Residents in the Buchanan county community of Stanley were up in arms in May 1995, when they learned their local post office would likely close its doors after over 100 years of operation. The post office, which was losing $23,000 each year, looked to be added to a long list of businesses and organizations that closed shop in Stanley. Its railroad business shut down in the 1940s; closures of local banks, hotels and grocery stores followed.
By 1955, the high school was consolidated, and in 1979, members of the local Methodist Church were forced to travel to nearby Oelwein for services. The post office ultimately stayed open three more years, closing for good in July 1998. Stanley’s 128 residents now retrieve their mail from the metal “cluster boxes” erected next door.