It is a well-known fact that between the fortieth and forty-fourth parallels of latitude, in the United States of America, there is as much business activity and general intelligence as can be shown in any similar area of country on the globe, in proportion to population. In this belt of country lies the bulk of the lower peninsula of Michigan, famous for its schools and high institutions of learning; for its newspapers; and unexcelled for the intelligence of its people. Every post-office is the central point from which radiate streams of newspapers, periodicals, and letters; and no matter how small may be the hamlet, the little post-office is filled regularly with its wealth of "white-winged" literature, fresh from the pen and the press.
The following statements are taken from the books of the office, using round numbers: aggregate income of the office for the year, $6500; total money-order business for the year, $60,000; total number of orders drawn in ten years, 12,607. The total number of newspapers handled annually approximates 80,000.
THE MAIL. Five mails are received daily: three from the east and one from the west by railway, one by stage, and two semi-weekly by stage. The post-office is conveniently fitted up, and contains one hundred and sixty-eight lock, and six hundred and sixty ordinary boxes. On the morning of the 20th of March, 1877, burglars entered the office, blew open the safe, and carried away about one hundred and twenty-five dollars in currency and change, and all the private papers. The explosion set fire to the books and papers lying near, and destroyed many of them, but, luckily, it burned slowly, and was discovered in season to prevent a disastrous conflagration. The present postmaster is Mr. C. F. Kimball, and Thomas F. Gerls is deputy.
POSTMASTERS. The following is believed to be a correct list of postmasters at Pontiac since the office was established:
Alexander J. Irwin, appointed in 1819 or 1820, and held for about two years.
Dr. Olmstead Chamberlin, appointed early in 1823, and held, probably, until 1836.
A short interim between Irwin and Chamberlin was filled by Almon Mack, who handled the mails, though not regularly appointed postmaster.
Dr. Chamberlin died in Wisconsin, at an advanced age (over ninety), in 1876.
Schuyler Hodges was appointed in 1836 and served until 1840.
Samuel Sherwood succeeded in 1841, and served until some time in 1842, when he was removed by President Tyler, and Alfred Treadway appointed in his place.
Solomon W. Denton, from 1844 to 1848.
Levi Bacon, Jr., from 1848 to 1852.
Solomon W. Denton again, from 1853 to 1860.
Don Carlos Buckland, from 1861 to 1864. Solomon S. Mathews, from 1865 to 1875.
Charles F. Kimball, from April 13, 1875, to present time.
Source: History of Oakland County, Michigan by Durant, Samuel W. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & co., 1877.