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New Jersey Herald- August 27, 1959

End of Railway Mail Delivery in County Means More Sleep for Mr. and Mrs. Howell

NEWTON- Last Friday at 2:30 a. m. another era in mail delivery in Sussex County came to an end as Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Howell, of 7 Penn avenue, Lake Lenape, turned over three sacks if first class mail to Postmaster Stanford B. Tidaback at the Newton Post Office. It was the last mail to be shipped into Sussex County by train and marked the termination of the delivery contract held by Mrs. Howell for the past 3 years.

Last January, the Post Office Department terminated contracts with the Lackawanna Railroad for delivery of mail on the Sussex Branch and replaced the service by truck delivery. Since then the only mail received in the county by rail has come in on the train that passes through Roseville Station, Byram Township, on the main line of the Lackawanna about 2 a.m. There, sacks containing first class mail destined for Newton and Andover Borough were thrown from the moving train and picked up and delivered by Mr. and Mrs. Howell.

All By Truck Now

Continuing its policy of substituting truck for rail service, the Post Office Department terminated the Roseville service as of last Friday morning. In the future this mail will come into Sussex County by truck, also.

Actually, the contract for picking up the mail sacks at Roseville and carting them in Andover Borough and Newton was held by Mrs. Howell. Her husband has assisted her since their marriage 21 years ago.

Mrs. Howell's father, Ludlow Cornine, who lived in Andover Borough, held the contract for the route for 12 years prior to his death in 1926. There were two years remaining on his four year contract when he died, and Mrs. Howell completed them. She was then awarded the contract in her own name in 1928 and has held it since then.

Covered 200,000 Miles

During the 33 years of faithful mail delivery service, Mrs. Howell traveled over 200,000 miles, or the equivalent of 20 trips to California and back. She met the mail train in the early morning hour six days a week including holidays. During the 33 year period she wore out four different automobiles.

In keeping with the tradition of the Post Office Department, Mr. and Mrs. Howell were not deterred in the performance of their duty by snow, ice, rain, sleet or dark of night, and on several occasions had to leave their auto on snow-clogged roads and walk a half or three quarters of a mile to the Roseville station to meet the train and pick up the mail bags.

Will Get More Sleep

Although the Howells regret the termination of the contract, they are looking forward to nights of uninterrupted sleep. In order to keep the schedule during the long years, they had to crawl out of bed about 1:30 a.m. every day except Sunday. To make sure they would not oversleep, they set three alarm clocks each night, each one to ring a few minutes after the other.

"It's so easy to reach out and turn off the alarm and then go back to sleep in the middle of the night," Mrs. Howell explained. She said they overslept a "few times", but never enough to miss the train.

Now Mrs. Howell declared she expects to wake up at 1:30 "by force of habit" until she gets used to the idea of sleeping through the night. It has been their habit in the past to return to bed about 3:a.m. and then arise for the day at 6 a.m.

Mr. Howell is employed at Newton Garage, 62 Water street , Newton, and has been a member of the Andover Township Committee since 1950.