Record and postal account book class 4
Designed for use by postmasters of fourth class post offices, the cloth covered book consists of blank forms for monthly and quarterly accounts. The instruction page states: “Section 241 of the Postal Laws and Regulations, Edition of 1887, provides that every postmaster of the third and fourth class shall keep in a book provided for this purpose a record and postal accounts." Blank forms in the book are designed for notations on inventories, records of Special Delivery Business, as well as accounts of stamps, debits, and credits in monthly and quarterly formats.
Rufus G. Alden, Postmaster of Alden, Ohio filled out the majority of this record book from July 1890 to 1894. As required, Rufus Alden took inventory of supplies and equipment furnished by the Department and left by the predecessor. When Rufus Alden's postition as postmaster concluded in July 1894, he conducted a second inventory that the new postmaster, Charles Oesterle, confirmed and signed.
Charles Oesterle did not record his transactions in this book until three years later, at which time he resumed using the remaining few blank forms directly after Rufus Alden's last quarterly report for 1894. Oesterle continued using this account book from July 1897 until March 1898.
Through the regulated accounting of all its branches, the postal bureaucracy kept track of its finances and resources down to the smallest of fourth class post offices.