Workday Wednesday: Samuel T. Beerbower, Postmaster


Importance of a Post Office and Postmaster
Importance of the Post Office and Postmaster, Samuel T. Beerbower. Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, Vol. III, No. 193, Page 1 via
Beerbower Family

In 1868, General Ulysses S. Grant, then President Grant, appointed Samuel T. Beerbower Postmaster of Marion, Ohio. He was reappointed in 1872 by President Grant, and again in 1876 by President Rutherford P. Hayes.

Samuel T. Beerbower was the Postmaster in Marion, Ohio, for 13 years.

His youngest brother, Eleazer John (or John Eleazer/Johnny) Beerbower worked for him in 1879-1880.

Samuel t. Beerbower, Postamster.
Great demand for postage stamps in Marion, Ohio. 21 March 1879, Marion [Ohio] Daily Star, Vol. II, No. 139 (Whole no. 449), Page 1, Column 3. Posted with permission for non-profit use only. Via
 Marion, Ohio, had a population of about 2,500 in 1870, but it grew 54% by 1880, to about 3,000 persons- they would use a lot of stamps, since people wrote to each other so frequently! By 1890, there was a 113% increase, to a population of over 8,300. Marion became a major industrial center in Ohio, with companies such as the Marion Steam Shovel Company, which later built the Panama Canal. By 1911, Marion, Ohio produced 80% of our country’s steam and large earth-moving equipment, which was likely the cause of some of the population increase, plus the increased need for postage stamps filled by Sam Beerbower.

Prior to his stint as Postmaster, Sam had been a cashier in the store of Lucas & Seffner after he recovered from his Civil War wounds. (He had enlisted at age 18.) He also clerked at Reed & Yake for about a year, in 1867.

Sam was just 39 when his tenure ended as Postmaster in 1881. In 1883, he owned 2 acres for his residence, 2 town lots, and a ‘business room’ adjoining the People’s Store, which he built for $4,000 in 1881 at the corner of Main and South St.; it also had an apartment above. He probably received rents from these business locations.

By the 1900 US Federal Census, Sam was listed as a farmer. His wife and his only living son, Cornell R. Beerbower, lived with him, Cornell working as a ‘watch repairer.’

Sam was referred to as “our former Postmaster” in the local newspaper for the rest of his life. He died in 1902.

More to come about Sam in future posts.


Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Newspaper articles cited in captions.

2) Sam’s youngest brother, Eleazer John/Johnny Beerbower, was the father of Elsie Janis, the vaudeville child star, “Sweetheart of the A.E.F.,” actress, singer, song writer, and film writer.

3) 1900 US Federal Census, Samuel T Beerbower Head of Household:

Year: 1900; Census Place: Marion Ward 5, Marion, Ohio; Roll: 1302; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0063; FHL microfilm: 1241302. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.


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