When we enter our post office today, it is hard to imagine this wooden cabinet is what the first post office in Monette looked like.
Arnold Stotts decided to move his family to the Buffalo Island area and secured about 580 acres of land just south of the present Monette Cemetery. Other people began to move into the area so he built a store near his farm to serve the new settlers. The area became known as the Stotts Settlement.
The people needed a way to get their mail and on Aug. 20, 1881, the Stottsville Post office was established. In 1894, his son James began operating the post office at his farm about one and a half miles further south. The railroad was coming to the area and in 1898 a town was established and the name of Monette was chosen.
James Stotts moved the post office to the back of the Blankenship store in the new town. The name was changed to the Monette Post Office. He operated the post office until 1901 when T.J. Reed became postmaster.
The post office has grown throughout the years. I remember the post office being right across the street from the library. I would return my Grandmother Simpson's library books, check out her some more Zane Gray westerns, and go across the street to see if she had any mail. There were always people in there swapping the latest news. (We call it "gossip" today.)
On this cabinet is a letter from Arnold Stotts dated "Sunk Lands Post Office, Buffalo Island June 9, 1885." There are also other old letters and cards in the wooden cubby holes.
Buffalo Island Museum in Monette tries to preserve the past for future generations. Admission is free and the hours are Friday and Saturday 12:30-4 p.m. This summer we also have new Sunday hours, 1-3 p.m., for your convenience in June, July, and August.
Visit the museum and bring your friends and relatives. For more information, visit our Facebook page or contact us at out email address: www.buffaloislandmuseum.com.
The museum is having their annual bake sale Saturday, June 15. Support us by buying a cake, pie, or cookies on that day.