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Vernal in Uintah County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Parcel Post Bank

 
 
Parcel Post Bank Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2013
1. Parcel Post Bank Marker
Inscription.
September 1886 Samuel R. Bennion was sent here to establish a banking institution called the 'Ashley Co-op.' In 1903 the first pioneer bank was opened for business. In 1916 W.H. Coltharp erected this building with Salt Lake City brick. A full car load of brick was used, each wrapped separately and sent Parcel Post U.S. Mail to Watson, Utah by train. From there they were hauled to Vernal by freight wagon and teams. It is known as the “Parcel Post Bank of the World.” With N.J. Meagher, Sr. cashier, this bank has been a great factor in the development of Uintah Basin.
Uintah County, Utah

 
Erected 1958 by Daughters of Utah Pioneers. (Marker Number 247.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers marker series.
 
Location. 40° 27.336′ N, 109° 31.727′ W. Marker is in Vernal, Utah, in Uintah County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (U.S. 40) and South Vernal Avenue (U.S. 191), on the right when traveling east on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is mounted at eye-level on the north wall of the Zions Bank building, near the northeast corner and main entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3 West Main Street, Vernal UT 84078, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Parcel Post Bank Marker (<i>wide view; marker just right of entrance</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2013
2. Parcel Post Bank Marker (wide view; marker just right of entrance)
At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Do Religion and Money Mix? (here, next to this marker); Cobble Rock Gas Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Where the Dollar has More Cents (within shouting distance of this marker); Vernal Post Office (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Ashley Center (about 400 feet away); Shipped Another 12,000 Hen Fruit by Parcel Post (about 400 feet away); Farm Exchange Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jensen (Mau-be) Ferry (approx. 11.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vernal.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Bank That Was Sent Through the Post Office.
The bricks which Coltharp selected were made by the Salt Lake Pressed Brick Company, located about 120 miles away from Vernal, Utah by straight line, and even longer on the trails that weaved through Utah. Coltharp's problem was that the freight costs to haul 80,000 bricks from Salt Lake City to Vernal was prohibitive. The freight charges to ship the bricks to Vernal were about 4 times more expensive than what the bricks cost. In a stroke of creative genius, Coltharp decided he would have the bricks mailed to the small town, taking advantage of the cheap parcel post rates. (Submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Parcel Post Bank.
The new building would require more than 80,000 bricks to be shipped from Salt Lake City. At the time, wagon
Zions Bank (<i>main entrance; northeast corner; marker just beyond pillar at right</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2013
3. Zions Bank (main entrance; northeast corner; marker just beyond pillar at right)
freighters demanded 15 cents per brick. Coltharp was determined to find a lower price, and he did. He discovered that Vernal was in a different postal code, and that each brick could be mailed via parcel post for 7 cents apiece — less than half what the freighters were offering. After the last packages left Salt Lake City, the postal service in Mack, Colorado, began questioning all the bricks going through its station. Personnel notified Washington, D.C., and regulations were quickly changed to prevent future senders from mailing more than 200 pounds of merchandise to one addressee in a single day without special permissions. (Submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. The Bank of Vernal: The "Parcel Post Bank".
Prior to 1913, by law, the Post Office Department could not carry packages weighing more than four pounds. Private express companies, which had begun to flourish in the mid-1800s, delivered larger packages. In 1913 the Post Office Department began accepting packages weighing up to 11 pounds for mailing via a new service called Parcel Post, bringing a world of merchandise as close as the customerís mailbox or Post Office. (Submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. Vernal bank built by bricks sent through the mail.
They went by rail, mostly, but the long way around. By railroad to
Salt Lake City to Vernal, Utah map image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner
4. Salt Lake City to Vernal, Utah map
Mack, Colorado, narrow-gauge railway back into Utah, freight wagons and ferryboats the rest of the way — 427 miles. It cost the post office a fortune. The Vernal postmaster sent a legendary telegram to Washington. And he said, "Some S.O.B. is trying to ship a whole building through the U.S. mail," except it was a little more colorful than that. (Submitted on February 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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