Rock Island Post Office
The first post office in this county was established in connection with old Fort Armstrong, April 23, 1825, Colonel George Davenport being the first postmaster. Owing to the fact that there was no one to administer the obligations of the position Mr. Davenport served a number of years without taking an oath. April 4, 1834, the first post office was established upon the mainland and Joseph Conway was made the’ first postmaster. The office was first located at Farnhamsburg, but when Stephenson became the county seat it was removed to somewhere in the neighbor-hood of what is now Seventeenth Street. In 1843, when Colonel John Buford was post master, the office was located between Sixteenth and Seventeenth Streets on First Avenue. In 1849 it was removed to Second Avenue between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets. In 1853 Bailey and Boyle’s build, ing, in the rear of where Mitchell and Lynde’s building now stands, was occupied. Three years later another removal to the south side of Second Avenue, No. 1704, between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets, was made, but in 1861 Bailey and Boyle’s building was again occupied, the office remaining there till the removal to the present quarters in the federal building in December, 1896. The different postmasters since the establishing of the office with the term during which they served are as follows: Joseph Conway, 1834-1836; Miles W. Con-way, 1836-1840; Joseph B. Wells, 1840-1841; Colonel John Buford, 1841-1847; Harmon G. Reynolds, 1847-1849; Elbridge R. Bean, 1849-1853; James Kelly, 1853-1855; William Frizzell 1855-1856; Lewis M. Webber, 1856-1858; Herman Field, 1858-1861; Doctor Calvin Truesdale, 1861-1865; John B. Hawley, 1865-1866; Captain James F. Copp, 1866-1867; Marcus B. Osborn, 1867-1871; Captain L. M. Haverstick, 1871-1873; William Jackson ,1873-1876; Thomas Murdock, 1876-1880; Major J. M. Beardsley, 1880-1884; Major Charles W. Hawes, 1884-1888; August Huesing, 1888-1889; Howard Wells, 1889-1893; J. W. Potter, 1893-1897; T. H. Thomas, 1897-1906; Hugh A. J. McDonald, 1906. As one of the best indications of the manner in which the city has grown, the receipts of the post office at different periods during the past twenty-three years are given:
1884 $15,441.84 1885 18.829.63 1889 23,560.38 1892 29,749.63 1896 30,721.84 1897 34,495.95 1898 43,205.80 1899 57,440.11 1900 $69,250.91 1901 77,881.96 1902 75,429.97 1903 74,108.17 1904 78,660.29 1905 87,983.22 1906 88,375.64 1907 96,734.67
The free delivery system was inaugurated in 1888 with five carriers. The money order department does an unusually large amount of business for a city the size of Rock Island. Twenty-nine mails are received and thirty-two dispatched daily. There are now being received daily an average of over 12,000 pieces of first class and 7,000 pieces of other mail. ‘ The present office force consists of nineteen clerks, one auxiliary clerk, eighteen carriers, three substitute carriers, one rural carrier, and one special delivery messenger. Ten postal stations are also located through-out the city. The office has been of the first class since 1898. Paid money orders in 1907 were 105,469, amounting to $1,612,671.17.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908