The Change In The Post Office


MILLBROOK. The transfer of the post office here to other hands recalls the interesting fact that fifty years ago, on October 23rd 1872, the late William Vance received his appointment to the position of postmaster, Sir John A. Macdonald’s government being in power at that time. The building then was a small frame structure owned by the late William Carveth, situated just east of his residence on the site, practically, where Thorne and Yake’s store now stands. Adjacent to the office Mr. Vance had also a grocery store, where he carried on a flourishing business, but when the Elliott block was burned, some twenty-eight or twenty-nine years ago, both were destroyed, and the post office was then removed to the new block owned by the late J. C. Kells, where it has been located ever since. The grocery business, then taken over by Mr. Vance’s second son, J., Arthur Vance, was also removed to this block and carried on by him for some years in the store at present occupied by Burnham Bros.

Miss M. E. Hetherington was the first lady assistant in the post office here, remaining with Mr. Vance for twelve years, during which time she discharged the duties of her position in a most capable manner. Such general regret was felt when Miss Hetherington, because of her health, felt obliged to send in her resignation in 1896, that the community presented her with a handsome silver service as a token of their appreciation. Since that time, however, Miss Hetherington has assisted with the office work when any member of the staff was absent through illness, or holidays. During Miss Hetherington’s regular time of service the work of the post office here was much heavier than since rural delivery came in; then it was a distributing center for seven other offices: Cavan, Ida, Mt. Pleasant, Bewdley, South Monaghan, Bailieboro, and Glamorgan. Now the first four are served by rural delivery, and only for the last three must mail be made up and sent out.

The death of the late Mr. Vance occurred in June 1920, and since that time his youngest daughter, Miss Lottie, has been postmistress, filling the position in a very efficient manner; indeed, owing to her father’s failing health Miss Vance had practically assumed all the work of the office for some years previous to his decease, hence was well qualified for the responsibilities of the position. Others who followed Miss Hetherington as assistants were: Misses May Armstrong (Mrs. I, N. McGill), Mary Kerr (Mrs. Dingman, Toronto), Maud Stewart (Mrs. H. Armstrong), Crystal Stewart (Oshawa), Ada Smith (Mrs. J. Armstrong, Cavan), Alice Stewart, and Stella Pethick. It is not yet definitely known when the newly-appointed postmaster, Howard Collins, is expected to take charge.

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