Ernesto Avila installed as Antioch’s 26th Postmaster

New Antioch Postmaster Ernesto Avila. Source: USPS

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy administers oath of office ceremony for him and 31 other Postmasters in California during special ceremony

By Kristina Uppal, U.S. Postal Service

ANTIOCH, CA— Ernesto Avila raised his right hand and took the official Oath of Office as the Postmaster of the Antioch, CA Post office on Monday, October 24, 2022, in a special ceremony. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy administered the Oath to Avila alongside 31 other Postmasters throughout California.

Avila, a proud 22-year postal employee started his postal career in Antioch in 2000 as a letter carrier.

“It is a tremendous honor to be appointed the twenty-sixth Postmaster for the city of Antioch.  I have a profound sense of pride for not only being given the opportunity to serve my own community but to do so in the office where I began my career,” said Avila.

As outlined in the USPS Delivering for America plan, the postal service is committed to modernizing and continually adapting to the evolving needs of all customers. As the Postmaster of Antioch, Avila is prepared to meet those needs for his community.

“In my time with the Postal Service, I have been fortunate to have incredible teachers who have helped place me in the position to take on this great responsibility.  It is because of them and the deep roots I have in this community and office that I pledge to work diligently to provide exceptional service to the city of Antioch,” Avila added.

The Antioch Post Office was first opened in 1851, closed in 1852, re-opened in 1855, closed again in 1862, and it has operated continuously since re-opening in 1863. Two post offices currently operate in the city including the main Antioch Post Office on E. Tregallas Road and the Rivertown Post Office on W. 4th Street.

The History of the Postmaster Position

The title, “Postmaster” carries with it both a Noble Heritage and a Vital Responsibility.

Originally, the word Postmaster was referred as the one who provided post horses.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, postmaster means “master of the posts, the officer who has charge or direction of the posts.”

William Penn established Pennsylvania’s first post office in 1683. However, the real beginnings of a postal system in the colonies dates from 1692 when Thomas Neale received a 21-year grant from the British Crown authorizing him to set up post roads in North America.

In 1707, the British Government bought the rights to the North American postal service, and, in 1710, consolidated the postal service into one establishment.  The principal offices of the new British Postal Service were in London, England; Edinburgh Scotland; Dublin, Ireland, and New York.

In 1737, Benjamin Franklin was appointed Postmaster at Philadelphia.  He laid out new post roads, helped expand mail service from Canada to New York and instituted overnight delivery between Philadelphia and New York City, a distance of 90 miles. In 1774, Franklin was dismissed from office because of his efforts on behalf of the patriots.

When the Continental Congress met in May 1775, they named Franklin as postmaster general for the 13 American colonies.

From 1775 until the early 1800s, Postmasters were appointed by the postmaster general.  In 1836, postmasters were appointed by the president, but this of course changed whenever a new party was elected.  It was not until August 1970, with the signing of the Postal Reorganization Act, which took effect in July 1971, that the patronage system was finally removed from the postal service once and for all.  Postmasters began being appointed on merit alone. The act also permitted upward mobility for line employees, allowing them to be promoted to the position of Postmaster.

Along the way, there have been several famous individuals, who have served as postmasters. In 1833, Abraham Lincoln was appointed postmaster of New Salem, IL. Other notable individuals who served as postmaster included abolitionist John Brown, businessman Conrad Hilton, novelist William Faulkner, and humorist Bill Nye, as well as Kevin Costner in the movie The Postman (just kidding).

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

the attachments to this post:

Antioch Postmaster Ernesto Avila

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply