Sedan Post Office and Sedan Store

Sedan Postmark 1911 – Fastje Photo Collection

Sedan Post Office

The name of this community was suggested by one of the first settlers, Josie (Maddox) Woosley in 1891. After arriving here as homesteaders from Kansas in covered wagons, Josie and her family named the post office after the county seat the Woosleys and Maddoxes left behind.

Josie and Josh Woosley operated a post office out of their house on land that is now the Landis ranch east of Sedan Road.  Mail was brought by horseback from the Kaiser Half-way House about 1 1/2 miles this side of the present town of Wilsall. Apparently, there weren’t little boxes for each person’s mail. People just came to the house and asked for their mail.

James Woosley served as Postmaster from February 26, 1891 – July 19, 1897.

Allen Woosley carrying the mail, undated photo – Woosley Photo Collection

Josh Woosley served as Postmaster from July 20, 1897 until July 15, 1915, but Josie took care of most of the mail while Josh was out working. If people came for their mail at dinner time, Josh would invite them to stay for dinner.

In 1915 the Sedan Post Office was abandoned when a mail route was established from Wilsall. 

In 1927 Atticus “Ike” Sanders received the appointment to be the rural letter carrier for the Sedan route which he held until 1954. He lived in Wilsall and was said to have delivered love letters for Anita Inabnit and Tim Petterson without stamps.  Pearl D’Ewart said Ike smoked cigars and spoke of receiving her mail with it always smelling of smoke.

Bonnie Fastje said, “When the snow was bad, Ike would put on skis and deliver the mail that way.”

Circa mid to late 1930s Wesley Inabnit’s store served as a mail drop where some Sedan residents picked up their mail.

In 1948 – 1949 Adrian Inabnit was hired to haul mail to and from Sedan on a pack horse when the weather was bad. 

Allen Woosley was also hired to haul mail to Sedan at various times.

1954 Chuck Hewitt took over the rural mail route from Ike Sanders. 

Sedan Store

The Sedan Store building was said to have been moved in on south side of the road near the location of the current Sedan School building, “For it was not there when the Cheese Factory was built (in 1914).”  It had a false square front and a slanting roof porch on it out toward the road. It was not large enough to live in too, and a small building nearby served that purpose.  Joe Webber was the first recorded owner of the store near the Sedan School.

Old Sedan Store – Hendrickson, Jene Photo Collection

Margaret Reynolds was said to have “Worked” at the Sedan Store in the early 1930s. The story goes if there was a horse tied out back you didn’t go in the store…Margaret was otherwise “engaged.”

The store building later served as a home for Velma Riggs and her son Mike Riggs.  Velma lived there until her death in 1953.  The building was on land now owned by Bill & Becky Landis and has since been torn down.

In Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley: A History (1996) Smith notes, “On the outside wall, an unusual exhibit featured an assortment of rabbit ears, strung artistically along wires, collected during periods of heavy jackrabbit habitation when competitions were held. Shooters divided into two groups; hunters who dispatched the most rabbits enjoyed a whiskey party provided by the losing team.”

Old Sedan Store & Jack Rabbit Ears – Hendrickson, Jene Photo Collection

A second store was set up some time after the first one closed.  Circa 1933 – 1935 Wesley Inabnit began work on a long log building large enough to house the store and for the family to live in the back.  The building was built from logs produced from the Inabnit sawmill on Flathead Creek.  The Inabnit’s Store was built almost on the same spot where the first log Sedan School had been on the north side of the road near the Cheese Factory.  “It was tempting for the kids at recess or after school to stop in, as it was right across the road,” as noted in the Sedan Community Club’s.  Country Cookbook: Collections & Recollections of Sedan Community(1989).

Sedan Store, Post Office and Gas Station, 1936, Edith Christie holding Adrian Inabnit – Inabnit, Adrian Photo Collection

Inabnits also put in a gasoline pump since cars were mostly the means of transportation at that time and the store was also a mail drop where some Sedan residents picked up their mail.

Wesley ran the Inabnit Store and gas station and was a “Rawleighman.” A quick search on the internet at yielded this information: The W.T. Rawleigh Company has been a friend of the family since 1889 and today customers around the world continue to rely on our quality products, excellent service, and the exceptional ideals and principles on which the company was founded.  In the 1800s, William Thomas Rawleigh established a goal for himself. With only $15, a borrowed horse, a mortgaged buggy, and four types of “Good Health Products,” he set out determined to become a successful businessman. Rawleigh secured a large number of customers with his dependable service, honest methods, and free trials. He would leave products on “time and trial” knowing that the products would sell themselves.

It is thought that Wesley’s customers ordered soaps, ointments, and salves via catalog there at the Inabnit store. Here is a description of one such product:  Rawleigh Antiseptic Salve is a soothing and lubricating topical remedy used for various conditions. It contains Turpentine and Liquefied Phenol combined in a base of Petrolatum. Rawleigh Antiseptic Salve can be used both on humans and animals.

The store was only in operation about 1 1/2 years circa 1936 & 1937 due to the fact that most customers paid in IOUs. Wesley left Sedan in 1938 to work at the flour mill in Livingston and then to Bozeman before returning to Sedan and purchasing the Clark Place further east on Flathead Creek which included the land where the Sedan Church is 1946.

The Inabnit store building was dismantled and rebuilt by Shorty Faw up in the Flathead Creek area about six miles west of Sedan on Barney Fastje’s Place which was previously known as the Pasco Place near the corner of Fastje and Flathead Creek Roads.