BY JENNY GOLDSBERRY AND HOLLY FULLER
In the late 1800s, the postage rate was two cents for a letter and one cent for a postcard.
In 1864, the United States Postal Service gave the city of North Ogden its own post office. Before that, residents had to travel to Ogden City’s post office for their mail. Often, one person would pick up the mail for several people and distribute it during church and other public meetings. The very first North Ogden post office building was built by Sidney Stevens at 2599 N 400 E. At the time, the postage rate for a letter was two cents and one cent for a postcard.
The original structure was reportedly one of the first two-story brick buildings in Utah and operated as a general merchandise store. There was a dance floor on its upper level and a library with about 100 books that were loaned out to the public. A ZCMI store was located nearby at 2650 N 450 E, then owned by Samuel Dean. He sold his stock in the store to Stevens in 1870, who merged the two stores.
Henry Holmes was appointed to be the first postmaster. He picked up mail twice weekly from a railroad mail stop in Harrisville. In February of 1885, the store was destroyed by fire. It was hard for firefighters to control the fire, due to a large stock of rifle and shotgun shells in the store.
In 1893, John W. Rex became postmaster and sorted mail out of his store, the Rex, Dean, and Campbell Company at 2564 N 400 E. The next postmaster was Francis Dudman, who moved the post office to this general merchandise store at 2650 N 434 E.
In 1902, Fred W. Ellis delivered mail rurally for about 10 years to Harrisville, West Weber, Plain City, and North Ogden. As luck would have it, the building burned again in 1911. By then, mailmen picked up and delivered to North Ogden homes by horse and buggy. In the winter, they used a horse-drawn cutter sleigh.
Then, John A. Dean erected the first post office in North Ogden, a small frame, one-level building at about 2645 N 450 E. Rose Elvina Dean was the first postmistress, followed by Alice S. Dean. The post office was then moved to the Marshall mercantile store at 2599 N 400 E, with William Ellis as postmaster, followed by Rose Toone. Clarence Barker purchased the property in about 1920. The building operated for many years as a general store with all these different owners and as a pharmacy and soda fountain for a short time in 1960.
The building was dedicated as a U.S. Post Office in November 1961. Marvin Barker owned the building, and his wife, Maurine, was hired as the postmistress.
The Barkers also operated a franchise with Ellison Cleaners in the building. The office was closed around 1990, when postal services were moved to the Five Points area. The building was rented out for a few years and then demolished on May 5, 1998.
Do you recognize any of the names above? Do you have more stories to tell about them? We want to hear from you!