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Forestville, Minnesota Post Office

 
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Posted 05/27/2020   2:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add mml1942 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am trying to discover the date that the post office at Forestville, Fillmore County, Minnesota was established.

Historical literature gives the date as 1855, but I would like to refine it to the month and day.

Any help would be appreciated.

Mike
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Posted 05/27/2020   5:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I got my answer on another Forum

Oct 16, 1855

Thread is closed.
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Posted 05/27/2020   5:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am always a bit cautious about exact dates for PO openings and postmaster appointments. Postmasters are appointed, then are notified, and then submit their oath/bond, get their supplies, etc. An office may be "open" or approved on paper, but when did it actually conduct the first day of transactions? What does the date of Oct 16, 1855 actually represent? Do we really know?
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Posted 05/27/2020   6:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John,

I certainly don't disagree with you. For early time periods, we have to take what we can get. Robert J. Stets, in his great work on early post offices: "POSTMASTERS & POSTOFFICES OF THE UNITED STATES, 1782-1811, used any record available to place a boundary on when a post office might have opened, or more properly, what was likely the earliest or latest point in time when it could have begun, or when there was proof that it was operating. This later often was based on the date of the first quarterly return provided by the postmaster.
operation.

In another thread on this board, I posted a Postmaster commission document which showed that the appointee, William Kilby, was confirmed as postmaster at Denneysville, ME on Feb 24, 1800. I also posted the extract from the Postmaster General Letter Book ordering that post office to be established as of January 31, 1800. Which date represents the date that post office opened for business?

While the regulations generally instructed a new postmaster to not begin his post office business until they had the commission certificate in their possession, one might expect the postmaster candidate to start accepting mail as soon as he was advised he was accepted for the position. Then if the mail route contractor did not start making his runs until April 1st, would that indicate the post office did not open until then, since no mail could come in or go out before that date?

Even today, the USPS carefully and intentionally obscures when a post office in a community is being "closed". They say it has been "suspended", and leave it like that for years. This way they avoid the wrath of the local citizens and their Congressmen, who do not want their constituents to be without a post office to call their own. In the meantime they have mail service from a rural route or post office nearby, and eventually forget they don't have a post office.

If you have a better suggestion on how I should identify when postal service came to Forestville, MN; I'm all ears.

Mike
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Edited by mml1942 - 05/27/2020 6:38 pm
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Posted 05/27/2020   6:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My point would be these early quoted dates need to have their qualifiers (or footnotes, if you will) come along with them.
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Posted 05/27/2020   10:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The October 16, 1855 date was taken from Patera & Gallagher, The Post Offices of Minnesota, published by The Depot, 1978.

I believe it is the standard reference for Minnesota post offices. I just didn't have a copy in my library.
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Edited by mml1942 - 05/27/2020 10:47 pm
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Posted 05/27/2020   10:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
LOL, I find a copy of G&P's Minnesota book on my own shelves! It's even signed and numbered (#0007) with the purchase receipt.

They answer the question of their method on page 20, the appointment date, which is naturally going to be some time before the actual opening date:

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