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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sun Prairie in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

First Rural Free Delivery in Wisconsin

 
 
First Rural Free Delivery in Wisconsin Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 30, 2010
1. First Rural Free Delivery in Wisconsin Marker
Inscription. In 1896, the U.S. Post Office Department began rural free delivery in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and West Virginia on an experimental basis. On November 16, Sun Prairie became the first community in Wisconsin to initiate rural free delivery, with four routes. Each carrier rode 20 to 30 miles daily delivering mail in an area of 60 square miles, for a salary of $25 a month. The first appointed carriers included: Charles Woerpel, James Dunphy, Charles Phillips, and William Evans. William Mosel was Sun Prairie Postmaster at this time.

Village merchants initially opposed free delivery, fearing loss of business if farmers did not come to town for their mail. After a month's trial, satisfied farmers announced they would carry on the service themselves should the Postal Service discontinue it. Rural free delivery continued and became a permanent service.

House-to-house delivery in the village did not begin until 1950.
 
Erected 2007 by the Dane County Historical Society. (Marker Number 43.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Postal Mail and Philately, and the Wisconsin, Dane County Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 43° 10.437′ N, 89° 14.527′ W. Marker is in Sun Prairie
First Rural Free Delivery in Wisconsin Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, October 30, 2010
2. First Rural Free Delivery in Wisconsin Marker
, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of Linnerud Drive and Clarmar Drive, on the left when traveling west on Linnerud Drive. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1715 Linnerud Drive, Sun Prairie WI 53590, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Maureen Mengelt Memorial (approx. one mile away); Georgia O'Keeffe (approx. 1.7 miles away); Token Creek (approx. 3 miles away); Reindahl Memorial Park (approx. 5.2 miles away); Elvis Presley Fight Scene (approx. 5.8 miles away); Alexander Smith House (approx. 5.8 miles away); Hiestand School (approx. 6.1 miles away); Hiestand Park (approx. 6.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Sun Prairie.
 
Also see . . .  Dane County Historical Society. Society newsletter articles on rural free delivery, along with an announcement of the dedication of this marker. (Submitted on October 10, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 
 
Categories. Government
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 599 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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