Old Dayton Post Office Ends Existence April 1
County’s First Settled Village Victim of U. S. Economy Drive
As part of an economy move by the U. S. Postal Department, Dayton, oldest settled village in La Salle County, is about to lose its post office, which was set up at least 90 years ago.
The office is located in a grocery store now run by Dominic DeBernardi who also is postmaster.
The office will be closed April 1 and its 69 patrons will be served from the Ottawa Post Office by rural free delivery. Victor Boissenin of Ottawa will be carrier.
The new patrons will add 1.9 miles to his daily route, according to the Ottawa Post Office. Boissenen, however, will be paid for only one extra mile in accordance with the complex figuring under postal rules and regulations.
The Dayton Post Office patrons are all village residents. They now will have to install rural mail boxes near their homes to receive mail.
By April 15
Postmaster Frank J. Mulholland of Ottawa said Dayton People will have until April 15 to erect such boxes, which must be of a certain height from the ground and maintained by the patron in accordance with postal regulations.
Mulholland also said Dayton people will have to register their address at the Ottawa Post Office by April 1. The names of residents, names of their children and others who receive mail at the residence must be on the registration list.
The Ottawa postmaster Tuesday met with about 30 Dayton residents to explain the new mail system for the village located four miles northwest [sic] of Ottawa.
The carrier, Boissenin, will enter the village from the east via State Highway 71 and the Dayton rural road, circle the town, and leave on the road west of the village leading to Ottawa.
The post office at Dayton has a fourth-class rating and pays between $1,200 to $1,500 per year to the federal government.
There was a time when the Dayton Post Office received mail four times a day via the Burlington Railroad. The service was cut to two deliveries per day several years ago and on Feb. 2, 1952, the last passenger train with mail aboard passed north through the town.
Since then mail has come into and gone out of the village twice a day via truck serving the Aurora and Streator area. The truck service will be discontinued when the rural free delivery service goes into effect.
Dayton was settled in 1829 by a party of Ohio immigrants who saw riches in the water power of the Fox River. Mills were established to grind corn and wheat.
Later, water power ran other mills in the hamlet, making it a prosperous place before and after the Civil War. The postmaster was an important figure then but his political head was sheared off with a change of national administration.
The postmaster in Civil War days was an Englishman, G. W. Makinson, born in England, July 15, 1826, and who came to La Salle County in 1844. An old county history says of him, “He is an Independent (voter), Universalist; own house and two lots in Dayton, valued at $1,500; wife was Charlotte Evans, born Feb. 28, 1828; were married in Ottawa Sept. 22, 1847; have seven children, Anna, Josephine, Jesse, Lewis, Edgar and Lottie; he was appointed postmaster during the administration of James Buchanan; after two years he resigned; was reappointed and has held the office ever since.”
Makinson must have been the exception to the rule that village postmasters were subject to dismissal when political administrations shifted at Washington. Buchanan was a Democrat, but the history was published in 1877 and the Republicans had held sway for 16 years.
from The (Ottawa, Illinois) Daily Republican-Times, March 19, 1954, p. 1, cols. 2-4