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THE NAMING OF THE KIRTLEY POST OFFICE

by U. O. Kirtley

Copy housed in the Wyoming Room at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library

In the year of 1889 or 90 dry farmers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri settled in what is now known as the Kirtley country. At that time it was known as the Pleasant Ridge.

About 1895 the community decided to try for a post office. A petition addressed to the proper authorities and sent to Washington and signed by Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Christen, Mr. & Mrs. Chris Christian, Mr. & Mrs. Jake Zum Brunnen, Miss Amy Steer, Grandma Sutton, John Sutton and Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Kirtley. The petitioners suggested the name for the new post office “Pleasant Ridge” and Mrs. Kirtley Post Mistress.

After some time my mother was notified the post office was allowed and that supplies and equipment consisting of saddle bags, canceling stamp, ink pad, and a few stamps were at the Voorhees Post Office. I went to the Voorhees Office for the supplies and opening the package we found to our surprise the cancellation stamp printed "Kirtley” instead "Pleasant Ridge”.

With a few wooden boxes the Kirtley Post Office was born. For a month or two the mail was carried by the patrons in turn, as Shum Heiman used to say "free gratis all for nutten”. Finally John Sutton was awarded the contract from Voorhees a distance of fourteen miles for fourteen dollars a month, two or three times a week.

The Voorhees post office was on Luke Voorhees ranch a few miles east of the Node ranch and west of Van Tassel on Running Water.

Scott Jenks, a son-in-law of Voorhees, was postmaster and looked after the ranch for Mr. Voorhees. I was told this ranch was where Mr. Voorhees raised the horses he used on the stage from Cheyenne and Deadwood during the '70s and 80s. In a few years the Voorhees Post Office was discontinued and mail was carried from Lusk.

Jake Zum Brunnen took that contract two or three times a week for twenty dollars a month a distance of twenty odd miles each way. We traveled a lot of miles those days for a few dollars.

In about 1900 my parents sold out and moved to Hot Springs, South Dakota and the post office was moved to Mr. Church's farm about two miles from us. Their daughter Eva was post mistress. Thus comes to an end my knowledge of Kirtley Post Office.

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