Charles Neyhart Jr. of Portland, Oregon, has won the 2020 Richard W. Helbock Prize for his “A Case Study of the Demise of the West Portland Oregon, Fourth Class Post Office” article that appeared in the First Quarter 2019 La Posta. It was his record setting fourth Helbock Prize, with previous wins in 2014-16.
The Helbock Prize is awarded to the best postal history article appearing in the previous year’s La Posta: The Journal of American Postal History.
Neyhart’s article was an exceptional review of, not only the 16-year history of the West Portland Post Office (1890-1907), but also of the role of a fourth class post office in a growing community. The coverage provides a wonderful template for similar studies.
Finishing just behind Neyhart in the voting to take the 2020 runner-up spot was Michael Wing, Marietta, Georgia, for “The Origins of Rural Free Delivery: An Emancipated Slave and a Georgia Politician” (4Q).
Wing provides an historical perspective about the town of Norwood, Georgia, (about 100 miles east of Atlanta) and the roles played by an emancipated slave and a state politician in the origins and development of Rural Free Delivery.
Bill Nix, Underwood, Washington, took third with “Liberty Before the Storm: Naval Covers from 1937’s Portland Rose Festival” (1Q). The article provided postal examples of U.S. Navy ships that participated in the 1937 Portland Rose Festival, an event that allows sailors time away from their ships to meet with family and friends and to visit the local attractions.
Jesse I. Spector, M.D., Lenox, Massachusetts, and Donald Tocher, Sunapee, New Hampshire took fourth with “Kickapoo Joy Juice and Stanley’s Snake Oil—A Pandora’s Box from the Back-of-the-Book” (4Q).
Eric Knapp, Anchorage, Alaska, was fifth with, “Alaska’s Gold Rush Forts: The U.S. Army Forts and Camps 1897-1925” (4Q).
Receiving honorable mentions were: John Hotchner, Falls Church, Virginia, for his regular columns about postage due auxiliary markings on international mail, and Paul Petosky, Munising, Michigan, for “The History of the Paw Paw, Michigan, Post Office” (3Q).
James W. Milgram, M.D., of Lake Forest, Illinois, won the 2019 Helbock Prize for “Portfolio and Package Envelopes of the American Civil War.”
The top three finishers receive cash prizes. The selections were based on voting by the La Posta editorial staff and the subscribers of La Posta.
The Richard W. Helbock Prize is named in honor of the founding editor of La Posta who died from a heart attack in 2011. Helbock founded La Posta in 1969 and continued to edit the journal for more than 42 years until his death.
La Posta: The Journal of American Postal History is published four times per year. It is the leading journal devoted to American postal history and is now in its 52nd year of publication. Subscriptions are $35 per year. For more information contact: La Posta Publications, POB 6074 Fredericksburg, VA 22403 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org