25 years ago
Feb. 16, 1988
The Oneonta Post Office is celebrating the 100th anniversary of free mail delivery service in the city of Oneonta on April 1.
Postmaster Harlow E. Bundy responded to public pressure by successfully lobbying for the delivery service, which began in 1888 with three letter carriers, according to Michael Hubbs, a letter carrier and member of the postal Employee Involvement group.
The group plans to celebrate the event with an open house on April 1. Hubbs said on that date letter carriers will be giving hourly tours of the Oneonta Post Office between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
There will also be a special postmark depicting the location of the post office in 1888 at the corner of Main and Dietz streets, Hubbs said.
The free delivery service gave residents of the city a more reliable mail system. Prior to the service, people had to come to the post office to retrieve their mail and it came on a sporadic basis.
But Hubbs said there were also problems with the delivery service. The local merchants weren’t very thrilled with the new service because it meant people didn’t have to make a daily trip downtown, and so were less likely to frequent their stores.
The first letter carriers used bicycles and horse and buggy to make deliveries. Hubbs said the growth of the city at the time was evident by the increase in the number of letter carriers.
50 years ago
Feb. 16, 1963
Atonement Lutheran Church will conduct several services of an unusual nature on this Sunday. At the 8:30 a.m. matins service, the Rev. Harold C. Fry will preach on the theme “Without Spot or Wrinkle.” The acolyte for this service will be Richard Rabeler.
The Sunday School will meet in the church auditorium at 9:45 a.m. under the direction of Kenneth Agne, who will have charge of devotions and will direct a lesson with visual aids and moving pictures presented by Albert Nigro.
At 11 a.m., a special service for the “Taking Leave of the Church Building” will be directed by Dr. Fry.
The dedication of the new Lutheran Church of the Atonement will take place at 3 p.m.
The congregation will assemble in the Fellowship Hall for the opening portion of the service, and then, led by Dr. Fry together with Dr. Paul Valentiner, representing the Lutheran Synod of New York, and Dr. John Sprock of Utica, representing the Board of Higher Education, of the Church, the congregation will move in procession to the doors of the church.
The key to the church will be presented by Douglas Hedlund of Schenectady, assistant architect, to Elton Hall, chairman of the Building Committee, who in turn will present the key to Dr. Fry, opening the church with a prayer of blessing.
The music for the special service will be provided by the Youth and Senior choirs of the congregation under the direction of Miss Dianne Armstrong with Mrs. Herbert Gibson at the organ console.