Wednesday Women’s Work – Postmasters in Saskatchewan

Every time I use search engines to look for the Hassan family in Saskatchewan, I get a ton of hits because of the town of Hassan (which has nothing to do with that family). This is one of the Hassan (town) tidbits I picked up while searching Our Roots.

From the book “People Places: Saskatchewan and It’s Names” by Bill Barry:

HASSAN (a name of biblical origin) post office near Sturgis had just two postmasters during its thirty-five years, but both of them served twice. Sarah Dorothy Seddon was in charge from 1932-41 and again in 1944-45; Constance Ellen Shauer held the post office in 1941-44, and again from 1945 until it closed in 1967.

Like Hassan, PLAIN VIEW (north of Melville) was an all-female office. Julia Strevell selected the name after her home in Plain View, Nebraska, and served for the office’s first two years (1904-06). Elizabeth Pekar sorted the mail for almost forty years, and her daughter-in-law Nellie Pekar took over and served until the office closed in 1969. That represents sixty-five years without a male postmaster — a genuine oddity.

Also consider that according to the 1906 census, Julia and Elizabeth were married women when they worked in the post office. Women working after marriage was not common in the early 1900s but it happened more than we think. They didn’t just go to work in large cities, but in frontier farm areas too. The men were needed to work the land, and old restrictions loosened in new places.

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