Ontario's Last Postal Officials
Tribune image published August 1, 1951
Eighty-two years as a post office station ended yesterday for the village of Ontario. Charles L. Sidenstucker, shown above with his wife, relinquished his duties acting as postmaster of the tiny Ontario post office, located in a small white frame grocery store. the closing of the Ontario post office followed a federal government investigation into methods of economizing in the postal system. The Ontario post office actually had its beginnings as the New Philadelphia post office, just north of the present village of Ontario in 1856. New Philadelphia was in Washington township; Ontario was settled later just north and is in Franklin township. Mail to the New Philadelphia station at that time was brought in by stagecoach. Ontario was settled Jan. 16, 1859 at about the time that railroad tracks were built south of the New Philadelphia village. The post office was moved to Ontario that year with Hiram Scott as postmaster. E.C. Hutchison, 79, of Ontario, who was postmaster there from 1900 to 1923 recalls that Ontario was the first village along the railroad line where mail deliveries were canceled on Sunday. Previously the post office received two deliveries a day, seven days a week. Through Hutchison's efforts, however, Sunday deliveries were stopped to allow postmasters one day of the week as a holiday. More than two dozen other post offices like the Ontario one have been closed in Story county in the last 20 years.
Ontario Post Office
Jim Kinsella built his home and this structure (1505 and 1511 Delaware in Ontario) in 1935. He moved his grocery inventory here when he closed his store's previous location at 4612 Ontario Street. Jim's wife, Teresa, was postmaster, so the double function of postal station and grocery store was efficient.
The post office was established first at New Philadelphia (just below the Washington/Franklin township line) January 17, 1858, with the the following postmasters: A. Ballman; W. H. Foster, March 14, 1859; D. Schaefer, September 8, 1860; W. H. Foster, November 13, 1861; and Hiram Scott, November 6, 1867. When the station was changed to Ontario (just above the township line), it was called Ontario Post Office with Mr. Scott continuing as the postmaster. Then F. M. Coffelt, May 7, 1884; A. C. McCracken, November 15, 1886; J. L. Stoll, March 29, 1887; T. M. Aylesworth, April 5, 1889; S. T. Zenor, probably from 1892-1896; Melvin Ross, probably from 1896-1899; R. R. Parsons, probably from 1899-1901; Ed C. Hutchison, starting in 1901.
The Ontario sign was made from an oak table leaf.