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No Accidents and No Vacation Since 1941

When Alice Kniceley started driving for the Postal Service in 1941, some mail was still delivered by horse and buggy in some West Virginia towns. She has never had an accident or a vacation and is now retiring.

In certain areas, and in certain situations, the Postal Service hires highway contract route (HCR) drivers to provide mail transportation between Post Offices or other designated points where mail is received or dispatched. Some HCR drivers provide mailbox delivery, mail collection and other mail services.  

Alice Kniceley started her career as an HCR driver in 1941 and only recently announced her plans to retire. To commemorate Kniceley’s career and her contributions to the Postal Service, Flatwoods, WV, Postmaster Donna Nay nominated her for the Eagle Spirit Award — the mail contracting industry’s highest honor.

"The award is given to USPS highway contractors that have provided exemplary service," said Nay. "It’s also based on dedication and leadership in the industry.

"There are a limited number of awards presented every year," Nay added. "Being presented the Eagle Spirit Award is a prestigious honor."

"Things were so different when I started. Every town had its own little Post Office," Kniceley said, listing nearby communities. "They even delivered mail by horse and buggy when they couldn’t get through any other way.

"You know, I never had an accident in all those years and I never had a vacation either," she said. "I don’t really want to retire, except that age and safety are important things to consider, so I am.

"Now I can concentrate on my quilting and spending more time with my family," she said.


About the Author

Marilyn Jones has been a journalist for more than 30 years and is currently a freelance feature writer specializing in travel. Her articles have appeared in major newspapers including the BostonGlobe, Akron Beacon Journal and Chicago Sun-Times as well as regional travel magazines.

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