News: Curtiss – Early Post Office


Surnames: Olson, Curtiss, Virch, Bass, Block, Hickock, Himmel, Johnson, Green, Schwandt, Hennlich, Fahrenbach, Frane, Quinell, Kuehling, Ecke, Ostenson, Ravey, Herrick, Klocke, Jens, Herrick, Frane Schiszik, Michlig, Tischendorf, Schuette

----Source: Olson Family Scrapbook

According to the Post Office Index of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, a post office was established on September 13, 1881, named "Quar". Gilbert Olson was in charge. "Quar" was the name of Andrew Olson's farm in Norway. On January 11, 1882, in memory of the civil engineer, Charles Curtiss, who made plans for the railroad to come through the area, the town was renamed Curtiss.

Andrew N. Virch was a Civil War veteran who settled in Curtiss in 1882. He was appointed Postmaster in 1883, and served until 1886, and again from 1888 until 1892. He became the first rural mail carrier, taking the first mail out of Curtiss, February 3, 1903.

Albert Bass was Postmaster from 1886-1888, and from 1892-1896.

George Hickok was appointed Postmaster in 1897 and served until 1910. he was succeeded by Willard Hickok in 1910 and he served until 1914. Postal receipts averaged $84.00 per month.

After the cyclone of 1905, a new post office was built. Charles Block was appointed the Postmaster, February 13, 1914. Stamp sales averaged $100.00 per month.

William Himmel and Jacob Johnson were both appointed acting Postmasters during W.W.I.

Ralph Green was appointed Postmaster, October 31, 1919. Average sales per month were $88.00.
Jacob Johnson was appointed Postmaster, March 4, 1920. Average sale of stamps per month was $125.00.

Glenn Schwandt was appointed Postmaster, March 8, 1930. Average sale of stamps was $215.00 per month.

Ina Hennlich, acting Postmistress August 12, 1934, was commissioned January 18, 1935.

Herb Fahrenbach was acting Postmaster in 1964.

Howard Frane was commissioned Postmaster June 26, 1967. Average sales per month are $1,400.00 in 1982.

The first rural route was established in Curtiss on February 2, 1903. Carriers serving the community were: Andrew Virch, Ralph Green, Herbert Quinell and Albert Kuehling. Subcarriers were Anna Virch, Henry Ecke, William Fahrenbach, Jr. and Roy Ostenson.

The second route was authorized on March 1, 1907. Carriers were Clarence Ravey, Otto Olson and Grant Herrick. Subcarriers were Reinhardt Klocke, Harry Jens, William Fahrenbach, Jr. and Herbert Fahrenbach.
On July 1, 1935, the routes were consolidated, after the transfer of Albert Kuehling to Neillsville.

Grant Herrick's route increased from a 23 mile stretch to 48 miles after route 1 and 2 were consolidated. Herrick used 20 automobiles, one snowmobile and four horses during a period of 43 years to deliver mail on rural routes served by Curtiss Post Office. He traveled an estimated 565,000 miles during the four decades of making his rounds as a mail carrier. During the first two years he drove horses; Later, using them in the winter months. He drove a snowmobile for three years.

A memorandum from the Post Office Department dated January 27, 1964, states that Grant Herrick had accumulated over 2,000 hours of sick leave. He was one of 662 employees from the region to be a qualified member of the "2000 Hour Sick Leave Club". He also received all the Safety Driving Awards given by the postal department.

Sunday, January 7, 1962, marked another milestone in the growth of Curtiss. The dedication of the Curtiss Post Office was a source of satisfaction to many members of the community.

The structure which affords the village the much needed facilities of post office, council rooms and fire hall, was built by the village itself with the required floor space needed by a post office leasing to the government.

Postmistress Ina Hennlich stated, "this new facility is part of the Post Office Department's unique commercial leasing plan." Under this program, investment financing is used to obtain needed facilities which remain in private ownership and are leased to the Federal Government.

The new Curtiss Post Office was part of a program of accelerated postal construction and modernization ordered by President Kennedy, to stimulate the nation's economy to assist Postmaster General J. Edward Day in his programs to provide the nation with the finest postal services.

In the early years, the post office was in the home of whoever was the postmaster. From 1934 until 1962, the post office was located in a lean-to on Hoff’s Store, now Bowen Hardware.

The opening of the new building in 1962 was a welcome service to the community. The Curtiss Post Office services Curtiss and surrounding area effectively in 1982. Postmaster Howard Frane, clerk Iris Schiszik, rural carriers Lyle Johnson, who has served for 17 years, and Lavern Michlig, along with sub-carriers Delores Tischendorf and Orville Schuette, keep the citizens of Curtiss area happily receiving mail.



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