Odd News

Nebraska mail carrier's pile includes century-old letter

A Nebraska postal worker going through a stack of mail made an odd discovery--a letter that had been mailed before World War I.

Larry Schultz was sorting mail for his route in Lincoln June 14 when he found the letter with a two-cent stamp in an envelope that appeared to have been slit open with a letter opener. It had been mailed June 1, 1914, from Iowa.

"Probably somebody found this either in an attic, or maybe in some boxes, and didn't know what to do with it and just dropped it in a mailbox somewhere," Lincoln Post Office Manager Todd Case told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Former Lincoln Postmaster Doug Emery says letters can get lost in the mail or sit in a dead letter office.

"But I don't see how it sits anyplace for 100 years," he said. "I can't believe it would have been in our possession for 100 years.”


The three-page letter has some historical significance.

The recipient was the first woman to be a member of the U.S. Electoral College, and to bring election votes to Washington, D.C., in 1921. Those votes included some cast by women for the first time.

Grace Wheeler flew the election results, at least part way, in an open-cockpit, two-seater airplane. The votes were cast in favor of Warren G. Harding.


Wheeler died in 1947 and lived in house in Lincoln that was demolished in 1965, according to the Journal Star.

The letter was from her daughter, Margaret Casady, of Des Moines. 

"We are all quite right again — Simon returned to work this morning," Casady said in the letter, according to the paper. "Yesterday we went to Ames and had dinner with Jule's aunt Norma Beach. I thought it a pleasant expedition."

The paper reported that the letter is being returned to Wheeler’s great-granddaughters.

They are going to get it in the mail.