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St. Cloud Post Office Established On – ‘This Date In Central Minnesota History’

Site of early St. Cloud Post Office (Stearns History Museum)

ST. CLOUD – August 16th, 1855 – 1st Post Office in St. Cloud was established

Though St. Cloud had begun to be settled in the early part of the 1850s, it wasn’t until 1855 that it got its first post office. This happened when Frank Sisson was appointed postmaster on August 16, 1855. Frank kept the post office at his clothing store that was located on the bank of the Mississippi River, just north of 10th Street South in the part of town that was called Lower Town.

This first postal system was different than what we experience today with postal service. Mail was delivered twice a week from St. Paul in a two-horse hack and left at a hotel on the east bank of the river. Anyone traveling from the east side would pick up the mail and bring it with them on the ferry when they crossed the river, and brought it to Sisson’s store. This store/post office was a small log building, measuring 16×24 feet. Sisson kept the mail in a box under the counter. To get their mail, people had to go to the store and look through the box to see if they had received anything.

Joseph Edelbro (Stearns History Museum)

Frank Sisson wasn’t postmaster for very long. He received less than $25 for the 8 months he served as postmaster. St. Cloud had begun as three separate settlements, but it incorporated into one city in March of 1856. Sisson’s post office was discontinued on May 2, 1856. At this time, all mail service was transferred to the Acadia post office that was located in Edelbrock’s store on the corner of St. Germain Street and 5th Ave South (where the Press Bar is today). On September 5th, 1855, Joseph Edelbrock had been appointed postmaster of Acadia, less than a month after Sisson had been appointed in Lower Town. Edelbrock moved the post office headquarters to his store where he built a wooden case with 24 slots for the mail. His salary for the first year was $90.69.

St. Cloud wouldn’t get a daily mail delivery until the fall of 1858. Correspondence has come a long way since these early days of communication. Though there are new ways to connect, the U.S. Postal Service is still relied upon today.

Thanks to Sarah Warmka and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date In Central Minnesota History” on WJON.

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