Mail was delivered by horse Lack of boxes held up delivery

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

 

The initial delivery of mail to rural Hancock County started on Sept. 5, 1899.

But only one of the four planned routes saw service on the initial day. The first day for full service on all four routes was Sept. 11, six days later, the records reveal. All were supposed to start at once on the Sept. 5 date, but three were not ready for service by that time.

Jesse N. Greer, who had the route extending into parts of Cass and Allen townships north and east of Findlay, was the first carrier to deliver rural mail.

“He took out quite a bunch of mail,” said The Morning Republican’s account of this history-making initial delivery of mail to people residing outside the city. There were 79 houses on his route. He had about 300 pieces of mail for his patrons.

One of the principal reasons for the other three carriers not being able to go out on the scheduled first day was that patrons had not gotten their mail boxes up in sufficient number. It was stipulated that a certain number of boxes had to be up before delivery started.

The carriers traveled their routes via horse and buggy. The main roads they traversed were what was known as macadam pikes, with a hard surface of rolled stone. Some of the roads on the routes were still of the dirt variety, however. The “going” became pretty difficult at times in bad weather.

The Findlay post office at the time of the start of rural free delivery service was situated on South Main Street, south of West Sandusky Street — where the New Royal motion picture theater was located. Dr. Jacob Boger, a Findlay dentist, was the postmaster. His dental office was located on the second floor above the post office.

The new south rural route started at the corporation line on the south at the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road going 2.9 miles to the Treece Road; then southeast and east along the Treece Road 4.3 miles to the Mount Blanchard Road; then south on Mount Blanchard Road 2.25 miles to the Frank Van Sant Road; then west along the Frank Van Sant Road 2.5 miles to the Half Section Line Road; then north along the Half Section Line Road 0.5 miles to the S.H. Elsea Road; then west along the S.H. Elsea Road 1.5 miles to the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road; then south on the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road 0.5 miles to Eagle Center Road; then west on the Eagle Center Road 4 miles to Jenera Road; then north on Jenera Road 2.5 miles to the Lima Road; then northeast along the Lima Road 5.4 miles to the corporation line and Findlay post office.

The total distance on the route amounted to 26.4 miles. The area in square miles was 20. Population on the route was 710. Collection boxes were at Swank’s saw mill on the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road and at the intersection of the Jenera and Eagle Center roads, as well as one on the corporation line on the Lima Road.

The north rural route was described as follows:

Starting at Findlay post office and corporation line of Findlay, then northeast along Tiffin Road to the Township Line Road, 6.6 miles; thence north on the Township Line Road, 2.4 miles to Fostoria Road; thence southwest along Fostoria Road to Shafer Road, 3.6 miles; thence north on Shafer Road to the Port Clinton Road, 3 miles; thence southwest along Port Clinton Road to Stough Road, 2.1 miles; then backtrack 0.5 miles to M.A. Adams Road; then west on the M.A. Adams Road, 1.5 miles to the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road; then south on the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road 1.5 miles to the Stough Road; then backtrack east on the Stough Road 0.5 miles; then south on the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road 3.5 miles to the corporation line and on to Findlay post office.

The total distance came to 26.6 miles on this route, with an area covered of 27 square miles. The number of inhabitants on the route come to 775. Collection boxes were at Wagner’s cross roads on the Tiffin Road and at the intersection of the Shafer and Port Clinton roads, as well as one at the Bigelow corner of the Bellefontaine and Perrysburg state road.

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