Welcome to the Macon, MO Sesquicentennial Celebration!
Welcome to the Macon, MO Sesquicentennial Celebration!
The City of Maples Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary!

The Macon Post Office, Stamps and Those in Charge

by Merlyn Amidei - Information gathered from the USPS, Linda Bush and the Macon Chronicle-Herald

According to an October 1915 issue of the Macon Times-Democrat there appears to be no clear record as to the exact date the first post office was established in Macon, but one can be documented as early as 1858. Prior to that time, citizens of the area had to check with the stage going through Macon or go to Bloomington to pick up their mail. For many that became a weekly journey, and for others it may have been just once a month. Back then most of the mail did not have a stamp on it and the person receiving it had to pay a penny to pick it up. It was not until 1855 that postage was required.

The StageCoach Inn Bed & Breakfast, Operated by Scott and Carol Philips - Home of the Macon Post Office, circa 1890's - Photo Courtesy of Billy FrankeIn 1857 Albert Larrabee became the first Macon postmaster, and sometime later, he started operating a post office out of the hotel he owned at the corner of Vine and Jackson. Today it is the site of the Stagecoach Inn Bed & Breakfast, operated by Scott and Carol Philips.

Although Ewing Littrell was appointed to succeed Larrabee, due to the Civil War, he was unable to assume his duties until the spring of 1864.

During Littrell's term the post office was moved to Rollins Street in the same building that was later occupied by the County Assessor - that is believed to be where Long Branch Embroidery is now located.

The next postmaster was Dennis C. McKay who took over in April of 1867. During his term the post office was moved across the street to a corner of the building occupied by the Moore and Rogers Clothing Company on the corner of Bourke and Rollins, which is now a showroom for Schlanker Furniture. It was only there for a short time before it was moved in 1868 to the west side of North Rubey. The building is no longer there but it was the same location as the present Word of Life Church.

After McKay retired in 1871, Colonel Williams Forbes became postmaster and shortly the post office was moved to Vine Street where Word of Life Ministries is located and it remained there for the next forty years. At that time, part of the building was occupied by a confectionery store, but by 1890 the post office business had increased so much that all the space was needed for the postal operations.

The first lady to serve as postmistress was Miss Jennie T. Dessert. Her father, Frank Dessert, had served but died before completing his term. Miss Dessert was named to fill out his unexpired term. Mr. Dessert was the first postmaster to be re-appointed to serve non-consecutive terms.

During Major S.J. Wilson's term as postmaster many changes occurred. The first rural route out of Macon was established in Dec 1900. Robert Young was the carrier. Over the years more routes were added. Young remained on Route 1. Other rural route carriers appointed were added in 1902. They were Charles J. Whiteis RR2, Delos Staplin RR3, and Edward T. Miles RR4. Macon had been made a second-class office and was therefore entitled to city delivery. Three carriers were appointed and city delivery began on June 1, 1902. The carriers were U.D. Wright, John H. Vansickle, Jr, and Harry E. Miller. In Aug 1904 Charles F. Nolting and Henry N. Elrod were appointed as rural carriers for RR5 and RR6 respectively. Later in August of 1905 George Pohlman, Jr became the fourth city carrier.

The Macon United States Post Office, circa ~ 1963 - Photo Courtesy of Margaret I. Waller By 1909 the postal service had expanded to the extent that it had outgrown the building and also needed more parking space. Therefore a new facility was planned, designed and constructed, and on June 20, 1912, the post office moved to the new Federal Building on Rollins.

According to a brochure published by the Macon Commercial Club, the building was described as "a colonial type, with an imposing frontage to the west. The front entrance is a large portico, with four large stone pillars that can be reached by seven massive granite steps. The building is 38 feet from the sidewalk to the roof. It is constructed of red vitrified brick with a stone balustrade running around the edge of the roof and stone pieces over the doors and windows. It was built at a cost of $63,000." Charles Farrar was postmaster then with 25 employees under him, including the rural routes and city carriers.

In the early beginnings of delivery the seven rural routes were covered by horseback, horse and buggy and even on foot at times. Today, they have been consolidated into four routes; however, they are much longer.

In 1969 while Clyde Butler was postmaster, a new building was constructed on Duff Street and that is the facility in use today. On July 8th, during the sesquicentennial celebration, there will be a special stamp cancellation for the event.

An Accounting of Macon's Postmasters & First Class Stamp Prices Through The Years

Postmasters Dates Served Stamp Prices
Albert Larrabee 1857-1863 $.01
Ewing Littrell 1864-1867 $.01
Dennis C. McKay 1867-1871 $.01½
Colonel William Forbes 1871-1874 $.01½
Robert Caswell 1874-1886 $.02
Frank Dessert 1886-1890 $.02
Major H.S. Glaze 1890-1894 $.02
Frank Dessert 1894-1896 $.02
Miss Jennie T. Dessert 1896-1899 $.02
Major S.J. Wilson 1899-1908 $.02
Charles L. Farrar 1908-1916 $.02
Ancil Milam 1916-1920 $.02
Charles L. Farrar 1921-1934 $.03
Charles E. Sears 1949-1950 $.03
George Pohlman - AP¹ 14 Months $.03
Clyde Butler 1950-1973 $.04, $05, $.06, $.08
Gene McLeland - OIC² 6 Months $.04, $05, $.06, $.08
Gene McLeland 1973-1982 $.10, $.13, $.15, $.18, $.20
Linda R. Bush - OIC² 5 Months $.10, $.13, $.15, $.18, $.20
William E. Murr 1983-1985 $.22
Joan M. Backus - OIC² 1950-1973 $.22
Linda R. Bush 1986-Present $.25, $.33, $.34, $.37, $.39
¹ - Assistant Postmaster       ² - Officer In Charge

Auspicious Events In The History Of The Postal Service

1847 - United States stamps debut - The first two feature George Washington and Ben Franklin respectively

1852 - The first pre-stamped envelopes are sold

1855 - Prepayment of postage is required in United States - Up until this point some mail was still being sent without using stamps whereby the addressee had to pay for delivery

1857 - Perforated US stamps appear - Previously people had to cut apart sheets of stamps

1860 - By this year, almost all countries have postage stamps

1869 - First US pictorial stamps are issued - First time US stamps show something other than a dead person

1871 - Pre-stamped penny postcards are sold

1893 - The first US commemorative stamps are issued depicting scenes of Columbus' voyage to America

1896 - Rural free delivery begins, bringing mail to homes in the country

1900 - First US stamps issued in booklet form

1904 - Meters to pay postage were first used in New Zealand

1908 - First US coil stamps - stamps in rolls only one stamp wide - are sold

1918 - The United States began airmail service on May 15, 1918 and US airmail stamps went on sale for 24 cents - Special stamps were issued to indicate prepayment of mail carried on the first flights - The first route, flown by Army pilots in Army planes, linked Washington, DC and New York City via Philadelphia, PA - The rate was 24 cents an ounce and included special delivery to the addressee

1920 - The first use of postage meters in the United States was on December 10, 1920 at Stamford, Connecticut

1940 - Booker T. Washington is the first African-American honored on a stamp

1957 - The Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee is created to advise the Postmaster General on the subject matter and design of US stamps

1962 - The issuance of the first US Christmas stamp

1963 - The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code - Use of the five digit zip code number was implemented on July 1, 1963. The first number designates the state or area; the next two numbers indicate the area within that state or area; and the last two digits represent the office itself - To introduce the zip code to the public - and encourage them to use it regularly to help the Postal Service expedite the mail - they created Mr. ZIP and printed images of him on the margins of many of the US stamps issued between 1964 and 1986

1964 - The 1964 Christmas stamp issue was the first US stamp that was printed with different designs on the same pane of stamps, which is known as se-tenants. Four different stamps featuring holly, mistletoe, poinsettia and a sprig of conifer were issued in panes of 100 stamps, with each pane containing 25 blocks of the four different stamps

1973 - The Valentine's Day Love stamps are first issued

1974 - This year saw the issuance of the first US self-adhesive stamp

1992 - Full-scale production of US self-adhesive stamps began

Maple Bar

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Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Macon, Missouri at the Macon, MO Sesquicentennial Celebration!