Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

Niles Post Office

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

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Mail: PO Box 368 Niles, Ohio 44446

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The early post office on East State Street about 1912.

The early post office on East State Street about 1912. PO1.383

Niles Post Office.

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 map.

Post Office location on 1882 panorama map.

Post Office location on 1909 map.

New post office location on 1934 City Map.

New post office location on 1934 City Map.

A postcard view of the Niles Post Office on inspection day, December 29, 1932.

A postcard view of the Niles Post Office on inspection day, December 29, 1932.

The Post Office was opened to the public on January 2, 1933.PO1.385

Photograph of Niles Post Office, August 1933.

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 site.

Niles Daily Times, April 15, 1932

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

J.D. Waddell PO1.1582

John Cooper

John Cooper

W. Aubrey Thomas

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

1966 Post Office Addition PO1.386

Exterior 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 McKinley Memorial.

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 basement.

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 construction.

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 mill.

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, substitute 1929.



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