Post Office building by Nancy Watts

The post office building at 109 4th Ave South was built in 1903 by the Tubb Bros. The original owner was E. Clifford Wilson. “This structure was the first masonry post office [but not the first post office] for Lewistown” (Montana Historical and Architectural Survey, Seivert). It later housed Wells-Fargo express, the Great Northern Express Co., Baird Bros. (1955) and the Montana Paint and Glass.

“Post office inspector E.D. Beatty of Great Falls came down to Lewistown last week for the purpose of advertising for bids on the new post office quarters and equipment which will be required after the first day of July when Lewistown becomes a second-class office. Among other things the advertisement calls for bids on a good building to be leased to the government for five years. It must contain a burglar proof vault or safe. The furniture which must also be furnished by the lessor includes 600 lock boxes of which 350 shall be small size, 150 medium size, 50 large size and 50 drawers; one bag rack with a capacity for 24 bags, one mailing case with 150 separations and one distributing table. Light and heat must also be furnished by the lessor.  Accompanying the bid must be a map of the city showing the location of the building or proposed building to be leased….The present location of the office [324 W. Main] is one of the best that could be secured in the city being practically in the center of the city and on the Main Street but it is not available for a re-lease and some other building will have to be provided.“(“Fergus County Argus,” March 11, 1903).

“Postmaster Stevens has received official notification from First Assistant Postmaster General R. J. Wynn of the acceptance of the bid of Robert Young for furnishing a building and equipment for the post office after July 1st.” (“Fergus County Argus,” May 6, 1903).

“C.A. Case, who is representing E.C. Wilson, has let the contract for putting up the post office building on 4th Ave to Tubbs brothers. The price being in the neighborhood of $6000. The building is to be of native stone and 2 stories high. Work will begin at once on getting out stone and as soon as the lot is vacated by George Corneill who is at present living on it, the building operations will be started and pushed as rapidly as possible.” (“Fergus County Argus,” May 27, 1903).

“Tubb brothers asked for a permit for the erection of a two story stone building on 4th Ave for E. C. Wilson, the post office building. He was instructed to present his request in writing to the building committee.” (“Fergus County Argus,” June 3, 1903).

“The building formerly occupied by L. C. Corneil, on 4th Ave, is being moved up on the hill on Main Street to make way for the new post office building, which will now be put up with all possible dispatch.” (“Fergus County Argus,” June 10, 1903).

“Tubb Brothers contractors were granted a permit to erect for E. Clifford Wilson a two story stone building on 4th Ave, said building to be known as the post office building.” (“Fergus County Argus,” June 17, 1903).

“Tubb brothers have already done much of the work on the new post office building which is being put up by E Clifford Wilson of Trenton N.J. on the 4th Ave. The cost of this building which will be two stories high will be about $6500. The lower part will be used by the government for the post office and the upper story will be made into office rooms. Some of these offices are already engaged.” (“Fergus County Argus,” July 15, 1903).

“E. Clifford Wilson of Trenton N.J. came to Lewistown last summer and was so impressed with the future of the place that he took the contract for putting up the new post office building. It is located on 4th Ave, is built of stone, two stories high, 30 by 90 feet outside dimensions. On the first floor is located one of the best equipped post offices in Montana and above are some class A office rooms. It took $7,000 to put up this structure.” (“Fergus County Argus,” Dec. 30, 1903).

Lewistown did not have a permanent building for the post office until 1931 when the current building was built on 3rd Ave. North.

E.C. Wilson of Trenton, New Jersey built this building at 109 4th Ave South in 1903 and it was used as a post office until 1908.
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