Tuesday, July 1, 2014

This Month in Rochester History

In July 1964, Rochester residents were congratulating local mail carrier Harold Dawe on his retirement after 42 years on the job.  Mr. Dawe started his employment with the Rochester post office in 1922, just a few years after he had returned home after serving in the Army in World War I.  At that time, the post office had seven employees plus the postmaster, and Dawe was one of two mail carriers who covered the entire village of Rochester for a salary of $1,000 per year.

"We delivered twice a day and the routes were much longer then," he told the Rochester Clarion in 1964 when interviewed about his career.  He also told the newspaper that he and the other carrier had done the parcel post deliveries as well, sometimes working 16-hour days before Christmas and borrowing an ambulance to use as a makeshift delivery truck.

Harold Dawe was also a musician and was the leader of the Rochester town band during the 1930s, which is why the retirement cake shown in the photo is decorated with musical notes.

In this photo published in the Rochester Clarion at the time of his retirement, Harold Dawe is shown with his wife and postmaster Cole Neumann.

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