Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa Post Office

The first post office was located in an unostentatious log building, the private residence of the Postmaster, Dr. John K. Cook, who received his commission from President Pierce, by the first mail that arrived in the place, July 20th, 1855. The arrival of the first mail sack was an occasion of no small consequence to the little sturdy band of settlers who had cast their fortunes in the great unknown West, as the contents brought them tidings of their Eastern friends, and seemed to link them once more with the civilization from which they had bee so long cut off. Though the revenue derived, by the Postmaster from the office, was but a small sum, it is related that the Doctor discharged his onerous duties with such scrupulous care and fidelity, that he remained in his position, undisturbed by place-hunting politicians, until relieved at his own request. The mail service, thus early established, in 1855, though then only arriving weekly, via Council Bluffs, has continued uninterrupted. As the place grew in size and commercial importance, semi-weekly, then tri-weekly, and finally, in 1866, daily mails were established, and the post office was removed to more commodious quarters in the “corner grocery.” Previous to the removal of the office, Dr. Cook was succeeded as Postmaster by Charles K. Smith, who retained the position until the close of James Buchanan’s administration. On Lincoln’s accession to the Presidency, A.R. Appleton, was appointed Postmaster, who in turn, was succeeded by J.C.C. Hoskins, who was continued in office until March 1878, when E.R. Kirk, the present incumbent, was appointed. Until the appointment of Mr. Kirk, the office was located according to the fancy of the official in charge, which not frequently resulted in great inconvenience to the public.

The growth of the city to a place of several thousand inhabitants, with a dozen mails arriving and departing daily, rendered more commodious quarters necessary, and in 1879, the office was removed to its present central location where a building had been specially erected for it. It is conveniently arranged, both for the benefit of the public and the rapid handling of the mails. The business of the office at present requires the services of five clerks, and is rapidly increasing.

However uninteresting statistics may be to the general reader, they are very significant to those who wish to trace the progress, determine the results, or estimate the future of a growing city, and as nothing affords a better index of the business of a place than the value of the business done at its post office, we append the following detailed exhibit of the Sioux City post office during the year 1881:

General AccountReceipts
Stamps sold$10,759.51
Envelopes sold3,395.56
Postal cards sold1,662.57
Paper and Periodical Stamps sold750.18
Postage due stamps sold259.02
Box Rent1,659.50


General Expense Account$3,069.49
Postmaster’s Salary2,800.00
Net Income$12,576.85

Source: Woodbury County Iowa, History of Western Iowa, 1882

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