Notes from the Past

A Pioneer Post Office In Greeley, Colorado, 1889

The Greeley post-office, located in Park Place block, is one of the institutions of the city, and one of which its people are justly proud.  The office is furnished with eight hundred boxes, all of the Morris keyless pattern, of steel, nickel-plated, each having a combination lock, thus doing away with keys.  The uniformity in the boxes gives to the place a neat and attractive appearance.  This year Greeley was created an office of the second class, its business having increased to the requisite amount.


The Greeley Post Office was located in the
corner of the first floor of the Park Place Block.

As a matter of fact, the office receives a larger amount of mail matter than any other in this part of the state, and a prominent official in the post-office department at Washington remarked that there was more mail matter handled in the Greeley office than in most Eastern towns of double the population.  Such a statement proves conclusively that the people of this city and vicinity are a reading people.  the following table shows the number of pieces of each kind handled during the month of September, just closed, and also the number of pieces for August, 1886, both months being among the dullest in the year:
 
Month and Year
Letters
Rec'd.
Disp'd.
Papers
Rec'd.
Disp'd.
Drops
Rec'd.
Disp'd.
Pos'l C'ds
Rec'd.
Disp'd.
Packages
Rec'd.
Disp'd.
August, 1886
September, 1889
29,075
 21,660
31,937
22,350
27,481
 17,985
22,317
20,250
3,374
........
9,161
4,530
3,177
2,620
4,732
3,480
582
450
318
220

Of registered mail the number of pieces received during the same period was 139, as against 90 in 1886; and 157 pieces were dispatched, as against 107 in 1886.  According to the above table, the increase in the number of letters received has been about 35 per cent, and in those dispatched 44 per cent.  While for the same period the number of papers, magazines, etc., coming to the office have increased 50 per cent.  The latter is a remarkable showing.  This increase demonstrates conclusively that the population and business of the city is growing steadily and satisfactorily from year to year.  R. H. Johns is the present obliging and efficient postmaster, assisted by Mrs. Johns and by George E. Duvall.
 
 

- David Boyd, A. M.
A History of Greeley and the Union Colony of Colorado
published by The Greeley Tribune, 1890
quote from The Greeley Tribune
Greeley, Colorado Territorial cover -- courtesy Richard Frajola

Posted September 17, 1999

Editor's note:  The settlement of Greeley, Colorado, in 1870 was led by Nathan C. Meeker, who was the agricultural editor of the New York Tribune.  Meeker promoted the formation of the Union Colony, one of a number of Colony groups which were formed after the Civil War for the purposes of populating the western United States and taking advantage of the provisions of the Homestead Act.  Horace Greeley to whom was incorrectly attributed, "Go west, young man, go west" and who published the New York Tribune was happy to promote such a group.  The Union Colony chose land in north central Colorado Territory for the town and colony.   Nathan Meeker was subsequently killed in an Indian attack in September, 1879, at the White River Agency in northwestern Colorado where he had been assigned after being appointed as an Indian agent.

The Greeley post office was established April 21, 1870.  Colorado became a separate territory on February 28, 1861  Colorado became a state on August 1, 1876.

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