Kirtley Postoffice - More Recollections

Last updated: February 4, 2008

The Lusk Herald
November 16, 1950

Mrs. Roy ZumBrunnen Adds Interesting Facts to History of Kirtley Post Office

Mrs. Roy ZumBrunnen, last postmaster of the Kirtley post office at the time it was closed last March, writes an interesting conclusion to the history of that post office, and suggests that if this article is combined with that of Ura Kirtley, published in an earlier edition of The Herald, that the history will be quite complete.

Mrs. ZumBrunnen's article follows:

According to the Post Office Department, Kirtley Post Office was established April 10, 1895 with Mrs. Emma Kirtley as postmaster. It became a money order office July 1, 1898, so the records show.

Mrs. Kirtley resigned July, 1899, and Eva Church became postmaster. She served until October, 1916. But from November, 1903, to November, 1904, Mrs. Mae Brown was postmaster while Miss Church was in California.

After Miss Church's resignation Mrs. Eliza Christian Nicodemus was appointed. She served until June, 1918, when she resigned. Hazel Sawers was acting postmaster for four months. (She lived on the old Kirtley ranch.) Mrs. Eva L. ZumBrunnen was appointed and served from October, 1918, to April, 1922. Goldie Church was appointed and served until August, 1923. J.J. ZumBrunnen became postmaster that month and served until March, 1935. Roy L. ZumBrunnen was acting postmaster until April of the same year when I was appointed and served until the office closed Mar. 31, 1950.

Soon after Eva Church became postmaster Hill Shatto made her a cabinet with desk and mail boxes and this was used by each succeeding postmaster.

The mail carriers were John Sutton, J. J. ZumBrunnen, Lewis Thompson, Thomas Thompson, Roy L. ZumBrunnen, Geo. Hammond, Arthur Thompson, James Paulson, Allen Messer, R. S. Van Tassell, Stanley Johnson, Wm. H. Powell who is on his third contract.

The early carriers spent long weary hours transporting the mail, often taking two days for one trip during the winter when roads were bad.

April, 1919, was a bad month. For two weeks the carrier did not made a trip. Finally he shipped the mail to Van Tassell and it was brought to the office by a neighbor with a sled and four horse team. That was the largest amount of mail ever delivered at this office at one time. Until 1914 we had mail three times a week. After that it was changed to twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, leaving Kirtley at 7 a.m. and returning at 5 p.m.

Cars were not used until 1914, then only when roads were clear of snow. Now we have good roads and use cars all the time. Carriers can make the trip to Kirtley and back to Lusk in two hours during good weather.

Mrs. J. W. Christian says it was her great aunt, Miss M. E. Steers (Aunt Lib), not Amy, who promoted and signed the application for the establishment of the post office.

May 19, 1938 Kirtley with the other 13 post offlces in the county had the honor of having the mail transported to Lusk by plane where it was placed aboard a mail plane from Cheyeenne at the Lusk airport and sent to every part of the world.

If you kept Ura Kirley's letter to The Lusk Herald and put it with this sketch you will have the history of Kirtley Post Office.

BAMA T. ZUMBRUNNEN,
Last Postmaster.




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