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Free mail delivery begins in Klamath Falls

Free mail delivery came to Klamath Falls in September 1916.

Residents accustomed to making trips to the post office were now able to watch a mailman deliver it daily except Sunday.  Mailmen made their rounds soon after the arrival of the morning train each day, and made a second delivery to businesses in town when the afternoon train arrived in time.

In order to receive the free delivery service, residents and business owners had to file a written request at the post office and install a mail box at the front door of their home or office.  Postmaster William Delzell informed residents it would not be acceptable for mailmen to wait for someone to answer the door and receive the mail.

He encouraged residents to instruct their correspondents to include their exact street address on envelopes.  It was no longer sufficient to simply address an envelope with the recipient’s name and city.

The post office also asked that customers make sure sidewalks leading to their homes were safe for mailmen, even in rain or snow.

The delivery of mail was free, but the postage stamp price for a letter doubled to two cents.

Source: "Delzell Gives Details of New Free Delivery Service." Evening Herald 14 Sept. 1916 [Klamath Falls, Ore.] : 1. Print.

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Todd Kepple has been a Klamath Basin resident since 1990. He was a reporter and editor the for the Herald and News from 1990 to 2005, and has been manager of the Klamath County Museum since 2005. He enjoys volunteering at Crater Lake National Park, the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also a founding member of the Klamath Tree League.