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Strict rules were placed on RFD carriers

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is another article on Findlay-area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier.

 

By R.L. HEMINGER

 

When the rural free delivery of mail started in Hancock County in the fall of 1899, the government laid down some rules and regulations for the four carriers who were to inaugurate the delivery of the mail.

Here are some of them:

(1) Attend quietly to duties and under no circumstances to stop to engage in unnecessary conversation on the route.

(2) Abstain from drinking intoxicating liquor while on duty and maintain sobriety at all times.

(3) Rounds are to be made daily except Sunday and legal holidays. Carriers may, if they choose, make deliveries on Christmas Day, but this is optional.

(4) All carriers may handle parcels, may receive subscriptions to newspapers, may receive and deliver telegrams (enclosed in government stamped envelopes) and may perform other like services for patrons on their routes, provided such service does not interfere with the expeditious delivery of the mail.

(5) Outside matters thus carried must be kept separate and distinct from the mail.

(6) The question of compensation for services thus rendered is a matter of private arrangement between carriers and patrons.

(7) Carriers may carry passengers but persons thus conveyed must not under any circumstances be permitted to handle mail.

(8) Rural carriers will take with them a small supply of postage stamps to accommodate their patrons and when unstamped letters are deposited in boxes with requisite money to pay postage, they are authorized to affix the proper stamps thereto.

(9) Carriers are authorized to handle registered mail and to receive applications for money orders.

(10) Patrons are required to provide proper mail boxes. Failure to do so will be regarded as an indication that service is not desired. Carriers are not required to go to houses to deliver or collect mail, when homes stand back any considerable distance from the road.

Before the service started early in September, Samuel S. Metzler, appointed as carrier for the area which included parts of Marion, Jackson and Amanda townships, told Postmaster Jacob Boger that he had decided the job “was not just what he wanted” and he gave up the post. William Borne, who had been named as his substitute, took the job instead.

In the few weeks just before the service was to start, the four carriers were required to travel their routes and inform farmers of the planned service and take orders for mail boxes. J.C. Porch, who conducted a tinning business on East Sandusky Street, made the required boxes which sold for 75 cents each. It was required that the patron’s name be placed on the tin boxes.

The four routes to be traveled were “spelled out” in full detail for the carriers. Here is the route east of Findlay:

Starting from Findlay post office, going southeast on the Mount Blanchard Road, 4.3 miles to the Bethlehem crossroads; then north 0.7 mile; then east 1.8 miles to the Robinson Road, one half mile; then east on Bethlehem Road to the Cole Road two miles, backtracking then south on Cole Road one mile; then north on Cole Road to Carey Road one half mile; then southeast along Carey Road 1.1 miles, north along Moore Road 1.9 miles to New Haven Road, west along New Haven Road 8 miles to the Findlay post office.

The distance traveled was listed as 23.3 miles covering an area of 25 square miles. On the route lived a total of 865 people. Mail collection boxes were placed at the junction of the Findlay corporation line and the Mount Blanchard Road, and also at the Gillespie Bridge on the New Haven Road.

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