County's Women Postmasters

Close to Heartbeat of Community Life

by Marlene Sand, Times-Union Feature Writer

Mrs. Kermit Creighton, of Atwood, and Mrs. Clifford Eherenman, of Burket, Kosciusko county's only women postmasters, are very much a part of community life.

In their offices the pulse of the community beats. Through the medium of postal service parents receive letters from sons in service. Young girls mail wedding announcements. Parents tell of the birth of a child. Friends of other years, other places communicate. A letter can spell success or defeat, sever relationships, bode ill.

So close is their contact with the residents of the area, that Mrs. Creighton says she is able to recognize individuals by the sound of their footsteps as they enter the postoffice. One knew that Mrs. Eherenman found her job as postmaster satisfying as she said with refreshing candor, "I get a kick out of doing most anything."

Both said that due to misunderstanding many people, because of their sex, called them "postmistress." This is not correct. They are postmasters. Being a woman postmaster presents no particular problems or situations. They said, "We are supposed to fulfill the same duties and requirements as men."

Mrs. Creighton was born in Saskatchewan, Canada. Her family moved to this area when she was 13 and she has resided in the Atwood community since that time. Not only is she postmaster, she is the mother of three children, Beverly, 16, Steve, 13 and Mike, 12.

For the past four years, Mrs. Creighton has put in eight-hour days at the postoffice. Two hours during the afternoon her husband helps her wit the heavy work of handling parcel post packages.

The mother, Mrs. James Kintzel, lives in Atwood. Mrs. Creighton's father is dead.

Before taking the three-hour civil service exam prior to appointment as postmaster, Mrs. Creighton believed the tests would cover postal questions. Since she had worked two months in the postoffice, she felt no concern about taking the exam, feeling that it would be quite easy. It proved to be more difficult, as it was a general civil service test covering many phases.

Like Mrs. Eherenman, Mrs. Creighton hopes to remain as postmaster as long as possible.

Mrs. Eherenman is a life-time resident of Burket. She told the reporters Burket was founded by Elias Burket, her great-great-great uncle in the 1870's The town was first known as Belleview, but upon the death of its founder was renamed Burket, Mrs. Eherenman's maiden name. A grandmother of four, Mrs. Eherenman, has raised her family, a son and daughter. Carl is living in California. Mrs. Herschel (JoAnn) Shoemaker, sometimes helps her mother in the postoffice, Mrs. Eherenman's headquarters for the past 11 years.

As a young girl, Mrs. Eherenman worked in her father's grocery store. Later she attended the School of Telegraphy at Valparaiso university. Utilizing this training she was a telegraph operator for the Pennsylvania railroad. She also attended Teachers college at Winona Lake.

Both postmasters have hobbies. Mrs. Creighton likes to do needlework. Mrs. Eherenman takes a great deal of interest in collecting items of other countries, which are obtained through a club of which she is a member.

It was a pleasure to talk with the county's only women postmasters. It persuaded us that an efficient woman can hold down most any job within her physical capabilities.

Mrs. Kermit Creighton

Mrs. Clifford Eherenman

Warsaw Times Union Wed. Sept. 12, 1956

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