed by Errin Wilker

The first post office was in 1872. It is not known in which building it was. The mail was hauled on the train. At one time there were three deliveries a day. The train stopped hauling mail when highway trucks began to be used. At one time there were two rural routes, but at present there is only one. The post office was in many different buildings. The history of the men and women who have worked in this post office and all the dates are not known, so some will not appear here.

New Albin postoffice prior to 1967
New Albin postoffice prior to 1967
New Albin postoffice 1967 - present
New Albin postoffice 1967 - present

Old time mail carrier, unidentified
Old time mail carrier, unidentified

New Albin Postmasters Dates Sites
Wm. E. Wicke 1872 ---
Jacob Fitschen --- Travis & Kumph Building
Wm. Coleman 1889 Siegfried Building
W.O. Bock --- Lager Drug Store
Michael Gabbett 1893 Siegfried Building
G.A. Erickson 1899 Present Site
W.O. Bock 1903-1913 Lager Drug Store
Harold Holmes --- Lager Drug Store
Vern Petrehn --- T.A. Warren Area & Bellon Building
Elizabeth O’Reilly --- Kerrigan Building
Stacia Hartley 1935-1958 Hartley Building
Cleon Sires 1958-1980 Present Site
Joe Egli 1980-1985 Present Building
Tom Schofield 1985-? Present Building

 

The following are clerks, rural carriers and subs who served the New Albin postoffice:

Clerks:
  • Lillian (Welper) Sires
  • Mary Lou (Weymiller) Welper
  • Celia Gabbett
  • Lillian Bellows
  • Ruth Valentine
  • Elsie Crowley
  • Eleanor "Mae" (Sires) Crowley
  • Raymond Higgins
  • Marcia Baechler
  • Virginia Blocker
  • Veronica Vichlach
  • Delbert Welper
  • Frances Coughlin
  • Maxine Kester
  • Cleon Sires
  • Nona Sawyer
  • Genevieve Sires
  • Florence Irons
  • Nina Goebel
  • Harold Gerling
  • Hilda Kuehn
  • Hannah Weymiller
Rural Carriers:
  • Herbert Zarwell
  • James Valesh
  • Edward Fish
  • Frank Kelly
  • William Stevens
  • Joseph Kelly
  • Unknown Rohde
  • Waldo Caldwell
  • John Kelly
  • Burton May
  • Joseph Reburn
  • Roger Weymiller
Subs:
  • Joseph Reburn
  • August Krzebietke
  • Otto Hurley
  • Alfred Meyer
  • Arthur Stevens
  • Harold Stevens
  • Wayne Kester
  • Herman Dierksen
  • Dale Neumann
  • Gustave Welper
  • Edward Lampert
  • Bernard Kelly
  • G. Feurhelm
  • Edward Lager
  • Stanley Buege
  • Merlin Higgins

~source: The names of the postmasters, clerks, rural carriers, subs & other information, and postoffice photos are from 'The First 100 Years of New Albin' by Iris Sires and Patricia Fitzpatrick. Some name spelling errors were corrected when Errin transcribed the information.

 


Old Zip 52160
Old Zip 52160

Cleon Sires, New Albin postmaster, demonstrated his version of post office efficiency with this "souped up" model he dubbed "Old Zip 52160". New Albin's zipcode is 52160.

~June 1976 Allamakee Journal newspaper clipping

~note: The 1928 Plymouth originally belonged to Cleon's father, James Sires.


Cleon Sires
New Albin Postmaster 1958-1981


Cleon Sires

Cleon Sires


Herbert Zarwell (r) & Cleon Sires (l)
Herbert Zarwell (R) & Cleon Sires (L)

New Albin Rural Carrier Retires

Cleon D. Sires, New Albin Postmaster, is shown presenting a Service Award to Herbert W. Zarwell for 34 years of service given the United States Postal Service. Mr. Zarwell retired August 4, 1978.

~1978 Allamakee Journal newspaper clipping

Retires as New Albin Postmaster

"Afternoon, what can I do for ya today?" inquired congenial C.D. Sires, postmaster at the New Albin Post Office. Sires will retire his post on June 13, after 34 years of government service. He began as a clerk in 1946 after serving in the Army Air Force during World War II. In 1958 he was appointed postmaster.

"There have been a lot of changes here over the years, but when you really come down to it, the town is still pretty much the same as it always was...it'll never change," he observed. Sires should know -- he was born and raised in New Albin. "I'm a real local boy. Never been anywhere else and never really cared to be anywhere else!" As a "local", Sires has been a volunteer secretary for the New Albin Fire Department for 30 years and has manned the ambulance service for over 15 years. When asked what his plans were after retirement, Sires joked about the many possibilities. "Could be I'll just set on a bench for awhile and spit and whittle," he quipped. As an ardent hunter and fisherman ( he especially likes to turkey hunt according to a good friend Ray Whalen, New Albin banker.) Sires admits he is looking forward to doing some hunting and fishing after retiring. "I'm going to leave the post office to my OIC (Officer in Charge) Mary Lou Welper until another postmaster is appointed and I'm going fishin'." Sires said his wife, Iris, who enjoys woodworking, will probably get some of his help too. He observed that she is the creative one in the family and added that "I really don't do much at all." "Just tell 'em I'm retiring and I've enjoyed being the postmaster these past years and now I'm going to relax," he said with a smile.
~June 1981 Allamakee Journal newspaper clipping

When C.D. Sires retires next week from his job as New Albin postmaster, it will mark a change in the way that things are done in that town. The post office will still be the place to go to get your mail, but it will probably no longer be the place to go where you get the "new" of the town. C.D. is that way. He circulated the information of the town. It wasn't unusual for him to relay oral messages among the townspeople. He'll remain on, working hard for the fire department and the ambulance service. When our reporter tried to interview him about his June 13 retirement, he would have had her believe that he had done little in the way of civic things for the town. Instead, he entertained everybody within ear shot of how he was going to China after his retirement. He never boasted about himself but he sure has boosted New Albin. And for that we'll always admire the man.
~June 1981 newspaper clipping from unknown newspaper

New Albin postmaster Cleon Sires will retire on June 13 after 34 years of government service. Cleon began work as a clerk in the New Albin post office in 1946 after serving in the Army Air Force in World War II.  He was appointed postmaster in 1958. He has been a volunteer and secretary for the New Albin Fire Department for 30 years and has been on the New Albin rescue squad for 15 years. Mrs. Lavern (Mary Lou) Welper will be the officer in charge until a new postmaster is appointed.
~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, June 13, 1981

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Joe Egli, New Albin Postmaster 1980-1985
Postmaster Joe Egli

New Albin's new postmaster is Joe Egli, who recently succeeded Cleon Sires as head of that town's post office. He comes to New Albin from Waterloo and has worked for the Postal Service for 20 years.
~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, hand-dated 1980

~photos & articles were contributed by Errin Wilker

 

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