AMF (Air Mail Field) Midway Postal Retirement Organization Archives

Dates: 1957-2010, undated
Size: 5.25 linear feet (7 boxes)
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628
Collection Number: 2006/04
Provenance: Gift of Willie S. Black, President of AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization Archives, [Box #, Folder#], Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature.
Processed by: Processed by CLIR funded Black Metropolis Research Consortium “Color Curtain Processing Project.” By Beth Loch and Emily Minehart. May 8, 2013. By BMRC intern Ariella Brotherson, 2016 June 20

Historical Note

The members of the AMF (Air Mail Field) Midway Postal Retirement Organization included the first African Americans allowed to work at Midway Airport’s AMF postal facility. They later worked on trains, distributing mail throughout the Midwest. The AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization was founded in 1991 to document the history of African Americans in the organization.

AMF Midway Organization’s first meeting was a breakfast meeting at Burger King on April 29, 1989, though there had been discussion about starting such a group for about ten years before the group met. Marion Byrd and James Knox organized the meeting. In attendance were Harold Barnett, Marion Byrd, Edgar Kinney, James Knox, Charles Livingston, Albun Long, Macklin Martin, Frank Rias, and Ernie Reynolds. After a few additional Burger King meetings, members decided to host meetings at their homes. James Knox volunteered to host the first home meeting and Marion Byrd volunteered to host the second. During these meetings Marion Byrd was the Acting President and James Knox was the Acting Secretary.

After six home meetings, Edgar Martine secured permission for the club to meet at Foster Park Field house on a permanent basis. The first meeting at the field house was held March 23, 1991. Officers were elected and the group named the club AMF Midway (PTS) Organization at this meeting. PTS refers to the United States Post Office Department officially changing what had been the Railway Mail Service a more appropriate name—the Postal Transportation Service in 1949. Club officers included Marion Byrd as President and James Knox as Secretary. The organization’s by-laws were written and stated that all former clerks who were employed at any time at AMF Midway were eligible for membership. The organization was chartered by the state of Illinois on March 29, 1991. Edward Jackson established the group’s newsletter and the first issue was published September 1991. Jackson also created the airplane logo, and the birthday and anniversary column that became a staple in the newsletters. In April 1993 the club registered as an Illinois charitable organization.

AMF Midway (PTS) Organization had an active social committee that planned fundraisers and parties. The club’s first fundraiser on May 23, 1992 was a lotto chance raffle drawing with twenty-eight members in attendance. The first party was held on November 4, 1992. It was a dinner dance at the Martinique Restaurant for the members, their wives, and friends. The organization also made monetary donations to support local athletics; one donation was given to the Foster Park Small Fry Basketball team to help with team expenses.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization Archives include materials relating to the experience of Midway Airport’s AMF postal facility employees and the formation and history of AMF Midway Retirement Organization. The collection is organized into five series. The series are “AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization Records,” “AMF Midway Postal Employee Records,” Memorabilia,” “Serials,” and “Photographs.” The collection spans the years 1957 to 2010, with undated materials. The collection will be of value to researchers interested in the history of African Americans in the postal service and transportation.

Series 1: AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization Records, 1958-2010

This series contains records, rosters, minutes, newsletters, and founding documents from the AMF Midway Organization, as well as postal service memos, records, schematics and registers collected by the organization’s members. A reflective collective memoir (Air Mail Field/Railway Mails/Other Postal Work and Life Experiences), in which of some of the members give insight into their years and work at Midway is included. This series is arranged chronically.

Series 2: AMF Midway Postal Employee Records, 1957-2009

This series is comprised of employment records from two AMF Midway postal workers, Clarence C. James and Albert V. Horne, Jr. The bulk of the material pertains to Horne, including job assignments, schematics, timecards, examination results, pay stubs, and rosters. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series 3: Serials, 1973-2009

This series contains bulletins and newsletters related to the postal service. Please note that the Illowa Bulletin and the Illowa News are the same; the publication underwent a name change between 1986 and 1987. Illowa News is the newsletter of the American Postal Workers Union, a division of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. It pertains to the Illinois and Iowa branches of the railway mail system. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series 4: Memorabilia, 1957-2009

This series contain Albert V. Horne, Jr.’s postal box scheme case, as well as the contents of an “RPO Clerk’s Grip.” A grip is the suitcase-like bag in which a postal clerk kept the supplies necessary to process mail. The contents of Horne’s grip are in Box 5 while Box 6 recreates his scheme case.

Series 5: Photographs, 1967-2009

This series contains 89 photographs, largely depicting individual members and events of the AMF Midway Organization. Am small number of photographs document AMF Midway Organization members working on railcars.

CONTAINER LIST

Series 1: AMF Midway Postal Retirement Organization Records, 1958-2010

Box 1 Folder 1 Postal Service records of pouches received and dispatched, 1958
Box 1 Folder 2 AMF Midway Organization, history, undated
Box 1 Folder 3 Air Mail Field/Railway Mails/Other Postal Work and Life Experiences, 2006
Box 1 Folder 4 Postal Service mobile unit trip report – payroll section, 1959-1961
Box 1 Folder 5 Postal Service mail schemes, 1960-1962
Box 1 Folder 6 Postal Service clerk’s memo for trip report, 1962
Box 1 Folder 7 Postal Service registry dispatch record, 1962
Box 1 Folder 8 Postal Service diagram of the second case, 1963
Box 1 Folder 9 Postal Service Illinois Sectional Center Scheme, 1963
Box 1 Folder 10 Postal Service Illinois Sectional Center Scheme, 1964
Box 1 Folder 11 Postal Service registers, 1964
Box 1 Folder 12 Lists of postal workers by location, 1967
Box 1 Folder 13 AMF Midway rosters, 1991-2004
Box 1 Folder 14 AMF Midway meeting minutes, 1991-2009
Box 1 Folder 15 AMF Midway Organization Newsletters, 1992-2003
Box 1 Folder 16 AMF Midway Organization Newsletters, 2004-2010
Box 1 Folder 17 AMF Midway Organization Newsletter mock-ups and mailing labels, 1996-2003
Box 2 Folder 1 AMF Midway Organization incorporation materials and by-laws, 1993
Box 2 Folder 2 Funeral programs, 1997-2003
Box 2 Folder 3 Message from the President, circa 1998
Box 2 Folder 4 AMF Midway Organization special occasion cards, 2001-2003
Box 2 Folder 5 AMF Midway Organization annual reports, 2002-2004
Box 2 Folder 6 AMF Midway retirement rosters, 2003
Box 2 Folder 7 AMF Midway Organization correspondence, 2003-2009
Box 2 Folder 8 AMF Midway Organization contact information, 2008
Box 2 Folder 9 AMF Midway cash receipt, 2009
Box 2 Folder 10 Illinois Railway Museum visit material, 2009
Box 2 Folder 11 AMF Midway Organization birthdays and anniversaries, undated
Box 2 Folder 12 AMF Midway Organization letterhead, undated
Box 2 Folder 13 Kansas alphabetical list of cities, undated
Box 2 Folder 14 Postal Service list of cities and abbreviations, undated
Box 2 Folder 15 Postal Service list of cities by state, undated
Box 2 Folder 16 Postal Service personnel seniority list, undated
Box 2 Folder 17 Postal Service record of duties in higher level, undated
Box 2 Folder 18 Postal Service registers, undated
Box 2 Folder 19 Postal Service routing slips, undated

Series 2: AMF Midway Postal Employee Records, 1957-2009

Box 3 Folder 1 Clarence C James, employment records 1961-1966
Box 3 Folder 2 Horne, job assignment, 1962
Box 3 Folder 3 Horne, scheme examination notices, 1962
Box 3 Folder 4 Horne, timecards, 1962
Box 3 Folder 5 Horne, salary change notices, 1962-1964
Box 3 Folder 6 Horne, Examination Statements, 1963-1968
Box 3 Folder 7 Horne, routing slips, 1963
Box 3 Folder 8 Horne, operation instructions, 1964
Box 3 Folder 9 Horne, Air Service Methods book, 1966
Box 3 Folder 10 Horne, employee suggestions, 1967-1968
Box 3 Folder 11 Horne, personnel action notice, 1968
Box 3 Folder 12 Horne, salary adjustment notice, 1968
Box 3 Folder 13 Horne, assignment orders, 1976
Box 3 Folder 14 Horne, letter of commendation, 1976
Box 3 Folder 15 Horne, Beacon Newsletter, 1982
Box 3 Folder 16 Horne, pay stub, 1982
Box 3 Folder 17 Horne, retirement counseling, 1984
Box 3 Folder 18 Horne, WCIA New, 2007
Box 3 Folder 19 Horne, correspondence with AMF Midway Organization, 2007-2009
Box 3 Folder 20 Horne, Gunplay at the Mail Car article, 2009
Box 3 Folder 21 Horne, seniority roster, undated
Box 3 Folder 22 Horne, sick-leave request slips, undated
Box 3 Folder 23 Horne, superintendent envelopes, undated

Series 3: Serials

Box 4 Folder 1 Illowa Bulletin, 1973-1986
Box 4 Folder 2 Illowa News, 1987-2000
Box 4 Folder 3 Illowa News, 2001-2009
Box 4 Folder 4 National Alliance magazine, 2004
Box 4 Folder 5 Postal newsletter, 1980-1983

Series 4: Memorabilia

Box 5 Folder 1 Postal Service city tags, undated
Box 5 Folder 2 Horne, square labels (1 of 2), undated
Box 5 Folder 3 Horne, square labels (2 of 2), undated
Box 5 Folder 4 Horne, uncut direction labels, undated
Box 5 Folder 5 Horne mail stamps, undated
Box 5 Folder 6 Horne, Special Handling tags, 1958
Box 5 Folder 7 Horne, Special Delivery tags, 1957
Box 5 Folder 8 Horne, First Class tags, 1958
Box 5 Folder 9 Horne, Perishable tags, 1958
Box 5 Folder 10 Horne, stamped labels, 1967
Box 5 Folder 11 Horne, stamped labels, 1967
Box 5 Folder 12 Horne, AMF O’Hare labels, undated
Box 5 Folder 13 Horne, Defective labels, undated
Box 5 Folder 14 Horne, Short labels (1 of 2), undated
Box 5 Folder 15 Horne, Short labels (2 of 2), undated
Box 5 Folder 16 Horne, directional labels, undated
Box 5 Folder 17 Horne, banks clyde labels, undated
Box 5 Folder 18 Horne, mail carrier’s hat, undated
Box 6 Folder 1 Horne, Cardboard Postal Box Scheme case, circa 1950s

Series 5: Photographs

Box 7 Photo 001 John L Graves, undated
Box 7 Photo 002 Macklin Martin, undated
Box 7 Photo 003 Edgar Martin, Janet Norfleet, [first African American Chicago postmaster] Jim Knox, Joe Crossley, undated
Box 7 Photo 004 Henry Vaughn, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 005 Chicago and Memphis RPO, 2005
Box 7 Photo 006 Harvey Wilson [on the right] and unidentified postal worker, 2006
Box 7 Photo 007 AMF Midway Retirement Organization meeting, 2006 [Janet Norfleet in group shot]
Box 7 Photo 008 Group of railway and postal workers, 2006. [Harvey Wilson on extreme right side]
Box 7 Photo 009 AMF Midway Organization visit to Illinois Railway Museum,2009
Box 7 Photo 010 AMF Midway Organization visit to Illinois Railway Museum,2009
Box 7 Photo 011 AMF Midway Organization visit to Illinois Railway Museum,2009
Box 7 Photo 012 Unidentified group of men, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks.
Box 7 Photo 013 Unidentified group of men, undated
Box 7 Photo 014 Willie S. Black, undated
Box 7 Photo 015 Unidentified luncheon, 2003
Box 7 Photo 016 Not yet identified, undated
Box 7 Photo 017 Robert Ward, 2003
Box 7 Photo 018 Banquet dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 019 Banquet dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 020 Banquet dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 021 Banquet dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 022 Banquet dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 023 Banquet dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 024 Robert Ward, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 025 Margaret M Horne [right side] and unidentified woman,2003
Box 7 Photo 026 Johnny Graves, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 027 Herman Terrell and ?, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 028 Herman Terrell and son, Greg, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 029 Ed Jackson, Marion Byrd and Jim Knox, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 030 Mr. and Mrs. Albun Long with friend, 2005
Box 7 Photo 031 Mr. and Mrs. Albun Long, 2005
Box 7 Photo 032 Mr. and Mrs. Albun Long, 1994. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 033 Albun Long and friend. 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 034 Mr. and Mrs. Albun Long, undated
Box 7 Photo 035 Postal equipment, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 036 Banquet dinner, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 037 Banquet dinner, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 038 Banquet dinner, 1993
Box 7 Photo 039 Banquet dinner, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 040 Banquet dinner, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 041 Banquet dinner, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 042 Banquet dinner, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 043 Banquet dinner, 1994. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 044 Banquet dinner, 2003
Box 7 Photo 045 Banquet dinner, 2003
Box 7 Photo 046 Banquet dinner, 2003
Box 7 Photo 047 Banquet dinner, 2003
Box 7 Photo 048 Display of badges and awards, 2005
Box 7 Photo 049 Ross Auina, 2005
Box 7 Photo 050 Mr. and Mrs. Al Horne with friends, 2005
Box 7 Photo 051 Paul Johnson and wife, undated
Box 7 Photo 052 Not yet identified, 2005
Box 7 Photo 053 Not yet identified, undated
Box 7 Photo 054 Not yet identified, undated
Box 7 Photo 055 Kirven Martin, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 056 Harvey Wilson and postal workers, 2005
Box 7 Photo 057 Chicago and Memphis RPO, 2005
Box 7 Photo 058 Thomas Sampson and wife, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 059 Jim Knox, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 060 Kirvin Martin, 2005 [scan of 1992 image]
Box 7 Photo 061 Kirvin Martin, undated
Box 7 Photo 062 Marion Byrd and Jim Knox, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 063 AMF Midway Postal Employee retirement group, 1993
Box 7 Photo 064 RPO clerks at work, circa 1967
Box 7 Photo 065 George Jackson, undated
Box 7 Photo 066 Paul Johnson, undated
Box 7 Photo 067 Henry G Vaughn, undated
Box 7 Photo 068 Robert L Ward, undated
Box 7 Photo 069 CB and G 1923 railcar, 2009
Box 7 Photo 070 Informal meeting, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 071 Informal meeting, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 072 Informal meeting, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 073 Informal meeting, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 074 Formal dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 075 Formal dinner, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 076 Banquet dinner, circa 1992
Box 7 Photo 077 Banquet dinner, circa 1992
Box 7 Photo 078 Banquet dinner, circa 1992
Box 7 Photo 079 Herman Terrell, Joe Crossley, Henry Vaughn, undated
Box 7 Photo 080 Backyard picnic, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 081 Backyard picnic, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 082 Backyard picnic, 1993. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 083 Backyard picnic, 1993
Box 7 Photo 084 Backyard picnic, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 085 Backyard picnic, 1992. Photography by Seattle Filmworks
Box 7 Photo 086 Hal Wallace, undated
Box 7 Photo 087 Harvey Wilson and postal workers, 2005
Box 7 Photo 088 Henry Vaugh and wife, undated
Box 7 Photo 089 Herman Terrell and Jim Knox, undated
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