Post Office


Councilman Harry S. Hart thinks Lakewood should have its own postal sub-station. He submitted a resolution to this effect to the council Monday night and it was unanimously carried without any discussion whatever, so fully did the other member concur in the suggestion.

Lakewood now gets its mail from a Cleveland sub-station on Detroit avenue near West 117th street. The resolution asks for a sub-station in the center of Lakewood and for at least two mail deliveries per day to all Lakewood homes and at least three to Lakewood business places.

Here is the resolution:

"The mail service in Lakewood, Ohio, a city of at least 50,000 inhabitants being inadequate and undependable and there being no post office or carrier postal station within the limits of the city and it being necessary for the comfort and welfare of the citizens of Lakewood that there be better mail service within the limits of Lakewood and that there be a post office or carrier postal station located in the central part of Lakewood where citizens can purchase stamps and mail letters and packages and transact such other business as is transacted through a post office.

"BE IT RESOLVED by the council of the city of Lakewood that the postal department of the U.S. Government be asked to place a post office or carrier postal station in the central part of Lakewood and that mail be delivered in all parts of the city at least twice a day on week days and in the business district along Detroit avenue not less than three times a day on week days and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the postmaster general at Washington,



Congressman Henry I. Emerson sends the message to the Lakewood Press that he had obtained the positive statement from the chairman of the Public Building Committee that Congress will consider a public building bill at the December session. He adds that the situation at the Cleveland post-office is such that he confidently expects the passage of an appropriation for the Lakewood post-office at this session.

Congressman Emerson introduced two bills recently making appropriations for $500,000 in each case for sites and post-office buildings in Lakewood and East Cleveland respectively. Accompanying these bills, he sent an official communication to the Postmaster General, citing the congestion of mail at the Cleveland post-office, the difficulty of finding an adequate site for an annex building adjacent to the Federal Building on the Public Square, and urging that the erection of post-office buildings in these two suburbs will not only provide much needed postal facilities in Lakewood and East Cleveland, but will relieve the congestion in the Cleveland post-office in the most satisfactory and economical way.

Mr. Emerson has also promised, pending the appropriation for a post-office building to use his influence to obtain a sub-station in Lakewood without delay. It will be over a year, possibly two years, before a new post-office could be erected and made ready for use in Lakewood. The United States Government is a slow moving body and delays must be expected in public buildings. But the prospects are bright that the new building will be ready for occupancy before the end of the year 1921. In the meantime, the postal needs of the city can be met by creating a sub-station in some building where temporary quarters can be rented.

One thing can be accepted with confidence. Henry I. Emerson has always made good his promise to his constituents in the Twenty-Second District. Whatever he has undertaken in the past, he has finished. He is an industrious worker and he is in a position of influence in Congress that gives him a hearing in matters of importance, that is denied an ordinary member. Lakewood will accept his promise of a new post-office building at one hundred cents on the dollar.



Government Will Locate New Station Near Detroit-Warren


Expect To Let Contracts In About Two Months

Twenty-two sites on which to build a Lakewood post office, have been offered to the government, it was revealed when bids were opened this week. All the sites are in the Detroit-Warren section.

Awards will be made in about two weeks, according to Postmaster Michael O'Donnell and contracts will be let as soon as the government has obtained the titles, a matter of possibly two months.

Following are the Lakewood bids:

Samuel S. Rosenthal-Detroit avenue, between Giel and Nicholson avenue, $21,250.

Charles W. Root, jr.-east side Belle avenue, 89 feet north of Detroit, $8,750.

Charles W. Root, jr.-north side Detroit avenue, just east of Belle avenue, $42,500.

Valuation Service co.-northeast corner Detroit avenue and Clarence avenue, $20,000.

Lakewood Investment Co.-north side Detroit avenue, 350 feet west of Bunts road, $200.

Kenneth G. Weed-southwest corner Madison avenue and Warren road, $20,500.

Kenneth G. Weed-southeast corner Madison avenue and Reveley avenue, $15,500.

Glenn D. Ettinger-north side Victoria avenue, $26,400.

Louise A. Crawford and Edith A. Swearer-west side of Warren road, 862 feet south of Detroit avenue, $12,000.

Cora O. Bow-east side Victoria avenue, 130 feet south from Detroit avenue, $20,000.

H.A. Barr, agent, and Edna M. Stoll-south side Detroit avenue, between Elmwood and Mars avenues, $34,800.

Harry A. Barr and Mary Schnieder-north side Detroit avenue, between Cranford and Westlake avenues, $30,000.

A.B. Smythe Co., manager-north side Detroit avenue, between Marlowe and Belle avenue, $33,000.

Jennie V. Andrews estate, by J.C. Andrews, agent-north side Detroit avenue, 379 feet west of Andrews avenue, $25,000.

Robert L. Beck-east side Mars avenue, 100 feet south of Detroit avenue, $17,000.

A.H. Weinstein-west side Cook avenue, 140 feet north of Detroit avenue, $24,664.

W.A. Greenlund, agent-east side St. Charles avenue, 194 feet 6 inches south of Detroit avenue, $15,000.

W.A. Greenlund, agent-east side Warren road, 250 feet south of Detroit avenue, $27,000.

W.A. Greenlund, agent-14622 Detroit avenue, $42,500.

W.A. Greenlund, agent-east side Victoria avenue, 343 feet south of Detroit avenue, $25,000.

Jerob Realty Co., by Leo Keller, president-north side Detroit avenue, 100 feet from northwest corner of Detroit avenue and W. 117th street, $35,000.



Farley's Assistant Point to Business Increase; 300 at Ceremony.

Lakewood's new $100,000 postoffice, erected 84 years after the establishment of the first office in East Rockport, Lakewood's old name, was dedicated last night by civic leaders, postal authorities and 300 of the suburb's citizens.

The structure, first federal building in Lakewood, is on Warren Road near Detroit Avenue. It will open Monday.

J. Austin Latimer, special assistant to Postmaster General James A. Farley, was principal speaker.

"We have to turn from the editorial columns to the market page to learn that this country is really progressing," he said.

"No political party has a mortgage on patriotic citizenship in America today," he added, referring to recent attacks upon the New Deal.

Latimer mentioned that Lakewood postal receipts, which dropped from $126,487 in 1930 to $119,779 in 1933, reached $162,331 in 1934. Christmas business, he said, was 7 per cent better in Lakewood than last year.

Other speakers included Cleveland District Postmaster Michael F. O'Donnell, Mayor Amos I. Kauffman, Trafton M. Dye, president of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, and Jean W. Barrett, chairman of the Lakewood Merchants Committee.

The building, two stories and of brick, was erected by the Lundoff Bicknell Co. of Cleveland, with R. Stanley Brown consulting architect.

Two other new postoffice buildings will open Monday, the West Park Station, W. 131st Street and Lorain Avenue, and Station A, W. 65th Street and Lorain Avenue.



The first postmaster in Rockport was probably a Mr. Goodwin, who, about 1827, kept an office at Rocky River, on the old stage route. In 1829 the stage route was changed so that it passed over "Hog Back Hill", and crossed the river about a mile and a half above the mouth. Then Calvin Giddings, living on Hog Back Hill, was appointed postmaster. After a while Giddings moved across the river and took the post office with him. About 1834 the office was returned to the mouth of the river, and Rufus Wright, who then kept tavern there, was appointed postmaster. The office remained at Wright's until about 1852. Abraham, Philip and Frederick, sons of Rufus Wright, being successively postmasters there. In 1852 the office was removed a mile south, where Herman Barnum kept it a year, being succeeded, in 1853, by Benjamin Phiney, who kept a store there. He retained the office until his death in 1864. The office was then again returned to the mouth of the river, where John Williams was the postmaster until 1865. Another change then took the office up the river about two miles, to the house of Andrew Kyle, who continued to be the postmaster there until 1875. This year the office was removed northward to the store of B.F. Phinney, who has been the incumbent since that time. A post office was again established at Rocky River in 1877, at the Cliff House, with William Hall as postmaster. He was followed by A.T. VanTassel, and he by James Starkweather, the latter being the present incumbent.

Horace Dean, who kept store there, was the first postmaster at East Rockport. After his time the incumbents have been O.W. Hotchkiss, William B. Smith, Jacob Tegardine, Adam Wagar and Joseph Howe, the latter being the postmaster during the present year, 1879.



A mail route was laid out between Cleveland and Detroit. "The mail was carried," says John D. Taylor, "in a leather satchel by a man on foot; I remember him and his name--Edward McCartney--as my father had bought land and lived on the lake shore in Dover, where he kept a hotel during the war of 1812, and where the mail-carrier was accustomed to stop. After the commencement of the war, the United States mail was carried on horseback till about 1820, when stage coaches carried it until superseded by railroad coaches. In 1809, the whole contents of the mail between Cleveland and Detroit weighed from five to seven pounds, going at the rate of about thirty miles a day."

65:7 POSTOFFICES (1827-1921)


Mail service west from Cleveland was established by the national government in 1809, two years after Cuyahoga was formed from Geauga County, and a year before the county was organized, May, 1810.

The first mail service through Lakewood, then just a part of Rockport Township, was from Cleveland to Detroit. Three men, stationed along the route as relays, carried the mail, weighing from five to seven pounds, in leather satchel. In 1809 Edward McCartney carried the mail on foot, walking about thirty miles a day, and using the old Indian Trail. From 1812 tom 1820 the mail was carried by "pony express", and in 1820, when a stage line was established between Cleveland and Columbus with coaches running to Norwalk, it was carried by stage coach. In 1852, the stage coach was displaced by the railroad.

As far as can be learned, a Mr. Goodwin was the first postmaster. He kept an office on the old stage route at Rocky River in 1827. In 1829, this stage route was changed to pass over the Hogsback Hill, which was an extension of Hilliard Road, and a little south of the present Hilliard Bridge. Calvin Giddings, who lived on Hogsback Hill, then became postmaster, and when he moved across the river he took the postoffice with him. Rufus Wright became postmaster in 1834, the office being in his tavern near the mouth of the the river. Three of his sons, Abraham, Philip and Frederick, were successively appointed, so that the office was held by the Wright family until about 1852. At this time, Norman Barnum, who lived a mile south of Wright's tavern, kept the office for a year, when Benjamin Phinney, a storekeeper, became postmaster. He held the office until his death in 1864. The next year the office again returned to the mouth of the river, where John Williams was postmaster until 1865. At this time Andrew Kyle, living two miles up the river, secured the prized appointment and held it until 1875, when it again moved north to the store of B.F. Phinney. In 1877, the postoffice was established at the Cliff House near the mouth of the river with William Hall as postmaster. He was followed by A.T. VanTassel and James Starkweather.

Horace Dean was the first postmaster of East Rockport. O.W. Hotchkiss, William B. Smith, Jacob Tegardine, Adam Wagar and Joseph Howe each served as postmaster. The latter served in 1879 and in the 80's.

A petition was drawn up asking the United States Post Office Department for a postoffice to be located about the center of the portion of Rockport Township lying east of Rocky River, and to be named East Rockport. The department finally granted the request and a postoffice was opened in the general store of Lucius Dean located at what is now known as Belle Avenue. Probably Lucius Dean was the first postmaster at this new center. Later this store was known as Johnson's, and it was for many years the only general store in Lakewood.

Some years later a postal station, known as Clifton Park postoffice, distributed mail to the west part of Lakewood and Rocky River. It was on Detroit Avenue near Riverside Drive.

A.B. Greenley, who was superintendent of Station G from 1907 to 1916, says, "The first mail delivery in Lakewood was in 1901, when Lakewood and West Cleveland postoffices were discontinued and carrier service was instituted from Postal Station G, located at Detroit Avenue and West 101st Street in the West Cleveland Bank building. This station occupied the west half of the building now housing the Cleveland Trust Company. The first delivery was made in February. There were two carriers assigned to the Lakewood territory, one on foot covering the rest of the town. The foot carrier was Edward Hilliard and the wagon carrier was Lorenz W. Burgwald, who later built and resided in the first house west of Belle Avenue on Madison Avenue until his death in 1935. Lakewood grew so rapidly that the number of carriers had to to be increased from two to fifteen in less than twelve years."

About 1911, Station G was moved to 11607 Detroit Avenue, which is in Cleveland. Lakewood became a city on January 1st, 1910, but was not listed as a postal station. One of the local editors severely criticized Postmaster General Burleson for this seeming slight. In 1921, a postoffice was opened on West 117th Street just north of Detroit Avenue. While this gave Lakewood a postal station, it was far from the center of the city. Seven years later another station was opened at 18624 Detroit Avenue, which serves Lakewood from Lakeland Avenue west as well as Rocky River.


LAKEWOOD -- March 7, 1918 Pg. 1

Councilman Wiegand introduced a resolution in council urging the necessity of a post office in the city and the propriety of the city council setting on foot a movement to secure this much-needed improvement.

Lakewood citizens have in the past conducted sporadic efforts to secure a favorable action in this matter, but owing to lack of concerted effort, nothing was accomplished.

The resolution was referred to the committee on railroads.

65:9 POST OFFICES (Agitation for Local Postoffices)

LAKEWOOD PRESS -- April 18, 1918 Pg. 1

Councilman Wiegand's resolution, asking for city cooperation in securing a postoffice for Lakewood, was adversely reported on by Councilmen Hart and Miller, whom it was referred to at the council meeting on Monday of this week.

The committee reported that local postoffice authorities discouraged the movement and that local business men did not care to furnish space for substations. The committee therefore advised that the matter be dropped.

Councilmen Wiegand and Armstrong were not satisfied with the report and stated that they were not content to drop the matter so readily. They stated it was to be expected that local postal officials would not take kindly to the suggestion and that the matter should be carried to higher officials. Mr. Armstrong said that at present Lakewood is not on the postal service map at all and he believed it was time to put it there.

Mr. Gormsen stated that even if a station were secured its only effect would be to create a political job for some politician.

Mr. Wiegand promptly disclaimed trying to create a job either for himself or any one else, and felt the establishment of better postal service in Lakewood was of grave concern to its citizens and merited serious effort on the part of city officials to secure it.

Mr. Miller cut in by saying "service in Lakewood is now the same as in Cleveland". This statement was warmly challenged by Wiegand and Armstrong, causing Mr. Miller to add apologetically, "the committee did not lay down on the matter and is willing to consider it further."

Mr. Wiegand suggested that Congressman Emerson be consulted and his cooperation secured. The matter was then referred back to the committee. The general discussion disclosed that Councilmen Wiegand and Armstrong were seriously interested in securing a local postoffice while the majority of the council was either indifferent or thought the effort required would be too great.