Historical Details

Airmail 1938 - National Airmail Week

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/12/1938

In 1938, in the midst of the Great Depression, air transport companies were struggling, but developing. Air travel was still a novelty to many. In an effort to help the airline companies and at the same time promote air mail service, a nation-wide public relations campaign was launched. Dubbed the National Air Mail Week (NAMW), activities were planned to honor twenty years of air mail service in the United States. Held May 15 thru 21, 1938, the goal of the organizers was to get each citizen to mail and/or receive an air mail letter during the week-long celebration. The following are the newspaper articles and pictures from Niobrara County concerning this event.

The Lusk Herald
May 12, 1938
Earl M. Campbell to Be Through Lusk in Morning on Way to Sheridan, and Will Stop Again for Mail in Afternoon; Everett Hogan to leave Lusk Airport at 5:00 A.M., to Make Rounds of County.

Lusk will have three air mail pickups on Thursday, May 19th, which will no doubt establish a record for second-class offices in Wyoming - if not in the United States.

Earl M. Campbell, flying a mail plane out of Cheyenne, will make a stop at the Lusk airport on the morning of the 19th on his way to Newcastle and Sheridan.

At 5:00 o'clock in the morning, Everett Hogan will leave the Lusk airport for his rounds of the county to pick up all air mail, and his schedule calls for his return by 10:00 a.m.

Some time in the afternoon, Mr. Campbell will arrive in Lusk on his return trip from Sheridan, and will pick up all air mail here and take it to the Cheyenne, airport, and from there it will be transferred to the big air mail mainliners, and sent speeding on its way to the four corners of the earth.

With about a week to go, air mail from every State in the Union except one has been sent to Lusk to be dispatched on the mail planes leaving here. Arizona is the lone exception, and before the week is over that State will no doubt be represented. All county postoffices have a large volume of air mail to be sent out.

In his rounds of the county, Mr. Hogan in his big mail plane plans eight stops, starting with Node and Van Tassell and winding up in Lusk by way of Manville.

At the Martin ranch to the south of Highway 20, Hogan will stop to pick up the mail for Node and Van Tassell.

His second stop will be made at the Zum Brunnen ranch, north of Kirtley, serving the Kirtley and Whitman postoffices.

His third stop will be made at Hat Creek, north of Dudley Field's store, to pick up air mail for Hat Creek and Bright.

The fourth stop will be made at Spencer, on the Rumney meadow for the Spencer mail.

The fifth stop will be made at Dogie, serving the Dogie and Leverett offices.

Returning, the sixth stop will be made at Lance Creek for the Lance Creek postoffice.

Seventh at Keeline and eight at Manville, and from there to the Lusk airport, making connections with the mail plane from Cheyenne.

An effort is being made by Sam Feinstein of the Wyoming Theatre to get a news reel cameraman here to film a pageant, depicting the mail service in this section of the country, starting with the pony express and winding up with the mail plane. Coming in sequence will be the pony express rider which carried mail for 25 centers a letter from old Fort Laramie to the Black Hills during gold rush days, then the stage coach, the coming of the railroad, then the mail plane. A committee has been appointed to arrange the pageant, and they will go to Cheyenne Thursday to make final arrangements.

The committee has asked all business houses to use the air mail for their correspondence all during the week from May 15 to 21, and a majority of them have signified their willingness to do this. It will not only be good advertising for their town, but also for their business. It will also assist in giving Lusk a high rating nationally during Air Mail week, as a town must dispatch at least 15,000 air mail letters to have a national rating. The committee is still short of the thousand sets of air mail envelopes which was set as a goal by the postmasters of the county. Everyone is urged to get their sets of air mail covers in the postoffice by May 15th, so they can be sent to the other thirteen postoffices for mailing. by a set is meant 14 envelopes, one for each postoffice. By mailing these at the different postoffices each letter will bear the cachet distinctive of that office. Thee will be extreemly valuable and will be highly prized in years to come by collectors. Remember, The Herald sold the original copies of the Lathrop booklet for 25 cents. Collectors are now paying from $15.00 upward for copies, and very few are to be had.

According to Postmaster Wm. Haas of Cheyenne, who is chairman of the Wyoming Air Mail Week committee, Niobrara county is way out in the lead in the observance of air mail week. This is the only county in the United States so far as is known to serve all of its postoffices with air mail during the week, in addition to supplying each office with a distinctive cachet, emblematical of their particular section of the county.

The Lusk Herald
May 19, 1938
Niobrara County Passes Air Mail Quota; Pageant at Lusk Airport 3:00 P.M.

Schedule of Events For Thursday, May 19
Following is the schedule of arrival at the Niobrara County postoffice by Air Mail Pilot Everett Hogan in gathering air mail from the county offices:
Arrive at Martin ranch for Node and Van Tassell, 5:15 a.m.
Arrive at Zum Brunnen ranch for Kirtley and Whitman, 5:40 a.m.
Arrive at Hat Creek store, 6:15 a.m.
Arrive at Rumney meadow for Spencer, 7:20 a.m.
Arrive at Dogie for Dogie and Leverett, 7:45 a.m.
Arrive at Continental field at Lance Creek, 8:25 a.m.
Arrive at Keeline, 9:00 a.m.
Arrive at Manville, 9:20 a.m.
Return to Lusk airport, 9:40 a.m.
The air mail plane from Cheyenne will arrive in Lusk at 10:00 a.m.
Returning from Sheridan and points north the mail plane will arrive at Lusk airport at 3:00 p.m.
Program including pageant and dedication of Lusk airport will start at 3:00 p.m. Speakers will be Acting Governor Lester C. Hunt, Mayor C. W. Spacht and C. W. Erwin, president of the Lusk Lions Club.

At this writing, Wednesday evening, May 18, more than 11 thousand air mail letters have been handled by the postoffice of Niobrara County, and it is probable that another three thousand will come in by the end of the week.

The per capita dispatch of air mail in the United States for the week was set at 120 million, or one for each inhabitant. Already Niobrara County has better than two per capita, which is believed to establish a record for the country. A set of air mail letters, one from each county postoffice, has been sent to the Congressional Library in Washington, D. C., by Postmaster Mills.

Air Mail Pilot Everett Hogan will start on his rounds of the county postoffices at 5:00 o'clock Thursday morning, and will both deliver and gather up air mail. Many air mail letters were mailed in the Lusk postoffice Wednesday for various county postoffices, which Hogan will deliver with his plane. This will be the first interpostoffice air mail delivery in the county, which in itself is worthy of note.

A pageant, participated in by the mail planes, the old Cheyenne & Black Hills stage coach, and the pony express, will feature the airport dedication at 3:00 o'clock Thursday afternoon. Acting Governor Lester C. Hunt will film the pageant and will also represent the State of Wyoming at the dedication. Russell Thorp, son of a one-time owner of the stage line, and Fred Sullivan and Ernest Logan of Cheyenne, both of whom were pioneer stage drivers, will also participate in the pageant. Mayor C. W. Spacht will formally dedicate the airport. Acting Governor Hunt, Mr. Thorp, President Erwin of the ions Club, Mayor Spacht, and Mr. Logan will make brief remarks, and the Lusk High School Band under direction of Frank Fero will furnish the music.

The airport dedication committee is composed of George Earl Peet, Hans Gautschi and J. C. Stone. Al Rundquist, an authority on stage coach paraphernalia, has made the rounds of the county gathering up horses and harness for the coach, so as to make the setting as realistic as possible.

The pony express, stage coach and mail plane will be featured in the pageant. The affair will start off with the coach coming in, loaded with a party of Easterners coming to visit their frontier relatives. The Easterners will be represented by N. E. Hartwell, Mrs. E. B. Willson, Miss Rosalie Fields, Ethel Gibson and Georgeanne Gibson, dressed in appropriate costumes. They will be met by a group of Wyoming natives represented by Helen Willson, Nellie Griffith, Mrs. Frank DeCastro, Frank DeCastro, Ed Arnold, Mrs. J. W. Christian, Mrs. Mae Fields, Florence Updike, Carrie McCarthy, Dan Jordan, Any Christian, John Sturman, Jim Christian, Bertha Boyd, Jimmie Griffith, Bobbie Willson and others, all dressed in frontier costume.

During the filming of the scene by Dr. Hunt, the pony express rider, represented by Mannie Knori, will dash in with his load of mail and deliver it to the mail plane.

The public is cordially invited to attend the pageant and the dedication ceremonies, which will start about 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon at the airport.

Images & Attachments




Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Feinstein, Sam (11/30/-0001 - 12/19/1970) View Record
Obituary Fero, Frank (04/24/1900 - 10/03/1984) View Record
Obituary Gautschi, Hans (05/14/1883 - 04/26/1966) View Record
Obituary Christian, John (08/19/1922 - 10/03/1974) View Record
Obituary DeCastro, Frank (12/16/1860 - 02/10/1947) View Record
Obituary DeCastro, Frank (09/16/1916 - 10/18/1985) View Record
Obituary Griffith, Nellie (11/07/1888 - 05/02/1955) View Record
Obituary Sturman, John (02/12/1938 - 02/05/2006) View Record
Obituary Sturman, John (04/21/1903 - 12/09/1983) View Record
Obituary Sturman, John (12/19/1848 - 02/15/1926) View Record
Obituary Sullivan, Fred (10/19/1924 - 08/20/1995) View Record
Obituary Sullivan, Fred (10/31/1895 - 12/02/1955) View Record
Obituary Thorp, Russell (07/23/1877 - 10/26/1968) View Record
Obituary Thorp, Russell (08/07/1927 - 10/27/1977) View Record
Obituary Updike, Florence (06/01/1910 - 09/17/1960) View Record
Obituary Boyd, Bertha (03/08/1893 - 10/12/1979) View Record
Obituary Willson, Helen (11/30/1894 - 09/24/1979) View Record
Obituary McCarthy, Dan (11/30/-0001 - 10/09/1929) View Record
Obituary Sturman, John (07/01/1967 - 09/29/2011) View Record
Obituary Willson, Helen (08/20/1845 - 06/29/1927) View Record
Obituary Fields, Rosalie (07/27/1923 - 08/25/2017) View Record
Obituary Thorp, Russell (10/22/1844 - 09/03/1898) View Record