Post Boys and Girls – 74 Years Later

We recently ran a piece on Post News Boys (and Girls) - those ambitious youngsters who pounded the pavement in years past to sell subscriptions to The Saturday Evening Post. And we're delighted to report that we keep hearing from more!

A woman poses with the doll she won in 1935
Maxine Trevethen poses and her grandmother poses with the hard won Shirley Temple doll in 1936. Over 70 years later, Maxine still proudly owns the prize.
Courtesy Maxine Trevethen

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“I have been a reader/subscriber to the Post since the 1930’s,” wrote Maxine Trevethen of Torrance, California. Okay, we love her already. Then Maxine sent us a photo of her and her grandmother from 1936. Maxine is nine in the photo and clutching a Shirley Temple doll.

In 1935, The Saturday Evening Post was offering a Shirley Temple doll to anyone who would send in a certain number of new subscriptions for the magazine. “I really wanted that doll,” Maxine writes. “I lived in Seattle and I can remember trudging around in the rain knocking on neighbors’ doors, trying to get new subscriptions. Finally, I succeeded and sent in the required new subscriptions. To my delight, I received the ‘authentic Shirley Temple doll’ as promised.”

Post Boys pose for a photo in 1910
Lester Bishop(rear, right) poses with his fellow Post Boys in 1910.
Courtesy of George Crotts.

We’re happy to share the photo of Maxine today, prettier than ever, with that same beloved Shirley Temple doll. Thank you for sharing your story, Maxine. We’ll put a bug in the Editor’s ear about this method of increasing circulation.

But we have an even older photo to share, sent in by George Crotts, Jr. of North Bend, Washington. This is a remarkably good photo for 1910 and shows Lester Bishop, a cousin to George’s mother, standing in the rear to your right. Young Lester, born in 1899, had an early and sad ending, we’re sorry to say. A mere eight years after this newsboy photo, Lester died from wounds received at the battle of Chateau-Thierry, France in World War I.

George included some photos of Les with family and friends before shipping out to France. Included was this one of Les and his parents in a fancy automobile. “Lester was honored,” George writes, “along with another young man as being the first two killed in action from Sutter-Yuba Counties in California” when VFW Post 948 in Marysville was named for them.

Les poses with his parents in an old car
Les Bishop with his parents just before his deployment in World War I.
Courtesy of George Crotts.

Too many wars, too many young lives taken too soon. We’re proud to publish these fine photos in Lester Bishop’s memory.


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  1. Bob McGowan poses an interesting question: when did the era of door-to-door Post magazine selling end? We’ve heard from several former newsboys and girls (search for “newsboy” to see another article) but we’re not sure how long kids sold the magazines. Anyone out there have an idea?

    Diana Denny
    [email protected]

  2. My own recollection was not of seeking subscriptions to the Post, but selling copies of it once a week. I was given a white canvas bag and, once a week, a package of magazines would be delivered to my house. I had to trudge around and impose on my parents’ friends, getting them to buy the magazine.

  3. I think the stories and memories of the POST boys and girls is extremely fascinating and hope to read more in future POST Saturday e-mails. I did have a question though, and that would be when did the era of door to door POST magazine selling end?

    I suspect it may have been a casualty of the ending of World War ll; possibly 1945 or thereabouts? The old POST was published through the end of 1968 (only 2 in ’69), so maybe I’m wrong. I was both 10 & 11 in ’68 and wonder if I could have been a ‘POST boy’ myself, even if I would have been in the last group!


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