Monday, August 1, 2011

1905 First Woman Rural Carrier

Fowlerville delights in heading the procession and now has a lady rural carrier. W.H. Cobley resigned his position as carrier on route No. 1 and Mrs. A.B. Elliott has been appointed to fill the vacancy. She commenced her new official duties on Monday. She still retains her position with the Livingston county mutual telephone company.

The above article was found in a mid-summer issue of The Fowlerville Review, 1905, edited and published by G.L. Adams.

The rural free delivery service began in the Fowlerville area in the early 1900s and was a great boon to the outlying areas. Early carriers paved the way for future carriers solving various problems and streamlining the operation as quickly as possible.

Another interesting blurb I found follows:

According to the ruling of the postmaster general, rural mail carriers will have six holidays each year as follows: New Year's, Washington's birthday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, First Monday in September (Labor Day), and Thanksgiving Day.

Curiously, Christmas Day was not listed. A few months later, another article gave the men, as well as the one woman, carriers something more to deal with, keeping their job even more interesting:

Postmaster Cooper has received an order that all boxes on the rural mail routes must be numbered by the owners by Sept. 30 and that the carriers must put the number after each name on their lists as they appear on the boxes. The numbers will commence with the first box sserved as number one on each route. What benefit this will be either to the patrons or the carriers is known only in the mind of the man who conceived the order.

The following year, G.L. Adams was back to mentioning the lady rural carrier with,

July 9, 1905, Mrs. Anna Bell Eliott made her first trip as mail carrier on route No. 1 and has not missed a day during the year, one day making seven miles of the route on foot. She is now taking a 20-day vacation.

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