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The early post office on East State Street about
By 1834 the settlement had reached the proper
proportions of a village so James Heaton planned the
streets, marked off the lot division and named the village. Until
1834 the settlement was appropriately called “Heaton’s
Furnace”, but James Heaton gave it a new name “Nilestown”
in honor of Hezekiah Niles, editor of the Niles Register,
a Baltimore paper, who’s Whig (early political party) principals
Heaton greatly admired.
Nilestown remained the name until 1843 when Ambrose
Mason, Postmaster, for convenience shortened it to “Niles”
and that is how Niles got its name.”
The post office was located on East State Street,
then called Mill Street and Furnace Street, and was in use until
a new post office was built on West Park Avenue. This post office
opend January 1, 1933.
Post Office location on 1882 panorama
Post Office location on 1909 map.
New post office location on 1934
A postcard view of the Niles Post Office on inspection
day, December 29, 1932.
The Post Office was opened to the public on January
|It was in
1913 that the first move was made for the United States Post Office
which is one of the outstanding buildings in the City of Niles.
At that time, the lot on which the building stands, was bought
by the government through the efforts of W. Aubrey Thomas,
formerly of this city who is now living in Alabama. At that time
he was a congressman from this district.
It is said that the price paid for the
lot was approximately $15,000. The late W.R. Thomas was
postmaster at the time the post office site was purchased. In
1931 a plot of land 420-1/2 feet in size was bought from the heirs
of the late William Thomas and added to the government
Niles Daily Times, April 15, 1932
J.D. Waddell: chairman
of the Post Office Committee of the Niles Board of Trade responsible
for getting the new building; D.J. Thomas: present postmaster
and member of the Post Office Committee; W. Aubrey Thomas: former
congressman in 1913 who persuaded the U.S. Government to buy the
lot upon which the new post office is being built; John Cooper:
present congressman from the 19th District who was instrumental
in getting the post office for the city.
J.D. Waddell PO1.1582
W. Aubrey Thomas PO1.1113
The present Post Office on West
Park Avenue in Niles was one of the federal governments “make
work” projects during the Depression.
Being situated across from the McKinley
Memorial, it was designed to complement it.
Business in the new post office
began January 2, 1933. This picture, taken from the Niles Daily
Times is dated December 28, 1932. PO1.384
1966 Post Office Addition
of the building is of Ohio sandstone. Through the efforts of J.D.
Waddell, R.M. Smith, Paul Hodge, and D.J. Thomas, the eight large
sandstone pillars across the façade were added to the plans
of the building. These pillars were desired to correspond with the
The interior of the building is very spacious and efficiently
arranged. The rear platform is 29 feet wide with a 27 foot entrance
way. From the ground floor to the roof is 32 feet, 9-1/2 inches.
In the basement are the following quarters: Internal Revenue
Office, Civil Service, post office inspector’s room, carrier’s
toilet, ladies’ toilet, men’s toilet, file room, boiler
room, showers, and three storage rooms. The swing room where the
carriers eat their lunches during the noon hour is also in the
On the first floor are the following rooms: work room, 85 feet
8 inches long and 47 feet 9 inches deep; the postmaster’s
office, 24 feet 4 inches by 17 feet 11-1/2 inches; public lobby
48 feet by 16 feet; money order and registry office, mail boxes,
general delivery offices, postal savings, a burglar proof vault,
postmaster’s lavatory, vestibule, janitor’s closet,
and space for a post office civil service bulletin.
In 1927, Andrew Mellon, secretary of the treasury placed
Niles on the authorized construction list and it took five years
for the construction to get under way.
Niles was allotted $130,000 for the building. At first the amount
was placed at $85,000 but with the aid of John G. Cooper, congressman
from this district, an additional $45,000 was secured for the
D.J. Thomas is now serving his third four-year term as local
postmaster. His last appointment was received in April 1932. He
succeeded A.L. Richar. Prior to his appointment by Calvin
Coolidge in 1924, Mr. Thomas was a roller in the Republic
Present employees and their dates of appointment follow: M.B.
Flaherty, assistant postmaster 1910; S.B. Pearce,
clerk 1918; B.J. Collins, clerk 1921; Leo Gilmore,
clerk 1920; Jeanette George, clerk 1920; F.E. Mears,
clerk 1914; R.R. Zimmerman, clerk 1913; Mrs. Edna
B. Hall, sub-clerk 1920, A.L. Richar, clerk 1932.
Carriers and their date of appointment
are Charles Duff, 1920; J. Howard Moore, 1923;
F.A. McDermott, 1901; H.L. Watrous, 1919; Clyde
Corbett, 1927; Carl Bland, 1921; J. Francis
Moynihan, 1921; Harry Reinhart, 1921; W.R. Scott,
1921; Chester C. Walter, 1919; Joseph C. Tregressor,
1921; Doyle Zimmerman, substitute 1929; Charles Collins,