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Willis Rural Carrier Retiring After 48 1/2 Years Of Service

Willis Rural Carrier Retiring After 48 1/2 Years Of Service image
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WILLIS - On Thursday of next week Oscar Smith of 8869 Augusta Rd. will retire after 48 1/2 years as a rural mail carrier out of Willis. On the following Sunday, members of the Willis Methodist Church with which he is affiliated will honor him with an open house.
Mr. Smith began his services for the department in 1906 when the local post office was in the R. F. Walters general store on Willis Rd. For the next 10 years he traveled the 24 miles of his daily route, which served 124 families, with a horse and mail-buggy, shown here. His territory was bounded by Willis, Tuttle Hill, Oakville and Wilmot roads.
Horse and slightly-uncomfortable delivery buggy carried him over this route through fair weather and foul, over icy, snow-piled dirt roads, as well as during hot days of late summer. Road conditions in those days were not conducive to either safe or comfortable driving.
In 1916 Mr. Smith started using a Ford touring car on days when weather and road conditions permitted. His route was lengthened by 11 miles and as the territory which he served slowly changed from all-farming to predominantly suburban the number of his so-called customers increased from 124 to more than 400.
Mr. Smith is active in several community organizations. He is a leader in Boy Scout work, serving as a member of the Portage Trails Scout executive board and as Scout commissioner in the Ypsilanti District. He is also available in an emergency as a substitute bus driver for the Lincoln Consolidated School