The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Mark Simonson

March 23, 2013

Free mail delivery began in Oneonta 125 years ago


The effort seemed good enough toWilber, as by March 8, Bundy received a telegram from Wilber stating that free delivery had been granted for Oneonta to begin April 1 with three carriers.

The Herald also reported on March 22 that since free mail delivery would start, the newspaper would be delivered by special carriers within the village limits, to “ensure a more prompt delivery of the papers than heretofore,” and save subscribers “much trouble and inconvenience.”

Stephen Brown, Charles Mahan and James Bristol were hired from nearly 40 applicants for the mail carrier jobs. “The carriers have been measured for the regulations uniforms at Yagel’s,” a clothing store on Main Street that as of March 22 was not using a street address in its newspaper advertisements.

By March 29, a total of 25 mailboxes had been placed around the village for receipt of mail, all listed in that week’s Herald.

Since April 1 fell on a Sunday, the first deliveries left the post office by 8 a.m. Monday and the routes were completed without a glitch.

“There had been lively times around the Oneonta post-office for the forty-eight hours previous, the change to the new system entailing a vast amount of work…to be done in addition to the regular business of the office.”

“The system’s introduction here,” the Herald reported, “marks an epoch in the history of the village, is another step looking to the enrollment of Oneonta among the young cities of the Empire state, and all, regardless of party, will unite in giving Postmaster Bundy his due for the effort he has put forth in behalf of the project.”

By April 12 it was reported that for the first nine days of free delivery, the letter carriers delivered 12,364 pieces of mail outside the post office, 7,559 of which were letters.

Right around this time, Bundy had also begun using an experimental time recording device for his three mail carriers. The time recorder was devised by his brother, Willard Bundy, then a jeweler in Auburn.

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Mark Simonson

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