Edgar B. Welch with his mail wagon. He was a rural mail carrier in 1903.
The Post Office was established at Byron, Michigan, in 1837 -- the same year that Michigan became a state. Prior to 1837, when the Shiawassee River flowed between wooded banks inhabited by bears and other wild animals, the mail was brought by horse to Byron from Holly, with no regular schedule.
In 1837, with the establishment of the Byron Office, a stage line set up between Ionia and Pontiac brought mail. Not being a financial success, the stage line was discontinued and the mail brought as before. In 1845, the stage line was reestablished successfully, the Byron mail being carried over this route (the Pontiac and Grand River Road) until completion of the railroad to the west.
Following completion of the railroad to the west, all mail and freight came to Gaines, Michigan and was hauled across the five miles of poor roads, two miles west on the town line and three miles south to Byron. Mosley Royce and Mr. Miner were professional teamsters who made the two trips to Gaines each day, rain or shine. At this time a letter from New York cost twenty-five cents.
On January 22, 1960, word was received that a modern Post Office had been authorized for Byron. Dedication of the new office was held on November 10, 1962. The new structure is a far cry from our first Post Office opened in 1837 with Major Francis J. Prevost as Postmaster. Our town population has remained very stable, but the outlying areas have increased tremendously, with the result that we are now serving 1487 families and have 3 rural routes.
Mail has been dispatched and received at Byron for 162 years. This means a lot of written and typed messages, some glad, some sad, lacy valentines and comic ones, love letters, advertising, post cards and newspapers among the stacks and stacks of mail.