We know that Tucson was once a small town with small-town ways at the same time it had aspirations to bigger things.
One of those small-town benefits would simply be too huge to attempt today. Once upon a time, the Arizona Daily Star regularly printed the names of Tucsonans who had unclaimed mail at the post office. And Santa wasn't on the list.
Perhaps those who read their names in the newspaper were hopeful for a letter from a loved one far away. Some may have been surprised with a marriage proposal or dismayed by the death of a relative. Were some hoping they wouldn't be found at all?
Here is a typical list of those who had mail to claim.
UNCLAIMED LETTERS AT THE POSTOFFICE
List of letters remaining unclaimed and advertised in the Tucson, Ariz., post office for the week endging October 1,1910
Alonbo Simon; Alzamores, Chas.
Basquay F.; Brown J.C.H.; Barn Jerano; Blair, Geo. P.; Brewer,Ed.; Brabo, Andres.
Chico, Francisco; Curtis, Lou.
Herzberg, Nathan; Hanez, Crisoto.
Johnson, H.S; Johnson, William; Jones, G. M.
Leyva, Nafelion; Lopez Camilo.
Munoz, Emillio; Morris, Lafis; Menzies, Harm; Mack, F. W.; Miranda Miguel; Madrill, Arturo; Mayo, Juan.
Purcle, S.; Padilla, Anastacio.
Ruiz, Hermenegildo; Ramires, Gabril.
Smith, Chas. A; Smith, Geo.; Smith, G. L.; Sansedo, Amado; Shuman, C. E.; Squinona, Jose;
Trejo, Lamberto(3); Tabena, Francisco.
Araizo, Sra. Jesusita; Araizo, Sra. D. Versave; Amarias, Sra. Laugia; Agire, Srta. Araguela.
Chavis, Miss Ramona; Cotrero, Sra. Bernardina; Cranz, Sra. Ramona.
Dawson, Mrs. Effa.
Flores, Sra. Manuela.
Garcia, Srta. Ysabel; Gibbs, Mrs. Hinkley, Miss Nellie.
Islas, Sra. Teresa; Islas, Srta. Josefa.
Larriva, Virginia de; Lemon, Miss Mable.
Madonado, Sra. Clenapa; Maldonado, Srta. Josefita; Mendoza, Srta. Belem.
Rojas, Srta. Juana
Sanders, Mrs. M. A. (2) ; San Martin, Sra. Teresa de (2); Salazar, Gertrudis, O.; Sepulveda, Sra. Casimira.
Urlas, Sra. Nicolaza.
Wehmer, Mrs. J. S.
L. C. & Josie, lock box 1436.
Molybdenum Mining Co. of Arizona, Inc.
Perhaps many of these names belonged to new residents who had yet to establish a home, or to some who had moved on and were no longer in Tucson. Sadly, some may have passed from this world.
Of course, the Star no longer prints the names of people with unclaimed mail at the post office, but once or twice a year it has had an insert in the Sunday paper with the names of people with unclaimed money in forgotten bank accounts and such. That might be even more attractive than an unexpected unclaimed letter. The list is always much longer than this one.