Letters to Congressman Lonergan and Postmaster General Brown First To Leave Federal Building.

Published in Manchester Evening Herald, Manchester, Conn.
Thursday, February 20, 1933

The Post Office service at the new federal building was inaugurated here today marking the elimination of "South Manchester Post Office." Hereafter the entire town will come under the classification of Manchester. The new service was officially opened with a brief ceremony in which the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Selectmen were represented.

First Letters.

The first pair of letters were mailed by President Edward J. Murphy of the Chamber while Mayor Wells A. Strickland, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, threw on the electric power switch which operates the cancelling machine. Postmaster Frank B. Crocker posed with the group while a Herald photographer took a picture of the first letter about to be cancelled. Assistant Postmaster William J. McCann inserted the letter into the machine. E. J. McCabe, secretary of the Chamber, was also present.

One of the two letters was sent to Walter F. Brown, postmaster general at Washington and the other to Augustine Lonergan. senator-elect from this state, also at Washington. Copies of the letters will be found later in this account. Although rain was falling hard outside, several people were in the lobby waiting for the windows to go up. Many apparently desired cancellations from the new office on its initial day of service.

Last Minute Letters.

In some cases people mailed letters to themselves. Others sent them to friends. There were also a few who obtained last-minute cancellations from the "South Manchester" office Saturday night shortly before service ended at 7 o'clock. Postmaster Ernest F. Brown of the north end office which today becomes a classified station, will remain there a few days to take charge of starting this service which will then be taken over by Harold Agard while Mr. Brown becomes superintendent of mails at the new office.

Today was a busy one at the new office at the 36 employees started becoming accustomed to the new changes. A few days will be required before everyone gets acquainted with the new office after which work will speed up to normalcy again. The work of sorting the mail into the new boxes and for the carriers was a complicated one today as letters for both the north and south ends came in the same pouches. Carriers were also faced with slight re-arrangements of their routes in order that as little time as possible be lost. Later major changes may be made in any case where the situation warrants such action. But for the present at least the carriers will have their same routes, although they may start at the opposite end to make their deliveries.

Big Improvement.

Both President Murphy of the Chamber and Chairman Strickman of the Selectmen, commented favorably on the beautiful and modern building together with its complete facilities, stating that it is a decided improvement for the town. Copies of the two letters forwarded by the Chamber follow:

"The Honorable Augustine Lonergan, Senator, Elect,
"Washington, D.C

"Honorable Sir:
"Today, Manchester, Connecticut, rejoices in the event of the opening of the new Federal Building and Central Post Office. The Manchester Chamber of Commerce joins with the citizens in the brief program which marks a new era for Manchester when all sections of our progressive home-like community of 23,000 individuals will be drawn more closely together through having one Post Office instead of several, as has been the condition in the past.

"Through the courtesy of Postmaster Frank B. Crocker, the Manchester Chamber of Commerce is participating in the opening of the new Post Office by permission, which allows the President of the Chamber, Mr. Edward J. Murphy, to purchase the first stamp sold and mail the first letter -- which letter was in turn cancelled and sent on its way by Mr. Wells Strickland, Chairman of the Board of Selectman of the Town of Manchester.

"We, of Manchster, are proud of this new Federal Building and Post Office and the progressive spirit it bespeaks, located as it is in the center of and becoming a part of many of the civic activities of our community.

"We believe, you likewise must derive a considerable degree of satisfaction, in that this site and building, the appropriation for which you so constantly agitated both in your present term in Congress and in your earlier terms, have this day been brought to a condition of occupancy and dedicated to the service of federal and postal needs of Manchester for this and generations to follow.

"We consider it therefore appropriate that this first letter to go forth from this new Federal Post Office, expressing as it does our thanks and appreciation, should go to one who has largely for bringing this project to a successful culmination.

Yours truly,
Edward J. Murphy,

Webmaster Note 1: Unfortunately the second letter, which would have been addressed to "The Honorable Walter F. Brown, Postmaster General" is not currently available.

Webmaster Note 2: Information on the Post Office Building itself can be found in the "National Recognition of Manchester's History" page of this web site, by clicking Post Office.