ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Watertown Post Office



Established August 15, 1837, with William Dennis as post master



06 30       Daily mail to Milwaukee

In compliance with the wishes of the inhabitants of this village, Messrs. Frink & Co. have commenced carrying a daily mail between this place and Milwaukee.  By the terms of their contract, they are only required to carry it tri-weekly.  This generous effort on the part of these gentlemen to place our businessmen in daily communication with the east is worthy of all commendation.  By this arrangement, all the post offices between here and Milwaukee are also furnished with daily eastern and western mail.   Watertown Chronicle




Post Office moved to one of the rooms in the new block erected on Second St. 

    Building used as Post Office to be taken away to make place for a three-story brick block.   WD




The New Post office -- Last Saturday, the post office of this city was removed from Main to Second Street, where new apartments have been tastefully arranged for its reception, and well calculated to facilitate the rapid distribution and delivery of our constantly increasing mails.  However much it may be regretted that a more central point could not be obtained for the location of an office that should always be so situated as to make it more easily accessible to all, all will acknowledge that Post Master Williams has displayed a becoming spirit of liberality in the appointments of his new rooms.  He has greatly added to the number of boxes and drawers, so that a far greater proportion of our citizens can be accommodated, and more than doubled the space outside of the deliveries, where large numbers frequently gather to wait for the distribution of the mail matter.  For some time passed the old office has been inconveniently small, but the new one is arranged on a scale now in accordance with our present population and growing wants.   WD



07 08       Regulation on newspapers and periodicals   WD


07 15       Appointment of Gen. James Potter as postmaster   WD


07 15       Move from Second St to the Democrat Block, on Main St   WD


09 30       News Room opened, John Miller, in Post Office bldg   WD



02 17       Call for more direct mail service between Watertown and Jefferson   WD


04 28       Post Office moved to corner of West Avenue [Main St] and Water streets


06 16       Proposals for carrying mail from post office to railroad depot   WD



02 02       Postmaster James Potter removed, Patrick Rogan appointed; moved to room in bldg known as Cramer’s Block   WD



02 21       A Nuisance—Every evening, during the distribution of the mails, the lobby of the post office is filled with a lot of unruly boys who make a great deal of disturbance and annoy people very much who have business to transact there.  Postmaster Rogan has cleared them out several times, but it does no good—they return in due time only to conduct themselves worse than before.  It is an intolerable nuisance and some means ought to be adopted at once that will effectively abate it.  Can’t the City Marshal happen around occasionally and do something to preserve the peace?   WD


02 22       New Orleans—The Committee on Postal Affairs have reported it inexpedient to change the present postal system—that it is impossible for a single state to establish postal arrangements adequate to the wants of the people.  The report recognizes the present government at Washington, for the present business, until the Southern Congress, hereafter called, shall form postal arrangements.


Is it not about time that our government took the hint and cut off the postal facilities at present afforded the rebellious states in the South?  There is not a day passes that the mails are not violated, correspondence destroyed, and the privileges for which the North pays so exorbitantly, withheld from persons in the South who are justly entitled to them.  So long as Southern post masters see fit to rob the mails, Government should cease spending its money for their benefit.   WR


02 28       Candidates for Postmaster The Republican millennium draws near [Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln] —the paradise of office seekers is in sight.  The 4th of March is the Rubicon all the lamp carriers wish to get over.  Then comes the scramble for the places in the gift of the President.  They are many, but numerous as they are, there will be ten applicants for every office.  Thousands of anxious pilgrims are already on their way to Washington.  To the disappointed, Republicanism, with the disruption of the Union and the defeat of fond hopes, will not seem so fine a thing as it did before election.  But the victory has been won and something must be done with it, and if it is not good to give offices to the conquerors, what is it worth?  Quite an active canvass is going on here for Postmaster.  The most prominent candidates for the appointment are J. T. Moak, one of the editors of the Republican, E. W. Cole, one of the first settlers of the city, and Jacob Jussen, who represents the German element.  Either of these gentlemen would make an efficient and accommodating Postmaster.   WD


04 04       Under the present uncertainty of the term of my office it becomes my duty to inform my friends and the patrons of the Post Office that the Post Office laws require the postage to be collected at the commencement of each quarter and that I may be in position to act promptly under any emergency that may happen, I hope that all will come prepared to pay their postage for the quarter.  No bank bills will be taken in payment for postage except the banks of this city.  Peter Rogan, Post Master, Watertown.   WD


04 11       New Postmaster – We learn that the appointment of Mr. Jacob Jussen as Postmaster of this city was received last Monday.  Mr. Jussen has the ability and industry to make a good officer and will no doubt acceptably discharge his official duty.  The retiring postmaster, Mr. Peter Rogan, has won the confidence and good will of this community by his care and promptness.  He has always shown the most accommodating disposition and has been ready to extend every favor to all classes.  His gentlemanly clerk, Mr. Charles Harberger, is so well acquainted with the business of the office that his continuance there would be generally gratifying.   WD


05 02       The Post Office will probably be located in L. E. Cady’s Block, on Second Street, in the same place where it was formerly kept.  Postmaster Jussen is now fitting up his rooms and will make them as commodious as possible.   WD


08 22       NEW ENVELOPES—Post master Jussen informs us that he is allowed only six more days from today in which to exchange the new envelopes, hereafter to be used, for old ones, after which time the old envelopes will be of no further use.  Those interested should make the transfer immediately.  New envelopes can be furnished country post masters from the post office in this city.   WD


1867       Justus Moak was appointed postmaster in 1867 by President Andrew Johnson and held the office during the succeeding administrations of Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield and Arthur.  He was relieved by President Cleveland and reappointed by President Harrison, retiring about one year after the commencement of President Cleveland’s second term, making his service as postmaster cover a period of 23 years. 


While postmaster Mr. Moak made the postal service a careful, practical study, bringing it up to the dignity of a profession in Watertown, making that office a model for neatness and accuracy.  He was an excellent authority upon all subjects pertaining to postal laws, rules and regulations.  Quite a number of young men have graduated under his tutorship and are now holding important and responsible positions in various branches of the service, and he had a host of friends throughout the state and nation who sincerely regret his death.


When J. T. Moak received the appointment of postmaster, William Voss became his deputy.





Description automatically generated

FAMILY TREE:  Green family tie of Richards family


Lewis Cass Green (known as Cass Green) was the first regularly appointed mail carrier in Watertown.  His home was built by John Richards in 1869 at the time of his daughter Mary Alice's marriage to Lewis Cass Green.  Cass Green was the first regularly appointed mail carrier in Watertown. 



Post office next to Watertown House, S. First St.  [1875-76 City Dir].

A black and white photo of a train track with buildings on either side

Description automatically generated with low confidence     Saengerfest street scene including post office location



When the late President Cleveland was sworn in as president for the first time [1885] Col. Donald Scott made an active campaign for the appointment of postmaster against the late Chas. H. Gardner, the former being an old union soldier and the latter a confederate.  Feeling ran high for a time, especially so as General Edward S. Bragg championed Mr. Gardner's candidacy.  The result was that both old soldiers were sidetracked and the late Henry S. Howell secured the prize.



02 13       Letters mailed at the Ixonia post office, 7 miles from this city, and in direct daily mail communication with Watertown, fail to reach here within three days from the time of mailing.  We, with the rest of the public, have reason to find fault with such a failure to deliver mail, preventing as it does our correspondents from reaching us in time for publication and thus seriously interfering with our business arrangements.  The United States mails are supposed to be run for the accommodation of the public and to facilitate business, but such results are far from being attained under the mail system now in vogue in this vicinity.  The mail arrangements had better be reorganized in these parts, and the powers that be are kindly invoked to intercede in the interest of an outraged public.     WR




There has been more or less talk that J. T. Moak is looking for something better than the Watertown post office under the next national administration.  We have unquestioned authority for saying that the rumor is unfounded, and that in due time Mr. Moak will seek his old position as post master.  He has filled that position very acceptably to the people of this city in the past, and since a republican must fill that office under the incoming administration, we believe Mr. Moak's appointment will give as general, if not better satisfaction, than any that could be made.




Postmaster Moak has greatly improved the appearance of the post office by having given it a thorough cleaning and then setting painters and paper hangers to work decorating it.     WG



In a few days it is the intention of Postmaster Moak to open the post office in the morning at 7 and keep it open until 9 o'clock in the evening.  This will be a convenience that will certainly be appreciated by our business men.     WG


04 04       CHANGE OF HOURS

Our item last week as to the contemplated change of hours at the post office was somewhat misleading.  The hours for the general delivery of mail will be as at present, to wit:  from 7:00 a.m. until 8 p.m. on week days; and on Sundays from 9 to 10 a.m.  The intention is, however, within a few days to open the lobby of the office at 7 a.m. and not close it until 9 p.m.  The only ones reaping any advantage from the new arrangement will be the holders of lock boxes, who will be enabled to obtain their mail at hours when the office is not open to the general public.     WG



The large clock of the Sidney advertising clock company, hung in the post office, is attracting general attention and at all times of day many people may be seen standing around watching the time to roll by when the bell rings and the cylinders revolve showing three advertisements each revolution.  The cylinders change every five minutes.  The clock is under the supervision and care of A. Wiggenhorn.    WR



Free delivery mail service for this city is among the possibilities, if not probabilities, within a very few months, a bill having passed the senate providing for it in all cities over 5,000 population.  The bill has been favorably reported in the House of Representatives and will undoubtedly pass that body at the present session and become a law.      WR


12 17       LETTER TO SANTA

Not many days since, a letter was deposited in the post office for mailing addressed to "Dear Santa Claus."  It contained no other address, and had no stamp affixed which may have been from thoughtlessness on the part of the youngster who wrote it, or perhaps because he did not know how much postage was required to carry the letter to its destination.  The missive read as follows:


Dear Santa Claus: I would like a tool-box and a knife and an air-gun, a Christmas tree with candy and cookies and lights on it.  I want a sword for a friend.  I forgot to right [sic] that I want a cap. Be sure and come to me. 


your friend


The youngster signed his name to the letter, and if Santa Claus has not received it before this, it will not be the fault of Postmaster Moak, who promptly sent it on its way.  We hope the little fellow’s confidence in the postal service will not be impaired or his faith in Santa Claus be lost by a failure to receive the articles enumerated by him in his letter.    WR




For the year ending Dec. 31st, 1890, the Watertown post office falls $397.16 behind in the amount of business done to entitle this city to a free mail delivery service.  As the estimates are predicted on the amount of stamps sold, and the income derived from box rent, it is only necessary for people to write an extra letter occasionally, and exercise a little more liberality in the way of renting boxes in the post office, to make free mail delivery a fixed fact in a short time.



If the postmasters throughout the country would enforce the law in regard to the delivery of letters, all girls under 18 and boys under 21 years of age could not get letters from the post office unless by order of parents or guardians.  All letters addressed to girls under eighteen years of age, or boys under twenty-one of age, shall be placed in the care of their parents or guardians.    WG



The post office is a public place where everybody has a right to go, but the privilege is greatly abused.  There is no occasion for several members of the same family to call within the same hour, particularly after the arrival of one mail, and before the arrival of another.  One call will answer the purpose, securing the same amount of mail as if four or five persons had called, and the clerks are saved much unnecessary labor.  Besides, while these extra and useless calls are being attended to, it may be that others are in line and waiting to be served, and they are constantly delayed, without cause, in the transaction of their business.         WR



Moak is seriously thinking of adding an intelligence bureau to his office, or at least one would seem to be necessary if business such as belongs to an institution of that kind continues as brisk with him as it is at present.  He has now upon his table requiring attention a letter from a lady in Beloit asking him to send her a good hired girl.  A man in Hubbard, Minn., writes asking the lowest figures for good sheep.  From Chicago, a gentleman writes for board for himself and wife for two weeks in a nice private family.  A Janesville party writes for a hired man whom he wants to engage for a year, with a promise of good wages; an anxious wife asking about her supposed-to-be-truant husband who was hovering about Watertown when last heard from.  It will be seen, therefore, that a postmaster is considered by some persons at least, to be a public servant in a very broad and general sense.  Letters such as mentioned are always answered when stamp is enclosed for reply, though the parties writing may not always succeed, through untoward circumstances to have their wants gratified, or obtain all the information desired.




December 5, 1906, was the fourteenth anniversary of the 1892 establishment of the free mail delivery system in Watertown.  A fact in connection with the same is that George Weber and Frank Schulz, present carriers, have been in the service ever since the inauguration of the system.  They are two of the original four.



William H. Rohr appointed postmaster during President Cleveland's second administration, serving as postmaster of this city from 1893 till 1897. 




A giraffe in front of a building

Description automatically generated with medium confidence  




       L. C. GREEN


Description automatically generated     


02 13       A new post office has been established in the eastern part of the town of Watertown      WR



Considerable complaint is being made that undesirable crowds congregate on the corners of Main and Third streets, especially Sunday evenings, and pass remarks unpleasant to passers-by.  The police should look into the matter.  The post office lobby seems to be a favorite lounging place in the evenings.  A little less of it would suit the patrons of the office just as well.   WR


07 03       IRON-RAILING

The iron-railing in front of the post office has been provided with some nice sharp pegs, and woe to the boy who sits there now!   WR


08 21       Wisconsin Telephone exchange located in the POST OFFICE BLOCK   WR




     Group picture


1898       CORNER MAIN AND FIRST, 101 E Main

         Reading war bulletins from Spanish-American War




12 07       A Bundy time recorder has been placed in the post office by the government for the use of the mail carriers.  Each is provided with keys which fit the recording attachment, and is obliged to register the time of his arrival and departure from the office.    WR



Post Office 101 Main - Wm. F. Gruetzmacher, postmaster; J. T. Moak, asst. postmaster.  Office hours from 7:30 A.M. to 8 P.M.; money order department, 7:30 A.M. to 6 P.M.; mails close twenty minutes before departure of trains.    Watertown City Directory


06 16       The past few years the inlaid cards and notices on the mail boxes have been mutilated very much.  These have been again replaced and iron posts have taken the places of the old wooden ones.  Now Postmaster Gruetzmacher warns the public that there will be no more defacing or people doing it will suffer the consequences.   WR


06 20       The salary of Postmaster Gruetzmacher has been raised from $ 2,200 to $2,300, as well as many others in this state.  This has been done on account of the increase in business in the past.   WR


11 21       Farmers in the town of Emmet have placed an application with Congressman Dahle for the establishment of a rural mail delivery from the Watertown post office, the route to include the North Road, the Welsh Road, the old Masterson Road, the Hustisford Road and the Juneau Road.  Twenty-nine miles are covered by the district.  Congressman Dahle will submit the matter to the proper authorities.    WR




Congressman Dahle, it is said, will endeavor to have a free rural mail route through the town of Emmet, which was recently petitioned for, established for the coming summer.    WR



On and after April 16, the carriers from the Watertown post office will receive letters (and letters only) for registering when making their regular trips.  For the present the system will be confined to the purely residential districts, excluding even in the business firms, who will deposit such mail in the post office as heretofore.  It is expected, however, that this provision will soon be done away with and that carriers will be authorized to receive this class of mail from all who may present it.  The instructions from the department are very specific that the carriers are positively forbidden to engage in explanation or discussion of the system.  Parties who wish to have letters registered should hand them to the carrier fully prepared in stamps both for postage and registry or otherwise be prepared to hand the carrier the exact change.  The carrier will then give the party a receipt.    WR



The United States Civil Service Commission announces that a special examination will be held by its post-office board of examiners in this city and on the date named above, commencing at 9 a.m., for the positions of clerk and carrier in the post office in this city.  The examination will consist of spelling, arithmetic, letter writing, penmanship, copying from plain copy, geography of the United States, and reading addresses.  The arithmetic will consist of tests and the fundamental principles, extending as far as common and decimal fractions and embracing problems.  The age limit for this examination are as follows:  Clerk not less than 18 years.  Carrier, between 21 and 40.  Applicants for male clerk interior must have the medical certificate in Form 101 executed.  Applicants for carrier must be at least 5 ft. 4 in. in height, and weigh not less than 125 pounds.  Female applicants are not required to have this certificate executed.  No application will be accepted for this examination unless filed in complete form with the board at the post office in the city named above, before the hour of closing business on May, 25, 1900 . . .     WG



Postmaster Gruetzmacher is having good success in soliciting funds for the purpose of buying artificial arms for little Alex Hardie, who recently had his arms cut off by the cars.  Charitably-inclined persons who wish to donate for this purpose can leave their contributions at the post office with Mr. Gruetzmacher or at his store on Main Street.    WG



Special agent U. S. Agent Walker was in the city last week perfecting arrangements for the rural mail delivery route to the town of Emmet, Dodge County.  The route covers the territory traveled by the North Road on the west, as far as the town line of Emmet on the north, thence east striking the Juneau Road, thence to city, the entire distance being about 26 miles.  About 150 families will be supplied, the mail being carried to their houses, where it will be deposited in a box or other device prepared to receive it, and mail intended for posting will be collected in a similar manner by the carrier.  Postage stamps, postal cards, stamped envelopes, etc., will be carried by the carrier for the convenience of patrons of this route; he will also give receipts for registered letters.  Anyone wishing to take advantage of this service on the line of or adjacent to the route should notify the carrier or the postmaster in this city.  Wm. F. Spear has been appointed carrier and his brother James a substitute carrier.  It is expected the service will begin in about two weeks. WG



William F. Gruetzmacher, postmaster at Watertown, was a visitor in the city Wednesday night and met with a very painful accident.  He was riding with Clarence Miller and another gentleman, and when in front of Judge Lamoeux’s, where it was very dark, in turning around, the carriage tipped over, throwing the occupants out.  Mr. Gruetzmacher struck something, the curbing or a tree, and was then drawn a short distance.  The wound by the first named was over the left eye, and was a very bad one, while the one on his left cheek, which he thought was caused by being thrown over the gutter stone or crushed stone, was still worse.  Dr. Sears dressed the wounds, and M. L. Weeks remained with him at the Arcade Hotel overnight, and accompanied him home on the morning train. — [Beaver Dam Argus]


Mr. Gruetzmacher’s injuries were very serious, but he is able to be out again. He is a badly disfigured man about the face and head, but his injuries are fast healing up.  WG



The probabilities are that Watertown will be supplied with a mounted mail carrier ere long to supply residents with the free mail delivery system who reside on the outskirts of the city. The matter is now being looked over by the postal authorities.   WG


11 09       NEW RURAL ROUTE

A new rural has been established from Watertown through the towns of Emmet and Lebanon to Hustisford, with delivery to begin Nov.15th, with Theo. Gruel as carrier.  It will be known as "Rural Route No. 2."    WG



The United States Civil Service Commission announces that on December 15, 1900, an examination will be held in this city for the position of clerk and carrier in the post office service.  An examination was recently held which failed to result in a sufficient number of eligibles to meet the needs of the service, consequently it is necessary to hold another examination.  All persons who have been examined for the position of clerk or carrier within the past year and failed to pass may be re-examined upon filing new applications in due time . . . Applicants for carrier must be at least 5 ft. 4 in. in in height, and weigh not less than 125 pounds.  Female applicants are not required to have this certificate executed.   WG



The probabilities are that a new mail route will be established west of this city.  As petitioned for the route extends on the Plank road two miles west, then north and west, then south and east as far as the Milford road to the old Central Fair grounds.   WG



Beginning January 1st, 1901, the following additions will be made to the mail carriers service of this city:  Milford Street, one block; all of Dakota Street; all of Neenah Street; Main Street to the end; German Street, one block; Hall Street, one block; all of East Water Street; Oconomowoc Avenue, from East Water to Concord Street; Concord Street, from East Water to Main Street; Center Street to Arcade Street; all of Prospect Street; Spalding Street, Center Street and North Second; all of Lounsbury Street; all of North Second Street; Spalding Street from Berlin Avenue to North Church Street; West Division Street, (Mud Tavern settlement.)    WG




If a bill in congress favorably reported by the House Committee on post offices, becomes a law, quite a number of towns in Wisconsin will have an opportunity to secure a free delivery of maiIs.  All towns showing a gross revenue of $5,000 or more per annum, shall be entitled to the benefits of the bill.  Among the towns in Wisconsin coming within the provisions of the bill together with the gross revenues for the past year, ending June 30th last, are the following: Watertown, $9,450; Fort Atkinson, $5,541; Beaver Dam, $5,392 and Whitewater, $7,408.    WR



It is reported that the post office may be removed to new quarters, as the building at present occupied does not provide adequate room.  The latter may, however, be remodeled so as to conform with a larger requirement.  Post office Inspector Bird was here recently looking into the matter.   WR


01 23       EARLY CLOSING

The “early closing” fad has extended to nearly every line of business in Watertown. Even the hours at the post office have been shortened, a placard in the lobby giving the information that 7:45 P.M. is now the closing time.   WR


01 30       PROCLAMATION BY Dr. J. M. SLEICHER, commissioner of public health:

Smallpox and diphtheria

As there is one case of smallpox and one case of diphtheria in the city, I would respectfully ask the public to exercise due caution to prevent the spreading of these diseases.  The weather has been mild and most favorable for the dissemination of disease.  There has been a hearty willingness on the part of the public to resort to vaccination, but in some other respects negligence has been shown.  I would enjoin upon all business men the necessity of thoroughly ventilating their respective places of business and offices right after the close of business hours, by opening both front and rear doors to admit of a plentiful supply of fresh air; also to abstain from throwing any waste material about the premises.  I would especially call attention to the post office, as it is a place where all kinds of people enter, strangers as well as townspeople; it should be thoroughly aired twice daily.    WR



The post office building, owned by Lieut. Gov. Stone, has been re-leased for ten years by the U. S. government, and several important changes will be made to the interior arrangements.  WG



The changes in the remodeling of the post office will cost about $2000, and when completed Watertown will have one of the finest arranged post office buildings in the interior of Wisconsin.  The Keyless Lock Co. of Indianapolis, Indiana will put in the boxes and woodwork that goes with it, also several articles of special furniture, at a cost of $1000.  A fire and burglarproof safe will also be placed in the office.  A new front will be placed in the building, and the postmaster’s room, registry and many other departments will be placed in the front of the building instead of the rear, as at present.  The lobby will be on the west side of the building and will be entered from First Street.  The entire expense of these improvements has to be borne by Lieut. Gov. Stone, the owner of the building, and it is very creditable to him because he has given nearly twice as much as the post office department asked for of changes contemplated, Mr. Stone wishing to fit out for the city a post office building that all could be proud of.   WG



[same date] The rural delivery has furnished a new opportunity for swindlers. It is reported that in certain sections swindlers prowl around representing themselves as post office inspectors.  Their scheme is to inspect the mailboxes and then demand of the owners a sum of $3 to $5 for their services.  The post office department has sent out notices to the postmasters in the rural delivery districts instructing them to warn their patrons.  If people would remember that there is no one on earth authorized by any law as to demand or collect any money, excepting the carrier for unpaid postage perhaps, and him they personally know, they would avoid any scheme of sharpers.   WG



Jas. Speer, who carries the mails to and from trains in this city, came near being killed near the Northwestern depot on Tuesday morning.  Just previous to the passenger train arriving here from the north at 10:52 that morning, he noticed that in the place the mail bag was usually thrown from the train was a large puddle of water, and he decided to go to the coal sheds where the train stops for coal and make the exchange of mails there.  A freight train was switching in that vicinity at the time and a part of it was being pulled north on the side track.  Mr. Speer following, supposing there was no danger, another section of it, however, was being pushed from the south and but for timely warning he would have been run over.  He was struck by the end of the freight car and thrown from the tracks, receiving only slight bruises.  He had a narrow escape.   WG



The improvements in the interior of the post office, inaugurated several weeks ago, are fast nearing completion.  The new furniture is nearly all in place, and the arrangement will prove both convenient to the post office employees as well as patrons of the office.  The postmaster’s and assistant postmaster’s room are in the front part of the office, the delivery windows and lock boxes, in the center, and the mail carriers department in the rear.  The lock boxes are of a combination order, and we do not think that they will give as good satisfaction as the key boxes they replace.  The key boxes were very satisfactory to patrons who found it necessary to send different individuals after their mail, but with the combination boxes anyone who is sent after mail must have the combination, and once given, it becomes almost public property, and gives the owner of the box little security, as his mail can be taken out at any time by those in his employ, members of his family or such as he may see fit to send for his mail.  We much prefer the key box to the combination, and we also believe nearly all who patronize the post office to the extent of renting a box, does also.     WG



As was stated last week, the post office fight has finally been settled.  Mr. Dahle having concluded to recommend in this case Mr. Gosa for the place.  There is as yet no official notice of Mr. Gosa’s appointment, but it will, surely come in due time for Mr. Dahle cannot very well change his mind again.  The appointment of Mr. Gosa comes as a pleasant surprise to those who labored in his behalf, and we trust that he will not be ungrateful for his political boon and that he will strive carefully to deserve the favor incurred upon him.  We do not know, of course, how Martin will take to his new duties, but we feel confident that with his usual versatility he will fall into the harness as a duck takes to water.   WG



The rural free delivery carriers will not be able to please the patrons of their routes by serving as errand boys if the program under consideration at the post office department is carried out.  There has been so much discussion of this matter and efforts made by the keepers of country stores and by large firms engaged in doing a business by samples sent to customers that the department has found it necessary to make a ruling which will not be relished by the people in and along the routes.  It is improbable that General Superintendent Machen will issue an order in a few days directing the rural carriers to devote all their attention to serving patrons with mail, and forbidding them to carry parcels for anybody under any circumstances unless the package comes from the regular course of mail.   WG



Theo. Gruel, mail carrier on rural route No. 2, has tendered his resignation, to take effect about Nov. 15th. Leo Bub has been appointed his successor. The salary is only $500 a year, and Mr. Gruel says it is not enough for the work required.     WG



One hears many rumors in these days when after Christmas is over the average person is not filled with thoughts of the Yuletide season.  The latest one is to the effect that a change is contemplated in the office of postmaster here.  It is not known how the rumor started; whether President Roosevelt was in the city conferring with the people in regard to the matter is not known positively, and the smiling countenances of Congressman Dahle and Senator Spooner has not been seen here these many moons.  Then why the rumor, unless it be that the knowing ones have received a telepathic announcement. . . .  But we doubt if any citizen of Watertown will take the rumor seriously.  The present incumbent was put in position by a republican president and so long as the people of Watertown and the patrons of the office are satisfied it seems unlikely that the Washington government will make any change.  It would be altogether different if a democratic president was in power, but it seems hardly likely that the death of President McKinley will make any change in the post office management in this city.    WDT



The new postcards will be in use in a few days, and are to take the place of the “mailing cards” now in use.  The new cards must be 3 9/16 inches by 5 9/16 inches in dimensions, and must bear the word “postcard" on the top of the address side.  In the upper right hand comer of the card an oblong diagram will appear containing the words “Place postage stamp here,” and across the bottom of the card will be the words “This side for the address."  The word “postcard" is authorized only on cards which conform to the conditions mentioned, and other cards bearing the words are unmailable, unless subject to the letter rate.  "Postcards" go for 1 cent, and the message may be either in writing or in print.  Although the new card goes into use at once, private mailing cards that are on hand may be used until the supply is exhausted.   WDT


Cross Reference:  The U.S. government had prohibited private companies from calling their cards "postcards", so they were known as "souvenir cards".  These cards had to be labeled "Private Mailing Cards".  This prohibition was rescinded on December 24, 1901, from when private companies could use the word "postcard".



01 31       Last Friday Landlord Smith, of the New Commercial Hotel, started the new steam-heating plant recently put into the hotel.  A new full sized-horse-power boiler has been put into the basement of the new annex to the hotel by Otto Biefeld & Co. and steam connections made throughout the hotel, the sample rooms connected therewith, and also with the post office building, all of which are heated from the new plant.  It has been given a full test during the cold weather of the past week and is working in a first class manner.   WG


02 07       Notice has been posted in the post office stating that five applications are on file for the establishment of rural mail routes from Watertown, and a request is made in such notice that those desiring appointment as carriers on any of these routes, apply to the local postmaster.   WG



04 11       JUSTICE T. MOAK, deputy postmaster

    A Patriarch in the Postal Service


The following interesting bit of history concerning our popular deputy postmaster, Hon. J. T. Moak, appeared in the last issue of the American Postmaster, a periodical published at Effingham, IL.  With the article was a large half-tone picture of Mr. Moak.  The article was a complete surprise to the subject of the sketch, who receives this merited praise unsolicited.  The biographical sketch is correct with the exception of the date of his first appointment, which should read under the administration of Andrew Johnson instead of Grant.


The following is the sketch as it appeared.


“Mr. Justice T. Moak, whose portrait appears on first page, is a native of New York, having emigrated from the Empire State to Wisconsin in the early fifties, locating in the thriving city of Watertown, where for half a century he has been one of its leading business men and politicians, acquiring a reputation throughout the state as one of the shrewdest men in the councils of his party, having long been associated with Hon. Henry C. Payne, the present Postmaster General, Hon. E. W. Keyes, the present postmaster at Madison, and many others of that class, and is now a close friend of Wisconsin’s leading stateman, Hon. John C. Spooner, United States Senator.


“Mr. Moak was appointed postmaster at Watertown during the first administration of General Grant as President, serving continuously in that capacity until a year or more after the first inauguration of Grover Cleveland, when he gracefully retired for a few years, only to be reappointed soon after the election of Ben Harrison, in 1888, again retiring upon the, second advent of Cleveland.


“Soon after the election of McKinley in 1896, there developed at Watertown one of the warmest contests ever waged for a post office, there being several exceptionally able aspirants for the place.  Mr. Moak championed the cause of Mr. W. F. Greutzmacher who was appointed and promptly made Mr. Moak his assistant, which position he is now filling to the utmost satisfaction of the patrons of the office, whose fullest confidence he has always enjoyed.


“Notwithstanding the fact that Watertown is a decidedly Democratic city, and Mr. Moak has always been an uncompromising Republican, he has served several terms as a member of the city council and one term as mayor, being elected because of his personal popularity and rare business ability.


Mr. Moak has made the postal service a careful, practical study for a quarter of a century, bringing it up to the dignity of a profession in Watertown, making that office a model for neatness and accuracy.  He is an excellent authority upon all subjects pertaining to postal laws, rules and regulations, and fortunate indeed are those who come in contact with his influence, socially, politically or officially.  Quite a number of young men have graduated under his tutorship and are now holding important and responsible positions in various branches of service, and he has a host of friends throughout the State and nation who sincerely wish for him many more years of health and usefulness, that he may continue to enjoy the honors which he has so richly won, both as a citizen and as a an official of the post office department.”     WR


05 07       RECORD KEEPING

By order of the Postmaster General, an account is being kept at the Post Office this week of the postage, number of pieces, weight of mail matter of every kind deposited for mailing.   WR







02 14       "Representative H. C. Evans called at the post office department today at the request of Postmaster General Wynn to consider the dismissal of Postmaster William F. Gruetzmacher of Watertown, Wis., and to make a recommendation for a successor in that office.  It appears that the removal of Postmaster Gruetzmacher was decided upon by the department on the strength of the report of a post office inspector who claimed to have found irregularities in the Watertown office, but not attributing wrong-doing on the part of the postmaster nor making charges involving turpitude against him.  The point was simply made that the irregularities had occurred during his service as postmaster.  Mr. Adams has not heard anything about the charges or any suggestions of a change in the Watertown office until called to the department today.  He made a strong plea for Postmaster Gruetzmacher.  The reply of the Postmaster General was that the postmaster has been removed but the department would take under consideration a request for further hearing in the case.  Postmaster Gruetzmacher has been in office about three years, having been appointed on the recommendation of former Representative Dahle, and the term does not expire until sometime next year."  The above appeared in the Washington correspondence in last week Wednesday's Milwaukee Sentinel, and caused great surprise here.  On being interviewed by The Gazette editor regarding postmaster W. F. Gruetzmacher stated that he had received a wire from Congressman Adams asking him if he desired a hearing.  He answered in the affirmative and expects a date to be set soon for a hearing of the case.


06 01       A Washington dispatch of May 24 says:  The post office department today made an order to the effect that Postmaster W. F. Gruetzmacher at Watertown will not be removed for the present and will probably be permitted to serve out the remainder of his term, which does not expire for about a year.  Upon an order made in the closing days of Postmaster General Wynne's term, Mr. Gruetzmacher was to be removed.  This was based upon a report by a post office inspector who asserted that there were irregularities in the office, and although the postmaster was not directly responsible therefore, he was held to be generally responsible for the conduct of his office and his retirement for the good of the service was ordered.  Postmaster General Cortelyou declined to rescind the order of his predecessor, but decided to have another investigation made, the result of which is that the postmaster will be retained.  


08 30       An order has been issued by the Postmaster General that hereafter service on all rural free delivery routes be suspended on New Years Day, (Jan. 1) Washington’s Birthday (Feb. 22) Memorial or Decoration Day (May 30) Independence Day (July 4,) first Monday in September, known as Labor Day, and Thanksgiving Day in each calendar year.   WR


09 27       An order has been issued by the Assistant Postmaster General requiring that all mail boxes on rural routes shall be numbered so as to obviate all mistakes in the delivery of mail matter, upon which shall be written the name of party to whom sent, the number of the rural route and number of the box.     WR


10 11       All patrons along the rural mail route have received official notice to have their mail boxes numbered.   WR



The city at the present time is considerably agitated over the question of the appointment of a postmaster as successor to the present incumbent, whose term of office will soon expire.  There are three aspirants for the appointment besides the present postmaster who desires to continue to serve the patrons of the office in that capacity.  They are all gentlemen of moral worth and business capacity and, of course, have friends who are anxious for the success of their respective candidates.  In making the selection, however, care should be taken in securing the appointment of a man who will make a good postmaster.  A man may be a good fellow and yet be a poor public official, as has been demonstrated thousands of times throughout the country.   WR


12 13       Extensive improvements are in progress at the telephone exchange and when completed, this city will have one of the largest and most convenient exchanges in the state.  The entire second floor of the post office building is to be occupied, and will be so arranged that the superintendent's office and the apartments for the male employees will be in the front end of the building, the operating room in the center and ladies' rooms in the rear reached by a side door at the south end of the balcony.  Each of the office apartments will be provided with lavatories and every appointment up-to-date.  A new large switchboard has already been received, as well as other necessary equipment for making it a perfect exchange in all the requirements for a first-class service.  The improvements are being made under the personal supervision of W. C. Stone, and it is unnecessary to remark, that nothing will be left undone to give the people of this city as good a telephone service as is possible to be obtained.  During the past year many improvements have been made in the local post office looking toward the safer and more speedy handling of the mails.  The prosperity of our city is shown by the increase in receipts during the period from December 1, 1904, to Dec. 1, 1905 as compared with the same period a year before.  The importance of the office is shown by the fact that 18 mails are received and 13 dispatched daily. Night service has recently been inaugurated whereby mails are dispatched at all hours of the night, thereby giving us the same service as the first class offices, and mail deposited in the post office or package box at the P. O. corner before 3:00 am will reach Milwaukee and Chicago or intermediate points in time for the first morning delivery.  Mail received on the night trains is immediately sorted for the carriers, whose average time of leaving the office is 7:45 a.m. The present force consists of the postmaster, his assistant and 4 clerks, besides 5 city and 8 rural carriers.   WR


12 27       If Watertown is to have a federal building in the near future, it is time that the business men of the city were actively engaged in bringing the matter to the attention of our representatives in congress, that an appropriation for at least $75,000 may be asked for, that a building in keeping with the importance of the city and its future growth and prospects may be erected.  Other cities no larger and many much smaller, have government buildings and there is no good reason why we should not have one.  It will not be secured without an effort and to that end, the writer would suggest that the mayor call a mass meeting at the council chamber and put the ball in motion. 



01 11       The post office controversy has been settled and H. T. Eberle is to be the next postmaster for the city of Watertown for reason that it is unnecessary to state, but which are well known to the other aspirants for the place, it became necessary for Congressman Adams to recommend a third man as a compromise and he recommended H. T. Eberle.  His appointment, as far as the writer has been able to ascertain gives general satisfaction to the public and patron of the office. Mr. Eberle is a druggist [Eberle Drug Store, Racek Building, 204-206 Main Street], has resided here many years, and is a good businessman and an exemplary citizen.  He is upright, manly and has high ideals to moral and social requirements.  Those who are intimately acquainted with him are confident that he will make a very efficient and popular official and be a worthy successor to the present postmaster, who will retire from the office at the expiration of his term, after eight years of service, with a consciousness of having been a faithful officer with no reflection upon his honor and character as a man, either at home or in the post office department at Washington D. C.


The rumor that Mr. Eberle has chosen a deputy is untrue.  He has made no promises and does not propose to appoint a deputy until he has received his commission and is about to enter upon the discharge of his duty and will then give his entire time to the performance of his duty, his son Ralph taking charge of his drug business thus relieving him of all responsibilities outside of the post office.


01 12       The post office inspector has been here and recommended a remodeling of the post office in this city. The changes contemplated, are an enlargement of the lobby which all will admit, is altogether too small for the convenience of the public, the private office of the postmaster is to be made larger in order that the safe may be under the personal supervision of the postmaster and constantly under his control. The working office or distributing room has to be enlarged by utilizing the room in the rear now occupied by the Union Telegraph Co. which will seek quarters elsewhere. Work on the improvements are to be begun in the near future and be thought completed by the time that Postmaster Gruezmacher retires from the office so that his successor will step into an office more convenient and in keeping with the size and business of the city that it is at present. The work of remodeling and improving the office will be under the supervision of W. C. Stone, the owner of the building which is a guarantee that they will be substantial and up-to-date.


02 10       Ralph Bird, a post office inspector, was in the city Saturday and while here made arrangements for the improvement in the post office, heretofore referred in the Republican.  The lobby. will be lengthened 12 feet, and made considerably wider and the key boxes moved to the front and left of the general delivery window.  The changes will be made under the supervision of Postmaster Gruetzmacher, to whom the patrons of the office will be indebted for the improvements when made.



   03 09 1906

Through the influence of postmaster Gruetzmacher a post office inspector will be sent here at an early date to investigate the necessity for an additional mail carrier in the city. For a long time it has been found impossible for carriers now employed to cover the territory in the city twice a day and the residence district. The coming of an inspector will no doubt demonstrate that our postmaster is right in asking for an increase of the force, in order that the city may have prompt and efficient service.  W. F. Gruetzmacher has been a very enterprising and thoughtful official as is evidenced in the good service he has rendered with the limited force at his command and the public owe him a debt of gratitude for his uniform courtesy and thoughtfulness in his official capacity.


   03 13 1906

Saturday evening, W. F. Gruetzmacher who had taken postmaster of this city turned the office over to his successor, H. T. Eberle who was recently appointed to the position. In retiring the office, Mr. Gruetzmacher can do so with a full consciousness that he had discharged every duty as a public official well and faithfully. During his administration he aided in establishing eight rural routes which have been of great convenience to the agricultural districts adjacent to the city. Under his administration the post office was remodeled and made more convenient and metropolitan in appearance and other changes are anticipated . . .


   03 17 1906

Friday noon, Postmaster Gruetzmacher being a witness before the grand jury in the United States court and anxious to leave for home on an early afternoon train, a motion was made to adjourn. Mr. Gruetzmacher forgetting himself and thinking no doubt that he was in an old fashioned caucus, objected much to the amusement of the jurors, but his objection stood however and the evidence of the witnesses who desired to go home was taken and they all left for home thanking Mr. Gruetzmacher for his “objection” and the kindness of the jury.


   03 18 1906

Special Inspector Gould of Washington was in the city Thursday inspecting the post office. It is reported that he found considerable fault with it, because it was too narrow and inconvenient. It is the best location in the city and should be remodeled as is anticipated it will do until we have a government building which ought to be erected within the next three years.


   03 10 1906

When the post office building has been remodeled, the room now occupied by the post office will be occupied in part by C. A. Gamm as a drug store, the room in the immediate rear, by Joseph Robinson as a barbershop and the Western Union Telegraph office will remain where it is at the present time.  The location is one of the best in the city, being in the business center, in close proximity to Masonic Temple into which the post office is to be moved, two banks and on a prominent corner by which passes many people during each day in the year . . . The gentlemen, who are to occupy rooms in the building, were fortunate in securing the same at a moderate rental.



05 11       MOVED TO 2 E MAIN

A week from this Sunday morning the post office will be moved into the new quarters in the Masonic Temple building [2 E Main].  The change will be made so quick that on Monday morning following, Postmaster Eberle and his force will be ready for business in the new quarters, which will make a most desirable place.  The lock boxes will be run across the front of the room, giving a most excellent light for the patrons of the office and the working force.  The postmaster's office will be located directly back of the elevator shaft.  The arrangements will be excellent and will add further in giving the patrons the best service possible.  During the process of moving and arranging the new office the patrons of the office will undoubtedly be inconvenienced to a certain extent, but they should be charitable and overlook any trifling inconvenience.


c1907, 2 E Main St, Portion of PC_325




--              Cross Reference note: POST OFFICE IN PART OF MASONIC TEMPLE

A statement issued today [Sept. 8, 1964] on behalf of the Watertown Masonic fraternity, in connection with the Masonic Temple and the rights involved in the alley that runs west from North First Street to Rock River, between the Bank of Watertown and the old city hall the Masons said they wanted to make it clear that they are only interested in preserving this rear access to the Masonic Temple building.  Back in 1906, the Masonic Lodge, by its trustees, the late S. M. Eaton, William H. Woodard and Robert Dent, leased a part of the temple building, including the use of the alley, to the federal government for post office use.  The post office then was located in the Masonic Temple.  The lease was renewed in 1911.  No dispute or question as to it being a public alley or right of way arose, the statement points out.


Cross Reference note:

1914 - Edward Kunert:  Most of his life he was employed as gardener, but of late years was employed at the Watertown post office.  When the post office was in the Masonic Temple he was janitor and since the post office has been in its present location [1914] he was special delivery messenger. 



07 18        “Where will the new post office be located” is the common question now, and as yet no one seems to be willing to risk an answer. The sites are being discussed but there are always objections to be offered so that no site seems to be universally agreed upon on the general talk. There are really no available sites on Main Street that can be purchased at the moment that has been appropriated by the government for this purpose. Consequently a site will have to be secured on a side street large enough to comply with the requirements of the treasury department, unless the citizens will contribute a sufficient amount to make up the amount appropriated and the cost of a desirable site large enough to meet the requirements of the government. It is a matter that should receive the earnest consideration of every citizen at an early date.


08 04       A mail pouch was stolen Wednesday night from the baggage room at the Junction after having been placed there after the arrival of the train which reaches Watertown at 11 o’clock p.m. The thieves, who must have known that the pouch had been placed in the baggage room, entering the same by picking the lock and taking the pouch in an open field in the rear of the round house belonging to the Northwestern railway company where they ripped the pouch open with a knife and removed the contents, opening each letter in search of money, should there be any in any of the enclosures. After having opened the letters and scattering the contents about, they left the pouch laying in the field.  The robbery was discovered about 1:30 a.m. and reported to the police but no track of the thief or thieves was secured. At about eight o’clock a.m. a lad in crossing the field found the mutilated pouch and letters and gathered up the pouch and letters and brought them to the post office and delivered them to Postmaster Eberle. In the letters were several blank bank drafts which were not taken, but all the checks were removed and appropriated by the thieves, one of which was drawn for the sum of $400, and made payable to D.& F. Kusel company.   WLeader


08 17       Offers of three sites for a government building in this city have been sent to the treasury department at Washington.  There may be other offers, if there are, they have not been reported to the Leader.


The sites offered here are the property at southwest corner of Second and Madison streets, the Duffy property on Fourth street and a parcel of land on the west side, the location of which is kept a secret. The property at the corner of Second and Madison streets is the most desirable, being near the business center of the city and comes nearer to the demands of the government as to area.


In the course of time a representative of the government will be sent to view the several properties offered and upon his judgment, as to size, availability and location of the sites offered the government will be influenced in making a choice. The Leader is disinterested in the matter insofar as to have the location central so as to accommodate the greatest number of our citizens, especially the business men of the city.



03 12       Postmaster Eberle has received word from the treasury department at Washington D. C. saying that the selection of the Watertown site for a post office would be made known on April 6, 1907.  In the meantime, anyone wishing to submit other facts connected with the sites offered can file them with the treasury department before that date and they will be considered.  


04 20       The treasury department today made public the selection of sites for government buildings in three Wisconsin cities ... The W. S. Williams property at the southwest comer of Second and Madison streets has been selected for the Watertown building.  The government will pay $8,000 for this property which is 110x116 feet.


Since the above news was received there seems to be complications that may delay the transfer of title for some time, although the outlook is favorable that the matter will be settled soon.  There are five parties interested in the site selected, four directly and one indirectly.  It is understood that Fred Keck, one of the owners, asks the sum of $250 for his interest in a parcel of land included in the site in addition to his interest on the price fixed in the offer made in the appropriation.  It is also understood that Fred Miller asks the sum of $100 for his interest in the alley adjacent to the site . . .



03 31       (50 years after 1858 move to Main St)  Another move has been made toward the government building for Watertown, to be erected on the site at the corner of Second and Madison streets, the title to the same having just been cleared for the government. The following dispatch appeared in the Evening Wisconsin last night:  Washington D.C., March 27 - (Special) Representative Nelson introduced a bill appropriating $50,000, for the erection of a public building at Watertown, Wis.  The government has already secured a site at this point.   WG


05 10       A real curiosity in the way of a mail pouch was received yesterday at the post office in this city.  It had traveled all over the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans and from New Orleans to far northern post offices.  The pouch was covered upon every available space with the names of the offices where it had been received and some remarks that were decidedly humorous if not profane.  At the office at Chariton, Iowa, the names of the postmaster and entire force was written on the pouch: G. F. Maple, postmaster, Margaret Maple, Florence Maple, Fred D. Larimer, J. W. Clayton, E. H. Hossellauest, all evidently related for some irreverent fellow had included the names with a bracket and on the other side placed the initials, W. D. F. which being interpreted means the whole d — d family.      WL


06 06       $65,000 - $45,000 = $20,000

Every little bit taken from what you've got, makes just a little bit less.


Watertown citizens have been jubilant over the thoughts that this city was to get an appropriation from the government of $65,000 for a stately government edifice to grace the city and stand as a monument of the liberality of the Sixtieth Congress, at the corner of Second and Madison streets.  But there are times in the experiences of municipalities, as in the lives of individuals, when “pride must take a fall.”


While strong hopes were built locally on the report of the House of Representatives of the appropriation bill, carrying with it the handsome sum of $65,000 for Watertown, it seems that the joint committees of both houses in making their final report, arrived at a different conclusion, and if one can believe his eyes in reading the Congressional Record under the date of Saturday, May 30, giving the official proceedings of progress, it's enough to take a little of the crimp out of those of our citizens who had built their hopes at the $65,000 mark.


The conference report in the Record gives in bold figure of the appropriation of “Watertown, Wis., postoffice twenty thousand dollars”. It will have a tendency on the part of our people to await the last turn hereafter in dealing with the government before placing their hopes at the Zenith.   WL


06 10       Bill granting $65,000 for the government building passed Congress and signed by President.    WL

06 13       Rural route No. 10 was "specially" established yesterday between the city and Tivoli island and Robert Irving "specially" appointed as rural carrier and performed his first, last and only duty.  He carried a single letter addressed to H. T. Eberle, upon which there was no postage stamp, which, of course, was conclusive evidence that it was only a "special" arrangement and Mr. Irving performed his duty with promptness and dispatch, demonstrating that he is a faithful and reliable official.    WL

07 10        House removed from the property sold U. S. government   WG

07 17       Clerks and carriers received a raise of $100 per annum.   WG

08 07       W F Richards appointed railway mail clerk.   WG

09 18       John Carey and Elizabeth Kioes marriage.  Carey carried the mail between the railway stations and post office. 



02 05       Winter storm cripples rural mail delivery WDT

03 13       Rural free delivery of mail is now eleven years old   WG

04 09       Transcript of the post office site at Watertown    WG

05 07       Nettie Saban-William Richards marriage, post office employee   WG

06 11       Examination for clerks and carriers    WG

07 30       Asst Postmaster Sidney Eberle, wedding of   WG

08 27       Construction materials for new post office   WG



01 14       Survey site for new post office   WG

01 21       Six city carriers are employed . . . Clerks and salaries received   WG

04 01       Postal savings bank bill   WG

04 29       President Taft re-appointed H. T. Eberle postmaster of this city.  Mr. Eberle has been postmaster for a little over four years, and his administration as postmaster has been a most excellent one, in fact, all things considered, we believe one of the very best ever in office here.  His re-appointment has given general satisfaction, and all realize that an efficient, courteous and diligent postmaster has been justly rewarded by re-appointment.  The Gazette joins our citizens in extending hearty congratulations.   WG



01 06       Editor Watertown Gazette:  Watertown Post Office Receipts—It gives me pleasure to comply with your request for a statement of the business done at the Watertown Post Office in 1910.  A comparison is made with the year 1909.  It should be stated, however, that the business has shown a substantial gain from year to year.  The amount of business in 1909 was $23,120.19, that of 1910 $24,534.19, an increase of $1414, equal to six per cent.  The surplus receipts sent to the U.S. Depository at Milwaukee, not needed for salaries, rent and other expenses, were $9,474.64.


On the tenth of each month all mail coming in and going out of the office is counted, the daily average figure obtained from these counts in 1910 is 13,228, the lowest figure for any one day was 7,875, the highest 25,501.  Making a reasonable allowance for reduced business on Sundays and holidays, the total figure for the year is about 4,500,000 pieces of mail handled by the four clerks in our office during the year.  H. T. Eberle, Postmaster   WG



     Treasury Department

     Office of the Supervising Architect, Washington, D. C., December 28, 1910.

Sealed proposals will be received at this office until 3 o’clock p.m. on the 7th day of February, 1911, and then opened for the construction, complete (including plumbing, gas piping, heating apparatus, electric conduits and wiring), of the U.S. Post Office at Watertown, Wis., in accordance with drawings and specifications of the site at Watertown, Wis., or at this office, at the discretion of the supervising architect.

James Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect


The Treasury Department has caused the above notice to be published relative to the construction of the Post Office building in Watertown.  Plans and specifications may be obtained of Postmaster Eberle by all who contemplate bidding on the building and on which work will no doubt be commenced this year.  Congress has appropriated $8,000 for the site and $65,000 for the building.   WG


02 02        DON'T DO IT

The postal authorities at Washington, recognizing the liability of postmasters to make mistakes in getting letters in the wrong boxes, have fixed a penalty of $500 on persons taking mail out of the office other than their own and not returning it at once.  This law also includes newspapers.  The excuses that it is your postmaster’s fault “cuts no ice.”  If you have been getting other people’s mail you had better take warning or you may get yourself into trouble.   WG



Washington, Feb. 7—Bids were opened today for the construction of the federal building at Watertown.  Eight bids were presented, two from Milwaukee firms, the Northern Construction Company and the General Construction Company.  The three bids were $55,600, $56,366 and $57,860, the Northern Construction Company’s bid being the lowest.   WG



The Post Office Department has accepted the proposal of S. M. Eaton, W. H. Woodard and Robert Dent, trustees of Watertown Lodge No. 49, Free and Accepted Masons, to lease the present quarters for five years, from May 12, 1911.   WG



Our postmaster formulates the following rules for the benefit of his patrons and that you may know what you may exact.  No letters given out until they have been received.  If you don’t get a letter or a paper on the day you expect it have the postmaster look through all the boxes and down in the cellar also.  It ought to be there somewhere and he likes to hunt for it just to please you.  If your friends don't write rave at the postmaster.  He is to blame.  If he tells you no, put on a grieved look and say there ought to be some.  He is probably hiding your mail for the pleasure of having you call for it.  Ask him to look again.  If you are buying stamps make him lick them and pat them on, that's his business.   WG



It is reported that some person is canvassing the residence districts of our city, soliciting orders for mail boxes, stating that the post office department had issued orders that patrons who wish their mail delivered by city carrier must put up a mail box at their doors.


No such order has been issued, to the present time, and therefore no one is obliged to purchase and place a box.


The department, some time ago, through circulars, which were distributed by the carriers, did invite the attention of patrons to the advantage of providing facilities for the receipt of the mail.  The advantages given were earlier delivery of mail, obviating the necessity of responding to carrier’s call and the ability to deliver mail in the absence of members of the household.


It is probable that an order making the placing of boxes or cutting a suitable slot in the door for the reception of mail will be issued at some future time, but no such obligation exists now.   H. T. Eberle, Postmaster   WG



There is a strong sentiment throughout the country favoring the closing of post offices on Sunday, which is shown by petitions received by the post office department from religious and commercial bodies, by letters from the general public and by the comments of the press.  Many offices throughout our country are now closed; in this state in the cities of Janesville, Racine, Green Bay and others, with a number soon to follow.  The postmaster of this city is desirous to follow the example of these cities and to close this post office on Sunday.  It is intended to keep the general delivery open for transients only as is done now from 9 to 10 o'clock; the lobby will be open and patrons who rent lock boxes will have access to their mail as they have now.  The carriers' window will be closed and no rural carriers will be in attendance and therefore no mail can be delivered to the patrons of the routes.  The Sunday collection from street letter boxes will be continued.  The prompt cooperation of the press, the clergy, religious associations, business men and the public is respectfully asked in this move to give the carriers and other employees of the post office as much freedom from Sunday work as possible.  The department desires that the closing of the office be put into effect immediately if public sentiment favors the movement.   H. T. Eberle, Postmaster


The Gazette favors the closing of the post office on Sunday in accordance with the above, and we believe it will meet with the general approval of all good citizens.   WG



George W. Stiles Construction Company Gets Contract for Post Office.  Washington, D. C., April 20 — The George W. Stiles Construction Company of Chicago will build the new post office building at Watertown, Wis.  The contract was awarded to that firm by the treasury department on Thursday at $58,721.   WG


04 27       BIDS ASKED FOR [same date]

The George W. Stiles Construction Co., 722 Rookery Building, Chicago, Ill, contractor for the new post office building, will receive at their office in Chicago bids for the excavation of the building site, either at a whole or per cubic yard price, also price per cubic yd. for sand and gravel, to pass [through] one and one-half inch ring and crushed stone either delivered at job or F.O.B. cars.

George W. Stiles Construction Co.   WG



According to a letter received from the Post Office Department authorizing the closing of the post office hereafter on Sundays, the office will be closed on Sunday, beginning Sunday, May 7.  The lobby and general delivery window will be open for the accommodation of renters of boxes and the traveling public from 9 to 10 o'clock.

H. T. Eberle, Postmaster.   WG



Watertown, Wis. Public Building. The contract for the construction of the U. S. Public Building, Watertown. Wis., was awarded to the George W. Stiles Construction Co., Rookery Bldg., Chicago at $57,455 plus $1,412 for substituting granite for pink limestone.  The Granite Cutters' Journal, Volume 35  /  Granite Cutters' International Association of America, Granite Cutters' National Union of the United States of America, 1911.




        A picture containing text, old, white, black

Description automatically generated



An examination for the position of fireman-laborer in the new post office in Watertown will be held in Watertown on February 17.  Physical ability and experience are the only two qualifications necessary, and the age limit is from 18 to 55 years.  The salary is $660 a year.  The examination is open to all citizens of the United States who comply with the requirements but, at the request of the treasury department, preference in certification may be given to residents of the county, including the city, in which the vacancy exists.   WG



On March 10th the post office will be moved to the new post office building on North Second Street.   WG



The post office was opened to the public in the new building in North Second Street Monday morning and Postmaster Eberle and his corps of assistants deserve congratulations for the efficiency of the service on the first day.  The task of moving over Sunday was no small matter, but business at the post office on Tuesday was conducted in its usual prompt manner.  The post office building was completed at a cost of $60,000 and is one of the most up-to-date post office buildings in the country in a town the size of Watertown.  The arrangement is perfect and patrons of the office are delighted with the interior arrangement and equipment.



Several of our democratic friends are casting longing and envious eyes toward the postmastership in this city although no change will be made until April 14, 1914.  They are all capable men, either of whom would make an acceptable postmaster, but it will take a mighty good man to come up to H. T. Eberle's standard of efficiency.  Those who are willing to accept the appointment when the time comes are, Mayor H. G. Grube, James W. Moore, O. R. Krueger, Emil Tanck and Ferdinand Schmutzler.  The writer cannot refrain from giving a pointer — J. W. Moore will be the next postmaster, because he has been a consistent, hardworking democrat, is qualified and deserves the appointment. — Watertown Leader



01 02       $354 WORTH OF STAMPS SOLD

Monday of last week $354 worth of stamps were sold at the Watertown post office, the largest amount sold in any one day in the history of the office.  The sale included 15,000 one cent stamps.   WG


01 09       CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATION, married women need not apply

An examination for clerk and carrier will be held at the post office in this city on January 25, 1913.  Age limit, 18 to 45 years, on the date of the examination.  MARRIED WOMEN WILL NOT BE ADMITTED to the examination.  This prohibition, however, does not apply to women who are divorced or those who are separated from their husbands and support themselves, but they are eligible for appointment only as clerk.  Applicants MUST BE PHYSICALLY SOUND AND MALE APPLICANTS MUST BE NOT LESS THAN FIVE FEET FOUR INCHES IN HEIGHT, WITHOUT BOOTS OR SHOES, AND WEIGH NOT LESS THAN 125 POUNDS, WITHOUT OVERCOAT OR HAT.  For application blanks and for full information relative to the examination, qualifications, duties, salaries, vacations, promotions, etc., address immediately A. G. Knaak, secretary Board of Civil Service Examiners, Watertown, Wis.    WG



The Watertown Post Office has arrived at the dignity of a Presidential appointment.  When commissions of any office reach the sum of one thousand dollars the president must send the man named for postmaster, to be acted on by the Senate.  Among recent appointments, we notice that President Pierce has renominated Myron B. Williams, the present incumbent postmaster of this city, which the Senate has confirmed.  Mr. Williams has faithfully performed the duties of his office and has displayed a liberal and commendable spirit in fitting up the best post office in the state.   WG




Congressman M. E. Burke has recommended James W. Moore, editor of The Gazette, to succeed Herman T. Eberle as postmaster of Watertown, whose term of office expires next Sunday. 



Effective October 1, 1914, all railway mail clerks residing in Watertown who so elect can have their pay checks cashed at the Watertown post office.  Several clerks petitioned the post office department that this convenience be given them, and after consulting with the local postmaster, the privilege has been granted.  Heretofore their pay checks were cashed in Chicago, and often it was necessary for them to make special trips to Chicago to get their pay.  About $1,500 will be paid monthly to railway mail clerks residing in Watertown.   WG



Postmasters will be allowed to deliver Santa’s mail to responsible charitable institutions and reputable individuals who may desire to use them for philanthropic purposes, provided the postage is paid and that the letters are addressed unmistakably to “Santa Claus” without any other terms identifying the person for whom they are meant.  All postage must be paid on these letters.  If fully prepaid by the affixing of a two-cent stamp they will be delivered gratis to accepted applicants, but if there is postage due, it must be paid by the recipient.  The local post office is ready for the rush, having just received a shipment of approximately $25,000 worth of supplies.  Included in this order are a number of newly issued stamps, including the seven, nine and thirty-cent stamps, all of which bear the likeness of Benjamin Franklin, and the new one and two-cent stamps in commemoration of the Panama Exposition at San Francisco next year.   WG



Postmaster General Burleson has recently issued rules and instructions relative to the handling of mail matter during the holiday rush.  He urges upon all the necessity of seeing to it that Christmas mail be handled without delay.  The public is greatly interested and can do much to aid those in the postal service in expediting the business.  He urges upon the people the necessity of wrapping parcels and packages securely, addressing them plainly and mailing them early.  Do not delay sending your Christmas parcels until a few days before Christmas but send them early.   WG


12 17       100 PER CENT

The mailing clerks in the Watertown post office were given an examination last Saturday afternoon by Chief Clerk P. J. Schardt of Chicago.  The test consisted of separating cards addressed to the 1274 post offices in Wisconsin and distributing them among the 166 “runs” used in the state.  Carl A. Semrich and A. E. Jaeger made a record of 99 and 1/3 per cent each, which is an excellent showing.  It remained, however, for W. L. Schlueter to clean up the job without an error, thus making a record of 100 per cent.  Postmaster Moore ought to be proud of his helpers.  [Juneau Telephone]   WG



01 14       VANDALS AT WORK

Secure Few Ounces of Brass at the Post Office.  Some time Wednesday evening parties unknown removed the brass bolts which held the glass tops of the writing desks in the post office to their supports, thus endangering the safety of the heavy pieces of plate glass.  As there were but three bolts in each of the four desks, but a few ounces of brass was secured, and it is likely that it was as largely a spirit of vandalism as a desire to profit by the theft that led the thieves to do the work.  Postmaster Moore stated this morning that a reward of $5 would be paid for information which would lead to the arrest and conviction of the parties responsible.  The bolts were replaced this morning with steel bolts, as no brass bolts of that particular size could be found in the city.— [Daily Times, January 7]    WG


01 21       SOME SKATER

On Monday and Tuesday afternoons Assistant Postmaster Sidney F. Eberle occupied part of his annual vacation in testing his speed as a skater – he skated on Rock River from Boomer’s dam to Jefferson in one hour and fifty minutes – and thought he could beat the record – hence on Tuesday afternoon he made the same trip on his skates but it took him over two hours to get to Jefferson, the ice being partly covered by the light snow that fell in the morning, which made his progress slower.  He is open to challenge to make this trip on skates — lady or gent.   WG



The Watertown post office is one of a small number of offices in the country which will not be affected very much by the recent department orders for cutting down expenses.  In most offices auxiliary service is to be substituted for regular service, clerks are laid off or reduced to the rank of substitutes, while those retained in service are required to do extra work.  These economies are ordered because of the marked reduction in revenues since the beginning of the European war.


The Watertown post office during the “war period” showed a gain in receipts amounting to $343.41, as compared with a similar period a year ago.  The gain was in the period from July 1, 1914, to February 15, 1915.  The receipts credited to the office are moneys received for box rent, sale of stamps and postage on second class matter and other matter not stamped.


The Watertown postmaster will curtail the auxiliary service somewhat, but cannot in the regular clerical and carrier force of the office and keep up its present high standard of efficiency.


Tuesday last was a “red letter” day in the issuing of money orders at the Watertown post office, 88 orders having been issued on that day, the largest amount on one day in the history of the office.   WG


03 04       HIGH STANDING

Ary Keel took the test in mail card throwing at the post office Thursday.  P. J. Schardt, chief clerk in charge of mailing clerks in this section, conducted the test.  Notwithstanding that many changes in routes have been made recently, Mr. Keel threw the 1277 cards at the rate of 35 per minute and was awarded a standing of 98.60 per cent, which is considered excellent.   WG


03 05       James W. Moore, for Watertown Gazette publisher, becomes postmaster.



Thursday of last week was one of the busiest days in the history of the local post office and in consequence the city delivery of mail was quite tardy.  Wednesday evening after 5 o’clock more than 13000 pieces of mail were delivered to the post office by local firms.  When the night and early morning mails were added to this vast bulk of matter to be worked, the total number of pieces for disposal reached 23000.  Local carriers had to work the biggest part of this mail after 7 o’clock Thursday morning, making it utterly impossible to make deliveries on schedule time.


The public generally is not informed of the fact that under the postal laws carriers and clerks must not be kept on duty more than eight hours in one day, and that these eight hours must be put in within ten hours.  That is, when they begin at 7 o’clock in the morning, they must have finished their work by 5 o’clock p.m.  As the local carriers cannot work advantageously until after the morning mails are in, or in the afternoon until the mails from the east have been received, the schedule of hours at the local office is from 7 o’clock a.m. till 12 o'clock noon and from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m., which schedule is adhered to as closely as possible.


This is a matter over which the postmaster has no control.  He cannot keep the clerks and carriers at work longer than the eight hours and when an unusual amount of mail is consigned to the office after hours, it must lay over till the next morning to be worked, and thus interfere with the regular routine of the office.  Postmaster James W. Moore very carefully explained this matter, and asked the patrons of the office be requested to bear these facts in mind.  WG



Wm. G. Raue & Sons Co. have just completed painting and decorating the interior of the Watertown post office building, the entire interior part of the building having received four coats of paint.  This firm secured the work in competition with eleven other bidders, several bidders being from outside the city.  The lobby of the post office is particularly admired by all who take time to view the elegant tinting of the ceiling and sidewalls.  The large workroom is also a very handsome piece of work, and Postmaster James W. Moore and the entire force at the post office feel very proud of the work that has been just completed by Raue & Sons Co., and this progressive firm has every reason to feel gratified with the excellence of its work at the post office.   WG



Through the courtesy of Postmaster James W. Moore we had the pleasure of inspecting the new federal building at Watertown last Saturday and incidentally learned something of the systematic method of operating one of Uncle Sam’s busy workshops.  The Watertown building is a magnificent specimen of architecture and general convenience for the purpose intended.  The structure is as nearly fire-proof as any public building can be, built of marble, stone and steel – there is nothing to burn.


The vaults and safes are the finest possible and are very convenient in location and neat in design.  The inner doors on all the safes are supplied with tell-tale locks.  The keys cannot be withdrawn until the doors are closed and locked.  Should the locking-bolt be thrown forward while the door is not closed, the key could be withdrawn but, in that case, the outer door would not close.  Hence it is practically impossible to forget to lock up the strong boxes.


The various departments in the building, including the general delivery, the lock-boxes, the call-boxes, stamp division, the money order department and the city and rural delivery departments are distinct and separate and all are arranged with the greatest possible convenience.  Everything on the inside is kept in neat and convenient order and each employee always knows just where he is at.


The building is liberally supplied with toilets, baths and lavatories, including shower baths.  This latter convenience must be quite a comfort for the rural carriers when they come in from long, dusty, warm drives.


Postmaster Moore certainly has a fine layout, including his private office and adjoining private toilet in the northwest corner of the new building.  There is one feature of the new building, the necessity for which may be convincing to Uncle Sam, but it does not appeal to us in the best light.  We refer to the system of inspection.  A number of lattice openings in the various walls enable a post office inspector to watch the work and actions of the post office employees, without entering the rooms at all.  Iron ladders leading to trap doors, enable the government inspectors to take positions behind these screens and watch proceedings without being seen.  We might expect to find such a system of espionage in jails and reformatories but would hardly expect it where trusty, government employees are at work.— Juneau Telephone.    WG



Complying with a requirement of the post office department, Postmaster James W. Moore recently ordered the city carriers to count the number of places to which they had to deliver mail and determine the number of these which are still unsupplied with boxes or door slots.  Though the patrons of the office have often been urged to provide mail receptacles, a percentage of them — 15 per cent in the residence district — are still unconvinced that the providing of mail boxes means better and quicker service for them, saving the carrier’s time, making it possible for the carriers to leave mail when there is no one at home and providing other advantages.  The percentage of business houses without mail boxes is even higher than the residences, but these places are always open, and the carrier is delayed but little more by opening the door and placing the mail on the nearest counter than he would be in opening a mail box.



02 04       Clerks tested for efficiency   WDT



Post Office, 1920s, postcard


Post Office, 1920s, SW corner N Second & Madison



11 02       William Voss death, Postmaster J. M. Moore comment on   WDT



05 17       Jim Spear traded horses for gas; was first mail carrier appointed from Watertown post office   WG




Tomorrow, designated as Farley day in Watertown, because of the visit which the postmaster general will pay this city, the afternoon city delivery of mail will begin approximately one hour earlier in order that all city. carriers and substitute carriers may be at the office to welcome their chief.  The city fire siren will blow to announce the arrival of Farley and his party.  Announcement of this was made today by Dr. H. P. Bowen, Watertown postmaster.  Mr. Farley will stop here enroute to Oconomowoc where he is to dedicate the new $80,000 post office building.





In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the advent of airmail, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Postmaster General James Farley established National Airmail Week for May 15-21, 1938 to celebrate and promote the fact the U.S. Postal Service moved mail reliably and with speed.


Every citizen was encouraged to participate in the week's celebration by sending an airmail letter.  In addition, each town was invited to create its own "cachet," a commemorative design to mark the event printed or stamped on the envelopes mailed that week.


Recognizing Progress: The 1938 Celebration of Airmail Week, online article



A car parked in front of a building

Description automatically generated with medium confidence             A picture containing text

Description automatically generated





Frank Johnston, one of the city mail carriers, has the folks on his mail route trained to know when he has a letter for them from a son, brother or husband in the service. 


He whistles when he delivers such a letter and patrons along his route who expect letters from men in the service have come to rely on his whistle and they rush out eagerly to get the letter. 


Mr. Johnston has also made it a practice to deliver a letter to folks in the evening after hours on his way home when he has found a letter for anyone along his route upon his return from his delivery trip. 


This is especially true when someone has been anxiously waiting for a letter from a service man for days and days. 


This little courtesy, which Mr. Johnston isn't at all bound to do under mail regulations, is much appreciated by folks along his route. 


We think Frank Johnston should take a bow for this extra little attention he gives to his work.


He knows what it is to wait for a letter.  He has a son, Ralph, in the service.



03 23       FATHER AND SON in Postal Service

The Watertown post office now has a father and son combination on its staff.  They are Herbert A. Baurichter, who has been a carrier for 36 years, and his son, Herbert E. Baurichter, who began his duties on March 8 as a sub-clerk.  The father and son are veterans. The father served in World War I with Co. G, 342nd infantry, 86th (Blackhawk) division, seeing service in both England and France.  The son served in World War II, serving with the First division.  He was wounded in Germany and spent six months in a hospital.  Father and son combinations in postal .service, where both are war veterans, are rare, but Watertown now has this combination and both are on duty daily.   WDT  Article includes pic


05 18       Former Watertown police patrolman Harold Hoeft accepts a position in the post office.



12 19       The Watertown Post Office yesterday had its biggest single day in its history, breaking the previous record set in 1952, Postmaster R. W. Lueck Jr. reported today.  Yesterday a total of 81,116 pieces of mail was canceled here.  Machine cancellations totaled 79,616 and hand cancellations accounted for an additional 1,500.  The previous single day’s record, in 1952, was 80,000 cancellations, the postmaster said.   WDT



RETIREMENT OF ARTHUR JAEGER  /  Began duties as a mounted city carrier.

Death notice published 01 13 1979

Arthur R. Jaeger, 91, 808 Cady Street, died Friday afternoon at Marquardt Memorial Manor following a lingering illness.  Jaeger was born June 8, 1887 in Watertown, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jaeger.  He married the former Esther Mittag Feb. 22, 1927 at St. Mark’s Church.  Before retiring July 1, 1957, Jaeger was a mail carrier on routes in the city until 1949.  After that, he was a mail carrier on routes 2 and 5.  At the time of his retirement, he had served longer than any other postal worker in Watertown, completing 50 years of service.


He was a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Retired Federal Employees and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.  He was also a member of the Watertown Historical Society, a board member of the Lutheran Cemetery


10 30       Charles McKeigue and William Muir retire.   WDT




Veteran Postal Worker to Wind up 41 Years


Louis W Bergmann, 1307 9th Street, one of city's veteran postal employees, will make his last rounds on rural route 4 next Tuesday.  With the close of business that day he will retire after 41 years as a rural mail carrier, operating out of the Watertown Post Office.


Mr. Bergmann began his services on Oct 1, 1917.  He first served as a substitute carrier and during WWI was a temporary carrier after which he went back to the status of a substitute carrier.  On May 10, 1920, he was appointed carrier on old route 8, later route 5, serving patrons in the townships of Emmet, Lebanon, and Hustisford.  In 1950, he transferred to route 4, serving south of Watertown.  His route since then has covered 46.15 miles daily.


FIRST USED HORSES:  When Mr. Bergmann first joined the postal service a horse and buggy was his means of travel along his route.  In all there were 10 rural carriers at that time, all employing horse and buggy.  He is the last of the "old horsemen."  He recalls that he "used up" five horse in making his trips.  With the passing of the horse and buggy, he has been employing the automobile, as have all other rural carriers here.  He said today he doesn't recall just how many cars he used to date but there have been plenty.


SERVED UNDER MOORE:  When he first went to work at the Post Office, the postmaster was the late James W Moore, Watertown editor and publisher of the weekly newspaper, The Watertown Gazette.  The other three postmasters he served under have been the late O.C. Wertheimer, the late Dr. H. P. Bowen and the present postmaster R.W. Lueck.  Mr. Bergman's successor on route 4 will be Clarence Schmist who has been serving route 2 while route 2 will be taken over by Clarence Bittner, who has been a carrier in this city.  Mr. Bergmann was feted at a testimonial and farewell party by fellow workers held at the old Davy's Hall earlier this week.  He was presented with a wrist watch, the presentation being made on behalf of the group by Postmaster Lueck.


WAS SNOWED IN:  During his many years serving the rural area of Watertown, Mr. Bergmann recalls many experiences such as being "snowed in" and being forced to remain at one of his rural mail clients for several days.  He recalls that in the days of horse and buggy the daily trips took much longer than they do now and covered shorter routes.  The horse and buggy era may have been more leisurely but it had many drawbacks which the car era does not have, he said.


Postmaster Lueck paid tribute to Mr. Bergmann for his 41 years in the postal service, bringing mail daily to his patrons in all kinds of weather and under all sorts of conditions.  He said that he had been a faithful and conscientious worker, always reliable and always on the job.  He said he joined with his fellow workers in congratulating Mr. Bergmann on having attained a long record of service to the government and the public and that they all wish him well and many years of good health and happiness in life.


Mr. Bergmann said that he has no immediate plans, except to enjoy a good long rest after which he hopes he and his wife can make a trip to some of the many places they have talked about and dreamed about and which they have always expressed a desire some day to visit.  "Now maybe, we can make this trip," he said. "At least I hope so and this is my plan for the future--but not immediately.  First comes a little taking it easy."


VOICE OF THE PEOPLE  /  To the Editor of the Daily Times:


It has been said that our country's Civil Service personnel do not take pride in the various ways in which they serve the citizenry of our land.  Perhaps we, who are daily benefited by their services, do not think too much about them when all goes smoothly and efficiently and they do their work well.  Maybe we even impose upon their good nature because we forget they are human beings as well as public servants.


Therefore on the occasion of our Rural Carrier's retirement from active service, we wish to express our appreciation to Mr. Louis Bergmann for his warm friendliness and personal interest in our family, as well as postal service that has gone way beyond the requirements of duty.  The cheery smile, lift of the hand, and twinkle in his eye as we responded to the sound of a special raucous horn heralding his arrival are permanently etched in our minds, even as they have brought a quickening to our hearts in many of the days past.  May Mr. Bergmann and his wife find rich fulfillment on their anticipated hopes and plans for the years yet granted to them.


Mr. & Mrs. Carl R. Nowack, Route 4


Contributed by Jean Bergmann Wiechmann, Granddaughter of (Paul) Louis William Bergmann, Watertown-Cigar Maker and Rural Mail Carrier.



05 22       Effort for new post office building, or spend money to refurnish and improve present building   WDT



05 01       Ideal locations for new post office   WDT


06 17       Watertown Civic Center, new Post Office would be part of plan   WDT



An option has been taken on the two properties which make up Block 25 in the city as a possible site for a new post office building.  The block is that bounded by Dodge and Spring Streets, between South Fourth and South Fifth Streets.  The two sites which make up the block are the Edward Maldaner property which occupies the north half of the block, and the former Stiemke Apartment property which occupied the south half.  The latter is owned by Carl Luce of 1139 South Twelfth Street.







Postmaster R. W. Lueck, Jr., in a letter to the editor of the Daily Times, today charged that Watertown businessmen who recently went on record against relocation of the proposed new post office building in Watertown to another general city area, such as Block 25, acted for their own selfish interests and “have no thought or concern for the welfare and convenience of the vast majority of the residents of our community from whom they solicit business.”  Mr. Lueck’s letter was prompted by a report which appeared in the Daily Times on Thursday relative to a meeting of the retail division of the Watertown Association of Commerce.



Block 25, which is the area directly south of the block occupied in part by the Turner Hall, last night was approved as a site for a new post office building.  The issue, which has been debated and argued for several months, was settled by city council action.  The vote was 6 to 1, with Councilman Andrew McFarland casting the only “no” vote.  He had been holding out for a possible other site.  As a result of last night’s action by the council, the post office department now has the go- ahead signal for its plans for the 10,000 square foot building which is to cost around $150,000.



Watertown Post Office substation No. 1, located at the Doerr Pharmacy in West Main Street is giving special Christmas postal service.  The substation is open evenings and for the convenience of those who cannot do their mailing of greetings and parcels during the regular or extra hours under which the post office is operating, it is suggested that the facilities of the substation be utilized.  Stamps may be secured and mailing of parcels, etc., may be done at the substation which is open each evening including Sundays.   WDT



02 23       Plans have been announced for the scheduling of construction of a new post office in Watertown this year.  The U.S. Post Office Department announced that a new post office building to serve the Watertown area will become a reality this year.  Acting Postmaster E.W. Kaercher was informed that calls for an advertisement for bids for the new building have been authorized.  The building will be on a lease basis, as is the general policy of the federal government.   WDT


03 15       David J. Fries, chairman of the Democratic Party of Jefferson County, announced that the executive committee of the Democratic Parties of Jefferson and Dodge Counties are recommending to Congressman Robert W. Kastenmeier that he appoint Fredrick Pagel as postmaster of Watertown.  The position of postmaster is now held by E. H. Kaercher who is a veteran career postal employee.  He is serving as acting postmaster, having been so designated following the resignation last year of Postmaster R.  W. Lueck, Jr.   WDT


03 29       Frederick Pagel, 138 Riverlawn Avenue, Watertown, was named postmaster of Watertown and is to be installed as soon as possible as the successor to Robert Lueck Jr., who resigned the position on Oct. 28.  Announcement of the appointment was made in Washington County this afternoon at the office of Robert W. Kastenmeier of Watertown, Democratic congressman for the second congressional district.  “We have requested the U.S. Post Office Department to install Mr. Pagel as the acting postmaster as soon as possible and to conduct the necessary examinations and investigations to nominate him for the permanent appointment,” Kastenmeier said.  Pagel, a native of Watertown, is a career worker in the postal transportation service. He was graduated from Watertown High School in 1941 and served in the army for 40 months during World War II.    WDT


05 20       Watertown today was assured a new post office building, with April 29, 1962, set as the deadline for its completion.  Today’s announcement was received from the office of Congressman Robert W. Kastenmeier in Washington.  It was stated that the successful bidder is Harry M. Forman of 105 East Silver Street, Milwaukee.  His bid was the lowest of eight submitted.  The post office is to be built and a yearly rental on a 20-year lease is to be paid to Mr. Forman.  The annual fee to be paid him by the U.S. Post Office will be $20,640.  The highest bid ran to $30,072 as the yearly rental.   WDT


06 28       Mayor Robert P. White today sent a letter of inquiry to determine what the government proposes to do about the future of the Watertown Post Office, soon to be replaced by a new structure in another part of the city.  Recently it was proposed in the city council that if the old building becomes available the city investigate the possibility of acquiring it for some city department, probably a police headquarters.  This idea had also been previously discussed during the city managership under C. C. Congdon but never reached a point where it could be advanced to a point of inquiry.   WDT


12 20       The Watertown Post Office building, currently being replaced by a new post office which is under construction, today was declared surplus government property.  The present post office will continue to be occupied by the post office department until approximately May 16, 1962.  The property will be available for disposal for the following uses:  Public park, recreational area or historical monument, schools, classrooms or other educational purposes, protection of public health, including research, widening of public highways, streets or alleys and negotiated sales to public bodies for use for public purposes generally.   WDT



03 03       The common council, at a regular meeting last night, approved a resolution directing the mayor to prepare necessary forms for negotiations with the General Services Administration for the acquisition of the old Watertown Post Office building for recreation purposes.  If the plan is finally approved by the secretary of the interior, and the city acquires the building it will be used by the recreation department.  Under terms of the regulations required for acquisition of the building the city must list and outline the specific purposes for which the building is to be used, how it is to be operated and conducted, plus furnishing additional details that are embodied in the rules and regulations governing such procedure.   WDT


05 23       The new Watertown Post Office will begin operations on Monday, May 28, it was announced by Frederick W. Pagel, Watertown postmaster.  The announcement was made following yesterday’s acceptance of the building by a regional engineer after a checkup of all specifications.  The old post office building will be turned over to the General Services Administration for disposal. The city of Watertown at present has a pending offer of $20,000 for the property to be utilized for some city use, the exact nature of which has not been specified by the common council.   WDT


06 04       Watertown’s new post office opened for business today.  The $160,000 steel, brick and pre-cast marble and glass structure, measuring 110 by 132 feet, was completed just one month behind the scheduled date set at the time the contract was awarded after options were obtained on the site on June 28, 1960.  Formal dedication of the building will be held on Sunday, July 15 at which time there will also be an open house for the public.  The new post office is located in the 400 block of Dodge Street.  The building and grounds take up the entire city area known as Block 25.   WDT


06 07       Watertown officials are awaiting the next move from Washington in their plans to acquire the old Watertown Post Office property for the city. Mayor Robert P. White announced yesterday that a down payment of $4,000 had been made for the property, in accordance with plans approved by the common council. The remaining $16,000 of the full $20,000 price will be paid later, after the property is turned over to the city. Under current negotiations the city may use the property for any operations it sees fit and retain ownership. Mayor White told aldermen at a committee meeting that the next step is up to Congress and that he expects favorable action and that the city will get the property.  Just what the property will be used for has not been announced.   WDT


07 25       Watertown’s new $160,000 post office building, which opened for business on June 1, was dedicated Sunday afternoon under fair skies and with an attendance that exceeded expectations.  Speakers hailed the new building as an example of the new trend in post office construction to bring about an ever-increasing rate of efficiency in handling and dispatching the world’s largest flow of mail.  Dr. J. R. Casanova was the master of ceremonies, being introduced by Postmaster Frederick W. Pagel who opened the program following an organ prelude by Mrs. Palmer Strache.   WDT


10 05       The General Services Administration announced that certain former facilities and equipment used in the old Watertown Post Office will be put up for sale on a basis of sealed bids.  Among the items to be sold are: Cases and tables, lockers, iron cuspidors, a wall clock, electric water cooler, a rack, pouch, table, fire extinguishers, a work bench, tool cabinet, key case, miscellaneous cabinets, desks, cabinet, metal shelving and other items.   WDT


10 11       Since the city has not determined the future use of the old Post Office which it now owns the likelihood of selling it is beginning to loom larger as a future possibility.  Mayor Robert P. White said last night that he has had several “offers” from interested parties, but that for the present there is no thought of selling the building and nothing definite will be done until the council decides definitely to what use the city will put the property.   WDT


11 29       Applications are now being taken at Watertown Post Office for Christmas seasonal helpers.  Applicants may secure their application forms in the post office lobby.  The season helpers work is during the period of Dec. 15 to 23.  The extra help is paid at the rate of $2.10 per hour, with 10 per cent added to this for work between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., postmaster Frederick W. Pagel said.   WDT


12 27       Postmaster Frederick W. Pagel reminded Watertown area residents of the fact that an order issued earlier this year to the effect that on Jan. 1, 1963, a new postal regulation will be put into operation — barring all odd-shaped letters and cards from the mails.  Under the regulation, mail less than 3 inches high or 4 1/2 inches long will be banned starting Jan. 1, 1963.  It must meet both the height and length minimum standards. The department said it was also banning pieces of mail “that are not of the normal rectangular shape.” It gave the examples, post cards in the shape of autos, hearts and animals.    WDT




A single bid to purchase the old Watertown Post Office which the city acquired last year for $20,000 was filed at the city hall yesterday, the deadline for bids being 5 p.m.  Mayor Robert P. White revealed to the common council last night that only one proposal had been received.  The aldermen moved to have it opened and it was revealed that it came from Watertown Lodge No. 830, Loyal Order of Moose.  The lodge offered $16,000 cash for the property, plus its North Second Street lot which is valued at $14,212.   WDT



Watertown Lodge No. 830, Loyal Order of Moose today assumed possession of the old Watertown Post Office.  Mayor Robert P. White announced that negotiations for the sale of the property to the Moose have been finalized.  The common council previously authorized the sale, subject to the final approval of the planning commission.  The commission stamped its approval on the sale last week.  The city received cash in the amount of $17,500 and the property on North First Street, valued in the neighborhood of $5,400.  The city paid the federal government $20,000 for the building last fall in hopes it could make use of the facilities.  After a thorough inspection by the council and the mayor, it was found the city could not economically solve its space problems with the building.   WDT


04 30       FREDERICK PAGEL Confirmed Postmaster

Frederick W. Pagel, who has served as acting postmaster of Watertown for several years, has assumed the title of postmaster following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate yesterday.  The senate acted on a number of other Wisconsin appointments for postmasters at its session yesterday.  Pagel was first named acting postmaster to replace Robert W. Lueck Jr., but the senate did not get around to his confirmation as postmaster until yesterday.   WDT


06 20       ZIP CODE NUMBERS

Another step has been taken by the Post Office Department to speed mail delivery.  Under the new setup, a code number has been assigned each post office.  The new system will go into effect on July 1.  The setup is known as the ZIP code.  Each ZIP code number contains five digits. The code number for Watertown is 53094. This number, Fred Pagel, postmaster, said today should be used after July 1.  WDT



Watertown Lodge No. 830, Loyal Order of Moose will hold an open house for the public at its new clubhouse, the former Watertown Post Office building in North Second Street on Sunday afternoon, June 23. 



Conrad W. Ott, who holds the position of outgoing dispatch clerk at the Watertown Post Office, was honored at a dinner gathering last night at the Plattdeutscher Verein Hall to mark his coming retirement which becomes effective on Aug. 31.  Following the dinner Mr. Ott was presented with numerous gifts, including a wrist watch.  Master of ceremonies at the affair was Chester McGuire. Joseph M. Schuch, president of Local No. 2496, United Federation of Postal Clerks, spoke as did Palmer J. Freres, secretary-treasurer of the Local, as did Postmaster Frederic W. Pagel.



Plans are underway to hold the formal dedication of the new Moose Club, formerly the Watertown Post Office, on Sunday, Sept. 15.  The building, completely remodeled and renovated for lodge purposes, the former post office is now occupied by Watertown Lodge No. 830, Loyal Order of Moose and the local chapter of the Women of the Moose.  Open house was held in June but the dedication has been delayed until Sept. 15. Many visitors will come here for the dedication, including several high ranking officials of the Loyal Order of Moose.







05 07       PALMER FRERES

Palmer Freres, 234 North Avenue, a member of the Watertown Post Office staff and examiner in charge here for the U.S. Civil Service Commission, was elected commander of the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post 189, the American Legion.   




Postmaster Frederick W. Pagel announced this morning that Joseph M. Schuch, 1005 Labaree Street, was named to the position of superintendent of mails at the Watertown Post Office.  Schuch, a postal worker for 19 years, replaces Ray Fredrich who became assistant postmaster several weeks ago at the time of the retirement of E. W. Kaercher who had been assistant postmaster.





Increased rates for all classes of mail except parcel post and international mail will go into effect Jan. 7, Postmaster Fred Pagel reminded postal customers today.  “Even with the new rates of six cents for first-class mail and 10 cents for air mail, postal service is still a real bargain,” Postmaster Pagel said.  “For six cents you can send a letter to any of the 50 states, to any United States territory or possession, to Canada or Mexico, or to an American serviceman stationed anywhere in the world.” P ostmaster Pagel pointed out that the new rate for post cards will be five cents and for air mail post cards eight cents.  He said the added cent in the letter rate is a 20 per cent increase compared to a 24 per cent boost in the rates for mailing newspapers and magazines and a 34 per cent hike for advertising circulars, “occupant” mail, and other material in the third-class category.




Officials of Watertown Lodge No. 830, Loyal Order of Moose, has offered to sell the Moose Lodge building, formerly the Watertown post office, to the park and recreation commission for use as a recreational facility.  The price for the building, which is located at 120 North Second Street, is $70,000.  A committee of members on the commission was formed to examine the building to determine if the structure could be changed into a recreational facility.  The commission appointed a second committee to show several possible sites of available land for a future recreational center.    WDT




   Site cleared for parking lot




Albin Zinda, superintendent of mails at the Brainerd, Minn., post office, has been appointed postmaster for the Watertown Post Office.  Zinda’s appointment was announced by John P. Doran, regional postmaster general for the 13-state central postal region.  Zinda has held several supervisory positions in the United States Postal Service prior to accepting the Watertown position.  He served in the United States Air Force from 1946 to 1949 and reached the rank of sergeant.  He is also active in Brainerd community



10 30       ALBIN ZINDA “Postmaster of the Year”

Watertown Postmaster Albin Zinda was named “Postmaster of the Year” among the postmasters serving 138 post offices in southeastern Wisconsin during a special program Thursday evening at the Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc.  The award presentation made to Zinda and his wife, Betty, culminated a two-day training seminar held annually for postmasters in the Milwaukee management sectional center.  Postmaster for all of Milwaukee and sectional manager for southeastern Wisconsin post offices James Oster said Zinda earned his right to the award due to the performance of the Watertown Post Office through the past fiscal year which ended Oct. 1.  “Watertown had an excellent budget performance and a fine safety record,” Oster said.   WL


HAROLD HOEFT RETIREMENT after 34 years (1948-1982)




Janet M. Bauer, 31, 1001 Labaree St., superintendent of postal operations for the Watertown Post Office, has been named postmaster.  The announcement was made today by James Oster, manager of the Milwaukee Sectional Center and Milwaukee Postmaster, Bauer's immediate supervisor.  The appointment is effective Aug. 20.




Watertown letter carrier Herb Doering has been named employee of the month for the Milwaukee Sectional Center.  Doering has been a letter carrier for 24 years and is a lifelong resident of Watertown.  Doering began his career with the Watertown Post Office in 1962 as a part-time flexible carrier.  As a letter carrier Doering said his hometown knowledge and a great memory have allowed him to place a name with an address for approximately 8,000 residents.   WDT



03 11       Janet Bauer, postmaster of the Watertown Post Office, has been rumored to be the postmaster of the Sheboygan Post Office.  Bauer will begin her duties in Sheboygan Saturday.  She has been postmaster in Watertown since August of 1979 [1983?].  James L. Eskelsen, postmaster of the Mukwonago Post Office, will serve as the officer in charge in Watertown until Bauer’s successor is named.


05 12       Kenneth Boeder, who has spent most of his 28-year postal career with the Watertown Post Office, has been appointed postmaster in the town of Ashippun.  Michael Mahnke, of the U.S. Postal Service in Milwaukee, announced Boeder’s appointment this week.  Boeder will begin his duties on Tuesday, succeeding Wayne Chapman, who retired in December 1988.  Boeder, currently a window and finance clerk with the Watertown Post Office, is the third Watertown resident in 1989 to be reassigned.  Betty Pirkel was appointed postmaster in Fort Atkinson, and former Watertown Postmaster Janet Bauer was assigned to Sheboygan.


05 22       Arthur Hamann, a 26-year veteran of the United States Postal Service, has been appointed the new postmaster for the city of Watertown.  The appointment was effective at noon today. Hamann will begin his work in Watertown on Tuesday morning after spending his final day at the Hilltop station in Milwaukee on Monday.  Hamann will succeed Janet Bauer who had been named postmaster in Sheboygan nearly three months ago.  Since that time the post office has been under the direction of James Eskelsen, the officer in charge.  Next week Eskelsen will return to his former position as postmaster in Mukwonago.




Every letter mailed Tuesday morning at the Watertown branch of the U.S. Post Office will receive a special cancellation on the Great Circus Train, according to Watertown Postmaster Art Hamann.  He will deliver the mail to the train at 11:25 a.m. when it is scheduled to arrive in Watertown.  The train will deliver the mail for processing in Milwaukee later that day.  A limited number of the special 200th Anniversary of the Circus caches will go on sale Tuesday at the Watertown Post Office.  Six other Wisconsin cities, Lodi, Madison, Columbus, Pewaukee, Wauwatosa and Milwaukee, along the route will also offer special cancellations, each showing their city name.      Chapter on Circuses     



03 24       Jeffrey D. Hoffmann, 34, succeeded Art Hamann as postmaster   WDT



01 06       H rate makeup stamp hard to find   WDT



01 02       Armin Genz and Wally Scheiber, retirement of   WDT



01 09       CLIFF BUTZINE, Employee of the Month

Cliff Butzine of Waterloo and a city letter carrier in Watertown received the Employee of the Month award in December by the United States Postal Service's Lakeland District.  Butzine has been employed at the Watertown Post Office for more than three years.  His current route generally covers First to Third streets and from Main Street across Western Avenue.  Butzine said he likes his job as a postal carrier.




The Watertown Post Office is undergoing construction and replacement of the driveway collection area on the South Fourth Street side of the facility.  Construction is expected to take two weeks, according to Postmaster Jeffrey Hoffmann.  Shortly after the work is completed, the Watertown Street Department will be resurfacing and replacing sewers and gutters on South Fourth Street and Dodge Street.  For the duration of these periods of construction, the outside collection boxes have been relocated to the comer of South Fifth and Dodge streets.



05 15       MARY WOODARD LASKER STAMP, Stamp Ceremony


2014       ANITA LAGERMAN named Postmaster

08 25       Anita Lagerman 

Anita Lagerman began in the postmaster position on June 24, having held a supervisory position locally in the past.  She was employed as a supervisor at the Watertown Post Office from 2001-10.  Throughout her career she has worked at area post offices in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, New Berlin, Watertown, Lake Mills and Hartford. Prior to returning to Watertown she worked as postmaster in Lake Mills and Hartford.  Lagerman is a graduate of Brookfield East High School. She also holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from Marquette University and a master's degree in business from the University of Phoenix.  In her spare time she enjoys crafting, wood carving and interacting with the community.



08 25       The post office recently signed a contract to become an Amazon Hub, which will add over 100 staff hours to the post office by operating on Sundays.  As an Amazon Hub, the office will acquire a machine that will digitally record and sort each package, which will then be delivered by postal workers to the surrounding areas.  This contract will add new positions and give the Watertown Post Office the opportunity to expand and hire more employees.


2018       PATRICK PINKOS named Postmaster

08 31       The Watertown Post Office welcomed Patrick Pinkos as postmaster in November. After almost a year in this position, he said Watertown is a good place to work and that he has good employees.  Pinkos took the position after Anita Lagerman, the previous postmaster, passed away last year.  The Cedarburg resident has 21 1/2 years of experience in the United States Postal Service and his last position was postmaster in Mayville.  One thing Pinkos has been working on is finding more applicants for post office positions. Other goals are to make the post office the best it can be for the employees and to create a safe environment.







Post Office, employee, George J. Weber

Post Office, employee, Frank Schulz

Clerkship held by Constance Wiggenhorn




Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin