The Name Game: The three-town post office

United States Post Office in Goodland

Goodland’s Post Office was built as a Works Progress Administration project.

 

A post office named Gandy

Goodland’s post office started out as Gandy’s post office. Gandy was founded in 1885, the first town in Sherman County, located about one mile northwest of Goodland. Town was named for Dr. J.L. Gandy of Humboldt, Neb., a land developer who was accused of shady land acquisition methods. Dr. Gandy became very unpopular. Post office opened Sept. 4, 1885. By early 1886, the town began to fail. Gandy’s unpopularity may have contributed to his town’s demise. Businesses moved away.

That fall, Gandy’s postmaster received permission to move the Gandy post office. New location just happened to be at a new town site, that of Sherman Center, approximately Third and Caldwell in Goodland today. Gandy soon ceased to exist.

Sherman Center never had a post office called by its name. Sherman Center lost a county seat fight to Eustis and it also soon ceased to exist. In December 1887, the Post Office authorized the “Post Office Named Gandy” to move to Goodland, on the west side of Main Street, but ordered that the name Gandy be retained until Jan. 1, 1888, the beginning of a new quarter. James K. Warrington was postmaster at all three locations. The original Goodland Post Office burned in 1903. The post office then moved to the Leonard Building, 921 Main.

 

The New Deal brings a new post office to Goodland

In 1936, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was looking for Works Progress Administration projects to put people to work. Goodland needed a new post office and got one at 124 E. 11th. The building was built of limestone and brick in a 20th Century Classical Revival style typical for Class C and D post offices of the period. Kenneth M. Adams painted a mural, Rural Free Delivery, which hangs above the Postmaster’s office. Post office was listed on National Historic Register (PDF) Oct. 17, 1989.

Counter is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday 9-10:30 a.m. Last mail collection is Monday-Saturday 12:45 p.m. Closed on federal holidays. Lobby is open around the clock.

Goodland High School was also built by the Works Progress Administration. Carnegie Arts Center and Ennis-Handy House are Goodland’s other destinations listed on the National Historic Register. Post Office stands on one of Goodland’s brick intersections, one block from the old First National Bank Building, which held disputed county records in the County Seat Fight.

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