A Rooks County landmark has gone missing. Many years ago Willard Hale enhanced his mailbox on Hwy. 24 two miles east of Woodston by adding a second box several feet above the delivery box. The name on the addition was labeled, "Hale's Air Mail." It provided humor for those passing by, and it also became a landmark to give directions in the area—especially before rural roads were given names. It was easy to tell someone coming to visit to turn north or south at Hale's Air Mail box and go so many miles to the destination.
Although the Hale family moved from the farm years ago and many are deceased, the box was a landmark widely known, even written about in a fictional story for the Solomon Valley Hwy. 24 Heritage Alliance a few years ago.
Recently, someone hit and damaged the pole on which the boxes were mounted, and soon they were removed. Although there is a small sign showing that the north/south county road at that intersection is Road 30, it is just not the same without Hale's Air Mail. It is sad to see such landmarks disappear. Belated thanks to Williard Hale for the decades of enjoyment and directions he provided.
Leo E. Oliva