This is Monson Beghtel ready to deliver mail for
Urbana Rural Route #1. We think this picture is from
about 1909or 1910. He was the first mail carrier for the
the Urbana Route. His first mode of transporation was
a regulation mail cart drawn by a horse. They could be
purchased from the Sear, Roebuck catalog but I always
remember he made his own. It had big wheels and they
were always around. He kept a box on a steel rod
between the wheels and used it for the carden, going to
the chicken house, etc. We often used it to play with
also. The "bike" came next.
Then he began to drive the route with red Chevy's. I
remember going with him to North Manchester to buy a
new car. We went into the car sales and he said, "Do
you have a red one?" He didn't even kick the tires! We
loved to take Sunday afternoon joy rides (his
terminiology) in these cars on the square of country
roads around Urbana.
The Urbana route - I think - went 7 miles east of
Urbana and then north about 3 miles. I know it
covered the road that went past Salem Methodist
Church. When my husband, Warren, pastored this
church, the Schenkels who attended there, told me how
the yad shoveled out around their mailbox after a
particularly heavy snow...the next day he left a box of
cigars in the mailbox. He would get all kinds of
presents from people on the route. We couldn't ever
go with him as it was against the rules of the US postal
service. He told us this and I think he would just as
soon have taken us.
The route also went west of Urbana to the Laketon
Road where Wabash RR 3 covered the mail. I am not
sure about north and south but think only about a mile
both of these directions.
I don't know what the salary was but the pension when
he retired was $100 a month and this was very
impressive for 1940.
Jane Beghtel Lewis
Granddaughter of Monce Beghtel