– By Greg Hoots – The dawn of the 20th century found America hungry for motorization. In the 1890s the first powered motorcars were being developed in Europe by German engineers Karl […]
A Tale of Three Towns: Old Paxico, Newbury and Paxico By Doug Hiegert The land we know as Kansas, along with most of the Central Plains in 1850, was unorganized territory with various […]
The name “Maple Hill” was coined by Isabella (Bourassa) Higganbotham, who was appointed the settlement’s first postmaster on May 1, 1862, providing mail service to the few families in the area. Maple […]
Learn more about the story of Lake Wabaunsee by clicking the link below: The Early History of Lake Wabaunsee: 1933-1945
Harveyville, Kansas was founded in 1880 by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, who platted the town with the completion of the ATSF-owned Manhattan, Alma & Burlingame Railroad. There had been […]
In the late 1890s the U.S. Post Office began experimenting with a new service, Rural Free Delivery. At that time all mail to rural addresses was dropped at rural post offices, sometimes oftentimes at prominent rural residences or in country stores. In 1902 Rural Free Delivery, or RFD as it was commonly known, was made available to all addresses in the United States. Rural Free Delivery changed the lives of people living in remote, rural parts of the country.
In the decade following the creation of RFD service, 18,000 small post offices closed, nationwide. However, a new profession was born, the rural mail carrier. The first RFD carriers used narrow, enclosed buggies to carry the mail, replaced in the late 1920s with the automobile.
In this view, Alma, Kansas rural mail Route 1 carrier, Henry Diepenbrock stands beside his new mail buggy on his first day of work in 1904. When this photo was taken, the Alma Post Office was located at 309 Missouri Street. The building visible just behind the buggy was located at 305 Missouri Street. Diepenbrock retired as the Route 1 carrier on April 1, 1934.
The Wabaunsee County Historical Society’s mail buggy is currently on loan to the Chapman Center for Rural Studies and is on display at the Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas as part of the “Going Home” exhibition.