Saturday, April 21, 2018

Rhubert Ray German and The Delmar Post Office

1940 newspaper photograph

Although the Delmar post office opened in Delmar in 1861 two years after the town was found, the history of the post office and R R German are intertwined as he postmaster for 41 years. 

Native of Delmar being born here in Oct 2, 1884 Rhubert Ray German was the son of Warren Edward and Leah Alice Culver German.  His father was a contractor and builder.  After high school he worked as a painter and wall paper hanger.  At age 21 he was a clerk in the old Delmar Hotel at the corner of State and Railroad Ave on the Maryland side of town.  After that he had a partnership with Harry Beach under the name German and Beach Furniture Company.  He continued the business until being appointed postmaster in Delmar in 1913.  He beat out a number of other people trying for the appointment such as Jackson Ellis, E. Frank lecates, J. Frank Fleetwood, and Theodore A. Veasey.   Ray German however won the position.   The pay was $1,200 a year.

 In 1916 the post office was located Railroad Avenue and Grove Street.  Based on it’s revenue It was a small third class post office. The Post Office  leased space from a building owned by Frank Lynch.  A fire broke out in the ceiling of the building and created enough damage that it was time to look for another place.

After the fire, in 1916 he moved the post office to larger quarters at the old Stone House on State street. The new area had 1,200 square feet of space and was heated by steam.  The Post Office was on the first floor.   In 1924 the post office was upgraded to a second class post office.   

In August, 1926 Mr. German bought the Stone House Hotel at an auction.  There apparently was not a conflict of interest at that time.
above 1931 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map showing Post office at the hotel and opposite the bowling alley

In 1907 Mr. German married Miss Ida E. Beach, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Beach.  The Germans lived at 606 Grove street.   They had one daughter, Alice.  Alice would marry Alvin Elliott.   Mr. Ray German would die in 1957.  He would serve as postmaster for 41 years retiring in 1954.  After retiring he went into Real estate and insurance.  To say he knew everyone in town would be an understatement. 
In the background of the above photo is the post office as you can see there is an American flag out front and someone is wheeling mail bags up the street to the railroad station . The two ladies are Irene Beach and Doris Roswell, the photo is about 1938 or 1940 and is from the Tommy Young photo collection

In 1959 the Delmar Post Office moved from the Stone House to it’s present location at the corner of Grove and First Street.  The new building was 2,415 square feet of inside space and a covered 373 square feet loading platform at the rear.  It has air conditioning. 

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