In 1872 the Post Office was first at the depot with Mr. BENNETT distributing the mail. It was then moved to the store of A.J. TIMLIN and when he sold out to Martin HEISER, he became postmaster. In 1881 GEYERMAN bought HEISER’S store (KRUKEMEYER building) and GEYERMAN’S store was the post office. When they moved to the new store in 1892, the post office moved also.
In 1897 J.L. MCCONKEY built the building next to the drug store expressly for a post office building. He was postmaster until 1916.
In the year previous, 1912 Mr. MCCONKEY put in new combination lock boxes in the post office.
After the advent of parcel post, the postmaster and rural carrier, Dan MCNAB, knew that a Mr. GARDNER, relative of Frank HAGERMAN, mail clerk in the Cities, wanted a dog. Knowing the where abouts of just the dog to suit him, they proceeded to mail it. Not knowing too much about the rules, the only rule established regarded size, they measured the dog and found it to be within the limits. They slipped the dog into a mailsack, leaving the draw strings at the top a bit loose for air. The dog arrived in fine shape, the mail clerk reported. But very shortly came a severe reprimand regarding the package from the postal authorities and a warning not to send out any more such parcel post packages!
In 1916 Mike MCCALL was appointed postmaster. Margaret MCCALL was running the office. The previous postmaster served for eighteen and a half years. In March of 1916 the post office was moved to the building now housing SWEENEY’S Tavern. New steel fixtures were ordered and the post office lobby remained open until 8 p.m. at night and all day Sunday.
In 1917 Brewster was classed as a third class office and closed at 6:30 p.m.
In 1917 T.A. MAHAR became postmaster. Helpers during his tenure of office were Lyle and Gladys CROSS and Mrs. T.A. MAHAR. In 1919 Mr. A.L. WELLS was acting postmaster until Mrs. CROSBIE received her appointment. Those who were clerks during Mrs. CROSBIE’S term of seventeen years – 1919 to 1936 – were Otis WICKLUND, Nettie BLY, Dell CROSBIE, Edna HANSON, Mabel HANSON, Leafy WEAVER, A.L. WELLS, Myrtle WING, Vic GUISENDORFER, Carolee CORY, Arlene LUDTKE and Margaret WEINANDT. The present location of the post office was made during the regime of Mrs. CROSBIE who first was in the SWEENEY building. The bank closed in 1917. The post office was moved July 1, 1929.
In 1909 the postmaster formulated these rules and they were published by the Tribune: “No letters given out until they are received. If you don’t get a letter on the day you expect it, have the postmaster look through all the boxes and down in the cellar also. It ought to be there somewhere and he likes to hunt just to please you. If your friends don’t write, rave at the postmaster, he is to blame. If he tells you no, put on an aggrieved look and say there ought to be some. He is probably hiding your mail for the pleasure of having you call for it. Ask him to look again. If you are buying stamps, ask him to lick them and put them on, that’s his business!” Knowing the humor and wit of their local postmaster, the readers enjoyed the new rules!
In 1910 Carpenter WEAVER put a new floor in the postal building. Jim said no more stamps could blow away or fall through the cracks after John WEAVER, local carpenter, finished the job.
Perhaps you have noticed the present postmaster in 1958 counting mail at various times during the year. This practice was begun at Brewster in 1911. During the month of May carriers and postmaster had to count every piece of mail handled. That year, no mail had to be tied for trains three and four on Sunday. Previously mail went out on Sunday, as well as any other day.
During the year 1913 parcel post was first inaugurated. The rate in Zone 2 was six cents for the first pound and graduated rate so that to send five pounds of butter to the Cities cost twenty-two cents. Merchants also took advantage of this. During the month of January forty packages were delivered on the rural route.
The present postmaster took office in December of 1936. Assistants under his employ have been Arlene LUDTKE, Vic GUISENDORFER, Alice L. EBERT, Adeline NUSSER, Christine B. LEIN and Ethel R. KRUKEMEYER.
Mrs. EBERT recalls vividly a shipment she made from the post office early in 1939. Baby chicks had been arriving daily, so when a customer came in with a crated “sick hen” Alice saw no reason why it could not be sent away for a good diagnosis. She was alone at the office and sent it on its way to the depot. After the hen had departed on its venturesome journey Alice mentioned the fact to the postmaster. He explained to her that diseased animals or live poultry could not be shipped through the mails and proceeded to notify postal authorities at Omaha to remove the hen from the mails. An answer was forth coming that the hen had arrived looking no worse for her trip and had duly been taken out of circulation. So Alice and the gentlemen never did know what the hen’s trouble was!
The first rural carrier was Mr. Otto KNUTH. In 1903 Mr. KNUTH suffered considerable loss and inconvenience when after returning from his daily trip he tied his horse in front of the post office. A wagon came by making an unusually loud noise and the horse became frightened, broke loose and ran toward the depot. He turned and ran across the track where the wagon was badly damaged. The animal was captured, the wagon repaired and Uncle Sam’s business went on as usual!
In 1904 Mr. KNUTH resigned to work at STEWARD and VOAK’S (sic) Lumber yard. Godfrey MCNAB bought Otto KNUTH’S route.
In 1903 a special agent for the rural route system was in Brewster checking over a rural route which was laid out last spring but was turned down by the department because it did not include enough families. It passed inspection and in December of 1903 Dan MCNAB began carrying the mail. He carried for thirty years retiring in 1934. His substitutes were many, one deserving special credit, his wife, Mrs. Dan MCNAB, who made the route many a day with horses. In 1910 Madie learned to drive the Hupmobile but it didn’t handle like the horses! Among other substitutes for Dan MCNAB were his brothers, Hugh, Art and Andy, also Duncan and Jim MCNAB, Danny MCNAB and possibly many more.
Route 1 changed hands many more times than Dan’s route.
In 1907 Godfrey MCNAB resigned on Route 1 and was succeeded by Everton CROSS. Everton and Dan conducted a Bachelor’s Quarters in the BEAUCHAMP cottage. In 1908 Lyle CROSS took his brother’s place. Terrance MCCALL substituted for Lyle, also Frank HOFFMEISTER, Willard HAGERMAN and Christ HARTMAN.
In 1922 F.J. BEECHAM was the carrier on Route 1.
In 1924 a new route was established out of Brewster, namely Route 3. C.F. HARTMAN carried until Mac SCHEMMEL was appointed in 1925. Substitute carriers from ’20 to ’24 include Henry BAUCHLE, Perry VOORHEES and H.O. PINZ.
In 1927 F.J. BEECHAM traded his rural route here to Mr. George PATTERSON of Kansas City, MO. Mr. PATTERSON left unexpectedly in ’28 and F.J. BEECHAM became temporary carrier.
In 1929 Harry KRAFT was a substitute carrier for Mac SCHEMMEL. In 1932 Wm. R. HILL exchanged a Mountain Lake route with SCHEMMEL and came to Brewster, April 1. In 1937 Bill HILL went to Waseca and Jay BARDEN of Waseca came to Brewster where he has been the past twenty one years.
In 1934 when Dan MCNAB retired he was replaced by Nate LEACH. When Mr. LEACH died unexpectedly in 1940, Harry KRAFT was temporary substitute carrier until Jim MCNAB’S appointment in 1941. Jim has carried seventeen years. The present substitute carriers are Vince COTTER and Harold KRAFT.
The year 1957 marked the beginning of new mail transportation from Brewster, namely the Hypo. The night trains 201 and 202 were discontinued and the mail transported by the Highway Post Office.
Mail messengers to and from the depot in the last years included Lew STUDE, Ray CLARK, Jos. KRUKEMEYER and Ernest BAUMGARD.
Nobles County Genealogy
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