Back on the Map: Kinsey’s in line for a new post office

By: 
Abe Winter
Star Staff Writer

A new full-service U.S. Postal Service office is on the way — to Kinsey.

Kinsey, a small agricultural community about 18 miles northeast of Miles City, hasn’t had a post office since a fire in the summer of 2013. But a new modular unit, similar in size to a single-wide mobile home, will be stationed on a slab at 39 Mastin Road at a date yet to be determined.

“They’re fresh and crisp,” Miles City Postmaster David Mueller said, referring to the building. “We’ll run it out of this office.”

The Kinsey area was originally populated with dryland farmers and ranchers. It is now mostly irrigated farmland.

The irrigation project began in 1938 during the Great Depression and the Kinsey Farms Project brought in families from many neighboring counties to work the irrigated land.

The original Post Office closed in 1906 and then reopened in 1909. It operated from then until the fire.

The final decision to bring a new Post Office to Kinsey was sent by letter to Kevin Krausz of the Custer County Board of Commissioners from Tom Samra, vice president, facilities, in Washington, D.C. It will provide retail and Postal box services.

“This is the final decision of the Postal Service with respect to this matter,” Sarma wrote, adding that the landlord of the previous site opted not to rebuild following the fire. Thus, a new location was needed.

“The community is in favor of the Postal Service coming back … and looks forward to having it at the proposed location,” Samra wrote.

The same services will be provided, Sarma said. He also pointed out that no tax dollars are provided for the Postal Service, which is self-supported by its sales of postage, products and services.

There apparently were mixed feelings about replacing the former post office because some of the Kinsey residents seem to be enjoying home delivery.

“Some will be affected,” Mueller said. “I’d suggested they don’t do it because Miles City has been handling it quite well. But it’s a go. We’re going to do it.”

If anyone doesn’t like the site, well, there only was one landowner willing to house it — the Kinsey Irrigation Company.

The building will be handicap accessible and probably will have parking for five or six cars, Mueller said.

The hours it will be open are yet to be determined, but there will be personal service.

“They will get full service,” Mueller said. “It’ll be the same as here in Miles City.”

FOOTNOTE: Kinsey’s history of having a post office dates back to 1898-1906 when Hiram Gilmore was the first postmaster. It closed in 1906 and reopened in 1909. Kinsey was named for a ranch owner by that name.

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Please see the the photo gallery Kinsey Post Office for more photos)

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