Took a Picture...Before Her Feet Were Born

Last fall, upon peeling open the Wilbur Register, my eyes fell upon a photo of the new Wilbur coach, Rob Meline. Rob and his wife Kim have a baby girl named Kristina. Little Kristina has a great-grandmother who is our Rocklyn, Bluestem and Harrington mail carrier. She is one of the few living persons around here that has not found time to retire. As her aging brother, I would like to expose some local historical facts. 

My sister Ethel Peak probably owns the youngest photo that was ever taken of a newborn baby. I believe Rob took a picture of Ethel’s great-granddaughter before her feet were born. Yah, Rob and Kim believe in a natural childbirth system, giving both the opportunity to mold little Kristina into a sweet baby. 

Kristina’s great-granny had a strong desire to carry mail ages ago, when her mail-carrying husband got taken away by a heart attack. Ms. Peak lives in the same house that Guy Bartlett nailed together when he became carrier number one. Since the route was created in 1910, Ethel has carried half of those years. She has added up enough miles to circle the world about 300 times. 

Always talkative, Ethel’s mail-route friends have become her family. So much so that even tempting pension checks have yet to cause her to turn in her ancient mail-bag. 

The Rocklyn mail route has quite an assorted history. When times were hard, anyone that could read or write got to hankering for the job. When an opening developed, some farmers signed up with the idea of junking their farms if they were picked for that noteworthy job. 

When Guy Bartlett retired a sensational event happened. The Post Office appointed a citizen that had adulterous thoughts running through his mind. He would pack his mail bags, kiss his wife bye-bye and start stuffing mail boxes with mail. 

When he reached a certain farm house where an abandoned wife lived, thoughts entered his head like it did King David when he saw Bathsheba. Since the U.S. Post Office didn’t approve of such goings on, his job vanished. That exposure, and later, when the Rocklyn store burned down mysteriously, tarnished Rocklyn’s reputation considerably. 

"A Mail Carrier Is A Great-Grandmother" Kik-Backs, page 51 (home)     (thread)

Ethel Kik Boyk Peak

Postmarked Washington 1971 - Guy Reed Ramsey

Peak, Ethel Kik: "Rocklyn.—Vault interment at Rocklyn Cemetery will follow a funeral for Ethel Emma Louisa Kik Boyk Peak, 90, scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Strate Funeral Home in Davenport. Pastors Barbara Caviezel and Carolyn Krupke will officiate.

She died March 31 in Davenport. Born May 10, 1911, to David and Margaret (Rieker) Kik in Rocklyn, she graduated in 1930 from Davenport High School.

She belonged to the Rocklyn Zion Methodist Church, Rocklyn Homemakers Club, Wilson Grange, American Legion Auxiliary, Davenport Order of Eastern Star, Lincoln County Historical Society and National Rural Letter Carriers Association.

On Nov 5, 1934, she married E Emerson Boyk, the mail carrier to Rocklyn for 20 years, and replaced him six weeks after his death. Consolidation later added the Davenport, Bluestem and Harrington offices to her route, which expanded to 112 miles. She served until her retirement in 1983 at the age of 72.

She married Huston Peak in 1951. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Emerson Boyk in 1946, and Huston Peak in 1997; and a grandson, Jerrod Boyk, in 1985.

She leaves a son, Donald (and Susan Dee) Boyk of Davenport; daughters, Evelyn McNeal of Gig Harbor, WA, and Paultette (and Peter) Meldahl of Kaneohe, Hawaii; 7 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. She also leaves a brother, Walt (and Sugar) Kik of Davenport."

(Davenport Times: 4-04-2002)