The first Post Office was established in Marceline in 1888. It was originally located where the Gucker Coal Company building now stands on California Street. It relocated five times over the years before permanently settling in its present location in June 1938.
After Walt Disney’s death on December 15, 1966, the citizens of Marceline lobbied the United States Postal Department to issue a commemorative stamp in his honor. Two years later the postal department agreed to issue the stamp. Cities that had ties to Walt Disney vied to be special location for the first day of issue. In addition to Marceline, these were Burbank California, Kansas City Missouri, Anaheim California, and Chicago Illinois. In addition to local school children sending letters to the Post Master General, Walt Disney’s wife Lillian lobbied hard to have Marceline selected. The city eventually chosen was Walt’s hometown of Marceline.
Walt Disney Commemorative Stamp Day took place at the Marceline Post Office on September 11, 1968. It was the biggest event in Marceline history up to that time. In attendance were Disney family members, politicians, foreign representatives from 71 countries, and movie stars. The crowd was said to have been between 8-10,000 people.
The Disney family and other honored guests arrived for the postage stamp ceremonies on the Santa Fe Railway Super Chief renamed the “Walt Disney Special”. Disney family members included Walt’s wife Lillian, his brother Roy and wife Edna, and Walt’s daughters Diane Disney Miller and Sharon Disney Lund and their children.
Also in attendance were Walt Disney Commemorative Stamp designers and artists Paul Wenzel and Disney Legend Bob Moore along with their families. The stamp represents Walt Disney with a line of “it’s a small world”-styled children coming out of a silhouette of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle on the edge of a sphere. The portrait of Walt Disney was illustrated by Paul Wentzel, while the children and the castle were illustrated by Bob Moore.
The celebration included a parade down main street, introductions, and speeches on this most memorable day. A brass plaque at the entrance of the Post Office honors this event.
On November 11, 2003 the United States Congress voted to name the Marceline Post Office in honor of Walt Disney. The dedication of the Walt Disney Post Office took place on August 23, 2004. One interesting event during the dedication that day was the surprise appearance of Mickey Mouse, who came riding up in the back of a mail truck. As part of the ceremony, Mickey planted the Ben Franklin tree that currently grows in front of the Post Office. Ben Franklin was the very first Post Master General and put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system. The Ben Franklin Tree has been extinct in the wild since the early 19th century, but survives as a cultivated ornamental tree.
If you step inside the lobby of the post office, you will see photos celebrating Stamp Day. There is also an enlarged Walt’s commemorative stamp along with Disney Character stamps that were issued for the Walt Disney Post Office dedication.
In the service counter area is a mural commissioned as part of the 1930s Federal Arts Projects and depicts Marceline’s economy of the times. If you’re visiting the Post Office during business hours, you can have your postcards or letters hand-cancelled with Marceline’s one-of-a-kind Disney cancellation.
The plaque out front reads “Commemorative Stamp Honoring Walt Disney, Marceline’s Favorite Son, was Issued From This Post Office September 11, 1968.” On August 23, 2004 the Marceline post office was officially renamed “The Walt Disney Post Office” by the United States Postal Service.