Bolsa Post Office
(February 26, 1886 – October 28, 1891; February 11, 1895 – March 31, 1904)
These dates for the opening and closing of the original Bolsa Post Office are at variance with reports in the newspapers. The Anaheim Gazette does not report the opening of the post office until May 1886. The Westminster Tribune gives two different dates for its closure. On October 24, 1891 they report: “The Bolsa post office closed yesterday, the store having closed and there being no one to accept the responsibility. This will shorten the mail route four miles each trip.” Two weeks later they give the date as October 14th. “The office should have never been opened there in the first place,” the editor noted, “there being but few people who get their mail there.” (Tribune, 11-7-1891) The Santa Ana Daily Evening Blade agreed, reporting on November 14th that “The post office at Bolsa closed to-day after many difficulties, on account of the small amount of mail matter going through that office.” Still, there must have been enough people to justifying re-opening the office four years later. It survived until 1904 when all local mail was handed over to rural free delivery. As the area began to grow in later years, the Westminster Post Office established a Bolsa station in 1971.
John S. Clark, 1886-1889
John Clark (1851-1907) was apparently running the store at Bolsa in the late 1880s. He was also a Southern Methodist minister and ran for State Senate on the Prohibition Party ticket in 1892.
Letitia A. Atkinson, 1889-1891 (resigned)
Francis E. Alexander, 1891
Wylie L. Gaines, 1895-1897
W.L. Gaines was running the Bolsa Store while he served as postmaster. He later lived in Long Beach and in the 1930s was living in Santa Ana.
Leonard W. Head, 1897-1903
Leonard Head was a member of the Garden Grove pioneer family that supplied several Orange County postmasters, though his own appointment was a little complicated: “A strange condition of affairs is said to existing in the mastership of the Bolsa post office. The gentleman who is now officiating as Uncle Sam’s trusted servant in the delivery and reception of mail is said to have never been appointed to the office, either as master or deputy. A few weeks since L.W. Head succeeded Wylie Gaines as one of the two general merchants in that town. Prior to the transfer, so the story goes, Wylie pledged himself to appoint Mr. Head his deputy. The promise was never fulfilled, it is said, and Mr. Head has since performed the duties of the office without let or hindrance. Mr. Head now asks to be his own successor and has a petition out to that effect. Although a Democrat of long standing, he experienced a change of heart and came out like a man for McKinley last fall. Mr. Head has the support of many of the most influential parties of his district. He is a brother of Dr. Head and comes to this county from Los Angeles well recommended and is considered a winner in the race.” (Santa Ana Blade, 9-22-1897) In 1922 he traded his 20-acre ranch at Bolsa for an apartment house in Long Beach where he was still living in 1930.
Walter D. Junkins, 1903-1904
Walter Junkins was running the Bolsa Store in 1903. He later had a store in Smeltzer before moving Garden Grove in 1906 where he also ran a store and served as postmaster.
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)