The history of postal service in St. Charles stretches back to the town's fledgling years. Appointed under President Van Buren, Horace Bancroft served as the first postmaster in 1837. Bancroft traveled by horseback to Elgin to gather mail from the post office there. On returning to St. Charles, he would distribute the mail from his office and dry goods store on the east side. During this early period, mail came only once a week from Naperville. By the 1840s, mail came two to three times per week via stagecoach. Since its establishment in the late 1830s, the post office has moved to several different locations. In the 1880s James Doherty built a frame building on West Main Street, and the post office was, for the first time, located in a building utilized solely for this purpose.
With the construction of the building at
108 S. 2nd Street in 1937, the post office remained in a
single location for nearly 50 years. Built as a result of
the PWA (Public Works Administration), the building was
built on land donated by Mrs. E.J. Baker. Frazier and Raftery,
architects from Geneva, designed the Classical Revival structure.
The original plan of the building, which was designed by
federal employees, brought opposition from the town's mayor,
Dr. Ival Langum, and two of St. Charles's most prominent
citizens, E.J. Baker and Lester Norris. Reportedly a nondescript,
featureless box, these men believed that its architecture
would greatly contrast with that of the surrounding buildings.
Mayor Langum, Mr. Baker, and Mr. Norris went to Washington
D.C. to protest the construction of such a building. Their
objections were acknowledged and the post office was constructed
of Bedford stone with a copper roof.
The post office vacated the site in 1985.
Since this time Doc Morgan Inc., an awards and certificate
manufacturer, has used the building. The new post office
is located at 1405 W. Main Street, with a branch office
at 616 East Main Street.
photographs, see these sources,
more fully described in the Bibliography.
Office Vertical File
Celebrating History p 94
Baker Memorial Park
Baker Memorial Methodist Church
St. Charles National Bank
Survey, St. Charles Central District, St. Charles:
St. Charles Historic Preservation Commission, 1995.
History. St. Charles: St. Charles Historical Society,
John. "Hey, Mr. Postman!" Kane County Chronicle
15 June 1999, A:9:2.
St. Charles, Batavia, and Geneva City Directory. 1997.
Office, First City Hall in Hopper as New Museum Site."
Charlemagne Gazette May 1979.