U.S. Mail Wagon

U.S. Mail Wagon

Ethel Parker posed next to the horse-drawn U.S. Mail Wagon donated to the Wayne County Historical Society in 1978. Wa. Co. Historical Society File Photo

This month’s feature item from the collection is a U.S. Mail Wagon used in the early part of the 1900s to deliver mail in the northern part of Wayne County, Ohio. It was donated to the Historical Society in 1978 by Carl Schaad, who was retiring as Postmaster of Burbank, Ohio at the time. Mr. Schaad’s father was a rural carrier out of Burbank for many years and bought this wagon, used, in 1919.
U.S. Mail Wagon

The old Rural Rt. No. 2 U.S. Mail delivery wagon. © 2012 Wa. Co. Historical Society


Rural delivery wagons, which carriers had to buy themselves, generally had a small combination desk/sorting case up front and room for a small cashbox and a coal-fired foot-warmer in winter. They often came with four sled runners for use during winter weather conditions. Rural mail carriers sometimes chose to wear uniforms, although it was not required.
David Leisy's Mail Wagon

David Leisy had to buy the mail wagon he used to deliver the U.S. Mail in 1904. © 2012 Wayne County Historical Society


The introduction of Parcel Post in 1913 led to a greater need for motorized delivery vehicles, since there was simply more mail and it became heavier and bulkier. Motor vehicles were more expensive than horse-drawn vehicles, but could carry more and travel further. Although some rural carriers still chose to hang on to their horse-drawn vehicles because some of the rural road conditions were so poor only a horse-drawn vehicle could reliably pass over them. Once roads were improved and automobiles gained better traction the old horse-drawn mail wagons disappeared from use.

Comments

  1. Matthew Schug says:

    I have been investigating a wagon undercarriage I bought from my County Historical Society and I think it might have been a mail wagon. I was hoping you can tell me more about yours. My says Pontiac Steel under the metal axle on all corners of the axles so I think it was build by the Pontiac wagon Company and they stopped making wagons around 1904. Would you be able to tell me if yours are the same. I want to rebuild mine but I need some pictures of an example that I can copy. I need to know wheel size and other things like that. Thank You in advance for your time. Matthew Schug

  2. Barry Schaad says:

    hello,
    I AM THE GRANDSON OF CHARLES ELMER SCHAAD, AND THE SON OF CARL SCHAAD. DO YOU STILL HAVE THE MAIL WAGON THAT I REMEMBER AS A CHILD? IT WAS DONATED BY MY DAD AFTER MY GRANDPARENTS PASSED AWAY. I REMEMBER IT WAS SITTING IN GRANPA’S BARN FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE IN BURBANK.

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