Today, the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin remembers when Charlotte May Pierstorff visited her grandparents via the Parcel Post service on February 19, 1914.
From the Smithsonian Institute’s National Postal Museum:
One of the oddest parcel post packages ever sent was “mailed” from Grangeville to Lewiston, Idaho on February 19, 1914. The 48 1/2 pound package was just short of the 50 pound limit. The name of the package was May Pierstorff, three months short of six years old.
May’s parents decided to send their daughter for a visit with her grandparents, but were reluctant to pay the train fare. Noticing that there were no provisions in the parcel post regulations specifically concerning sending a person through the mails, they decided to “mail” their daughter. The postage, 53-cents in parcel post stamps, was attached to May’s coat. This little girl traveled the entire distance to Lewiston in the train’s mail compartment and was delivered to her grandmother’s home by the mail clerk on duty, Leonard Mochel.
On February 19, 1914, the Idaho County Free Press newspaper announced the visit:
Little Girl Sent By Mail As Parcel Post Package
May Pierstorff, five years old, to visit grandmother bedecked with postage stamps by Uncle Sam.
Little May Pierstorff, age five years, was sent from Grangeville to Lewiston on today’s train as parcels post mail.
The postage bill for the little girl and her suitcase was 53 cents. The entire “package” weighed 49 pounds.
The postage stamps were affixed to a small suitcase carried by the child and she was taken to the depot along with the regular mail.
She was consigned or addressed to C. G. Vennigerholz in whose home her grandmother awaits her and who has doubtless received the “package” from the mail carrier ere this hour.
Little Miss Pierstorff is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Pierstorff of this city.
Her uncle, Leonard Mochel, is one of the mail clerks assigned to the run from Lewiston to Grangeville.
This is thought to be the first instance where a child has been sent through the mails since the inauguration of the parcel post system.
On a short run like this from Grangeville to Lewiston which can be made in a few hours the stunt is doubtless unique and novel, thought it is hardly probable that this mode of transportation will become universally popular.
The Morgan Silver Dollar Coin shows with an image of a parcel post delivery man, circa 1914.