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Local History Index - Postal

Post Offices, Postmasters, Mail Carriers and Mail Delivery History for Sussex, Lisbon, Lake Five, Colgate, Templeton, and Lannon, Waukesha County, Wisconsin

by Mike Reilly, Editor, January 8, 2004, Revised 09/16/2007

also see The Postal System in the Wisconsin Territory: Early Milwaukee County; Waukesha County and the Sussex-Lisbon Area

1911 - Unknown Men, possibly railroad employees

Backside of above postcard


    
Lisbon Post Office Dates Back 150 Years

by Fred H. Keller

    Source: The First 150 Years, Lisbon-Sussex, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, 1986, page 15. Additional notes/commentary/obituary added by website editor, Mike Reilly


    The post office is a central attraction in any community. In the 150 years that Lisbon-Sussex has existed there have been five different post offices within the confines of the 36 square mile township. The order that they appeared were: Lisbon in 1846, Sussex in 1851, Lake Five in 1855, Colgate (Station) in 1887 and Templeton (East Sussex) in 1889. Today the only two of these post offices that are still left are in
Sussex and Colgate, and Colgate has jumped across the county line to the Washington County side of the road.

    The first Lisbon post office was the home of James Weaver, considered the father of Lisbon-Sussex. it was near present day Halquist Quarry. Levi Russell, who started a business center at the intersection of present day County Highway K and Highway 164 (Highway 74 in 2004) was the next postmaster. He had a store and a shoe shop at the four corners and a church was on the northwest corner, but all all gone today.

    James Weaver was the first Postmaster, and had the office at his home on the old farm on Section 35. Subsequently, he resigned in favor of his son, Thomas Weaver, from whom, in 1849, the office was transferred to Sussex, and Richard Cooling became Postmaster. Mr. Cooling held it for two years, when it passed into the hands of William Weaver, where it remained until 1861, when Mr. Cooling again came into possession of the office, and held it until 1878 

    He then resigned in favor of his son-in-law, Mr. Templeton , who has had charge of it since {Note: c. 1886. Mr. Templeton was the postmaster at Sussex when the Soo Line was built through East Sussex and when he moved over to his new home. He wanted to move the post office over, too, but Sussex protested that it was too far out of the way. Mr. Templeton had grown to be a power in local politics then, so he had a new post office established, had it named Templeton and had the railroad change the station name from East Sussex to Templeton.

Q: How were postmasters appointed and what were the necessary qualifications? 

A: From 1836 to 1971, postmasters at the larger post offices were appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the Senate. Postmasters earning less than $1,000 per year were appointed by the Postmaster General, generally upon the advice of the local congressman or townspeople. Regulations required that postmasters execute a valid bond and take an oath of office, thus minors and aliens were ineligible. Prior to 1971, it was also required that postmasters live in the delivery area of their post office. Since 1971, postmasters have been selected on the merit system.

    The list of postmaster appointments for Lisbon are:
James Weaver                         Feb 26, 1846
Levi Russell                            May 29, 1849
Thomas Weaver                     June 11, 1853
Abel Kay                                 May 22, 1862
Larence Russell                     Aug. 7, 1862
Thomas Paine                         July 15, 1863


    Post office discontinued Aug. 28, 1863

Q: Why were post offices discontinued? 

A: According to the 1897 Annual Report of the Postmaster General, "In cases where an office ceases to be a public necessity, or it is impossible to secure a suitable postmaster, the office is discontinued...." The number of post offices peaked in 1901 at 76,945; the number sharply declined in the ensuing decade, due to the spread of rural free delivery. Changes in demographics and transportation patterns have contributed to a gradual decline in the number of post offices. At the end of the fiscal year 2000, there were 27,876 independent post offices.


    The next post office started was in Sussex with the first settler here, Richard Cooling, a blacksmith and general store owner being the first postmaster. 

Q: How were post offices established? 

A: Citizens of a community who desired a new post office generally submitted a request to the Post Office Department stating reasons why they thought a post office should be established, the number of patrons who would be served, and the names
proposed for the post office. Other factors considered were the nearness of existing postal units and the relative cost involved, including the estimated expense of mail transportation to the proposed office.

    The list of postmasters and their appointments are:
Richard Cooling                     Jan. 6, 1851
William Brown                       Dec. 10, 1852
William Weaver                     June 23, 1853
Richard Cooling                     July 29, 1861
Edward Champeney               July 24, 1866

New Post-Offices
    Sussex, Waukesha co., Rich'd [Richard] Cooling, Postmaster
Source: Daily Free Democrat, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 27, 1851

New Post Offices have recently been established in this State, as follows:
    At Sussex, Waukesha County - Richard Cooling, Postmaster.
    Source: Weekly Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 26, 1851, also the Wisconsin Statesmen, Madison, Wisconsin, February 18, 1851   

    According to the Waukesha Freeman, Aug. 14, 1866, "Edward Champeney, conservative republican, is appointed Postmaster at Sussex vs R. Cooling, radical republican". 


Richard Cooling                     March 1, 1867
James Templeton                   July 1, 1878

    Waukesha Freeman, Aug 13, 1885; James Templeton, our worthy postmaster, has been quite sick for the past week. He is troubled with asthma".
David P. Topping                  Feb. 27, 1886
Thomas Campbell                 Jan. 31, 1890
Andrew Ennis                         May 3, 1873

    Lisbon - "Our worthy mail carrier, T. Lewis, is looking very downcast either over the dry weather, or because the mail arrives at Sussex Station on the Wisconsin Central". Source: Waukesha Freeman, Sept. 2, 1886, page 8.

        TROUBLE AT SUSSEX - It wants to Stay Sussex and not Become Templeton
    Sussex people are much agitated over a proposed change in their post office. The railway station of Sussex is some distance from the little town, and the projectors of the new scheme want to bring the post office to the station and hang its name to Templeton. Old residents of the place who gave it its name and have got their mail there for forty years are highly indignant over the proposed change.

    They held a mass-meeting there on Monday evening that attracted a large crowd of people, and at which the following remonstrance, addressed to the Postmaster general, was presented and unanimously adopted.

    Resolved, That we, the patrons of the Sussex post office, in mass-meeting assembled do most earnestly and empathically protest and remonstrate against the change of name and removal of said Sussex post office, and we do further look upon the change of name as a perfect insult and an outrage both on us now living and on our fathers now dead, and we do most respectfully and earnestly the post0office department of the United States not to change the name or location of the said Sussex post-office". Source: Waukesha Freeman, March 28, 1889.


James A. Elliott                       May 11, 1894

    "Thomas Campbell has been appointed postmaster Sussex, in place of J. A. Elliott, removed." Source: The Waukesha Freeman, February 17, 1898, page 1.

Thomas Campbell                 Feb. 14, 1898

    Sussex - "Our enterprising postmaster, Thomas Campbell, will spend the coming spring and summer in the highlands of Scotland". Waukesha Freeman Jan. 31, 1891" 

    Sussex - "For several months past the citizens in this vicinity have complained incessantly of the irregularity with which we receive our mail through the Menomonee Falls Railroad and an item of great interest to everyone is the change soon to take place in the mail route. After Dec. 1st, the mail will be carried twice daily from Templeton as formerly, from the Wisconsin Central depot. Thomas Campbell will be the carrier". Source: Waukesha Freeman, Nov. 19, 1896, page  5.

    "On Thursday last, Thomas Campbell, postmaster at Sussex, died, ages 70 years, leaving a widow and one son to mourn his death. The funeral occurred on Sunday at 2 o'clock p.m. The Rev. Mr. Holmes officiated.

    Mr. Campbell was in poor health for several months and it was supposed that he was suffering from cancer of the stomach, but a post mortem examination proved the diagnosis to be incorrect. Mr. Campbell came to the united States during the 50's. He was a worthy citizen and was honored in the community where he resided". Source; The Waukesha Freeman, Oct. 12, 1899, page 1.

Donald R. Campbell             Oct. 24, 1899

    "Our mail carrier, Chas. Weaver, on going to the stable Saturday morning found his horse had broken his leg. The horse was killed." Source: Waukesha Freeman, August 6, 1903, page 5.


SUSSEX POST OFFICE
Postmasters Who Have Served Since Office Was Established in '51

    The sketches of post offices which have been discontinued by reason of the introduction of free rural delivery recently printed in these columns have aroused general interest in the subject of the post offices of the county, and we have received data concerning the Sussex office, which fortunately is not among the discontinued, but yet exists and flourishes. The Sussex office was established in 1851, with William weaver, Sr., as postmaster, E. Champeney served as deputy. In 1861 Richard Cooling was appointed and served until 1866, when Edward Champeney was appointed and served about three months. He was removed and Mr. Cooling again appointed. Mr. Cooling and his son-in-law held the office until Cleveland's first election, when D. P. Topping was appointed. After Harrison's election Thomas
Campbell was appointed. When Cleveland came in the second time Andrew Ennis was appointed. He died in about three months and J. A. Elliott was his successor. After McKinley's election Thomas Campbell was made postmaster. He served three years and then died. His son, D. R. Campbell, was selected for the place and still holds the office.

    We are indebted to ex-postmaster, J. A. Elliott for the above facts.
                    Source: Waukesha Freeman, August 20, 1903, page 6.


    D. R. CAMPBELL SUCCUMBS AFTER LONG ILLNESS - WAS RESIDENT OF COUNTY FOR MANY YEARS, SERVED AS POSTMASTER AT SUSSEX

    Donald Ross Campbell, a resident of Waukesha county for over sixty years passed away at his home, 1005 Beechwood avenue Friday evening following a lingering illness.

    Mr. Campbell was best known in the northern section of the county where he came having settled with his parents in the Village of Sussex, town of Lisbon when a young lad (Editor's note - He was born in Port Washington, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin). Here Mr. Campbell was educated in the village school of Sussex following which he learned the blacksmith trade carrying on this business in Sussex for many years.

    In 1900, his father who was serving as postmaster in the village died and Donald was appointed postmaster to succeed him. He held the office for several years. (Editor's note: his wife Ella succeeded him as postmaster or postmistress on July 1, 1915 until March 1919, possibly due to his health condition or his pursuit of another career?)

    The deceased married Ella Simmons, who with two children, Mrs. William Howard of  Lisbon, and Hugh of Indiana survive. Two daughters Winfred and Mildred preceded him in death.

    About six years ago Mr. Campbell removed to Waukesha and became associated in the insurance business. Failing health in the last few years kept him inactive in business circles, however, Mr. Campbell was a member of the Sussex Masonic chapter.

    The funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 1 o'clock from the residence and at 2 o'clock from St. Alban's Church in Sussex. Burial will be in St. Alban's cemetery.". Source: Waukesha Daily Freeman, Saturday,
September 19, 1925, page 1, col. 1.


Ella S. Campbell                     July 1, 1915
Claribel R. Boots                    March 5, 1919
Pearl E. Boots                          Nov. 1, 1926
John P. Stier                             May 30, 1934

    "The Sussex Post Office, which for so many years has been located in the Fred Boots store, has been moved into the east part of the George Lees store building. John Stier, new postmaster, assumed charge of his new duties on Monday morning". Source: The Waukesha Freeman, July 7, 1934

                STIER, WELL KNOWN SUSSEX MAN, DIES

    "John J. Stier, veteran postmaster at Sussex, Wis., died suddenly at 4 p.m. Monday while sorting mail. Death was attributed to a heart attack. Mr. Stier had been in poor health for the past several weeks.

    Surviving Mr. Stier are his wife (Emma), who was helping him with the mail at the time of the fatal seizure; one son, Robert; four daughters, Marjorie, Katherine, Betty, and Mary Anna; one sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Manke, Sussex; one brother, Jacob Stier, Alberta, Canada.

    Mr. Stier was prominent in many public offices. He taught school for a number of years, served as the town chairman of Lisbon, clerk of Sussex school board, president of the Sussex Co-operative company, and held several other responsible positions. He was at one time a candidate for the state assembly.

    Funeral services will be held for him Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at his home. Masons will have charge of the arrangements". Source: The Waukesha Freeman, December 23, 1936

Emma K. Stier                         Jan. 5, 1937
Pearl E. Boots                          March 1, 1940
Arthur Bauer                           June 30, 1950 - Retired July 31, 1970

    Arthur E. Bauer confirmed as Sussex postmaster, had been acting,  Waukesha Freeman  March 11, 1955
Raymond Hein                       Aug. 1, 1970 (Officer-in-Charge)
Henry Schroeder                    April 8, 1971 (Officer-in-Charge)
Henry Schroeder                    June 26, 1971 (Postmaster) - Retired Oct. 9, 1975
Danny Fullerton                     Oct. 9, 1975 (Officer-in-Charge)

  • Nick C. Chapel                        May 30, 1986 (Officer-in-Charge)
  • Bernice V. Harris                     Aug. 30, 1986 (Postmaster)
  • Debbie J. Westphal                 May 14, 1997 (Officer-In-Charge)
  • Jackie Aszman                          Nov. 14, 1997 (Officer-In-Charge)
  • Kenneth J. Kolafa                     Mar. 14, 1998 (Postmaster)
  • Source: For recent entries since 1976 - http://webpmt.usps.gov/pmt002.cfm

        Notable about this group is that several women have served as postmaster with Pearl Boots serving the longest of any of the postmasters, 22 years. She succeeded her sister Claribel in 1926. At the time she started, the post office was in her father's General Store, to the west of the four corners of Maple and Main. 

    After serving eight years, from 1926 to 1934, John Stier was appointed postmaster. After he died unexpectantly his wife, Emma, took over. At the time Stier was appointed, the post office left the old Sussex four corners area for the Main Street School area, locating in the George Lees General Store building. 

    In 1940, Pearl Boots was again reappointed as postmaster and served an additional 14 years, retiring in 1956.

    "Miss Pearl Boots assumed her duties as Postmistress of the Sussex post office on March 1. She is ably assisted by Miss Ethel Weaver. Mrs. Emma Stier has been the acting *postmistress since the death of her husband, then postmaster, a few years ago, Miss Margaret Ries was her assistant". Source: The Waukesha Freeman, March 6, 1940, page 9.

    "Miss Pearl Boots, Sussex postmistress, has been absent from her duties at the P. O., because of a severe attack of the flu. In her absence, Miss Doris Beier, assistant *postmistress, carried on very capably". Source: The Waukesha Freeman, April 7, 1943.

*Q: How early did women serve as postmasters? 

A: Women have served as postmasters since the Revolutionary War and even earlier, under British rule. "Postmaster," and not "postmistress," always has been their official title.


    The Lake Five post office was established on May 28, 1855, discontinued for a short time in 1860, and after restarting was again discontinued in 1866.
    The postmasters were:
Patrick McGovern                     May 28, 1855
    PO discontinued Oct. 13, 1860
     PO reestablished Nov. 13, 1860

Patrick McGovern                     Nov. 13, 1860
    Moved to Washington County Feb. 14, 1866


    The Colgate post office was established in 1887 with the first postmaster, Andrew Ennis, Sr., operating out of the new Wisconsin Central Railroad Depot. It remained on the Lisbon side of the county line until 1903 when it made its move across tot he north side of the street (County Highway Q).
    A list of the postmasters are:
Andrew Ennis, Sr.                        Jan. 11, 1887
August B. Henschel                     June 13, 1889
Max Manthey                               Aug. 30, 1898

Colgate - "Our post office was removed Oct 1st to its new quarters. Max Manthey will act as postmaster vica A. B. Henschel". Source: The Waukesha Freeman, Oct. 6, 1898, page 6.

Albert E. Waudrey                       Feb. 2, 1903
Frank E. Stirn                                Aug 12, 1903

    Moved to Washington County Dec. 15, 1903

Elfrieda A. Stirn                             Jan. 31, 1946
Elenore Christison                         Dec. 31, 1966 (Clerk-in-Charge)
Lynn Edward Burton                    March 10, 1967

    Of note at the Colgate post office are the Stirns who served for 63 years, from 1903 to 1966.

    Once there were several businesses in Colgate, including general stores, a blacksmith, and a post office. From 1887 to 1903 the post office was on the south side of County Line Road, and therefore was in the Town of Lisbon. The Wisconsin Central Railroad depot was the original post office, where postmaster Andrew Ennis also acted as the depot agent. 1902/Dec. - Max Manthey, Town of Lisbon Supervisor, dies after jumping from a second story porch to escape his general store/post office disastrous fire. This event led to the post office moving out of the Town into Washington County. Albert A. Audrey (?) was acting postmaster for a short time. After 1903, the post office was established on the north side and has remained there since. Frank Stirn and later his wife, Elfrieda, ran the post office from 1903 to 1966.


    With the coming of the Wisconsin Central Railroad in 1886 there was a start up of a new village one mile east of the old four corners Sussex.

"The new post office established at Templeton will soon be in running order with James Templeton as postmaster". Waukesha Freeman  Aug. 29, 1889

    The old Sussex postmaster, James Templeton, came over to the new village and as postmaster he chose his family name for the emerging village. Originally, the post office was on a back table in the village general store, but in 1911 it was moved to  the front west side of the store and boxes were put in for the patrons.

    With the incorporation of Sussex and Templeton into one village in 1924, the days of having two post offices in one village were numbered. The Templeton post office was discontinued April 30, 1932.

    "The Templeton Post Office patrons have received notice that the Templeton Post office will be discontinued, and on and after May 1 the address will be Sussex". Source: The Waukesha Freeman, April 28, 1932

    A list of Templeton postmasters includes:

James Templeton                 July 18, 1889

Owen C. Smith                     Dec. 26, 1899

Frank F. Schroeder               May 12, 1911

Mary Schroeder                    Dec. 10, 1930

    Discontinued April 30, 1932; mail was sent to Sussex.

    Templeton was succeeded by Owen C. Smith as postmaster. In 1907, Smith,
50, committed suicide in the general store-post office - 12 years after his wife killed herself.

                        OWEN C. SMITH SUICIDES
        Was Postmaster at Templeton, This County, Wife Also Suicide

    Last Sunday morning, Owen C. Smith, postmaster at Templeton, and well known throughout this section, visited his store about seven o'clock and in a room in the rear of the store committed suicide by shooting himself
through the head with a revolver.
    When Mr. Smith went to his store, he was accompanied by his brother, Cliff. The two went to different parts of the store and presently Cliff heard the report of a revolver. He rushed tot he side of his brother, who
had fallen to the floor and who expired almost immediately. O. C. Smith had been in poor health and his mind had become affected. He had been at a Milwaukee sanitarium for treatment and returned last week. He leaves three children, two boys and a girl, the eldest being a boy about fifteen years old.
    Mrs. Smith committed suicide a dozen years or more ago, by taking Paris green. She also had been in poor health.
    Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at the residence, and at the Templeton M. E. church, the pastor of the church officiating. Corner Charles Hill will hold an inquest Friday afternoon at Templeton.
    Mr. Smith had a large general store at Templeton, in which the post office was located. He is said to have carried about $12,500 life insurance. Source: The Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, July 18, 1907, page 5

    Frank Grogan has resigned as assistant rural route mail carrier on account of ill health. Waukesha Freeman, June 21, 1944

 


Lannon Postal History

includes Lannon Springs, Stone City and Hadfield

    As excerpt from "Lannon and its quarries", by Ruth Schmidt. printed in "Yesterday in Sussex", by Fred H. Keller, originally printed in the Sussex Sun, Tues. Feb. 28, 1978.

    At first the mail was brought to Stone City (Lannon) from Waukesha. When a carrier did not recognize an immigrant's name, he was advised to ask Bill Lannon, because, "Lannon knows everyone in the quarry." It became a password, " Take the mail over to Lannon.", until Bill Lannon applied for a postal station at his farmhouse, June 11, 1864, under the name of Lannon Springs.

    Old records seem to indicate this station was really a private service to the community, as the application was granted with the provision, "If the area was served by any other delivery at the time, the station would have to operate at no expense to the United States Postal Department." This office was on Highway 74, about three quarters of a mile west of the present post office.

    In the records in the Lannon Post Office, in 1978, Keith Gissal found an application for a post office for this area, dated January 16, 1879, but there was no record of any office opened. Old settlers tell how residents of Stone City, Hadfield and Lannon Springs worked together to get a central post office. This may be the reason another application was made June 18, 1890, by O1avius O1sen, and signed by the Templeton Postmaster. The name suggested on the original application was "Hadfield" this was crossed out and "Stone City" was written in; this was also cross- ed out and the name "Lannon" was written over the other names. The application was approved and a post office established August 2, 1890, in Lannon. 

    Generally, a post office's establishment date is the date of appointment of its first postmaster. Typically there was up to a two-month delay between the appointment of a postmaster and his or her first day in office. For example, Alfred Hunnewell, appointed as the first postmaster of the Columbia, California, Post Office on September 15, 1852, took office on November 16, 1852. Less typically - for example, at the Sacramento, California, Post Office - the first postmaster began serving before his appointment was officially recognized in Washington.

   

Olavius O1sen was the first postmaster, 

Abram Hadfield               June 1891. 

John Flanagan Sr.            1893-1897, 

Augustus Hinner             1897-1905; 

George Loos                      1905-1912, 

Jack Flanagan (son of John Sr.) 1912-1949, 

John Walsh                       1949-1957 

Keith Gissal Acting Postmaster 08/09/1957
Keith Gissal Postmaster 07/23/1958
William S. Galbraith Officer-In-Charge 04/27/1984
John P. Eldridge Postmaster 08/18/1984
Susan E. Lierman Officer-In-Charge 07/26/1990
Susan E. Thiel Postmaster 02/09/1991
Gail Becker Officer-In-Charge 06/11/1996
Mark S. Kluge Postmaster 09/28/1996
Dale W. Nook Officer-In-Charge 03/13/1997
Dale W. Nook Postmaster 07/05/1997

Highlights of Lannon Postal History

1854/May 10 - William N. Lannon opens a post office, of sorts, on his Lannon Springs farm.
1864/June 11: William Lannon submits an application for a postal station at his farmhouse under the name Lannon Springs. This post office was about 3/4 of a mile west of the present post office (Lannon and Good Hope Rds.) on Hwy 74.
1873 - Lannon Spring's post office is discontinued and subscribers are told to pick up their mail in Sussex or Duplainville. See 1878
1878 - The "Atlas of Wisconsin, 1878", still shows a Lannon Springs post office.

1880/abt - Michael Keating, Sec. 30; P. O. Lannon Springs is postmaster of same.
1890/June 18: Olavius Olsen submits an application for a post office first to be named "Hadfield", crossed out and "Stone City" added, to be crossed out with "Lannon" as the name finally submitted. Application was approved on August 2nd.
1945/Apr. - Elizabeth Flanagan, wife of Lannon postmaster and grocery store owner, died after a couple days of illness.
1966 - at some earlier time, the Lannon Fire Dept bought the building, where the present Post Office is today, but they couldn't make the mortgage payments, so Postmaster Keith Gissal and his wife stepped in and purchased the building and moved the post office into it. For a while, the post office was even located next door to The Dugout non Lannon Rd (now a small apartment building).
1970/Apr. - The U.S. Postal Service was seeking a new post office in Lannon. They will be asking for proposals.
1990/1/2 - Lannon plans celebration of 100th Anniversary of its' Post Office founding and 60 years since it was incorporated as a village. John Eldridge is the Postmaster; he took over for Keith Gissal in 1984.


More about Zip Codes

    ZIP Codes are unofficial codes developed and designed by the U.S. Postal
Service solely for the purpose of delivering mail. Many people incorrectly believe that the ZIP Code area represents the community. In fact, there are numerous instances of many named communities in a ZIP Code area in rural areas, and many ZIP Code areas in one community in urban areas. The ZIP Code area is named (usually unless there is duplication) for the most prominent community in the ZIP Code area or which it serves. Also, many of the communities for which the ZIP Code area is named are not incorporated, which means they do not have legal boundaries, and the ZIP Code boundary in no way indicates a legal "footprint" of that named community. Many people, however, do associate with the ZIP Code in which they reside, however, ZIP Code boundaries are ephemeral and change periodically.


  Postal Use Commentary by Your Editor

    In 1880, three post offices served most of the Town of Lisbon after losing Lake Five's and Colgate Station not existing yet. Even before the concept of Rural Free Delivery (RFD), the village or town, within a township didn't mean it was the only address for people living within the Town of Lisbon. People's addresses tended to be the post office nearest to them. In 1880, this meant Sussex, Merton, or Pewaukee (maybe Lannon Springs, or Duplainville). 

    With the arrival of Rural Free Delivery, Town of Lisbon residents lost more of their identity. Today, residents are served by not only the post office in the Village of Sussex, but from those in the Villages of Pewaukee, Hartland, and Merton, as well as the unincorporated community of Colgate in Washington County (perhaps even Lannon, Duplainville, or Menomonee Falls).

    Years ago the post office brought a community together, it was a meeting place, a place to exchange information, and talk with neighbors, and perhaps purchase some groceries, or needed hardware. In today's world, the people's post office choice to use is often which is most convenient, on the way to work, or to the store, to stop at.

    Your website editor has one of the most extreme examples of post office address assignments. I have a Hartland mailing address, though my home (in the Town of Lisbon) is twelve miles away from the Hartland post office. Which post office location do I use the most, probably Sussex, followed by Pewaukee. Sussex is more the center of our social activity - grocery shopping, library, gas stations, haircuts, etc., while Pewaukee happens to be on the way to work for me. Sussex is 5 1/2 miles away, Pewaukee is 10; Merton about 7. The closest is Colgate, about 3 miles down the road. Even the post offices at Hubertus, Menomonee Falls, Lannon, and North Lake are closer than Hartland. With a rural route such as ours, the service is usually quite good, but come time when a package/letter has to be signed for and no one is home, that 12 mile (one way) trip to Hartland is to say, inconvenient.

    It's also very confusing for visitors, often times ending up in Hartland looking for  a Highway 164 address, and coming lost or bewildered. We also receive more promotional mailings (mainly junk mail) for shopping and services in the the Hartland/ Oconomowoc areas (that we hardly ever use) while missing important informational mailings from Sussex and Lisbon, just because our address (and more importantly our Zip Code) is Hartland.

    How could such a situation come about? My understanding it was purely political, and postmaster empire building that created the postal routes as they are today. 

    Though it's inconvenient at times, the worst of it is the lost of community identity for myself and many of our neighbors, and not just those with Hartland mailing addresses.

Note:  Certain Material on this web page is the copyrighted property of the United States Postal Service® (Postal Service™). All rights reserved.


Note: Holdings and services in McIntyre Library’s Special Collections and Area Research Center (ARC) at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

  • Wisconsin Post Office Handbook (1988), James B. Hale HE6376 .A1 W64
  • Rural Branches of Wisconsin Post Offices (1979), Raymond Rhymer HE6363 .W6 R49


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