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Buckingham Post Office closes doors

November 21, 2011
Traer Star-Clipper

By Amy Jantzen

Managing Editor

The Buckingham Post Office served its customers for the last time on Friday, Nov. 18.

Article Photos

The Post Office today located at 1235 Dawn St., Buckingham.
Photo by Amy Jantzen

Located at 1235 Dwan St., the Post Office has been serving the Buckingham, rural Buckingham and rural Traer area residents since 1959 when Postmaster Roger Messerly, built the building and moved the post office to it's current location.

Buckingham is an incorporated Tama County town located some five miles north of Traer just off U.S. Highway 63 on County Road D65.

The Post Office there is just one of a reported more than 170 in Iowa threatened by a postal service reorganization.

Kerri Stuart, the current Officer in Charge (OIF) said officials came in Friday to finalize business operations.

Stuart has been the OIC since 2006 and feels the post office was more than just that. She said that she knew that if she hadn't seen one of the elderly town residents in a day or two she had better go check on their well-being.

Stuart also provided a bucket of lollipops for the kids in town and said they regularly stopped in just to get a lollipop and visit.

Many residents in town visited at the post office and Stuart feels Buckingham is losing its central point of gathering in town.

The post office used to be the pick-up site for the school bus and the children would wait inside the office to keep warm while waiting for the bus, said Marilyn Jellings, retired Postmaster.

The residents in Buckingham have been told to put up a mailbox. The mail will be directed to the Traer Post Office and will be delivered from there. Buckingham residents are now considered to be on a rural route but will keep their Buckingham address.

Stuart, the only employee of the Buckingham office, will still be a part-time employee with the U.S. Postal Service and will be based out of Gilbertville or other post offices in need.

The building that was built by Messerly was sold to Marilyn Jellings when Messerly retired. Jellings said the building will be for rent in the near future.

History of the Buckingham Post Office.

Originally, the Fourth Class Buckingham Post Office was in the Buckingham Store which was located beside the present building. When the Buckingham Post Office became a Third Class office, Messerly and his son, Bud, built the present building to house the it.

Messerly was very proud of his "new Post Office" and many postmaster friends contacted him for the printed detailed plans which Messerly kept on file for just that purpose.

At some time in the history of the Post Office the mail was delivered out of a van or a Highway Post Office (HPO) and was sorted on route. This practice stopped in 1960.

Delivery of the mail to Buckingham was delivered by the railroad until 1960. The mail would be dropped off and carted by wheel barrow to be sorted and delivered.

Some past Post Masters or Officers In Charge of the Buckingham Post Office: Roger Messerly, 1944, Mrs. Lucille Draper (OIC), 1972, Mrs. Lucille Draper, (appointed Postmaster), 1974, Mrs. Marilyn Dinsdale (Jellings) (OIC), 1976, Paul Rice (OIC), 1977, Mrs. Marilyn Dinsdale (Jellings) (appointed Postmaster), 1978, Sandra Holkan (OIC), 1997, Joline Bergmeier, (appointed Postmaster), 1998, and Kerri Stuart, (OIC), 2006. Please note this list begins at 1944 it is not a complete list of Postmasters or OIC for the Office in Buckingham. Some of the rural carriers Robert Wignall, deceased, Richard Beecher, Neal Himschoot, Robert Crawford, deceased, Lyle Culp, Don Koch and John Svoboda.



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