Author Topic: Neither Snow Nor Rain…Monson Railroad Carries the Mail  (Read 3981 times)

Roger Whitney

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Neither Snow Nor Rain…Monson Railroad Carries the Mail
« on: January 26, 2012, 01:09:44 PM »

          “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” This inscription is on the James A. Farley Post Office Building which is the main post office building in New York City. Built in 1912, the building is famous for bearing this inscription.  However these moving words were an invention of the architects, and never was or is the official motto of the US Post Office Dept.
           What’s this got to do with the Monson? On September 26, 1918, Supt. Morrill wrote a letter to the Second Assistant Postmaster in Washington DC and he wasn’t pleased. The Monson had the government contract to carry the mail from the Junction to Monson Station for $24.58 a month.  But it seems the government expected the railroad to convey it from the Station to the PO on the Monson’s tab. Evidently the Monson had an agreement with someone local to carry it from the station to the PO.
           But the locals smelled a lucrative government contract. It is unknown how much the Monson was paying someone to carry the mail from the station to the PO, but whoever it was, they wanted a raise.  The carrier wanted $35 a month to carry the mail one quarter of a mile from the station to the PO after the Monson carried it 6.16 miles from the Junction for $24.58  a month. Morrill states that they “were unable to get a lower bid”. So the Monson would be in the hole $10.42 every month for the privilege of carrying the mail.
          Morrill goes on to say “It just seems unjust to ask us to lose money in this way.  We will haul the mail to and from Monson Jct. for the sum of twenty four and 58/100 dollars per month, but feel that the government should attend to the delivery to the post office.” He ends the letter with “We make the above as a definite proposition and await your reply to same.” 
          I wonder what the reply was?  It may be buried in the Monson archives.  I’ll keep looking!
          The Monson did pretty well living up to the second, third and fourth obstacles mentioned in the inspiring words on the Farley building. However at times they had trouble with the first one: snow.  I’ll address that later this winter.
          Back in the late ‘80’s a good friend of mine and I had a chance to buy the last known mail bag the Monson had.  My friend’s father was the owner of what was left of the Monson after 1945 and he remembered that mail bag hanging in the station.  He refused to buy it as he thought the bag may have been removed from the station somewhat suspiciously.  I still wish we had bought it though as it would be back with one of us where it belonged. I still kick myself!

Cliff Olson

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Re: Neither Snow Nor Rain…Monson Railroad Carries the Mail
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 04:05:57 PM »
Maybe Morrill should have carried the mail up to the post office; it's about a 5 minute walk!  What did the contract say?