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Sunday, January 19, 2020

A History of Porter County Post Offices

The foundation of today's United States Postal Service can be traced to the establishment of a post road between Boston and New York as early as 1639. British colonies in America were provided a more centralized postal organization in 1691 when Thomas Neale was granted a patent from England's King William III (William of Orange) and Queen Mary II to establish and operate the North American Postal Service. The joint monarchs empowered Thomas Neale:
... to erect, settle, and establish within the chief parts of their majesties' colonies in America, an office or offices for receiving and dispatching letters and pacquets, and to receive, send, and deliver the same under such rates and sums of money as the planters shall agree to give, and to hold and enjoy the same for the term of twenty-one years.
The United States Post Office Department would be founded on February 20, 1792, sixteen years after America declared its independence from England.

Several countries were operating some form of postal services when the United States Post Office Department was created. However, their services usually functioned under a grant from a king or queen and generally served royal and titled patrons, government entities, and some businesses. The cost of use was high, and the vast majority of the population had no access to these services.

In the United States, the Post Office Department served as the country's first social equalizer, available to everyone, and its impact cannot be understated. Post roads were laid out and citizens were freely able to petition the department for creation of a post office in their community. Most petitions were granted.

With the rapid expansion of post offices came the establishment of more post roads. These roads were often improved by local citizens and counties in order to facilitate quicker and more efficient delivery of the mail. For instance, bridges would be erected over rivers, which eliminated post riders and their horses from having to wade across when water flows were hazardous. Hence, the post office was instrumental in the creation and improvement of America's road network.

Cost of delivery was the same for all users regardless of the distance the mail traveled; essentially, high use urban markets subsidized the cost of providing mail service to rural areas and the frontier. In addition, publishers had their newspapers delivered for free within their county of operation, and at a substantially reduced rate outside their county. This policy, which existed for decades, resulted in local, regional, state, national, and international news to flow to the far corners of America at an extremely low cost, collectively making its population arguably the most knowledgeable and learned in the world.

The establishment of a post office generally indicated that the geographic area was populated to the extent that it could support the delivery of mail. This was especially true prior to the Civil War when nearly all mail was transported by horse.

Post roads were designed to transport mail as expeditiously as possible. Rather than hack through the wilderness to create a road, the first post routes across Porter County followed three Native American trails that existed long before the creation of the county or the State of Indiana.

One Porter County post route traveled from Michigan City westward along the Chicago-Detroit Road, later U.S. Route 12. This road was formerly a Native American and fur trader trail following the sand ridges along the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan. This route would initially provide service to City West, a community that was situated where the present day pavilion and its adjacent parking lot are located at the Indiana Dunes State Park. A southerly branch of the Chicago-Detroit Road that connected with the county seat of LaPorte provided service to the Coffee Creek No. 1 post office that was located southeast of present day downtown Chesterton.

The post office at Portersville (Valparaiso) obtained its mail from a post route that followed a section of the Sauk Trail. This Native American trail had countless branches; however, a primary trunk of this trail crossed near the center of Porter County. Indiana State Road 2 practically sits upon this ancient trail.

A third early post route in Porter County was originally a Native American trail that connected Lafayette with Michigan City. The trail crossed the Kankakee River at Potawatomie Ford, known today as Baum's Bridge, and followed Baum's Bridge road to Tassinong. The post route then continued north very loosely following the path of present day Indiana State Road 49, turning eastward in the central portion of Morgan Township on a branch trail  and crossing over into LaPorte County. The name of the branch trail to LaPorte County has been lost to history, but may have been a minor interconnecting path of the Sauk Trail.

Coffee Creek (No. 1) was the first post office to exist in Porter County. This post office, however, was established in January 29, 1835, when Porter County had yet to be partitioned off from LaPorte County. Thus, LaPorte County can lay claim to Coffee Creek as one of their early post offices.

Sixteen days after the creation of Porter County on January 28, 1836, Salt Creek became the second post office created in the county. This post office was situated along the western boundary of Liberty Township where a combined grist and lumber mill had recently been erected along a dammed section of Salt Creek. It is not entirely clear what post route was used to initially deliver mail to Salt Creek, but it is speculated that this community's mail may have been delivered using a branch trail connecting the the Chicago-Detroit Road. 

Portersville would become Porter County's third post office, commencing service on March 14, 1836. Confusingly, a Portersville post office already existed in Dubois County, Indiana, and the Post Office Department's formal policy was that no two post offices within a state could share the same name. Hence, Porter County's Portersville post office was renamed Valparaiso. Information concerning the renaming of Portersville to Valparaiso is available here.

In the first comprehensive written history of the United States Post Office Department, published in 1893, author Marshall Henry Cushing writes of Postmaster General John Wanamaker's plan to have all 2,807 county seat postmasters visit each of their respective county post offices, which at that time totaled more than 45,000. Wanamaker served as Postmaster General from March 5, 1889, through March 4, 1893.

Wanamaker's goals for these visits was to build an esprit de corps among the employees of the department, gain a better understanding of the condition and operation of the post offices, and determine how post offices could provide improved services to the public.

The first of sixteen requests Wanamaker made of the county seat postmasters was: "If a map of the town, with location marked, or a picture of the building can be conveniently obtained, it will be useful to the Department."

Post offices of Porter County, Indiana, circa 1892. Photographs
were taken by Valparaiso postmaster Mark L. DeMotte.
Source: Cushing, The Story of Our Post-Office, 1893.

Mark Lindsey DeMotte was serving as postmaster at the county seat of Valparaiso at the time of Wanamaker's request; Demotte was postmaster from March 24, 1890, through March 20, 1894. With respect to Wanamaker's plan, Cushing writes (p. 442):
The postmaster at Valparaiso, Indiana, Mr. Mark L. DeMotte, reported upon the offices of Porter County. He submitted fine photographs of all the offices in his county; and he took them himself, because on the last page of the report appeared a picture of his horse, carriage and camera, and the postmaster himself.
Both Demotte's photograph of himself with his horse and carriage, as well as his photographs of all Porter County's post offices, were published in Cushing's book; in fact, the only county to have all their existing post offices published in the book was Porter County. Thus, both DeMotte and Cushing have provided us an enduring historical glimpse of the county's post offices during the early 1890s.

Photograph of Mark L. DeMotte, postmaster of Valparaiso, 1890-1894.
Source: Cushing, The Story of Our Post-Office, 1893.

Porter County's location at the southern terminus of Lake Michigan lent itself to the establishment of numerous railroads. Railroad companies contracted with the United States Post Office Department's Railway Mail Service to provide transport of mail, which it could do at a very low rate in large volume and also provide fast delivery relative to other modes of transportation. Mail was sorted in mailcars "on the fly" and it was not uncommon for a sender to mail a letter in the morning and receive a return response letter that very afternoon - including Sundays.

By 1884, all but two of the existing post offices in Porter County were receiving their mail by rail. The exceptions were Salt Creek and Tassinong, which were being serviced by horseback transportation. Salt Creek would receive its mail six times a week from Babcock, while Tassinong received mail three times a week from Kouts.

Mail routes in Porter County as of April 1, 1884.
Source: Charles Roeser, 1884.

A description of each of Porter County's post offices follows. The number of post offices that were established in the county, especially in the northern one-third, is quite remarkable. Some post offices have quirky histories, such as Boone Grove. Others are nearly absent of any history due to their very short lifespan; these include Daman Run (1848-1849), Dune Park (1907-1913), Essex (1841-1842), and Liberty View (1910-1913).

The descriptions were prepared using numerous source materials. While every effort has been made to be accurate in characterizing each post office, there are bound to be some errors. Corrections are appreciate using the comment section below.

Newspaper column concerning the expansion of rural
mail delivery in Porter County and the impending doom
faced by the county's smaller post offices.
Source: The Chesterton Tribune, February 7, 1902.

PORTER COUNTY POST OFFICES

[Last Updated: January 20, 2020]

BABCOCK (Liberty Township), 1889-1904
The Babcock post office was established on January 7, 1889, when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad constructed a station at this location; it is possible that a milk stop was located here prior to the establishment of the station. The post office was situated southeast of the intersection of present day County Road 200 West and the tracks of the CSX Transportation Railroad (formerly the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad) about 150 feet south of the tracks. The post office was located within the railroad station.

When established, the Babcock post office served approximately 150 households representing a total population of 600. Trains were not required to stop at Babcock to deliver mail, rather a railroad mail crane was used to hold a catcher pouch (mailbag) and mail was delivered "on the fly" to this post office.

Service was transferred to the Babcock post office when the Salt Creek post office, located about one mile to the southwest, was discontinued on July 5, 1892.

Thomas Jefferson Clevenger was appointed Babcock's first postmaster and served until August 2, 1901, when his wife, Rose Ida (Babcock) Clevenger, was appointed postmistress. Rose served as postmistress until the post office was discontinued on November 14, 1904, and all mail handled at this location was redirected to the Chesterton post office, effective October 28, 1904.

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BEVERLY SHORES (Pine Township), 1935-present
Established May 16, 1935, the Beverly Shores post office continues to be in operation. Dorothy Amanda (Bitterling) Hinton served as the first postmaster of this post office.

Original location of Beverly Shores at intersection of Broadway and Beverly
Drive, circa 1940. Building later acquired and razed by National Park Service.
Source: Morrow, Beverly Shores: A Suburban Dunes Resort, 2001.

Beverly Shores postal cover postmarked May 16, 1985, and
also including date of post office's establishment on May 16, 1935.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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BOON GROVE (Porter Township), 1843-1849, 1849-1855, 1856-1868, 1868-1883
The Boon Grove post office was established on December 28, 1843, and experienced three gaps in service until it was permanently discontinued on June 14, 1883. Note that this particular post office is not to be confused with today's Boone Grove post office. Service gaps existed between March 28, 1849, to September 17, 1849; August 1, 1855, to March 2, 1856; and September 29, 1868, to October 26, 1868. The Western Ranger, a Valparaiso newspaper, announced the first discontinuance of this post office in its May 2, 1849, issue.

Aaron Little was appointed the first postmaster of Boon Grove. This post office, misspelled likely due to an error by United States Post Office Department officials in Washington, D.C., was located in the original location of the community of Boone Grove, approximately one mile northeast of present day Boone Grove. When the majority of the community moved to be adjacent to the newly constructed Chicago & Atlantic Railroad, the post office was moved as well and its official name was changed to Jumbo on June 14, 1883.

Boon Grove postmaster Shiverick Weeks was compensated $8.45 on net proceeds of $9.17 between July 1, 1846 and March 31, 1847, while postmaster Ira Clement was compensated $3.12 on net proceeds of $4.19 between April 1, 1847, through June 30, 1847. The annual net proceeds of $13.36 suggests that the Boon Grove post office was an extremely marginal performer serving a very small population. As a comparison, the Coffee Creek No. 1 post office earned net proceeds that were more than ten times greater than Boon Grove over the same time period.

In a 1934 article concerning the history of the community of Boone Grove, pioneer Serena E. (House) Cornell, born in 1851, mentions the Boon Grove post office, stating: "My first memory of a postoffice was that of a log cabin located one mile south and half a mile east of Boone Grove, in which the mail was given out to settlers by a man named [Timothy] Squires. The mail was carried by a man on horseback, who started from Lowell and went to Valparaiso and back through here. Later the office was moved to Porter township to the [Abraham T.] Brewer home, and from there to the Enoch Jones place. After the building of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Railroad [actually the Chicago & Atlantic Railroad, completed in 1883], now the Erie, the postoffice was moved to the present site of Boone Grove, and the railroad station gave birth to the village of Boone Grove." It is puzzling as to why Cornell states that "the office was moved to Porter township to the Brewer home" since all three individuals she recalls as postmasters resided within the boundaries of Porter Township; in other words, the post office had never moved outside the borders of Porter Township.

Clearly, Cornell's memory of the Boon Grove post office, as it relates to the first site of Boone Grove, indicates that it was not situated at a fixed location. Rather, the post office moved to various residences as changes occurred in the appointment of the postmaster.

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BOONE GROVE (Porter Township), 1883-present
The original community of Boone Grove was located about one mile northeast of its present location, near the Merriman Cemetery, and officially referred to as Boon Grove by the United States Post Office Department. When the Chicago & Atlantic Railroad constructed its line through Porter Township, most of the residents in the original community moved to be adjacent to the railroad. The Boon Grove post office moved as well and was renamed Jumbo on June 14, 1883. Jumbo, which had an extremely short lifespan of thirty-seven days, was officially changed to Boone Grove on July 20, 1883, this time spelled correctly.

Since 1883, this post office has remained in continuous operation. Jefferson B. Woods served as the first postmaster of this post office when the name was changed from Jumbo to Boone Grove.

On March 9, 2013, the Boone Grove post office was reorganized as a remotely managed post office (RMPO) of the Hobart post office in Lake County.

 Newspaper item mentioning the establishment
of Porter County's Boone Grove post office.
Source: Brownstown Banner, August 16, 1883.

Boone Grove postal cover postmarked August 19, 1889. Includes
two cent postage due mark and stamp and missent mark.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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BURDICK (Jackson Township), 1871-1933
A post office was established in the small Jackson Township community of Burdick on July 18, 1871, with John M. Bedell appointed as its first postmaster. The post office was located about 100 feet south of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway and immediately east of present day County Road 475 East. The post office was closed on April 28, 1933, with service transferred to Chesterton, effective May 15, 1933.

Plat map of Burdick.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

Burdick postal card postmarked April 6, 1883.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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CALUMET (Westchester Township), 1849-1853
Calumet has created substantial confusion and has resulted in innumerable errors being published and repeated in county and community histories. The first Coffee Creek post office located at Jesse Morgan's Stage House Tavern east of present day Chesterton was discontinued on December 31, 1849. That same day a post office was established at New City West.

New City West was a community centered around emerging logging and lumber manufacturing operations in the area. It was southeast of City West and approximately three miles north of Morgan's Stage House Tavern. The post office at New City West was named Calumet. The post office was undoubtedly named after the nearby river to its south, a common post office-naming practice at the time, and appears on very early maps of Porter County.

The Calumet post office was located in the vicinity of the present day intersection of Indiana State Road 49 and U.S. Route 12 near the Dune Park Station of the South Shore Line. The westward railroad terminus at the time of the Calumet post office's establishment was at Michigan City; no railroads would cross Porter County until 1852.

New City West was geographically significant since it was situated at the intersection of the Valparaiso & Michigan City Plank Road (today's Indiana State Road 49) and the Chicago-Detroit Road (later known as U.S. Route 12). The plank road turned eastward toward LaPorte County at New City West following the Chicago-Detroit Road. Individuals in Porter County needing to travel by train (eastward) or by boat on Lake Michigan typically traversed this plank road to Michigan City, as it was the least toilsome route. Farmers wishing to transport their excess harvest to Michigan City's shipping port also traveled on the plank road.

At the time the Calumet post office was established, the location that would later be known as Chesterton was still very sparsely populated. In fact, the community known as Chesterton never appears on any known contemporary published map as Calumet and it does not appear as Chesterton until 1864. Yet, numerous histories state that the Chesterton area was once known as Calumet.

Four months after the Coffee Creek (No. 1) post office was discontinued, a new Coffee Creek (No. 2) post office initiated operation on April 15, 1850. When the Coffee Creek post office reopened, it was not situated where the original Coffee Creek post office was housed at Jesse Morgan's Stage House. Rather, it was located on the east side of the Valparaiso & Michigan City Plank Road (present day Calumet Road in Chesterton) and continued to operate under the name of Coffee Creek until January 24, 1870, when its name was officially changed to Chesterton.

From April 15, 1850, through May 20, 1853, the Calumet (at New City West) and Coffee Creek No. 2 (at what would become Chesterton) post offices were simultaneously in operation. Hence, it is inconceivable that the Calumet post office was ever located in present day Chesterton; a very lightly populated community would not be served by two post offices.

This muddling of place names arises because individuals living in the area that would become Chesterton received their mail from the Calumet post office at New City West for about six months until the Coffee Creek No. 2 post office was established in their community. Compounding the confusion is the fact that the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad, which was the first railroad to cross Porter County in 1852, established a depot they named Calumet Station at the community of Coffee Creek.

The Valparaiso & Michigan City Plank Road north of the railroad's Calumet Station at Coffee Creek quickly fell into disrepair as there was no need for residents south of the community, representing the majority of the county's population, to travel further north than Calumet Station for personal travel and the shipment of goods. The Calumet post office at New City West was discontinued less than one year after the establishment of Calumet Station at Coffee Creek, falling victim to the first railroad through Porter County.

The plank road south of the Calumet station at Coffee Creek continued to see heavy use as a railroad would not be established at Valparaiso until 1858. Thus, residents south of the station, such as those in Valparaiso, likely started to refer to the Coffee Creek community by its dominant asset - the railroad station named Calumet.

A history of Chesterton published in 1948 alludes to the confusion likely caused by the railroad station being named Calumet. The history states that "After Calumet was platted, the name Coffee Creek was still used for the village." Supporting this statement is information from the Indiana State Gazetteer and Business Directory, published in 1862, noting "Coffee Creek (Calumet Village.) A post village of Porter county on the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railway, 12 miles north from Valparaiso, 43 miles south-east from Chicago, and 140 miles north-west from Indianapolis. Population 500." This company's 1858 gazetteer makes no mention of a community or post office called Calumet, though the railroad station there had been in existence for six years.

Two individuals served as Calumet postmasters. Uel H. Knight, a carpenter by trade, was Calumet's first postmaster and he was followed by Cyrus Post. The Calumet post office was discontinued on May 20, 1853. Calumet post office mail was transferred to the reopened Coffee Creek (No. 2) post office. A history of City West and New City West can be read here.

In 1907, the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad would establish a station where New City West had once been located and a small community named Tremont grew around the station. Many locals continue to refer to the area as Tremont though the only significant structure standing is the railroad station. The remainder of this area has been absorbed within the Indiana Dunes National Park boundary.

Official United States Post Office Department record showing
"Coffee Creek" (No. 1) changed to Calumet. Record also shows
that Coffee Creek (No. 2) post office, which was in present day
Chesterton, and Calumet post office existed at same time.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration, 1832-1971.

Sectional map showing Calumet post office located at
New City West, later known as Tremont.
Source: King, 1852.

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CHESTERTON (Westchester Township), 1870-present
On January 24, 1870, the Coffee Creek No. 2 post office was renamed Chesterton by the United States Post Office Department and David Hamilton Hopkins served as the first postmaster under this new name. At this time, the post office was moved a few blocks west to West Street, today's Second Street. The post office was situated approximately 275 feet south of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway tracks along the east side of present day Second Street.

Despite numerous sources indicating that there was a post office once located in present day Chesterton that was named Calumet, this is untrue. The community, however, had a railroad station named Calumet Station. See the Calumet post office listing above for details concerning the communities of Coffee Creek, Calumet, and Chesterton.

The Chesterton post office absorbed the Burdick post office on May 15, 1933, and the Porter post office on November 19, 1965. Rural routes originated out of the Chesterton post office beginning July 1, 1904.

Plat map of Chesterton. The Chesterton Post Office was
located immediately south of the hotel denoted in Block 1, Lot 4.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876

Postcard image of Chesterton post office, 1914. Post office is located
in two story building at center of image. Present day Broadway Avenue
crosses left to right and the post office is on present day Second Street.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Chesterton postal cover postmarked February 12, 1898. At the
time this postal cover was postmarked, Charles E. Hillstrom was
serving as the postmaster of the post office at Chesterton.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Littleville was a miniature town developed by William Murray. It included
a "Post Office" where individuals could send souvenir postcards.
Mail here was sent to the Chesterton post office for processing.
Source: Popular Science, 1941.

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CITY WEST (Westchester Township), 1838-1849
City West, located where the pavilion and main parking lot are now situated at the Indiana Dunes State Park, had a post office established in the community on June 23, 1838, with Leverett Bradley serving as the first postmaster. Mail was received at City West from the Star Route, a horse route originating in Michigan City that transferred mail westward.

When mail service was discontinued at City West on November 5, 1849, service was transferred to Fillmore, located in the southern portion of Portage Township, which was also served by the Star Route. A history of the lost community of City West can be found here, while a history of the lost community of Fillmore can be found here.

During the federal fiscal year beginning of July 1, 1846, City West postmaster Thomas Jefferson Field was compensated $10.46 on net proceeds of $11.93, suggesting very marginal use of this post office.

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COBURG (Washington Township), 1876-1906
The post office established at the community Coburg, often misspelled as Coburgh, was established on May 8, 1876, with Hamilton W. Forbes serving as its first postmaster.  The post office was housed in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad depot about ten feet south of the railroad tracks.

Trains were not required to stop at Coburg to deliver mail, rather a railroad mail crane was used to hold a catcher pouch (mailbag) and mail was delivered "on the fly" to this post office. 

Service was discontinued here on January 15, 1906, with the expansion of rural free delivery and transferred to nearby Westville in LaPorte County, Indiana, effective December 21, 1905.

Mail delivered to Coburg arrived by rail. The post office was
located in the building on the lower left of the upper panel, which
served as the Coburg depot for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
The top panel looks westward.
Source: Andreas, Illustrated Historical Atlas of Indiana, 1876.

Coburg postal cover postmarked November 14, 1893, by Baltimore &
Ohio Railroad post office agents (Railroad Mail Route No. 567).
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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COFFEE CREEK NO. 1 (Westchester Township), 1835-1837, 1840-1842, 1846-1849
The original Coffee Creek post office was established on January 29, 1835, prior to the creation of Porter County. Thus, it is also considered an early post office of LaPorte County, Indiana, a portion from which Porter County was created in 1836. The only postmaster of Coffee Creek No. 1 was pioneer Jesse Morgan. The post office was located at Morgan's combination home and business, known as Morgan's Stage House Tavern, which was situated near the southeast corner of present day Porter Avenue and Dickinson Road in Chesterton. Morgan's tavern was located along a southerly branch of the Chicago-Detroit Road that connected with the town of LaPorte.

Coffee Creek No. 1 officially operated during three periods: January 29, 1835 to April 13, 1837; April 7, 1840 to August 16, 1842; and December 14, 1846 to December 31, 1849. On December 31, 1849, this post office was discontinued and service transferred to the Calumet post office at New City West.

 General Land Office Survey of 1834 by William Clark
showing Morgan's Stage House Tavern. Note "Wigwam"
notation in northwest quarter of Section 4.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

This post office was named after a nearby stream. According to legend, the name originated in 1833 when a mail carrier was attempting to cross the stream while in flood stage. A sack of coffee the carrier was transporting fell into the stream thereby giving the stream its name. Interestingly, the creek giving the post office its name is nearly a mile west of the post office at Morgan's Stage House Tavern, while another stream, Sand Creek, was one-half mile to the east. Why the post office was named Coffee Creek rather than Sand Creek has been lost to history.

A news item published in the May 15, 1847, issue of the Western Ranger, a Valparaiso newspaper, indicates that Jesse Morgan was serving as the postmaster of Coffee Creek, but due to "some misunderstanding, the mail was not carried there." Jesse Morgan was compensated as postmaster from January 20, 1847, through June 30, 1847, a sum of $58 on net proceeds of $83.

Jesse Morgan was persistent in becoming a post master. Born at Monongahela County, West Virginia in 1788, he moved eastward with his wife, Jane (Cissne) Morgan, to various locations in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, till moving to reside in LaPorte County in 1831. In 1832, Morgan wrote a letter to John Tipton, who was serving as a United States Senator from Indiana, stating in part that "there has been a mail rout commenced the comeing from Niles Michigan Territory to chicago which passes right by my Door   now you will please to have a post office established in our county to be called Laport and recommend me to the postmaster gen for the appointment of post master, as in my former communication."

LaPorte would be officially named the county seat of LaPorte County in the fall of 1832 and Benjamin McCarty, despite Jesse Morgan's request for patronage, was appointed the first postmaster for LaPorte on July 3, 1832. McCarty was well known throughout the northern part of the state and assisted in the creation of the county seats of LaPorte, Porter, and St. Joseph counties.

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COFFEE CREEK NO. 2 (Westchester Township), 1850-1870
A second Coffee Creek post office was established on April 15, 1850. The post office was not located at Jesse Morgan's Stage House where Coffee Creek No. 1 had operated. Rather, it was located on the east side of what was then known as the Valparaiso & Michigan City Plank Road (present day Calumet Road in Chesterton). As one would expect, the community surrounding Coffee Creek No. 2 post office became known as Coffee Creek.

When the Calumet post office located at New City West was discontinued in 1853, the mail from that location was transferred to the Coffee Creek No. 2 post office. The community of Coffee Creek was often referred to as Calumet since it absorbed the New City West mail and had a railroad station named Calumet Station, but it was never officially renamed Calumet. Coffee Creek No. 2 post office would be renamed Chesterton on January 24, 1870.

A short news item published in the January 21, 1855, issue of the Practical Observer, a Valparaiso newspaper, mentions that David Hopkins was removed as postmaster at Calumet [Coffee Creek] and replaced by William Thomas. The reason for Hopkins' removal was due to casting his "vote and influence against Dr. [Norman] Eddy, at the late election. How much better the Doctor must feel since his political death has been so gloriously revenged." The news item provides a clear indication of the importance of political patronage in securing a postmaster position during this time period.


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CRISMAN (Portage Township), 1871-1933
Isaac Crisman was appointed the first postmaster of the Crisman post office when it was established on May 15, 1871. The post office was situated approximately 200 feet south of the Michigan Central Railroad tracks along the west side of present day Crisman Road. Service was discontinued at Crisman on August 12, 1933, and transferred to Gary in Lake County, Indiana, effective August 31, 1933.

Plat map of Crisman indicating location of post office.
Source: George A. Ogle & Company, 1921.

Photograph of the Crisman post office, 1912. This post
office operated from Herbert Dudley Scofield's general store.
Source: Portage Community Historical Society.

Photograph of the Crisman post office, circa 1920.
Source: Steven R. Shook.

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CROCKER (Liberty Township), 1894-1905
This post office was originally established as Croker on June 24, 1893, by the United States Post Office Department and renamed Crocker on December 13, 1894, with Herman A. Bramer serving as the first postmaster under the corrected name. It is believed that the physical location of this post office moved when the name was corrected to from Croker to Crocker, being situated 330 feet south of the Elgin, Joilet & Eastern Railway tracks.

This post office was discontinued on June 15, 1905, a casualty of rural free delivery, with service transferred to Chesterton effective the same day as discontinuance.

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CROKER (Liberty Township), 1893-1894
Croker was the name given the post office located at the small community of Crocker, situated in the extreme northwest corner of Liberty Township. Crocker was the name given to a station constructed by the Elgin, Joilet & Eastern Railway. Fred John LaHayne laid out the area for a townsite he named LaHayne, but he was obliged to change the community's name to Crocker to avoid confusion with the railroad station's name.

As is evident by the name, it was a misspelling of the community by United States Post Office Department officials in Washington, D.C. The post office was established on June 24, 1893, and the name corrected to Crocker on December 13, 1894. Christ F. Rohrdance served as the first postmaster of Croker. This post office operated as a substation of the Chesterton post office and was situated about 165 feet south of the Elgin, Joilet & Eastern Railway tracks.

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DAMAN RUN (Liberty Township), 1848-1849
Daman Run was the official name of a post office established in the very small community of Damon Run in Liberty Township. The name was incorrectly spelled, likely due to an error made by the United States Post Office Department in Washington, D.C., when the post office was created on December 13, 1848. The post office was short-lived, being discontinued on September 8, 1849. Eldridge Thomas Harding, a physician, and Martin Luzerne Phares served as the only postmasters of this post office.

This post office is believed to have been located in the NW¼ of SW¼ of NW¼ of Section 23, Township 36 North, Range 6 West; more specifically, about one hundred feet east of present day County Road 100 West and one-quarter mile south of County Road 900 North along the north bank of Damon Run (a small creek). The Damon Run Saw Mill, built by Samuel Olinger, operated from this location beginning in 1836 and likely ceased operation by 1850.

 Plat map showing probable location of Daman Run post office.
Source: Hardesty, 1876.

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DUNE PARK (Portage Township), 1907-1913
Established on April 24, 1907, to serve the small community of the same name located in the northeastern corner of Portage Township, the lifespan of the Dune Park post office was less than six years. When established, the post office served an estimated population of between one to two hundred; many of the individuals served by this post office were itinerant laborers employed at the significant sand mining operations in the immediate area.

As sand mining operations began to decline, the area started to depopulate and the post office was discontinued on February 15, 1913, with service transferred to Chesterton. This post office was located in the Dune Park Hotel, owned and operated by Berton Moyer. Moyer served as the first postmaster of the Dune Park post office.

Postcard image of sand mining operation at Dune Park.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Postcard image of Dune Park post office. This post office operated
out of Hotel Moyer, owned and operated by Berton Moyer.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Reverse of Dune Park postcard above
postmarked Dune Park, March 20, 1911.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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ESSEX (Morgan Township), 1841-1842
Essex was a post office established in Morgan Township on May 29, 1841, with Thomas Sawyer serving as the post office's only postmaster. The post office was discontinued on April 13, 1842. This post office may never have served a community (i.e., a cluster of homes), but rather may have been a stop at Thomas Sawyer's home along a U.S. mail route that passed through the township, similar to the Coffee Creek No. 1 post office in Westchester Township located in Jesse Morgan's Stage House Tavern.

The exact location of this post office is unknown but was in the east portion of present day Morgan Township. Note that the Essex post office predated the creation of Essex Township in Porter County by nine years.

Research conducted to identify Thomas Sawyer has not been fruitful. However, it is known that during the first few years of Porter County's establishment a man named Sawyer operated a ferry across the Kankakee River at present day Baum's Bridge and also carried mail along a route through the southeastern portion of the county. This individual may have been Thomas Sawyer.

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FILLMORE (Portage Township), 1849-1858
When the post office was discontinued at City West along the southern shore of Lake Michigan on November 5, 1849, service was transferred to Fillmore, which was located in the southern portion of Portage Township. Thomas Jefferson Field served as Fillmore's first postmaster. This post office was discontinued on December 11, 1858, with service transferred to nearby Wheeler.

The siting of the Fillmore post office is particularly odd since there was no population center for it to serve at the time of its establishment. It is thought that land speculators believed a railroad would be constructed very near or adjacent to the Fillmore post office location, thereby substantially increasing real estate values. Instead, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, & Chicago Railway was constructed about one and one-half miles to the south of Fillmore and the community of Wheeler would be platted along that rail line, guaranteeing the demise of Fillmore. A history of the lost community of Fillmore can be found here.

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FOSTER (Pleasant Township), 1866-1867
Foster was was established in July 24, 1866, with Peter C. Bonham serving as Foster's only postmaster. This post office's name was changed to Kouts Station on May 14, 1867, and moved about one mile directly to the east. The use of the name of Foster for the post office was based on the name that the Pittsburgh, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad gave a water and fuel stop in the area. A map published by the U.S. General Land Office in 1878 shows Foster located between Hebron and Kouts Station on the Pittsburgh, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad.

When post offices were created, the petition for their establishment typically included a map showing the location of the proposed post office relative to waterways, roadbeds, and other nearby communities. The hand drawn diagram submitted for the proposed post office of Foster is quite interesting and informative relative to those submitted for other post offices within Porter County.

The Foster post office map included with the petition notes that the state road between it and Valparaiso, present day Indiana State Road 49, is "very bad and very circuitous; sometimes impassable." Much of this area had yet to be drained by tile and ditches and the roadbed was dirt, which would have indeed made the state road very arduous and cumbersome to travel.

The map also shows that Foster was located where the community of Kouts is located today. Koutt's Station is shown to be about one mile to the east of Foster along the Chicago & Great Eastern Railway, also known as the Pittsburgh, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad, very near or at the present day intersection of County Road 300 East and Indiana State Road 8. This suggests that the nucleus of the Kouts community may have started about one mile east of its present location.

The area west of the state road is marked "Heavy Settlement," while the area east of the state road is marked "No Settlement." The lack of settlement east of the state road was very likely due to the vast marsh that existed in the area during the 1860s, which would have made farming and haying difficult and perhaps impossible.

Finally, a note included with the Foster post office petition mentions that the packet was sent to Schuyler Colfax; at this time Colfax was serving as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. It may have been through Colfax's intervention that the Foster post office was established in Porter County.

Diagram submitted for the establishment of the Foster post office.
Sketch shows the post offices at Hebron, Tassinong, and Jasper County's Garis
Grove. Also noted on the sketch is the location of Koutt's Station.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration, M1126-167-0889.

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FURNESSVILLE (Westchester Township), 1861-1919
Edwin Leigh Furness served as the first postmaster of the Furnessville post office, which was established on July 9, 1861. This post office operated continuously until it was discontinued on November 29, 1919, with service transferred to Chesterton.

The Furnessville post office was initially located about sixty feet north of the tracks of the Michigan Central Railroad inside the general store of William Lewry & Son.

Photograph of Furnessville post office, circa 1895. This post office operated
out of William Lewry & Son Groceries and Provisions retail establishment, the son
being Henry Lewry. This structure was destroyed by a fire in 1923.
Source: Lee & Lee, Lee & Lee's Atlas of Porter County, Indiana, 1895.

Furnessville postal cover postmarked April 25, 1870s.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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GILBERTVILLE (Westchester Township), 1892-1899
Gilbertville was a ten-block site laid off by John R. Richards and Abram Travel and recorded in Porter County Miscellaneous Book A (page 66) dated November 12, 1855; it was named in honor of Henry Gilbertson who owned the platted the land. The post office was established here on June 10, 1892, when the Porter No. 1 post office was closed and its service transferred to Gilbertville. It was discontinued on April 7, 1899, with service transferred to the reactivated Porter post office.

Newspaper item concerning appointment of
Paul Frederick Michael as postmaster at Gilbertsville.
Source: The Morning News, February 16, 1894.

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HAGEMAN (Westchester Township), 1874-1892
The Hageman post office was established on June 19, 1874, with Charles Mannhardt serving as its first postmaster. This post office was located about one mile northeast of the Porter Station post office. The post office was discontinued on June 25, 1892, with service transferred to the Porter No. 2 post office.

Plat map of Hageman.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

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HEBRON (Boone Township), 1843-present
Reverend Hannan, pastor of the Bethlehem Church of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church circulated a petition and delivered it to the United States Post Office Department seeking the establishment of a post office to serve the community known as The Corners. The petition, which requested that the post office be named Hebron, was approved and the post office established on December 30, 1843; Wilson L. Blain was appointed the first postmaster. The community's name soon became identified with its post office and the use of The Corners quickly melted away. Rural routes originated out of the Hebron post office beginning July 1, 1903.

Like Reverend Hannan, Wilson L. Blain was a minister, serving the United Presbyterian Church of Hebron from 1842 to 1847. Blain was born in Ross County, Ohio, on March 2, 1813, graduated from Miami University, and was ordained a minister on October 17, 1839. On May 27, 1847, he was appointed missionary to Oregon and departed overland to that territory in the spring of 1848. He would become active in the development of Oregon, serving three years in the territorial legislature, working as editor of the Spectator newspaper, and maintaining a educational academy. Blain passed away on February 22, 1861.

By the late 1890s, the Hebron post office was situated about 660 feet south of the Pittsburgh, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad.

During the federal fiscal year beginning July 1, 1846, Hebron postmaster Absalom Morris was compensated $19.58 on net proceeds of $23.01. Comparatively, the Coffee Creek No. 1 post office had net proceeds nearly four times greater than Hebron over the same time period.

Postcard image of Hebron post office, 1911. Present day Alyea Street
at center-right where back end of horse and wagon can be seen.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Hebron postal cover postmarked December 27, circa 1875.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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HICKORY POINT (Porter Township), 1850-1858, 1861-1868
Henry A. Nichols served as the first postmaster of the Hickory Point post office, which served the small community sharing the same name located just east of the boundary line between counties of Lake and Porter, north of Hebron. Established on September 4, 1850, this post office was discontinued on August 16, 1858. It was reestablished on March 13, 1861, with Hamlin G. Porter serving as postmaster and then permanently discontinued on August 27, 1868.

Information published in Goodspeed and Blanchard's 1882 history of the counties of Lake and Porter provides some conflicting information regarding the establishment of the Hickory Point post office, and also indicates that the location of the post office moved over time. Goodspeed and Blanchard write:
About 1845, a post office was established at Hickory Point, with Jeremy Hickson as Postmaster. He carried the mail from Crown Point for the proceeds of the office. A few years later, Henry Nichols took the office and kept it three years, when his father, William A. Nichols, took it into his care for two or three years. Up to this time, the office was kept just over the line in Winfield Township, Lake Co. Mr. [Hamlin G.] Porter next took the post office and removed it across the line into Porter Township, and was holding it at the time of his death, after which the office was discontinued.
This description suggests that the Hickory Point post office was established as a Lake County post office until removed into Porter County by Hamlin G. Porter.

A document used to collect information for mapping post offices was sent by the topographer of the United States Post Office Department to the postmaster at Hickory Point for completion on July 17, 1865. This document indicates that the Hickory Point post office was situated in the NW¼ of NW¼ of Section 34 of Township 34 North, Range 7 West, which is consistent with a 1876 plat map of the area.

 Plat map showing location of Hickory Point.
Source: Hardesty, 1876.

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HURLBURT (Porter Township), 1883-1918
Established on June 20, 1883, the Hurlburt post office served the small community of the same name located along the Chicago & Erie Railroad. The post office was located about 125 feet north of the railroad tracks. William H. Hankins served as Hurlburt's first postmaster. This post office was discontinued on March 30, 1918, as a result of rural free delivery and its service transferred to Valparaiso.

 Plat map of Hurlburt showing location of post office.
Source: George A. Ogle & Company, 1906.

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JACKSON CENTRE (Jackson Township), 1862-1864, 1872-1884
A post office named Jackson Centre was established on March 19, 1862, with Silas Hyatt Reynolds serving as its first postmaster. Note that a post office had existed at Jackson Centre beginning September 19, 1851, but was officially referred to as the Lansing post office; the community of Lansing, however, was located about one mile west of Jackson Centre. The Lansing post office at Jackson Centre was discontinued on September 14, 1857.

About two years after its establishment, the Jackson Centre post office was discontinued on May 4, 1864. While it is unknown why the Jackson Centre post office was discontinued, it may have been due to issues related to the Civil War. The Jackson Centre post office was reestablished on May 21, 1872, with Daniel Osborn appointed as the postmaster. It would continue operation until discontinued on May 20, 1884, with service transferred to Sumanville.

Plat map showing location of Jackson Center.
Source: Hardesty, 1876

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JUMBO (Porter Township), 1883
The original community of Boone Grove was situated near Merriman Cemetery about one mile northeast of its present location and was served by a post office officially referred to as Boon Grove (no "e" in Boone) by the United State Post Office Department. When the Chicago & Atlantic Railroad began constructing a line through Porter Township in 1881, most residents moved to reside adjacent to the railroad.

Jefferson B. Woods submitted an application to the United States Post Office Department on June 5, 1883, certified by Hebron's postmaster A. S. Baird, to move the post office to the relocated community next to the Chicago & Atlantic Railroad. The application was quickly approved on June 14, 1883, and mail service at the original location of Boone Grove was discontinued that day and transferred to the relocated community. The newly established post office was named Jumbo, in honor of the circus elephant, and was located at the northwest corner of the intersection of present day County Road 1450 South and County Road 200 West, north of the railroad tracks.

Apparently, residents were not enamored with the name Jumbo and this post office was soon renamed Boone Grove on July 20, 1883. Jefferson B. Woods served as the first postmaster of Jumbo and the renamed Boone Grove post offices. Given the short time Jumbo existed, thirty-seven days, a postmark may have never been produced to cancel mail from this post office and it was instead cancelled by hand.

Newspaper item mentioning the establishment
of Porter County's Jumbo post office.
Source: Indiana Herald, July 11, 1883.

Diagram showing location of first Boone Grove post office and
the proposed post office of Jumbo. Thirty-seven days after being
established, the Jumbo post office was renamed Boone Grove.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration, M1126-167-0866.

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KOUT (Pleasant Township), 1882-1892
On November 28, 1882, the Kouts Station post office was renamed Kout and moved about one miles west back to the Foster location. The official name of this post office would remain Kout until it was changed to Kouts on December 10, 1892.

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KOUTS (Pleasant Township), 1892-present
The Kout post office was officially renamed Kouts on December 10, 1892, with Sebastian Douglass serving as the first postmaster under the new name. This post office continues to serve the community of Kouts. This post office has endured more name changes than any other post office in Porter County - Foster (1866-1867), Kouts Station (1867-1882), Kout (1882-1892), and Kouts (1892-present). Rural free delivery routes originated out of the Kouts post office beginning November 15, 1904.

Postcard image of Kouts post office. Post office is second building on left,
immediately to the left of the second telegraph pole and carriage.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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KOUTS STATION (Pleasant Township), 1867-1882
The Foster post office and the community it served was changed to Kouts Station on May 14, 1867, to reflect the name of the Pittsburgh, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad depot that was about one mile east of Foster. It is very likely that Kouts Station was overshadowing the name of the community of Foster and, therefore, Foster's name was simply changed to match the name of the nearby Pittsburgh, Chciago & St. Louis Railroad depot. Hilary A. Wright served as the first postmaster of the renamed post office. On November 28, 1882, the Kouts Station post office was renamed Kout and moved back to the Foster location.

Plat map of Kouts Station.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

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LANSING (Jackson Township), 1851-1857
Post office established on September 19, 1851, to serve the small Jackson Township communities of Lansing and Jackson Centre. While the post office was officially named Lansing, it was located about one mile east of Lansing at Jackson Centre. This post office was discontinued on September 14, 1857. Elijah H. Johnson served as Lansing's first and only postmaster. A history of the lost community of Lansing can be found here.

Notice of the establishment of the Lansing post office.
Source: Practical Observer, October 13, 1851.

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LIBERTY VIEW (Morgan Township), 1910-1913
Liberty View, occasionally spelled as Libertyview, was a small station situated along the Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville Railroad. In June 1909, Early Clarence Maulfair, a farmer-turned-real estate agent and land speculator from Chicago, platted seventy-two acres in the northeast quarter of Section 35 in Morgan Township and named it Liberty View; this plat was recorded in October 1909.

A post office was established north of the railroad tracks at Liberty View on February 5, 1910, to serve a sparse population of seventy-five. The post office was situated in the NE½ of NE¼ of SE¼ of Section 35 of Township 34 North, Range 5 West. This post office was discontinued on December 31, 1913, with service transferred to Kouts. Ellis Willard Magill served as the only postmaster of Liberty View. The development of the area never took hold and likely resulted in the closing of this post office.

 Plat map of Liberty View (Libertyview).
Source: George A. Ogle & Company, 1921.

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McCOOL (Portage Township), 1884-1962
The McCool post office was established on April 24, 1884, with Jonathan L. Wise serving as its first postmaster; the post office operated within Culbertson's Grocery. The small village served as a station point for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad, and the Wabash Railroad. This post office was discontinued on April 27, 1962, with service transferred to the newly established Portage post office.

The second post office structure at McCool, 1957.
Source: Portage Community Historical Society.

Esther (Wyant) Ruhe hanging mailbag for passing train at McCool, 1957.
Source: Portage Community Historical Society.

McCool postal cover postmarked June 13, 1935.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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PORTAGE (Portage Township), 1961-present
The Portage post office was established on June 17, 1961, with James C. Crowe serving as the first postmaster. The groundbreaking ceremonies for the privately owned $95,000 building that would house the post office took place on November 2, 1960, on Central Avenue east of Willowcreek Road. United States Congressman Charles Abraham Halleck turned over the ceremonial first spade of earth for the new post office. An invocation was provided at the groundbreaking by Reverend Samuel Luther Klopfer of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, and a benediction by Father Clemens Leo Koors of St. Francis Xavier Church.

Historically, the establishment of the post office at Portage was significant in that it bound the communities of Crisman, Garyton, McCool, and, to some extent, the remnants of Dune Park into a single unified community. As reported in the November 7, 1960, issue of the Portage News, "The Town of Portage received its official identity last Wednesday when ground was broken for the Portage Post Office."

Composite photograph by Steve Mark of the groundbreaking
celebration for the Portage Post Office on November 2, 1960.
Source: Portage News, November 7, 1960.

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PORTER NO. 1 (Westchester Township), 1882-1892
The Porter Station post office was renamed Porter (No. 1) on November 28, 1882, with Frederich "Fred" Michael serving as the postmaster at that time. Occasionally, this post office incorrectly appears in documents as Baillytown post office. On June 6, 1892, this post office's named was changed again to Gilbertville.

Plat map of Porter.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

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PORTER NO. 2 (Westchester Township), 1892-1965
A second Porter post office was created on June 25, 1892, with the renaming of the Hageman post office to Porter. Peter C. Wistrand served as the first postmaster of the second post office established with the name of Porter. This post office was discontinued on October 28, 1965, and service was transferred to the nearby Chesterton post office, effective November 19, 1965.

Photograph of Porter post office, 1895. This post office was located in
Busse & Jacobson's general store. The building still stands on Lincoln
Street between Busse Street and Wagner Road. The Lake Shore & Michigan
Southern Railway tracks are visible along the bottom of this image.
Source: Lee & Lee, Lee & Lee's Atlas of Porter County, Indiana, 1895. 

Postcard image of Porter post office, 1909.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Postcard image of Porter's Lincoln Street, looking southwest,
circa 1912. Post office is visible at far left of image.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Postcard Postmarked at Porter on October 1, 1907.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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PORTER CROSS ROADS (Porter Township), 1844-1864, 1866-1868, 1868-1869, 1870-1873
Porter Cross Roads was a very small community located where present day Indiana State Road 2, County Road 250 South, and County Road 500 West intersect. Established on May 1, 1844, the Porter Cross Roads post office's first postmaster was Aaron Servis. There were three periods of time when this post office did not operate, these being April 28, 1864 to October 11, 1866 (possibly due to Civil War-related issues); May 1, 1868, to May 21, 1868; and August 19, 1869, to January 19, 1870. This post office was discontinued on August 19, 1873.

Between October 1, 1846, and June 302, 1847, Porter Cross Roads postmaster Aaron Lewis was compensated $4.67 on net proceeds of $5.59, suggesting minimal patronage of this post office.

Plat map of denoting Porter Cross Roads in Porter Township.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

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PORTER STATION (Westchester Township), 1865-1882
Porter Station was the first name used for the post office located in what today is known as the Town of Porter. Porter Station was established On September 7, 1865, with Archalaus E. Whitten, serving as its first postmaster. The post office's name was shortened to Porter (No. 1) on November 28, 1882.

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PORTERSVILLE (Center Township), 1836-1837
Portersville was the original name of the community of Valparaiso. A post office was established here on March 14, 1836, with Benjamin McCarty serving as the first and only postmaster under this post office name. On January 9, 1837, this post office's name was changed to Valparaiso. This change was likely mandated by the United States Post Office Department since another Portersville already existed in Dubois County, Indiana. A history of the naming of Valparaiso can be found here.

Map of Porter County post offices and postal routes in 1837. Note that
Valparaiso and Portersville, the same location, appear on the map.
Source: Burr, 1837.

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SALT CREEK (Liberty Township), 1836-1837, 1862-1892
Salt Creek was one of the first settlements in Liberty Township. The small community was named after the stream that meanders through the area. It would serve as a significant location for farmers during the mid to late 1800s due to its combined grist and lumber mill operations. A post office was established in the community on February 13, 1836, and was soon discontinued on January 12, 1837. The post office was reestablished on May 10, 1862, with Alford Allen serving as the postmaster. This post office was permanently discontinued on July 5, 1892, when Charles G. Trowe was postmaster and the post office was located in his general store. When the post office closed, Trowe closed his store.

The closing of a creamery at Salt Creek had a significant impact on regularly attracting people to the community and, consequently, negatively affected Trowe's business and the post office's patronage. When the post office was discontinued, services were transferred to nearby Babcock to the north. Salt Creek was referred to as a "special" post office by the United States Post Office Department, which implies it served only as a distribution point for mail but offered no other services.

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SEDLEY (Union Township), 1883-1887, 1887-1910
Sedley was a small community that emerged near the Grand Trunk Railway along present day County Road 475 West. On March 27, 1883, the United State Post Office Department established a post office here with Vine T. Clement appointed as the first postmaster.

Post office operations ceased at Sedley on May 16, 1887. One month later, on June 16, the post office was reestablished with Elmer L. Crull serving as the postmaster. The Sedley post office was permanently discontinued on April 15, 1910, with service transferred to Valparaiso.

Records maintained by the United States Postal Service indicate that the post office was first located 198 feet north of the railroad tracks and east of the county road. When the post office was reestablished after being discontinued, the post office was reported to be ten feet south of the railroad tracks and west of the county road. The Sedley post office served a population of approximately 200.

Plat map showing location of Sedley Station and Wheeler.
Source: George A. Ogle & Company, 1906.

Notice of the establishment of the Sedley post office.
Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer, April 9, 1883.

Notice of the first discontinuance of the Sedley post office.
Source: The Indianapolis Journal, May 18, 1887.

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SUMANVILLE (Jackson Township), 1876-1894
Suman was small community along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad named in honor of Colonel Isaac C. B. Suman. The community's post office, named Sumanville, was established on January 21, 1876, with Colonel Suman serving as the first postmaster. Physically, the post office was situated about twelve feet south of the railroad tracks. This post office's name was changed to Thelma on November 17, 1894. Colonel Suman would later serve as postmaster of the Valparaiso post office from 1882 to 1886.

According to a United States Post Office Department Topographer's Office document dated May 14, 1879, Sumanville mail was carried two and one-quarter miles northeast from Suman to Jackson Center for distribution. This was likely due to the fact that there was a larger population to serve at Jackson Center relative to Suman.

Note that six known examples of postmarked envelopes exist from this location; four envelopes are postmarked Suman rather than Sumanville and were cancelled by Baltimore & Ohio Railroad post office agents (Railroad Mail Route No. 567). The other two specimens are envelopes postmarked Sumanville, Indiana.

Plat map of Suman.
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

Suman postal cover postmarked March 25, 1878, by Baltimore &
Ohio Railroad post office agents (Railroad Mail Route No. 567).
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Sumanville postal cover postmarked July 12, 188x.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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TASSINONG NO. 1 (Morgan Township), 1838-1843
Tassinong is believed to have been a French trading post or perhaps a Native American village prior to being populated by immigrants in the 1830s. When settlers arrived in the area 1834 the location was already being referred to as Tassinong Grove with Native Americans claiming that it was old then. A post office was established here on April 10, 1838, with John Jones serving as the postmaster. On February 9, 1843, the United States Post Office Department discontinued service at Tassinong.

Goodspeed and Blanchard's history of Porter County, published in 1882, states that the Tassinong post office was initially located two miles south of the village, presumably in Pleasant Township. It was later removed to the village. This is very likely true since the first postmaster, John Jones, resided about two miles southwest of Tassinong, and about one-quarter mile north of Spencer Cemetery. A history of the lost community of Tassinong can be found here.

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TASSINONG NO. 2 (Morgan Township), 1869-1875, 1875-1903
On June 29, 1869, the Tassinong Grove post office was renamed Tassinong, which is the name of the original post office that operated here from 1838 to 1843. This second Tassinong post office was discontinued on June 14, 1875, but soon reestablished on July 1, 1875.

Between 1898 and 1903, the exact date being unknown, the Tassinong post office was removed one and three-quarter miles north of Tassinong to the village of Malden where it was located in the depot of the Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville Railroad. Though located in Malden, the post office continued to be officially known as Tassinong.

The post office was discontinued on May 16, 1903, due to the expansion of rural free delivery service, with delivery service transferred to Valparaiso effective June 30, 1903. Those patrons not living on official rural routes received their mail at Kouts. A history of the lost community of Tassinong can be found here.

Photograph of Tassinong post office, circa 1891.
Source: Cushing, 1893.

Plat map of Tassinong showing location of post office (star).
Source: A. G. Hardesty, 1876.

Plat map of Malden showing location of
the Tassinong post office (star) at depot.
Source: George A. Ogle & Company, 1906.

Death notice for John Rinker, Tassinong postmaster.
Source: The Morning News, April 9, 1897.

Notice of the discontinuance of the post office at Tassinong.
Source: The Indianapolis Journal, May 10, 1903.

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TASSINONG GROVE (Morgan Township), 1845-1869
After having discontinued service at Tassinong on February 9, 1843, the United States Post Office Department reestablished a post office at Tassinong on December 29, 1845, though it named the post office as Tassinong Grove. On June 29, 1869, the name of the post office was officially shortened to Tassinong.

The 1882 history of Porter County by Weston A. Goodspeed and Charles Blanchard mentions that:
The [post] office was established in 1840 [1838]. For some years, it was two miles south of its present site, and called Tassinong Grove.
This suggests that the post office was operating out of the home of either Jesse Spencer or William Stoddard, both of whom maintained residences about two miles south of Tassinong.

During the federal fiscal year beginning July 1, 1846, Tassinong Grove postmaster Edwin Craig Abbot was compensated $5.27 on net proceeds of $5.96, suggesting a very low level of patronage.


A history of the lost community of Tassinong can be found here.

Earliest known postal item from Tassinong, Indiana,
dated February 1, 1848. Letter from Azariah and
George W. Halladay to Theodore Halladay.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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THELMA (Jackson Township), 1894-1902
The Sumanville post office at the village of Suman was renamed Thelma by the United States Post Office Department on November 17, 1894; Robert Smith Greer was serving as postmaster when the name change took place. The Thelma post office was discontinued on May 17, 1902, with service transferred to Coburg, effective May 31, 1902.

The editor of The Chesterton Tribune remarked about this post office in a column published March 6, 1903: "This station has now no right to the name of Thelma. When the name of the postoffice changed to Thelma the B. & O. R. R. refused to change the name of the station and it remains Suman. When the postoffice was closed on the establishment of free delivery of course the name Thelma was no longer needed as it was simply the name of the postoffice." Hereafter, the newspaper discontinued using the name Thelma and referred to the area simply as Suman.

Research investigating the post office's name change has been fruitless, but it is suspected the name may have been changed in retaliation to Colonel Suman. Suman was a very active and outspoken Republican. Grover Cleveland assumed his second term as president of the United States on March 4, 1893. Soon after Cleveland's inauguration an economic panic occurred putting the nation into an acute economic depression combined with price deflation. This depression led to extremely widespread labor and farmer unrest, as well as sharp criticism of Democratic Party policies by opposing Republicans. Hence, the name of Sumanville may have been changed to Thelma in response to Colonel Suman's criticism of the opposing political party.

While the origin of the name Thelma is unknown, a column appearing in the April 16, 1960, issue of Valparaiso's The Vidette-Messenger, authored by William Ormand Wallace, writing under the moniker The Stroller, states that:
... when the railroad [B.&O.] came to Suman, it didn't have a name for the station. The station agent was called only "the end of the line" agent. In his spare time between work trains, he was reading a book called "Thelma"' When the conductor said, "What'll we call this station?" the agent said, "Thelma" and so it was named.
Wallace's story concerning the origin of Thelma is a complete fabrication since the community of Suman existed as early as 1875 and its post office, Sumanville, was established in 1876. Thus, contrary to Wallace's statement, a rail station and post office already existed at this location nineteen years prior to the Sumanville post office being renamed Thelma.

It is possible given the lack of any known existing Thelma, Indiana, postmarks that a Suman and/or Sumanville postmark was used to cancel mail from Thelma.

Newspaper item concerning John W. Long of Sumanville allegedly
violating postal laws in a letter to Anna Hatfield.
Source: The Indianapolis Journal, March 1, 1890.

Notice of discontinuance of the Thelma post office at Suman.
Source: The Plymouth Tribune, May 29, 1902.

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VALPARAISO (Center Township), 1837-present
On January 19, 1837, the Portersville post office's name was changed to reflect the name change of the community to Valparaiso. Benjamin McCarty served as the first post master of the renamed post office. This change was likely mandated by the United States Post Office Department since another Portersville already existed in Dubois County, Indiana. A history of the naming of Valparaiso can be found here. Rural routes originated out of the Valparaiso post office beginning October 1, 1900.

The post office was first located in the Hunt Block on the west side of present day Washington Street between Lincolnway and Indiana Avenue - directly across from the court house square - where the first Porter County court house once stood. This first court house was constructed in 1837 and the post office was kept in "one of the office rooms in the first story."

During the federal fiscal year beginning July 1, 1846, Valparaiso postmaster Joseph Lomax was compensated $175.11 on net proceeds of $229.57. Data for this fiscal year show that the Valparaiso post office had the greatest level of patronage in Porter County, outperforming the second best revenue generating post office, Coffee Creek No. 1, by about thirty percent.

The May 16, 1849, issue of the Western Ranger, a Valparaiso newspaper, announced the removal of the post office from the store of Joseph Lomax, whom had just lost his position as postmaster, to the court house under postmaster George W. Salisbury. The Valparaiso post office would move to a number of locations after 1850.

 Postmaster Aaron Wesley Lytle and post office
employees at the Valparaiso post office, circa 1900.
Source: Neeley, 1989.

Postcard image of Valparaiso post office, circa 1915.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Earliest known postal cover from Porter County, Indiana, hand marked
at Valparaiso on July 2, 1837. This is a manuscript cancel with a ten cent
rate sent from the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Porter County to the
Sheriff of St. Joseph County, Indiana. The letter was then turned,
postmarked August 10, 1837, at South Bend, addressed back to the clerk.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Valparaiso postal cover postmarked July 27, circa 1850.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Valparaiso postal cover postmarked July 18, circa 1855.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Post office employee at Valparaiso, Indiana, circa 1890s.
Photograph by Marion M. Mudge.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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WHEELER (Union Township), 1858-present
Wheeler was platted by Thomas A. E. Campbell in 1858; a post office was established in the community on December 11, 1858. From a pedigree perspective, the Wheeler post office originated as City West on June 23, 1838. When the City West post office was discontinued on November 5, 1849, its mail service was transferred to the newly created post office at Fillmore, situated about one and one-half mile north of what would later become Wheeler. Fillmore's post office was discontinued, with mail service transferred to Wheeler, on the same day as Wheeler's post office was established - December 11, 1858. George Longshore served as the first postmaster of Wheeler.

On March 9, 2013, the Wheeler post office became a remotely managed post office (RMPO) of the Hobart post office in Lake County.

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WOODVILLE (Liberty Township), 1882-1914
Woodville was established as a station along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in April 1882. On April 12, 1882, the United States Post Office Department authorized a post office in the community and Alexander Henry Freer was appointed the postmaster.

The post office was located in a general store approximately forty-five feet south of the railroad tracks and west of the crossing of the tracks by present day County Road 900 North. Mail was delivered to Woodville by the railroad and received by the postmaster without charge.

Postal operations ceased here on July 31, 1914, with service transferred to Chesterton. The origin of the name Woodville is unknown, but it is speculated that the community and depot was named in honor of William Woodville, a native of England who was appointed auditor of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company in February 1830 and soon after became the railroad's superintendent of transportation. Woodville would remain with the company until his death on September 23, 1863. Alternatively, the community may have been named in reference to the fact that it was situated in an area of heavy timber.

Photograph of Woodville post office, 1890. This post office was
housed in the general store known over time as Cole & Freer,
Freer & Howard, and A. H. Freer. This structure was destroyed by fire.
Source: Collection of Timothy Cole.

Woodville postal cover postmarked April 15, 1892.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

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Provided below is a Porter County map published in 1895. The locations of all post offices that have existed in the county are been denoted by a blue star on this map. The only post office location that appears to be lost to history is Essex (1841-1842), which would have been situated somewhere in the eastern one-half of present day Morgan Township. A higher quality downloadable version of this map is available here.

Also provided below is a chronological record of Porter County's post offices that lists dates of establishment and discontinuance, if applicable. Dates have also been included for those post offices that were renamed.

 Map of Porter County post office locations.
A higher quality downloadable image file is available here.
Source: Compiled by Steven R. Shook.


A chronological record of post offices located in Porter County, Indiana.
POST OFFICE
DATE
EVENT
NOTES
Coffee Creek (No. 1)
1835, January 29
Established
Initially a LaPorte County post office established prior to creation of Porter County; located southeast of present day intersection of Dickinson Road and Porter Avenue
Salt Creek
1836, February 13
Established

Portersville
1836, March 14
Established

Portersville
1837, January 9
Renamed Valparaiso
Another Portersville already existed in Dubois County, Indiana
Salt Creek
1837, January 12
Discontinued

Coffee Creek (No. 1)
1837, April 13
Discontinued

Valparaiso
1837, June 19
Renaming of Portersville
Another Portersville already existed in Dubois County, Indiana
Tassinong No. 1
1838, April 10
Established

City West
1838, June 23
Established

Coffee Creek (No. 1)
1840, April 7
Reestablished

Essex
1841, May 29
Established

Essex
1842, April 13
Discontinued

Coffee Creek (No. 1)
1842, August 16
Discontinued

Tassinong No. 1
1843, February 9
Discontinued

Boon Grove
1843, December 28
Established

Hebron
1843, December 30
Established

Porter Cross Roads
1844, May 1
Established

Tassinong Grove
1845, December 29
Established

Coffee Creek (No. 1)
1846, December 14
Reestablished

Daman Run
1848, December 13
Established

Boon Grove
1849, March 27
Discontinued

Daman Run
1849, September 8
Discontinued

Boon Grove
1849, September 18
Reestablished

City West
1849, November 5
Discontinued
Service transferred to Fillmore
Fillmore
1849, November 5
Established

Coffee Creek (No. 1)
1849, December 31
Discontinued
Service transferred to Calumet at New City West (Tremont)
Calumet
1849, December 31
Established
Located at New City West (Tremont); service began on day Coffee Creek No. 1 discontinued service
Coffee Creek (No. 2)
1850, April 15
Established
Located within present day Chesterton (east side of Second Street, one-half block south of Broadway Avenue)
Hickory Point
1850, September 4
Established

Lansing
1851, September 19
Established

Calumet
1853, May 20
Discontinued

Boon Grove
1855, July 31
Discontinued

Boon Grove
1856, March 3
Reestablished

Lansing
1857, September 14
Discontinued

Hickory Point
1858, August 16
Discontinued

Fillmore
1858, December 11
Discontinued
Service transferred to Wheeler
Wheeler
1858, December 11
Established
Became a remotely managed post office (RMPO) of Hobart (Lake County) post office on March 9, 2013
Hickory Point
1861, March 13
Reestablished

Furnessville
1861, July 9
Established

Jackson Centre
1862, March 19
Established

Salt Creek
1862, May 10
Reestablished

Porter Cross Roads
1864, April 27
Discontinued

Jackson Centre
1864, May 14
Discontinued

Porter Station
1865, September 7
Established

Foster
1866, July 24
Established
Named changed to Kouts Station; station moved east about one mile from Foster
Porter Cross Roads
1866, October 12
Established

Foster
1867, May 14
Renamed Kouts Station

Kouts Station
1867, May 14
Renaming of Foster
Post office moved about one mile east of Foster
Porter Cross Roads
1868, April 30
Discontinued
Service transferred to Valparaiso
Porter Cross Roads
1868, May 22
Reestablished

Hickory Point
1868, August 27
Discontinued

Boon Grove
1868, September 28
Discontinued

Boon Grove
1868, October 27
Reestablished

Porter Cross Roads
1869, April 18
Discontinued

Tassinong Grove
1869, June 29
Renamed Tassinong

Tassinong No. 2
1869, June 29
Renaming of Tassinong Grove

Porter Cross Roads
1870, January 20
Reestablished

Coffee Creek (No. 2)
1870, January 24
Renamed Chesterton

Chesterton
1870, January 24
Renaming of Coffee Creek No. 2

Crisman
1871, May 15
Established
Service transferred to McCool?
Burdick
1871, July 18
Established

Jackson Centre
1872, May 21
Reestablished

Porter Cross Roads
1873, August 19
Discontinued
Service transferred to Valparaiso
Hageman
1874, June 19
Established
Service transferred to Porter No. 2
Tassinong No. 2
1875, June 14
Discontinued
Name changed from Tassinong Grove
Tassinong No. 2
1875, July 1
Reestablished

Coburg
1876, May 8
Established

Sumanville
1876, June 21
Established

Woodville
1882, April 12
Established
Service transferred to Chesterton
Kouts Station
1882, November 28
Renamed Kout

Kout
1882, November 28
Renaming of Kouts Station
Post office moved west about one mile west of Kouts Station
Porter Station
1882, November 28
Renamed Porter (No. 1)

Porter No. 1
1882, November 28
Renaming of Porter Station

Sedley
1883, March 27
Established

Boon Grove
1883, June 14
Discontinued
Service transferred to Hebron until Jumbo post office established; last post office to serve original location of Boone Grove
Jumbo
1883, June 5
Established
Post office name given to relocated community of Boone Grove, located one mile southwest of original site of community
Hurlburt
1883, June 20
Established

Jumbo
1883, July 20
Renamed Boone Grove

Boone Grove
1883, July 20
Renaming of Jumbo
Became a remotely managed post office (RMPO) of Hobart (Lake County) post office on March 9, 2013
McCool
1884, April 24
Established
Service transferred to Portage
Jackson Centre
1884, May 20
Discontinued
Service transferred to Sumanville
Sedley
1887, May 16
Discontinued
Service transferred to Valparaiso
Sedley
1887, June 16
Reestablished

Babcock
1889, January 7
Established

Gilbertville
1892, June 10
Established

Porter No. 1
1892, June 6
Discontinued
Service transferred to Gilbertville
Porter No. 2
1892, June 25
Established

Hageman
1892, June 25
Discontinued
Service transferred to Porter No. 2
Salt Creek
1892, July 5
Discontinued
Service transferred to Babcock
Kout
1892, December 10
Renamed Kouts

Kouts
1892, December 10
Renaming of Kout

Croker
1893, June 24
Established

Sumanville
1894, November 17
Renamed Thelma

Thelma
1894, November 17
Renaming of Sumanville

Croker
1894, December 13
Renamed Crocker

Crocker
1894, December 13
Renaming of Croker

Gilbertville
1899, April 7
Discontinued
Service transferred to Porter No. 2
Thelma
1902, May 17
Discontinued
Service transferred to Coburg
Tassinong No. 2
1903, May 16
Discontinued
Service transferred to Valparaiso rural free delivery
Babcock
1904, November 14
Discontinued

Crocker
1905, June 15
Discontinued
Service transferred to Chesterton rural free delivery
Coburg
1906, January 15
Discontinued
Service transferred to Westville (LaPorte County)
Dune Park
1907, April 24
Established

Liberty View
1910, February 5
Established

Sedley
1910, April 15
Discontinued
Service transferred to Valparaiso rural free delivery
Dune Park
1913, February 15
Discontinued
Service transferred to Chesterton
Liberty View
1913, December 31
Discontinued
Service transferred to Kouts
Woodville
1914, July 31
Discontinued
Service transferred to Chesterton
Hurlburt
1918, March 30
Discontinued
Service transferred to Valparaiso
Furnessville
1919, November 29
Discontinued
Service transferred to Chesterton
Burdick
1933, April 28
Discontinued
Service transferred to Chesterton
Crisman
1933, August 12
Discontinued
Service transferred to Gary (Lake County)
Beverly Shores
1935, May 16
Established

Portage
1961, June 17
Established

McCool
1962, April 27
Discontinued
Service transferred to Portage
Porter No. 2
1965, October 28
Discontinued
Service transferred to Chesterton


Postcard mapping early Porter County, Indiana, post office locations.
Stamped in green ink on reverse is "Ogden Dunes Local
Post KARTE." Cancelled August 12, 1987, from Jersey City, New Jersey.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

I extend my appreciation to Kathy Heckman of the Portage Community Historical Society for generously providing me images of Portage Township post offices, a society bulletin about Portage Township post offices, and an article concerning the creation of the Portage post office published in the Portage News. Thank you!

Source Material

Books, Maps, and Microfilm Series
Andreas, Alfred T. 1876. Illustrated Historical Atlas of Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Baskin, Forster & Company. 462 p.

Baker, J. David. 1976. The Postal History of Indiana. Volume II. Louisville, Kentucky: Leonard H. Hartmann, Philatelic Bibliopole. 516 p.

Ball, Timothy H. 1900. Northwestern Indiana From 1800 to 1900: A View of Our Region Through the Nineteenth Century. Chicago, Illinois: Donohue & Henneberry. 570 p. [see pp. 322-323]

Bowers, John O. 1929. "Dream Cities of the Calumet," in (pp. 174-198) History of Lake County. Volume 10. Gary, Indiana: Lake County Historical Association (Calumet Press). 223 p. [see p. 190]

Burr, David H. 1839. Map of Ohio and Indiana. London, England: John Arrowsmith. 1 p. [map]

Chesterton Retail Merchants’ Association. 1948. The Chesterton Retail Merchants’ Directory. Chesterton, Indiana: The Chesterton Tribune. 112 p. [see pp. 29, 33]

Colton, J. H. 1860. Colton's Map of the State of Indiana, Compiled from the United States Surveys & Other Authentic Sources. New York, New York: J. H. Colton. 1 p.

Cushing, Marshall. 1893. The Story of Our Post-Office: The Greatest Government Department in All Its Phases. Boston, Massachusetts: A. M. Thayer & Company. 1,034 p. [see pp. 433-456]

DeCourcey, William. 1875. Plats of Congressional Townships in Porter County, Indiana. 19 p. [Township plat maps drawn from original survey records of the United States lands of Indiana.]

G. W. Hawes & Company. 1858. Indiana State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1858 and 1859. Indianapolis, Indiana: G. W. Hawes & Company. 623 p. [see pp. 27, 51, 94, 122, 322, 358, 380]

G. W. Hawes & Company. 1862. Indiana State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1862 and 1863. Indianapolis, Indiana: G. W. Hawes & Company. 450 p. [see pp. 36, 49]

Gallagher, Winifred. 2016. How the Post Office Created America. New York, New York: Penguin Books. 326 p.

George A. Ogle & Company. 1906. Standard Atlas of Porter County, Indiana: Including a Plat Book of the Villages, Cities and Townships of the County. Chicago, Illinois: George A. Ogle & Company. 55 p. [see pp. 23, 52]

George A. Ogle & Company. 1921. Standard Atlas of Porter County, Indiana: Including a Plat Book of the Villages, Cities and Townships of the County. Chicago, Illinois: George A. Ogle & Company. 61 p. [see pp. 13, 19]

Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Lake and Porter, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. Chicago, Illinois: F.A. Battey & Company. 771 p. [see pp. 162-164, 171-172, 188, 195, 203-204, 211, 217, 221, 226]

Hardesty, A. G. 1876. Illustrated Atlas of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: A. G. Hardesty. 90 p. [see pp. 39, 65, 87]

Hines, H. K. 1893. An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon. Chicago, Illinois: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1,300 p. [see pp. 979-980]

Indiana Postal History Society. 2019. Porter County Postal History. No location: Indiana Postal History Society. 91 p.

Johnson, A. J. 1858. Johnson's Map of Indiana Showing the Rail Roads and Townships Compiled from the Latest & Best Authorities. New York, New York: A. J. Johnson. 1 p.

King, S. D. 1852. Map of the State of Indiana Compiled from the United States Surveys by S. D. King, Washington City. New York, New York: S. D. King. 1 p.

Less & Lee. 1895. Lee & Lee's Atlas of Porter County, Indiana. Chicago, Illinois: Lee & Lee. 81 p. [see pp. 74, 81]

MacDill, D., and James Prestley. 1848. The United Presbyterian, and Evangelical Guardian: Devoted to the Interests of the Church. Volume I. Cincinnati, Ohio: J. A. & U. O. James, Printers. 575 p. [see pp. 108-111, 564]

Morrow, Jim. 2001. Beverly Shores: A Suburban Dunes Resort. Chicago, Illinois: Arcadia Publishing. 127 p. [see p. 86]

National Archives and Records Administration. 1832-1971. Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971. NARA Microfilm Publication M481 (145 rolls), Group No. 28. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

Neeley, George E. 1989. Valparaiso: A Pictorial History. St. Louis, Missouri: G. Bradley Publishing, Inc. 200 p. [see p. 76]

Norman, Dennis, and James Wright. 2003. Portage Township. Chicago, Illinois: Arcadia Publishing. 127 p. [see pp. 116, 188]

Redfield & Logan. 1866. Redfield & Logan's Columbus & Indianapolis Central Railway Business Guide, and Western Gazetteer, of Indiana and Ohio, for 1866-1887. Indianapolis, Indiana: Redfield & Logan. 347 p. [see p. 57]

Roeser, Charles. 1884. Post Route Map of the State of Ohio and Indiana with Cincinnati and Environs. Washington, D.C.: United States Post Office Department. 2 p.

Roeske, William F. 1977. A History of the Boone Grove Post Office. Boone Grove, Indiana: William P. Roeske. 14 p. [typescript]

Scouller, James Brown. 1887. A Manual of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, 1751-1887. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: United Presbyterian Board of Publication. 718 p. [see p. 233]

Skinner, Hubert M. [A Citizen]. 1876. History of Valparaiso from the Earliest Times to the Present. Valparaiso, Indiana: Normal Publishing House. 23 p. [see p. 12]

United States Department of State. 1847. Register of all Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in] the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1847. Washington, D.C.: J. & G. S. Gideon. 618 p. [see pp. 388]

Periodicals
Anonymous. 1941. Backyard City. Popular Science 138(2):113-114.

Morgan, Mary, and Olga Mae Schiemann. 1953. Coffee Creek Post Office. Indiana History Bulletin 30(3):48-50. 

Ruhe, Esther, and Peter Youngman. 1988. Post Office History of Portage Township, Porter County, Indiana. Portage Community Historical Society Bulletin 1(1):1-19.

Newspapers (listed by date of publication)
Western Ranger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; May 15, 1847; Volume 3, Number 42, Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "Coffee Creek is the Name of a Post Office."

Western Ranger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; March 21, 1849; Volume 5, Number 34, Page 2, Column 1. Column titled "Valparaiso P. O."

Western Ranger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; March 28, 1849; Volume 5, Number 35, Page 2, Column 2. Column titled "Post Office Again."

Western Ranger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; May 2, 1849; Volume 5, Number 40, Page 2, Column 2. Column titled "The Post Office at Boone Grove."

Western Ranger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; May 16, 1849; Volume 5, Number 42, Page 3, Column 2. Column titled "Removal."

The Republic, Washington, D.C.; September 12, 1849; Volume 1, Number 77, Page 2, Column 6. Column titled "Discontinued."

Practical Observer, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; October 13, 1851; Volume 3, Number 11, Page 2, Column 5. Column titled "New Post Office in Porter County."

Practical Observer, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; February 21, 1853; Volume 1, Number 8, Page 2, Column 1. Column titled "Post Office Matters."

Practical Observer, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; February 24, 1853, Volume 1, Number 9, Page 2, Column 5.

Practical Observer, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; February 2, 1854; Volume 2, Number 6, Page 2, Column 2. Column titled "Proposals for Mail Service."

Practical Observer, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; January 21, 1855; Volume 3, Number 5, Page 2, Column 1. Column titled "Off Come Their Heads!"

The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland; September 26, 1863; Volume 53, Number 113, Page 1, Column 7. Column titled "Funeral of the Late Wm. Woodville."

Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; May 11, 1882; Volume 26, Number 19, Page 1, Column 4.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio; April 9, 1883; Volume 41, Number 99, Page 1, Column 6. Column titled "Notes and Personalities."

Indiana Herald, Huntington, Huntington County, Indiana; July 11, 1883; Volume 35, Number 43, Page 1, Column 6.

Brownstown Banner, Brownstown, Jackson County, Indiana; August 16, 1883; Volume 15, Number 35, Page 2, Column 4. Column titled "State Intelligence."

Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; June 18, 1884; Volume 1, Number 12, Page 7, Columns 5-6.

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; May 18, 1897; Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "General and Personal."

The Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; January 10, 1889. Volume 5, Number 39, Page 1, Column 4. Column titled "Babcock's Boom. New Town on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad."

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; March 1, 1890; Page 7, Column 2. Column titled "Misused the Mails."

The Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; December 18, 1890; Volume 7, Number 36, Page 1, Column 2.

The Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; August 5, 1892; Volume 9, Number 17, Page 5, Column 3.

The Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; March 3, 1893; Volume 9, Number 47, Page 1, Column 5.

The Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; April 21, 1893; Volume 10, Number 2, Page 5, Column 3.

The Morning News, Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana; February 16, 1894; Volume 14, Number 248, Page 6, Column 2. Column titled "Indiana Postmasters."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; October 11, 1895; Volume 12, Number 27, Page 4, Column 3.

The Morning News, Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana; April 9, 1897; Volume 19, Number 295, Page 7, Column 3. Column titled "Death of a Postmaster."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; February 7, 1902; Volume 18, Number 44, Page 5, Column 4.

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; May 23, 1902; Volume 19, Number 7, Page 5, Column 4.


The Plymouth Tribune, Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana; May 29, 1902; Volume 1, Number 34, Page 7, Column 1. Column titled "Local News."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; March 6, 1903; Volume 19, Number 48, Page 4, Column 6.

The Sunday Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; May 10, 1893; Volume 53, Number 130, Page 5, Column 4. Column titled "Indiana Postal Service Notes."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; July 10, 1903; Volume 20, Number 14, Page 5, Column 6.


The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; February 19, 1904; Volume 20, Number 46, Page 5, Column 5. Column titled "Chesterton Chips."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; February 26, 1904; Volume 20, Number 47, Page 1, Column 3. Column titled "In Memoriam."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; November 4, 1904; Volume 21, Number 31, Page 7, Column 5.

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; May 4, 1905; Volume 22, Number 5, Page 8, Column 4.

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; June 1, 1905; Volume 22, Number 9, Page 5, Column 5.


The Lake County Times, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana; December 7, 1906; Volume 1, Number 146, Page 1, Columns 4-5. Column titled "Splendid Future is Predicted for Dune Park. Steps on Foot for Postoffice -- Talk of Digging a Canal and Building a Harbor is Revived."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; May 2, 1907; Volume 24, Number 5, Page 5, Column 5.


The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; November 12, 1934; Volume 8, Page 1, Columns 4-5 and Page 8, Columns 1-2. Column titled "Siftings: Boone Grove -- Story Told by Mrs. Merritt Cornell," by A. J. Bowser.

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; March 7, 1935; Volume 8, Page 1, Columns 3-4 and Page 3, Columns 1-2. Column titled "New City West," by W. A. Briggs.

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; April 29, 1935; Volume 8, Page 1, Columns 4-5 and Page 8, Columns 4-6. Column titled "Siftings: Portage Township," by Carl Hamstrom.

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; May 10, 1935; Volume 8, Page 1, Columns 4-5 and Page 8, Columns 4-5. Column titled "Siftings: Some Bits of Valparaiso's Early History," by W. A. Briggs.

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; May 13, 1935; Volume 8, Page 1, Columns 4-5 and Page 8, Columns 1-3. Column titled "Siftings: Siftings: History of Jackson Township," by Joseph L. Peterman.

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1836; Volume 10, Section 1, Page 7. Column titled "Kankakee River and Marshes Were Sportsmen's Paradise From the Days of Indians Through 200 Years of White Men." 

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1836; Volume 10, Section 3, Pages 19-20. Column titled "Liberty High School History of Liberty Township: As Compiled by History Class and Instructors for The Vidette-Messenger."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; June 30, 1949; Volume 22, Number 304, Page 1, Column 3. Column titled "Post Office At Wheeler Given Boost."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; April 16, 1960; Volume 33, Number 242, Page 1, Columns 2-3 and Page 10, Columns 3-4. Column titled "First Mail Arrives Here In Post Office During 1830s," by The Stroller (William Ormand Wallace).

Portage News, Portage, Porter County, Indiana; November 7, 1960; Volume 2, Number 21, Page 1 Column 1 and Page 2, Columns 1-5. Column titled "Portage Identity Known to World."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; July 3, 1976; Volume 49, Number 307, Since Bailly Insert, Page 21, Columns 2-4. Column titled"Served By Small Office In 20's."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; February 4, 1984; Volume 57, Number 181, Page 2, Columns 1-4. Column titled" He's Wheeler's One-Man Show," by Linda Kibler.

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