After Mysterious Journey, 1914 Letter Found in Mail

It may have been dropped in the mail recently
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2017 11:11 AM CDT
After Mysterious Journey, 1914 Letter Found in Mail
The letter, addressed to Mrs. HH Wheeler and postmarked in Des Moines in 1914.   (Eric Gregory/The Journal Star via AP)

When a mail carrier found a discolored envelope among his stash of letters earlier this month, a few things stood out, the AP notes. For one, the envelope had been slit open at the top, apparently by a letter opener, quite some time ago. For another, it had been mailed from Des Moines, Iowa, in 1914 with only a 2-cent stamp. When Larry Schultz tried to deliver it to its intended recipient in Lincoln, Neb., his curiosity about how the letter ended up in the mail 103 years after it was originally sent only deepened, reports the Lincoln Journal Star. Grace Wheeler—who happened to be the first female member of the US Electoral College—died in 1947 and her home was torn down in 1965. In its place is now a parking lot.

An official at the Lincoln post office doubts the letter was lost in the mail for more than a century as four names jotted on the back add to the idea that it was previously delivered and read. "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," he says. "But boy, it would be interesting to know where it was actually located and the story behind that." While its path remains a mystery, the three-page letter sent to Wheeler by her daughter—telling of a "pleasant" excursion and a little boy who liked to pinch—will indeed get delivered. It's headed to some of Wheeler's relatives, now scattered across six states. (More Nebraska stories.)

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