Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Roseville Postmaster William R. Stephens, and the Railway Mail Service Chief Clerk John J. Burke
MS 698  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (52.97 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Roseville Postmaster William R. Stephens, and the Railway Mail Service Chief Clerk John J. Burke
    Dates: 1922-1935
    Collection Number: MS 698
    Creator/Collector: Stephens, William R. Burke, John J.
    Extent: 1 half-box
    Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Abstract: This collection consists primarily of correspondence between William R. Stephens, the Roseville postmaster of the United States Post Office and John J. Burke, Chief Clerk of Railway Mail Service District No. 8, from 1922 to 1934.
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    This collection is open for research at our off-site storage facility with one week's notice. Contact Library & Archives staff to arrange for access.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Roseville Postmaster William R. Stephens, and the Railway Mail Service Chief Clerk John J. Burke. California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Lawrence Dietz, 2008

    Biography/Administrative History

    The Railway Mail Service (RMS), a Department of the United States Post Office, and its successor the Postal Transportation Service (PTS), carried most of the mail in the United States from the 1890s until the 1960s. Established in 1869, the Railway Mail Service provided for the movement of U.S. mail by train. Highly trained RMS postal clerks staffed the Railway Post Office (RPO), a special car on a passenger train. Mail sorted en route, received a cancellation just as if it had been mailed at a local post office. On October 1, 1948, the Railway Mail Service was renamed the Postal Transportation Service. The last railway post office car operated between New York and Washington, D.C. on June 30, 1977. In 1869 the RMS was organized into six divisions, under a single general superintendent. By the 1920s, there were fifteen divisions. Each division was headed by a Chief Clerk, who was responsible for ensuring that all mail originating from or traveling on a RPO car was delivered in a timely manner. RMS postal clerks were under the Chief Clerk's jurisdiction. The Chief Clerk also worked with the postmasters, employees of the U.S. Post Office, at the post offices in his division.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection consists primarily of correspondence between William R. Stephens, the Roseville postmaster of the United States Post Office and John J. Burke, Chief Clerk of Railway Mail Service District No. 8, from 1922 to 1934. There are also reports about temporary workers, notices to the postmaster from the United States Post Office, and handwritten notes about irregular pouches. Subjects include complaints about improper delivery, loss of the mail, its poor condition upon arrival, failure to follow procedures, irregular pouches, mail service provided by temporary contracters, the timing of delivery and pickup, the use of contractors to deliver mail, and postal clerks examinations. Arranged chronologically.