If you had lived in Waddell in the 1930’s you would have had a Peoria Rural Route address and Edwin Forney would have delivered your mail in a stripped down Ford. By 1945 it was the longest rural route in the United States and Ed would have driven almost 100 miles to get to all of the residents and almost all of it on dirt roads.
The Waddell Post Office was established in 1927. By 1936 it was located on the northeast corner of Waddell Road and Cotton Lane inside the Waddell Trading Post and Lola Taylor was our 1st Post Master. Besides the store and the post office, there was also a gas station and, at least for a while, an outdoor dance floor. This corner was located on what was supposed to be the Waddell town site, plated in 1936 by Donald W. Waddell. Even though the town did not materialize, the corner was an important gathering spot for this community. You could mail a package, buy a few groceries, get gas and catch up on all the gossip of the area. The outdoor dances would have been the highlight though. On early summer nights you could throw down some sawdust and kick up your heels. Maybe we could talk Ralph (the current Post Master) into putting in a dance floor. I’m sure we would get plenty of use out of it.
Later the post office was moved across the street and shared space with the cotton gin office. The building was tiny and if Bernice “Bert” Boggs (the 2nd post master) or Kay Rosson (the 3rd post master) was already with a customer when you got there, you had to wait outside for your turn! Maybe if it was raining, you could wait in your car.
The new post office was built in 1992 on Glendale and Cotton Lane gives us more room and with the growth out here, we needed it. We no longer have to park in the dirt and the building gives Waddell a better image.