Post Offices


As early as the 1870's the Fort Totten to Fort Abercrombie mail trail crossed Griggs County.  A station was maintained at the north end of Lake Jessie for mail carriers to rest and change teams.  Traces of that dugout can still be seen.

The earliest settlers got their mail about once a month or whenever they or their neighbors went to Valley City.  With the expansion of the settlement over the county, rural post offices began to be established.  The first post office "Durham" was established in the summer of 1880 in Section 8 of Romness Township at the home of Andrew Durham.  His brother-in-law, Frank Taper, was postmaster.  Another post office called Lybeck was established on Section 25 with Andrew C. Knutson as postmaster.  The mail was hauled from Newburg, near Hatton, and later a route was established from Valley City to Pembina.

The other early post offices of Gallatin and Mardell were both located near the Griggs-Steele County line in the early eighties.  Gallatin was established October 24, 1881 in the present Sverdrup Township, with John H. Atchison as postmaster.  Mat-dell post office was established April 3, 1882 in the present Washburn Township, with Dr. T.F. Kerr as postmaster.  Other post offices established were:  Helena in 1883, Peter Fiero as postmaster; MontClair in 1883, Daniel Sinclair, postmaster.  Ottowa, Romness, Cottonwood and Willow post offices were established in 1883.  In 1884 a post office was established at Lake Jessie with Mr. T.M. McCulloch as postmaster.  More post offices came as the railroad was built and extended.

In February of 1883, "Al" Shue was awarded the contract for carrying the mail from Sanborn to Cooperstown, tri-weekly.  A new star route was established from Sanborn to Mardell, via Cooperstown June 30, 1883.  A. A. Cole had the contract.  After September 1883, the United States mail was carried daily to Cooperstown, via the closed pouch over the new Sanborn, Cooperstown and Turtle Mountain Railroad.

Mail carriers were usually local people who furnished their own equipment: horses or mules and buggy or sled.  Their roads were the trails of the prairie.  The mail carriers could carry passengers to add to their income.  Quoting the Courier the pay of some of these carriers were:

"S.A. Pond has the contract for carrying mail between Hope and Cooperstown, the price bid being $554.00," February 26, 1886; "Joe McCulloch has been awarded the carrying of the Cooperstown to Harrisburg mail at $750.00,"

February 26, 1886. 

Later contracts:

"Contracts for carrying mail to Cottonwood, Jessie, Romness and Gallatin for the next four years have been let as follows: Cottonwood and Jessie to A. A. Cald of Algona, Iowa at $166.00 per year; Gallatin to Gardner Cowles of Algona, Iowa at $109.59 per year; Romness to Robert Boyd of Cleveland, Tennessee at $114.00 per year,"

January 14, 1898.

A rural free mail delivery service was recommended at Cooperstown in 1901.  By November 1903, Martin Rood was secured as the first carrier for Rural Route 1.  Rural Route 2 was established in February of 1905 with Carl Scott as carrier and Rural Route 3 was established in April of 1909 with Angus Gardner as carrier.  The Courier states:

"The job of mail carrier on Route #1 of Cooperstown pays $60.00 per month,"

  October 12, 1905.

The first Cooperstown postmaster was George Barnard who was appointed December 28, 1882.  The post office was located in several locations the first years depending on where the local postmaster's business was located.  Second was William C. Jimeson who was appointed April 28, 1886.  Augustus (Frank) Haskell was appointed December 5, 1889.  While he was postmaster, the Cooperstown post office was raised from fourth to third class with a salary of $1,000, because of increasing business.  Other postmasters of Cooperstown have been as follows up to the present:


Oscar D. Purinton appointed February 15, 1893
William C. Jimeson appointed July 5, 1893
Percy Trubshaw appointed June 15, 1897
Victor F. Nelson appointed August 28, 1913
Hans Kolstad appointed September 22, 1922
Theodore A. Marquardt appointed March 13, 1927
Clarence Stone acting postmaster 1950
Oscar Tang appointed June 27, 1952
John Halvorson officer in charge August 14, 1976
Jim Mork appointed December 31, 1977


Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 22

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