Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

It’s been more than 45 years since our Hoffman Estates Post Office opened for business in the Hoffman Plaza on February 4, 1966.  It was a wonderful convenience for all the residents of Hoffman Estates.  Our own post office had finally opened that cold February morning.  The first customer was Dr. Alex Waxler.  Postal staff consisted of 15 to 20 people, Superintendent Sheldon Galanter, his assistant, 2 clerks and the remainder was postal carriers.  The post office was at the south end of the plaza located were South Beach used to be.  It was so nice to be able to mail packages at a full service post office with our own Hoffman Estates post mark.  No more trips to Roselle with Christmas packages and bundles of cards. 

The story of our first post office begins in early 1960 with 9 months of negotiations with the postal authorities seeking permission to establish a post office in Hoffman Estates.  In late October of 1960, Hoffman Estates Village president Ed Pinger received permission from the board of trustees to search for an appropriate site. Trustee Jenkins suggested that residents send letters asking for a post office for their town. 

In June of 1962 Democratic Senator for Illinois, Paul Douglas, pledged his support for a new post office.  Shortly after, on July 2, 1962, Senator Douglas announced the establishment of a Roselle branch post office for Hoffman Estates.  We would finally have our own post mark “Hoffman Estates” on all our mail.  All of the town residents at that time had Roselle, IL 60172 as their mailing address.

In the mean time, public bids for temporary postal substations were called for by the Roselle postmaster and Frank Vaccaro of Frank’s Beauty Salon, located in Hoffman Plaza, was awarded the contract.  He opened the first postal substation on November 1, 1962.  He would continue this community public service until July, 1963 when he was no longer able to handle the increased work load due to the rapid growth of the village. Going through another Christmas season was next to impossible for him.  By the spring of 1962, the population of Hoffman Estates had risen to 13,000 residents.  Another substation opened at the Cloths Basket, a laundry and dry cleaning establishment at 213 S. Roselle Rd. It closed in September, 1964 due to increased volume of mail and services. Once again a local businessman, Joseph Boris of B & K Realty came forward to become the next postal substation. 

Impatient to get their own post office, Hoffman Estates residents didn’t see the beginning of construction until the foundation was poured in the summer of 1964.  After many delays with bidding, as well as construction delays and delays with government contracts, the post office opened more than 3 ½ years after Senator Douglas’ announcement.  Postal carrier’s hourly wage back then was $2.57. 

Our present day post office at 1255 Gannon Dr. opened in the fall of 1988.  It’s been a good 45 years of service.  Offer a nice cold drink to your carrier on a hot day to say thanks.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian

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