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Discontinued Post Offices And Former Postmasters

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Posted 08/03/2019   1:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add moneil to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My mom's family lived in Delrio, WA (Douglas County) from February 1928 until sometime in 1944. My Grandmother Elizabeth Grant was the Postmistress of Delrio (now a Discontinued Post Office) during most of that time. I am thinking the Delrio Post Office was closed when my grandparents moved to Seattle in 1944, but I'm not certain. It was a very small town and much of its commercial activity (such as it was) had shifted to towns closer to Grand Coulee Dam, which was dedicated in 1942.

I would like to find out more about my grandmother as Postmistress. The USPS web site does have "Post Offices by State" and "Postmaster Finder" search function but states that many discontinued Post Offices haven't been researched and are not yet listed, and Delrio is one that isn't listed. The USPS web site does refer one to the National Archives, and specifically to microfilm publication M841 "Appointment of Postmasters 1832 September 30, 1971". From there I found further direction to Rolls 136 and 137 for information on Washington State. It appears that these records haven't been digitized yet and to proceed further for access information I'll need to set up an account, so that is where I stopped. I do have privileges at the Washington State University library so next time I'm in Pullman I'll consult with a reference librarian there about access through them.

Otherwise, does anybody know of an online resource, or a print publication (which could be purchased or perhaps borrowed through a library) that would have information on Discontinued Post Offices and former Postmasters?

Thank you, Mike.
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Posted 08/03/2019   1:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have you checked Jim Forte's website ? .

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Posted 08/03/2019   2:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
America's most distinguished, but most inept, postmaster
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Posted 08/03/2019   3:20 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
US postal bulletin (searchable at shows closure effective Sep. 30, 1943, with service to Mansfield.
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Posted 08/03/2019   4:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

One source of basic information is the US Post Office Dept Daily Postal Bulletin, which has been digitized and can be found on the website of the Postal Bulletin Consortium, found at

This is essentially the resources that the USPS Office of the Historian would use when completing entries in Postmaster Finder.

The Daily Postal Bulletin began publication March 1880, and exists today as a bi-weekly publication. Newer issues are posted on the USPS website, but the USPS does not really provide good records on post offices in them any longer.
I searched for Delrio, Washington for years between 1928 and 1943, and found the following entries. I have identified the entry for Delrio in red.

The "Vol49_Issue14733_19280706" identifies that the image which follows is from PB Issue 14733 published for July 6, 1928. Similarly for subsequent images.

Elizabeth Grant was appointed on July 2, 1928. Delrio Washington was a Fourth Class Post Office at the time.

Vol49_Issue14733_19280706(Delrio WA Elizabeth Grant appt)

Delrio was upgraded to a Presidential Third Class post office on July 1, 1930. This occurred because the Postmaster salary for the previous year exceeded $1000 or $250 for four quarters of the year.

Vol51_Issue15297_19300513(Delrio advanced to Pres class)

Elizabeth Grant is now reappointed as a Presidential Class Postmaster. Among other things, she would received a new Postmaster commission document from President Herbert Hoover rather than a Postmaster General.

Vol52_Issue15512_19310129(Delrio now Pres Class, Elizabeth Grant reappointed)

However, the salary based on revenues did not hold up, and on April 23, 1933, the post office at Delrio was downgraded to a Fourth Class PO, and she was re-appointed as a Fourth Class Postmaster. This commission would have been signed by James A Farley.

Vol54_Issue16158_19330502(Eliz Grand reappointed 4th class)

Finally, the post office was closed effective Sept 30, 1943.

Vol64_Issue18661_19431026(DelRio WA closed Sept 30, 1943)

I would be curious to learn if your family has preserved any of the Postmaster Commissions which were presented to Elizabeth Grant. If you have them, please try and scan them and add them to this post.

Mike L
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Edited by mml1942 - 08/03/2019 4:15 pm
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Posted 08/06/2019   11:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you so very much Mike L (mm1942) for your research and posting the information!

I doubt grandmother's Postmaster Commissions are still around. The grandparents moved from Delrio to Seattle and lived in a one bedroom co-op apartment on Capital Hill. Grandpa died in 1963, grandma in 1972 and an aunt lived in the apartment until she died in the 1990's. When my mom went over to help go through things I asked her to look for any envelopes with a Delrio postmark but she didn't find any. However, my mom is now 97 and there are boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff at her farmhouse, so who knows what may be found when we go through those someday.

Again, thank you for your help!

Mike O.
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