LAWRENCE, Kan. – A letter lost in the postal system for nearly 60 years recently turned up in the mailbox of a Lawrence woman.
Xan Wedel retrieved the letter, which was postmarked Nov. 11, 1948, in her mailbox on Friday. The return address listed on the letter is now Wedel's Lawrence home. It was sent by Gertrude Gilmore, who had lived in the house that year, according to reports from MyFox Kansas City and Associated Press.
"The plaque on the front of our house says 'Gilmore,' so I assume the Gilmore family built our home in 1890, and I think this must have been one of their daughters," Wedel said.
The letter never reached its destination — a woman named Sally in Connecticut — but it took nearly 60 years for the letter to be returned to the sender's address.
Wedel, who has lived in the home for almost four years, noted that stamped on the envelope was "Return to Sender" and "Found in supposedly empty equipment."
"It's impossible to really know what may or may not have happened," said Lawrence Postmaster Judy Raney. "No matter what, we always take it and go ahead and send it on."
The letter states, "All Lawrence is in mourning since the election," during which Harry S. Truman beat Thomas E. Dewey for the presidency of the United States. The election would have taken place just days before the letter was postmarked.
Gilmore also talks about her new Westinghouse electric refrigerator and the new pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church, Dale Turner.
Wedel said she is preserving the letter. She photographed the envelope and four-page letter and scanned them into her computer. She now has interest in the family who built her home.
"It would be really interesting to see if they are still in town or have any descendants that would know the history behind her and who she was writing," Wedel said.