"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."(1) This unofficial motto of the US Postal Service covers a lot of conditions. But what about fire?
My Great Uncle Paul Severin Myren was a rural postal carrier in Traill County, North Dakota, for many years. A brief newspaper article told of his brush with a fire in which he was seriously burned. Apparently getting rid of weeds so that the mailboxes remained accessible was part of the job for a rural mail carrier in those days.
|Pioneer Express, 17 Nov 1922(2)|
Fortunately, this accident did not end Paul's long-time career with the post office. In fact, at the time of his accident, Paul was serving as President of the Rural Letter Carriers in North Dakota.(3)
Lessons Learned: That wonderful picture of Paul found at the beginning of my post was one I obtained some years ago, back before I realized how important it was to keep up with sources. The picture came from a local history book probably written in 1930-1940 in Traill County, North Dakota. Online I had come across an index to the book, saw Paul listed, and wrote to ask if someone could send me a copy of the picture. A look-up volunteer promptly honored my request. I'm just sorry that I cannot tell you the title or compiler of the book or anything about the photograph. Lesson: as soon as you find or receive information, attach a source to it. If only I had followed my own advice.
* Have You Heard the News is a series of posts about family information gleaned from copies of newspapers available through www.fold3.com, www.ancestry.com, and Chronicling America by the Library of Congress.
(1) "Postal Service Mission and 'Motto'", https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/mission-motto.pdf.
(2) "State Summary", 17 Nov 1922, Pioneer Express, Pembina, ND; accessed through Library of Congress Chronicling America.
(3) "State Summary", 30 Sep 1921, Pioneer Express, Pembina, ND; accessed through Library of Congress Chronicling America.