Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
The First City Mail Carriers
It should be interesting at this particular time when our mail delivery here in Miles City is being curtailed, to look back over the years and take a hurried glance at Miles City's first free mail delivery to the residents of our fair city. Free delivery of mail started in Miles City on February 1, 1909. At that time the delivery was confined to two districts, which took in most of the territory south of the Milwaukee tracks--east of Fourth Street--west of Lake Avenue north of the Northern Pacific tracks and west of Strevell Avenue from Palmer Street to Dickinson, and north of Dickinson to where it intersects with South Ninth Street. Route No. 1 took in the residence portion of this territory, while Route No. 2 was mostly in the business district. The carrier in the business district was Henry J. Nelson, a man who will be remembered by some of the old time business houses. He made three deliveries each day, except Sundays, leaving the post office with his mail at 8:00 o'clock and 9:20 in the morning and 2:30 in the afternoon. The residential district was handled by Charlie Bohling, who was mounted--that is, he had a horse and cart to carry his mail with. He made two deliveries each week day, leaving the post office at 8:30 in the morning and 2:30 in the afternoon. There are six districts in town today, with seven carriers, one extra as each carrier has a day off. There were but eight mail boxes around town when the delivery of mail started in 1909, as compared with forty today. These first mail boxes were placed four in each district. In the business district, they were located at Fourth and Palmer, Ninth and Palmer, the olive Hotel corner and at Tenth and Main. In the residential district, they were at Eight Street and Washington, the Convent corner, opposite LaGrandeur's store and at the corner of Cottage Grove and Pearl. No mail was permitted to be delivered to the houses which did not bear numbers. One other duty imposed upon the carriers at first that does not obtain today--the carriers were required to open the post office windows for delivery of their mail from 10 to 11 o'clock on Sundays.