Sunday 5 June 2016

Rural Mailboxes

David Wilcox of Oxford County, Ontario, after witnessing free rural mail delivery in Michigan, returned to Ontario and started a campaign to achieve rural mail delivery in Ontario.  However, both the government of the day and the official opposition rejected the idea.  Wilcox set out on a letter writing campaign, sending 40 or 50 to as many newspapers as possible.  Anxious to retain the farm vote, Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier responded to the pressure.  Finally, Postmaster Lemieux announced free rural delivery "so Canadians could get their mail without the necessity of sending after it to the village post office."

On October 10, 1908, the first rural mail delivery run, consisting of 37 boxes, was established between Hamilton and Ancaster, Ontario.  The mailbox, known as the King Edward, "had to be located within easy reach of rural couriers so that delivery and collection could be done without dismounting from the horse or carriage".

The Establishment of Free Rural Mail Delivery

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