Bixby Post Office
July 6, 1898
A United States Post Office for the town site of Bixby, Indian Territory, was authorized by Congress on July 6, 1898. James Conway was appointed postmaster. However, according to early pioneer interviews, Conway died in November 1898 before he could serve as postmaster. Charles M. Sherrill, the first postmaster to serve in Bixby, started the first mail service on July 6, 1899.
The post office was located in the back of general stores, first on Main Street in the originally platted Bixby, known as Old Town, and next, in new Midland Addition. Before the railroad came, in 1904, mail was brought to Bixby from Mounds. There were no rural routes. Mail was picked up at the post office. It was common practice for the local newspaper to publish the names of people with unclaimed mail. The first rural route was not established until December 1, 1911.
Postmaster Sherrill served the Bixby community from 1898 until 1914. It is said, he sometimes let people barter eggs for a one-cent stamp, the required postage to mail a letter.
In 1914, John E. Reasonover was appointed postmaster by the Woodrow Wilson administration. A second rural route was established at that time. W. E. Bradley was carrier for this route. Bradley covered the 26-mile route with a horse and buggy.
In the spring of 1917, the post office was moved to a concrete block building near the theater on East Dawes Street. Another rural carrier, Roy Pittman, was hired in 1921 to cover the route north of Bixby. Roy had one of the longest routes in the state.
Adrian Brown, known as A. J., followed Reasonover as postmaster in 1924. He served for four years.
Jacob Sample, known as Jake, was appointed postmaster in 1928. He sold his partnership in the Bixby Bulletin at that time.
With the 1932 change in national political power, Berry M. Crosby received confirmation and became postmaster in 1934. He was, at the time, owner and editor of the Bixby Bulletin. The post office building was in poor repair and no longer met postal requirements. In May of 1934, Crosby oversaw the fourth move of the post office to a brick building owned by J.F. Paulter at 9 North Armstrong. Crosby served the community as postmaster for eleven years.
Roy Pittman died in 1943. Virgil Cox was eventually hired to replace Pittman. Cox, who had returned from military duty in World War II, served as rural carrier for 30 years. He was named United States Postal Safe Driver of the Year in 1975. He drove seventy-five miles a day, six days a week for twenty-five years without an accident.
Bixby’s longest tenured postmaster was Basil E. McClendon. He served the community for more than twenty-two years,1944-1960.
In May 1966, the post office was moved to a larger facility at the end of South Armstrong. Glen Jones, who had served the postal service for twenty-five years, including acting postmaster in 1944, was named postmaster in 1968.
Postmasters and officers-in-charge who have served since Jones, include Richard Maxey, Hazel Hart, William Havlik and Gary Wayne Harris. Harris is the current postmaster.
The growth of Bixby during the 1960’s and 1970’s brought the need for a larger post office. In 1981, a site at 151st Street and Memorial Drive was proposed. However, many citizens wanted to avoid the problem of additional traffic at the intersection. Downtown businessmen needed to keep the traffic flow through the town.
Postal authorities agreed to consider an alternative if an appropriate property at a comparable price could be found. Four businessmen, Ray Bowen, Sr., Doc Brown, Ed Devine and George Brown, purchased the Dee Mose property on A Avenue between Breckenridge and Fifth streets for the purpose of donating it as a site for the new Bixby Post Office. The new 5,247 square foot facility opened in September 1984 with expanded postal services.
Zella Mose directed her son, J. D. Mose, to sell the home place that was in the family since 1902 because, in her words, “It will help Bixby.”