Morehouse celebrates reopening of post office after spring floods

Sunday, August 7, 2011
Russ Collier, Morehouse postmaster, walks Eighth District Rep. Jo Ann Emerson through the newly renovated Morehouse Post Office Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. (Jill Bock/Standard Democrat)

MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- Neither rain nor snow nor dark of night can keep the postman from his rounds, but high water can run him out of his post office. On Thursday, Morehouse officials gathered to mark the reopening of the local facility at 520 Beech St., after spring floods forced its closure.

Morehouse Mayor Pete Leija said having the local facility open means a lot to local residents.

"You wouldn't believe how much people missed it," Leija said.

He said following the flooding he and others worried the U.S. Postal Service wouldn't reopen a facility in the community. To ensure its return, they enlisted the assistance of Republican U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

"We fought hard and had her help to keep this place," said Leija with a nod toward Emerson. "We are lucky."

Emerson called rural postal services essential to Southeast Missouri's rural communities.

"Without access to a local post office, our families and businesses must drive extremely inconvenient distances to do their postal business," she said. "Our rural post offices are more than a convenience, however, they are also a part of our local identity. They keep us connected to our community as well as others in the region and nation."

It is also an essential part of Morehouse's history.

Donna Mallott, along with family members Ron Knuckles and Carolyn Moore, were on hand Thursday for Emerson's visit. Mallott pointed out the building, which houses the local post office, was built by their father, Hershel Knuckles, in 1960.

According to Mallott, when her father learned of the postal service's intention to place a post office in the community, he drew up the plans and submitted them. Following the plans' approval he built the building himself.

When the family learned the postal service was returning, they knew it had to return to its Beech Street building.

"My brothers worked day and night to get it back into condition," said Mallott. "We have worked and worked and worked some more."

In appreciation for Emerson's efforts on behalf of their post office, the community presented her with a certificate of appreciation Thursday afternoon.

Pertinent address:

520 Beech St., Morehouse, MO

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