According to the 1897 Annual Report of the Postmaster General, "In cases where an office ceases to be a public necessity, or it is impossible to secure a suitable postmaster, the office is discontinued...."  The number of Post Offices peaked in 1901 at 76,945; the number sharply declined in the ensuing decade, due to the spread of rural free delivery. Modifications in demographics and transportation patterns have also contributed to a gradual decline in the number of Post Offices.

For additional information on Post Offices, go to the Post Office Facility webpage on USPS.com®.

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