Garden Grove Post Office
(March 16, 1877 – )
The Garden Grove Post Office was established the same year the community got its first general store. But unlike many other small towns, the post office was not located in the store, but in a small building in front of the first postmaster’s house. This building was later moved to the Garden Grove Historical Society’s Stanley-Ware Ranch museum complex where it has been restored.
David W. Webster, 1877-1896
David Webster was the father-in-law of town founder Alonzo G. Cook. He was one of the founders of the Garden Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, a notary public, and served as a justice of the peace for the Westminster Township (which included Garden Grove). He died in 1896 at age 81. “He had served the people of Garden Grove in the capacity of postmaster for twenty-one years [sic – nineteen], the only postmaster that town has ever had. Mr. Webster leaves a widow. The funeral was largely attended.” (L.A. Herald, 5-7-1896)
Elizabeth M. Webster, 1896-1898
Elizabeth Webster would seem to be David Webster’s widow, though he also had a daughter named Elizabeth.
Joseph K. Grigsby, 1898-1903
Jerome Fulsom, 1903-1906
Jerome Fulson (1857-1915) was born in Canada, came to Westminster in 1876 and later became a naturalized citizen. He moved to Garden Grove in 1888, where he worked as a building contractor, served on the school board, and as constable. In 1902, shortly before he was appointed postmaster, he was elected to a single term on the Orange County Board of Supervisors (1903-1906). He ran again unsuccessfully in 1906 and 1910, and in 1911 was appointed a Deputy Sheriff.
William L. Ross, 1906-1908
William Ross came to Garden Grove from Bolsa in 1905 and purchased two small stores which he combined into one. The post office was located in his new store until the beginning of 1908. “The post office has changed location and is about to change hands. For about two years Mr. W.L. Ross has been postmaster. He has now resigned in favor of Mr. W.D. Junkin, who has had previous experience in handling the mails. The office has already been removed to the brick store building on the corner just below. Mr. Ross is still legally postmaster and will be until the resignation is acted upon by the department at Washington. His reason for giving up the office is based on a desire to be out of doors more, which his health seems to demand. Mr. Junkin has been sworn in as clerk and will act in that capacity until his appointment arrives.” (Santa Ana Register, 1-7-1908) Ross moved to Arizona for several years but later returned to Bolsa.
Walter D. Junkin, 1908-1914
Walter Junkin had served as the last postmaster at Bolsa before coming to Garden Grove. He ran stores in both communities.
Frank C. Thompson, 1914-1922
“The appointment of postmaster at Garden Grove is not going to come forth as smoothly as was predicted last week. For a time it looked as though the withdrawal of J.D. Price and George Reyburn in favor of Charles Emerson, a hardware merchant, had settled the matter, but instead of settling it, those withdrawals have only tended to stir the tranquil waters. “Brentlinger of Garden Grove is reported to be after the job, and Frank C. Thompson, another Democrat, is said to have backing for the appointment. Officers of the Democratic Central Committee are up in the air, and they seem to have come to the conclusion that the best thing they can do is to do nothing for a while. It seems that Emerson has lived in the Garden Grove section but a short time, and some of the Democrats favor either Brentlinger or Thompson largely for that reason. Thompson was a central committeeman at Orange for years before he moved to his ranch at Garden Grove five or six years ago.” (Register, 1-13-1914) Thompson previously ran a livery stable in Orange before moving to a ranch near Garden Grove around 1910. His wife, Myrtle, was the sister of Santa Ana Register editor (and future Santa Ana postmaster) Terry Stephenson. Thompson resigned as postmaster in October 1922 and moved to Arizona, where he had lived in the 1890s. He returned to Orange County in 1927. An active Democrat, he managed the Orange office for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 presidential campaign and hoped to be appointed postmaster there two years later – but didn’t get the job.
Mabel A. Head, 1922-1935
Mabel Head does not seem to have been a relative of the pioneer Garden Grove family of the same name. Born in England, her family immigrated to the United States in 1891 and moved to Garden Grove around 1910. She was working for the local post office by 1913 and was named assistant postmaster two years later. At various times she was also assigned to the Anaheim and Santa Ana post offices, and in 1920 was census enumerator for Garden Grove. A Republican, she lost her job as postmaster after Franklin Roosevelt became president but continued working at the Garden Grove Post Office as a clerk until her retirement in 1947. She died in 1960 at age 75.
W. Sinclair Head, 1935-1943
“Clair” Head was a member of Garden Grove’s pioneer Head family – the brother of attorney Horace C. Head. He was born in Garden Grove, graduated from Santa Ana High School (he was considered quite a baseball player in his day), served as a trustee of the Katella Elementary School District in the 1920s, and on the board of directors of the Garden Grove Citrus Association packing house in the 1930s. He disappeared while on a fishing trip to Baja California in April 1943 and was presumed drowned.
Gladys Head, 1943-1946
Gladys Head was the wife of Clair Head and became postmaster after his disappearance. She had served as principal of the Orangethorpe Elementary School in the 1930s.
Helen H. Pinkham, 1946-1948 (Acting Postmaster)
James C. Wallace, 1948-1972
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)