|Harold Keays prepares to deliver the mail on his Harley Davidson |
motorcycle, just one of several modes
of transportation for his postal route.
On October 28, 2016 this blog highlighted the workload of mail carrier Harold Keays. Local newspapers in 1915 estimated he delivered 11,000 letters and parcels each month. After some research, we wanted to update the career of Harold Keays and acknowledge other postal workers in Sherburne County.
After the news article appeared in the Sherburne County Star News, reporters further investigated the work load of Sherburne County mail carriers. While working in Elk River, John Keen, the mail carrier on route number 3, handled the largest monthly workload. According to the newspaper, he delivered approximately 14,000 pieces of mail each month. Charlie Reed, on route 2, worked the lightest of the delivery schedules, delivering 10,000 pieces each month.
Four years after the paper reported these statistics, Harold Keays announced his retirement. Mail recipients along route 1 held Harold Keays in high esteem. The year of his retirement, his customers gifted him a gold watch. Yet, after 18 years of service he chose to take some time off. At his retirement, Keays estimated several startling statistics. In his career he traveled 168,480 miles. He traveled 4680 miles by bicycle; 28,080 by motorcycle; 48,840 in a Ford automobile, and 86,880 on horseback. He conceded the Ford was the most reliable means of transportation. In his 18 years, he delivered nearly 26 tons of mail or 2,134,080 pieces.
It seems almost an understatement, in his retirement announcement, Keays noted the job became too strenuous and hastened the end of his postal career.