Walt's Mailing Service

We have the means to address your needs!

(509) 924-5939


In 1954, Walt and Elaine Hiatt started Walt’s Mailing Service in the basement of their home to help local businesses. At the time, Walt was working in the mailing room of a local daily newspaper and Elaine was a homemaker. The marriage partnership blossomed into a successful business. In less than three years, Walt was able to quit the newspaper and go into the business full time. Walt handled sales and the actual mailing, while Elaine maintained the mailing lists, the finances and the raising of a daughter and two sons. As more work came in, the kitchen table became too small and there was not enough family to get all the work done.

In those early years the mailing lists were run on a continuous strip of paper and rolled into the shape of a cylinder like adding machine tape. Then using a hand held machine each address was cut and glued to a mailing piece. The labels were first generated from cardboard incased stencils. This process gave way to a metal plate, which in turn was replaced by a machine that copied addresses off of a card similar in size to IBM data cards. These systems seem antiquated by today’s standards, but they were the state of the art in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Collectively four skilled workers could process 9,000 to 10,000 mail pieces an hour. Walt purchased his first automated addressing machine in the late 1960’s and two people were able to process as many as 12,000 pieces per hour.

Before 1980 it became apparent that the computer was going to be a necessity and Walt spent 50,000 of his hard-earned dollars to get 256k worth of processing. In this day and age of PC’s, Megs, Gigs and Tera-bytes, this sounds like an inefficient use of money, but technology has changed a lot since then. It would take that first system virtually all day to process 50,000 records; now one PC can do twice that much in half an hour. Walt’s Mailing Service has remained committed to offering a technological advantage to help service our customer’s ever evolving needs.

Walt and Elaine retired from the business in 1980, leaving the management of the operation in the hands of their two sons, Terry and Fred. Terry had been associated with the business since the early days, but in 2003 he retired. Fred began working full time in 1975. Initially, Fred’s mechanical ingenuity earned Walt’s the reputation of “if anyone can get the job done, its Walt’s.” These days, Fred is still very active within the business and he now serves as President. In carrying on with the family tradition, Fred’s wife and son also work for the company. Besides family, Walt’s Mailing Service employs many dedicated and talented people.

Much has changed since the beginning. One thing that has not, and will not change, is that serving others is the reason Walt and Elaine got into business nearly 60 years ago, and that remains the purpose we adhere to. Our customers have been a part of our history. They not only have provided us opportunities to be of service, but have also helped us grow and gain the abilities to offer a greater variety of services. Click on our services page to see all that we offer.