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Looking Back to 1936: Statistics give insight into the mailing habits of city 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

Excerpts from the Saturday, March 14, 1936, Paso Robles Times:

Postal receipts increased an average of $2,500 per year for past three years

–Five thousand, three hundred and three persons are served regularly by the Paso Robles post office, through general delivery and post office boxes, city and rural carriers and star routes. Fifteen employees are carried on the payroll at the office, which in 1935 did a gross business of $24,505.37.

These and many other interesting facts and figures, are contained in a report released today by Postmaster Elmer Bollinger, which contains practically all activities of the local post office and a skeletonized history of its personnel changes.

For example: “city delivery service was authorized in city limits, two thirds of a square mile.” That was on April 1, 1923, when the routes were established, and two carriers, each with two trip routes, were employed. A single trip auxiliary route was also established at that time, and today this route serves 149 persons.

Click here to read the full front page of the March 14, 1936 issue. Photography by Gigi Greene.


The population estimate for the city for 1936 is 2800; made of 2690 native, 100 foreign, 10 colored. There is no record of 1910 population, but the figure for 1920 is given as 1919.

Although the population has nearly doubled in the past 16 years, the percentage of operating costs to net receipts has shown a definite tendency downward. The added cost of clerk hire ($9,448.56 in 1935) has been offset by the gain in net income. The actual percentage shown for last year was 43 per cent.

On Thursday, Feb. 27, 1936, 11,805 pieces of mail, weighing 3,484 pounds were handled. This figure was given as a typical for Thursday mailings. Since 1933, net postal receipts have increased on an average of about $2,500 each year over the previous, a gain of 14 per cent.


Under “Miscellaneous Statistics Past Three Calendar Years,” it is found that in 1935 14,922 domestic money orders were issued: 2,633 were paid here. Foreign money orders issued were 72 in 1935, an average decrease of 11 from the two years before, and 22 foreign orders were paid, an increase of 11 over the year before; 634 postal savings certificates were issued, and 827 paid during 1935, there latter figures being practically reversed from the two previous years.

The postmaster has requested, that due to the great amount of mail handled, it would be to the advantage of both the sender and clerks if all first-of-the-month mailing were addressed to box number or street.

Read previous Looking Back articles

Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805) 239-4556.

Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446,, (805) 227-0440.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.