From the Warren Times Mirror, December 1955.
In our first posting for 2018, it was announced that U.S. Postmasters for major American cities would have biographies featured here, the first such inclusion being Indiana's Cecilius Risley Higgins. Nearly a year following Higgins' write-up, Warren, Pennsylvania's Postmaster Brace Sloan Knabenshue receives a long overdue article, and it is worth noting that in addition to his service as postmaster Knabenshue's Warren residency saw him residing just a short drive from where this author currently resides!
A native of West Virginia, Brace Sloan Knabenshue was born on July 13, 1896 in Upshur County, the son of Edward H. and May Knabenshue. The majority of Knabenshue's early life was spent in the state of his birth and is recorded in the 1920 census as a resident of Fork Lick, Webster County, West Virginia. By 1930 Knabenshue was residing in Warren, Pennsylvania and had married to Inez Blair, to whom he was wed until her death in 1966. The couple would remain childless.
Following his resettlement in Warren Knabenshue operated that city's Motor Lighthouse Esso Service station in the 1930 and early 40s. So named to due to a large gas tank shaped like a lighthouse, this curious bit of gas station advertising came from one of Knabenshue's own ideas, noting that "tankage could be put up in this type structure." He would operate the business with a partner, James Chapman, until the latter's death in 1932, and in 1946 the business was turned over to brothers Bill and John Timmis.
In the early 1940s, Brace Knabenshue entered into his first government service role, that of Warren County Rent Director. He remained in that role for an indeterminate length of time and in 1951 was put forward as one of several potential candidates to succeed acting Warren postmaster Paul Gray. Following the narrowing of the candidates, it was Brace Knabenshue whose name was forwarded to President Harry Truman to be nominated, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 20, 1951.
From the Warren Times Mirror, October 1951.
Knabenshue's tenure as postmaster extended until 1965 when he retired after fourteen years. He was widowed a year following his retirement and in 1968 remarried in Palm Beach, Florida. Little else could be located on the remainder of Knabenshue's life, excepting his time as a member of the board of directors of the Warren County Red Cross chapter from 1972-73. Brace Knabenshue died in Orlando, Florida on December 24, 1985, aged 89. A burial location for him remains unknown at this time.