Before the Lake Zurich Post Office was built in 1909, mail would be delivered by private contractors. Most people are not aware that before there was a Lake Zurich Post Office, mail would have to be delivered to the town of Lake Zurich by private contractors. More than 100 years ago, mail delivery for the area was done mainly on horseback and it is during this time that a town clerk came up with the idea of converting to freight delivery and a new post office building in 1909.
Apparently they didn’t find any expressible reason to use the old building anymore but it wasn’t until 1947 that the original building had been fully utilized and they decided to give away its unused spaces which led to a larger building being built in 1954.
According to a history article published in the Lake Zurich Herald and the Geneva News, the town clerk at the time, Mr. Brainard, would meet with his colleagues at the post office and announce that he was retiring. He then suggested that they consolidate their mail delivery service and parcel delivery service into one. The inclusion of parcel delivery was an idea of a taxidermist who wanted to continue this small business rather than sell it to someone else. They were also looking for more space for their operations as well as more room for expansion if necessary.
There were two separate companies delivering mail, one from Munster and Niles that all stopped delivering mail in the early 1900s when railroad transportation became available to those areas. The Munster and Niles Post Office was located directly across the street from the Lake Zurich Post Office. The other entity at the time would be known as The Lake Zurich Independent Delivery Service. This company delivered mail twice a week to residences only and it would first use a horse-drawn carriage, then later a Model-T truck when cars became available. Authorized to deliver mail twice a week and twice also for parcel delivery, its service also extended to cover two Saturdays each month.
The manager of this company, Mr. Alious, was known to be a person who loved his job and treated it with the utmost respect taking the time to personally deliver all mail. He was also known throughout the area for his attention to detail when one mail box became full and another would be missed he would then check to make sure that all of these mailboxes were delivered. He also made sure the correct stamps were used on all of these letters and packages which was an indication that he was a person of high integrity, due in part by his very accurate work habits. His good word for Mr. Brainard and Mr. Alious along with their referral from the new building superintendent drew together a group of interested individuals who wanted to continue on after Mr. Brainard retired.
In 1912, the United States Post Office Department (USPS) was established and in 1914, Lake Zurich became one of many towns and villages to have its own post office. Responding to an increase in post office business, a new building was constructed. It was located on the north side of Washington Street; east of Main Street in Lake Zurich between 1913 and 1918 about the time that Mr. Alious retired from his post at the Lake Zurich Independent Delivery Service. The new facility allowed for more space with a larger room being available for storage as well as a separate mail room with two railroad tracks at this location in case they were needed by a train.