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September 28, 2001

This photo of the old Perry post office was found in a collection accumulated by Henry and Fern Freese. A note on the back of the photo states that the original was taken on September 16, 1917

In a brief conversation the other day with John Nida, he brought up an interesting question – where did all the sandstone blocks come from that were used by the WPA in the 1930s? They were used in building the Perry Stadium, the National Guard Armory, Perry Elementary school and some other projects. For some time I have had the impression that they were quarried right here in Noble county but I do not know the location of the property where they came from. John also wonders how those large blocks were loaded onto wagons and other conveyances that were used to haul them to construction sites. Maybe a reader can shed some light on this topic.

Speaking of sandstone, the photo accompanying this column was received the other day from Nevalyn Freese Stotts of Stillwater, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Freese. Her husband, Gerald Stotts, also is a former Perryan. The picture shows the old sandstone Perry post office, the one that preceded our present post office. It was located at the corner of Seventh and Delaware, on the northwest corner of the courthouse park. Our “new” post office was built in 1939 as a WPA project right next door to the old building. When moving day came, postal employees and others picked up the bags of mail and office equipment and carried them one door to the south. The old building eventually was torn down. This photo shows it as it looked in 1917, when most local folks thought it was pretty spiffy. Several vintage automobiles are clearly shown, with spare tires attached.

The driveway on the right in this photo was used, among other things, to load up vehicles for rural carriers to deliver their routes. Also, for years Mr. Herb Peden, a contract carrier, drove a flatbed Model-T Ford truck to pick up incoming mail and dispatch outgoing material at the Frisco and Santa Fe Railroad depots. The driveway shown in this photo extended to the far end of the post office, then to Delaware street where the vehicle entry was located. What you see here is the driveway exit onto Seventh street, the west side of the square. The façade visible on the left is the upper part of the two-story building where my Dad’s store, the City Drug, was located. From the front door of our store, we could look across the street and see the ivy-covered side of the post office.

Nevalyn found this photo in a collection accumulated by her parents, Henry and Fern Freese. A note on the back of the photo states that the original was taken on September 16, 1917. The developed film was presented by Ernest Kukuk. I thank Nevalyn for providing this photo.