RENSSELAER — The Parr Post Office will be saved after all.
The Jasper County Board of Commissioners, which approved the construction of a replica of the post office based on the county’s historical society’s recommendation in April, is expected to reverse that decision next week at its monthly meeting.
According to county historian Judy Kanne, with the commissioners’ approval, a restoration project will be led by the Vera Randolph family through Kim DeWees at Vision Ag in Rensselaer.
Vera Randolph served as postmaster at Parr’s post office from 1938-68. After the post office was decommissioned, Vera gave the 10-foot by 12-foot building to the Brunton family in 1968. The Bruntons then donated the building to the historical society and it was moved to the Jasper County Fairgrounds in 1969.
The contents inside are insured by the historical society.
Kanne said commissioners Kendell Culp and Dick Maxwell are in favor of restoring the building rather than tearing it down.
“The historical society will be a support group,” she added.
The society board approved building a replica at its latest meeting, but throngs of people in the community voiced opposition to that proposal.
A member of the Brunton family, Rick, whose brother Dale donated the building to the county, said last week he would like to oversee a restoration project if no one else will.
He was saddened by the society’s decision to remove the building from the fairgrounds. He added it was recognized as the smallest post office in the United States at the time.
“They don’t know what the post office means to this county and its people,” he said.
Vision Ag has already done a pair of projects at the building. Last year, it agreed to install new walls inside with the Randolph family also involved.
But the building needs to be raised at least one cement block to keep it dry during heavy rainfall, Kanne said. That will likely be addressed in the newest renovation.
“If you look inside, Vision Ag did a wonderful job. They put in a new floor and new walls. It’s perfectly fine,” Kanne said. “But unless we raise it up, that’s stuff is going to be rotted in, what, five, six, seven years, possibly.”
The outer walls are also separating from age, but Rick Brunton said that, too, can be fixed and plenty of people have volunteered to help.
Rick’s wife, Karen, added that “the building should be on the historic registry, not be torn down.”
Repairs to the building could be done sometime after the Jasper County Fair, which ends Aug. 1.