Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, March l3, l924
The mystery attached to the failure of many mothers, wives and sweethearts to receive letters written to them by their soldier boys who took part in the World War has been cleared up by a discovery just made by the postoffice department. A few days ago Postmaster General New was notified by the postmaster at St. Louis that one of his patrons of the St. Louis office had placed a standard United States mail collection box on the porch of his residence and that in response to inquiry made by an inspector who was sent to ascertain how the owner of the house became possessed of such a box, the man replied that he had purchased it from a dealer in Army goods and that this dealer had on hand a number of other boxes of like character. Further investigation disclosed the fact that when the American troops were brought home and the camps abandoned, the mail boxes which had been erected and maintained by the Government to receive soldier mail had been turned over to the War Department and returned to this country with other surplus stock.
Evidently none of them was subjected to inspection before they were sold to the St. Louis dealer several years ago. The price of these boxes to the postoffice department is about $6 each, and inasmuch as the St. Louis dealer still had on hand 8l of them -- which he was willing to dispose of at 80 cents each -- the postoffice department bought them and ordered them put in shape for service. An inspection of their interior disclosed a large number of letters, post cards and other forms of mail that had been committed to them by soldiers and which had remained undiscovered from that day, now more than five years ago, until they came into possession of the postoffice department the other day. Needless to say each piece of mail was immediately forwarded to the party addressed, enclosed in a separate envelope and accompanied by a letter from Postmaster General New, explaining the circumstances.
Postmasters have also been requested to use every possible effort to see that even at this late date they may be delivered to the addressee. Perhaps some of the writers of these letters are still "over there." Possibly many of the addressed have gone to their long home, but every effort will be made to see that these missives mailed more than five years ago shall at last reach their destination.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
"With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter"
September l, 2002