By Ingrid Harbo
Two northwestern Minnesota post offices could soon have new names.
On Friday, Nov. 12, Rep. Michelle Fischbach led the Minnesota U.S. House delegation in proposing two bipartisan bills to rename post offices in the 7th District.
According to a news release from Fischbach’s office, the proposed bills would rename the post offices in Vergas and Oklee to honor local heroes. The Vergas Post Office would be named after Jon Glawe, a veteran and mail carrier who lived in Vergas, while the Oklee Post Office would be named after Coya Knutson, the first woman elected to Congress from Minnesota.
Glawe and Knutson were selected for the marks they made on their communities.
Glawe served in the U.S. army as a sergeant stationed in Germany. He took over the family farm and his father’s mail route after his father’s death, and delivered mail in the Vergas area for 36 years. He retired in 2011, and was known in his community for delivering mail, helping neighbors and volunteering at his church. He died in 2016 at the age of 66.
Knutson was born in North Dakota, and attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She moved to New York to become a professional opera singer, but settled down on a farm near Oklee with her husband Andy. She was elected to Congress in 1955, and served until 1959. She also served as liaison officer for the Department of Defense under John F. Kennedy.
“I’m honored to be able to commemorate these individuals who made such an impact on their communities,” Fischbach said in a letter.
For a post office name change bill to make it to the House or Senate, the bill must be approved by every member of a state’s delegation. Then, it has to be voted on by both the House and Senate, after which it is signed into law by the president.
After a post office is renamed, it receives a plaque with the new name and an unveiling ceremony, which is paid for by the U.S. Postal Service.