SmallTownNews
Westfield postman receives 10-year honor

by Julie Ann Madden

The Akron Hometowner of Akron, Iowa

Being a Westfield rural mail carrier often means more than just delivering letters and packages.

Rural Mail Carrier Joe Toben saved a horse once while delivering mail.

The horse was caught in a fence and its halter was strangling it. When Carla Banks and her sister flagged him down, Toben helped free the horse and get it back on its feet.

Toben began as a part-time substitute mail carrier with the Akron Post Office in 1994. He took postman Keith Swanson's place when necessary.

In 1995, he transferred to the Westfield Post Office, substituting for his father, Marvin Toben.

When his father retired in 1999, Toben was hired as his replacement.

"I learned from the best," said Toben, adding one of the most unusual deliveries he's made was live chicks.

"I enjoy the job, being out and about and seeing what everybody's doing," he said.

"I enjoy imagining how places used to look and what it was like," said Toben about his rural route, "and listening to Cliff (Faust's) stories."

"The Loess Hills is always a nature drive every day," he said. "I see buffalo about every other day or so."

"It's the job for me," he said adding the only thing he doesn't like about the job is coming upon an accident scene. However, his own postal driving record is accident free.

When Toben has finished his day of deliveries, he farms in rural Westfield.

He and his wife, Laura, have three children: Matthew, 12; Scott, 9; and Natalie, 7.



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