By Cecelia McKeig
When I look at the lists of Unclaimed Letters printed in the newspaper and recorded also at the post office, I wonder what became of the people to whom they were addressed. Why didn’t they leave a forwarding address? Maybe they didn’t know where they were headed when they left Nymore. Perhaps many of them were lumberjacks or were working in the mills and left for a better position. I wonder what happened to Miss Carrie Billings who left no forwarding address in 1910. She received two cards in January 1910. Was it her birthday? Where did Chauncey Brockway go in 1909? On September 22, 1908, the Bemidji Pioneer reported that he was among a group of drunks and loiterers that were hauled into court. “Chauncey Brockway (poor ‘Chauncey’) pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct and was fined $10 and cost. He was then allowed to go on his own recognizance to secure the money to pay the fine.”
Someone was optimistic when they addressed letters to Mrs. James, Store, Nymore, Mn. or simply to Lavinia, Mn. One letter was addressed to Box 6, Nymore and another had no address at all.
Walter Potter skipped picking up his mail in July and August of 1909 as well as July and August of 1910. He lived in Mizpah in 1905, at Englewood in 1910 and again at Mizpah in Koochiching County in 1913. Maybe he was working temporarily at one of the Nymore sawmills.
I wonder why Eben Ingersoll didn’t pick up a letter addressed to him in October 1909. Eben Ingersoll entered service as a locomotive engineer in north Bemidji on May 9, 1909. He was one of the first shareholders of the Farmers State Bank in Nymore and was also on the Board of Directors when it was organized in 1917. He was prominent in railroad circles and had a wide acquaintance with workers on railroads and in mills. He and his wife Ella lived on D avenue in 1910 and at 608 Central Avenue in 1920 and onward until his death in 1954.
The letters from those early years ended up in the Dead Letter Office. Each year there are still lots of undeliverable letters and packages. Today, all undeliverable mail ends up at a single Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia.