"In 1896, rural mail carriers began reaching out to rural America, connecting farms and homesteads, one address at a time, with the wealth of products and services available from our nation's cities," Steed said.
As the connections to rural America grew, so did the nation and its economy.
"Today, America's rural letter carriers serve more than 36 million addresses coast to coast. Not just homes and farms either, but office buildings, apartment complexes and shopping malls," she said.
Steed said most residents in Oregon County see their rural letter carriers at work, driving along side the road, mailbox to mailbox, picking up, and delivering the mail. "What people may not have seen, is the wide range and high quality of the products and services they provide in addition to picking up and delivering the mail," she said.
Some of those services include:
* Pick up and deliver parcels, priority mail and express mail items.
* Sell stamps and postal money orders.
* Accept and deliver registered mail, certified mail and insured mail items.
* Accept payment for collect on delivery (COD) packages.
"If you would like to order stamps, postal cards, or stamped envelopes, just ask your rural letter carrier for a stamp purchase order form. It comes with its own envelope," Steed said.
She said if you give your rural letter carrier your written authorization, he or she will leave oversized parcels at your mailbox or other locations, weather permitting, so you don't have to use your gas to go to the post office. "Or you can call and they will re-deliver packages or other items requiring your signature," she said.
There are five post offices in Oregon County. Steed said at Koshkonong there are two rural carriers that make deliveries to about 600 homes and businesses.
Paula Kirby is the postmaster at Thayer. She has three rural carriers that make 1,173 deliveries a day.
Alton postmaster Carrie Tucker has four rural mail carriers that make 1,365 deliveries a day.
Fredona Riley is the postmaster at Myrtle. She has one rural mail carrier that makes 265 deliveries a day
"What I would like to do is to encourage fuel savings for people in our area since our carriers go to every rural mailbox, everyday, six days a week anyway," Steed said.