Theresa Darbyshire, the now-former postmaster of the Mullinville Post Office has been promoted to the postmaster position in Syracuse.
Darbyshire, who was a clerk and carrier for the Greensburg Post Office and had been the Mullinville postmaster since May 1997, accumulated a 25-year postal career in Kiowa County. She had also worked in the Kiowa and Coldwater post offices in various capacities.
“I just wasn’t ready to retire yet,” said Darbyshire. “I didn’t know [I was going to move] until May 9 when my whole life changed.”
Darbyshire, and her position in Mullinville, was affected by recent changes by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
Stemming from the passage of a postal service overhaul bill by the U.S. Senate in April, the postal service began offering early retirement incentives to qualifying postmasters.
Darbyshire opted to fill a vacant postmaster position in Syracuse, rather than accept the $20,000 early retirement bonus. Her and her husband Carl will relocate 150-miles west to Syracuse, a large post office near the Colorado border.
The Syracuse post office had previously been without a postmaster as the USPS allowed postmaster positions to remain unfilled in anticipation of sweep cuts.
Darbyshire said that the Syracuse post office had become a higher ranked office since the USPS rating system changed to reflect sales figures.
Syracuse, the Hamilton County seat, had a 2010 census population of 1,812 persons, and sits along U.S. 50 just north of the Arkansas River.
“It’s been interesting,” laughed Darbyshire when she was asked about her time in Kiowa County. “I was even part of a practical joke between two brothers. It’s definitely been fun.”
Pat Barnes, who served as the Mullinville postmaster relief from 1987-1997, will return to the position beginning in August.
“We’re sad that she is leaving the community,” said Barnes. “All of us are very happy she will be able to continue her career in the postal service but we’re going to miss her.”