Gloryetta Post Office
(August 13, 1915 – April 14, 1936)
Launched as Harbor Post Office (see), after a year it was renamed Gloryetta. “When the office was established a few years ago, the use of the name Delhi was refused because there is another Delhi in California. The name of Harbor was next suggested. That, too, had to be given up, for it looked too much like Harper. Costa Mesa’s name used to be Harper. The post office department asked that three names be submitted and a committee of citizens of Delhi did submit three names. Gloryetta was one of the three, and it was selected.” (Santa Ana Register, 11-7-1923) But the community remained Delhi (pronounced Dell-high, by the way, after the McFadden family’s old home in New York State, not the Indian city). The name change was not reported in the Santa Ana Register until March 7, 1916: “Less than two years ago, the residents here managed after much time and labor to get a post office established with two deliveries daily. The name given to the post office then was Harbor. After a while the postal authorities found fault with the name and changed it to Gloryetta. Many did not admire the change, but patiently bore with it. A little later the patrons were rewarded for [their] patience by the addition of a post office [money] order department and they were thoroughly contented.” Gloryetta was always a small office and struggled to keep a postmaster over the years.
John E. Otto, -1918
John Otto, a local developer and well driller, was the driving force behind the creation of a post office here (see the listing for the Harbor Post Office for more details). He came to the area in 1909, had a store building, and was co-founder of the Gloryetta Water Company, which he sold in 1918, giving up the postmaster job about the same time. He died in Santa Ana in 1942 at the age of 75.
While Otto had the official appointment, it seems that Cyrus K. Richart, who ran the South Santa Ana Mercantile Co. store in Delhi, actually did the work. He is listed as both a grocer and the postmaster in the 1918 city directory. When Irving J. Lippner bought the store that year he considered taking over the extra duties of postmaster but later declined the appointment.
Andrew Gillison, 1918-1921
Instead, Andrew Gillison took the job as postmaster, but later came to regret it. “Gillison became postmaster at Gloryetta, which is the post office at Delhi, three years ago last August. For some time he has been anxious to be relieved of his duties as postmaster,” the Santa Ana Register reported on August 29, 1921. He resigned that same month.
Frank L. Polansky, 1921-1922
Frank Polansky was a rancher near Garden Grove before buying out two of the stores in Delhi in 1920. When he became postmaster the office was moved to his store. He served just 13 months as postmaster.
Edward H. Bercaw, 1922-1923
Edward Bercaw had formerly been the storekeeper and postmaster at El Toro (1904-1909). In 1922 he was running a store in Delhi. He lasted 14 months as postmaster before resigning. He sold the store about that same time.
Olive May (Kincaid) Johnston, 1923-1936
Initially, no one was interested in serving as postmaster in Delhi (the job paid barely $550 a year) and the Gloryetta Post Office was slated to be closed. “Ingloriously, Gloryetta post office will give up the ghost November 15. The office is to be closed. Nobody has been found who wants to be postmaster. The post office has always been in a store. The stores have changed hands once in a while. Most of the storekeepers who have handled the post office have found it a troublesome adjunct. Finally, E.H. Bercaw, storekeeper, declared he wanted nothing more to do with it. He resigned. Twice examinations were called for a successor. Nobody appeared. That’s why Gloryetta’s day at Delhi is done.” (Register, 11-7-1923) But finally Olive Kincaid stepped up and agreed to take the job. In 1929 she married Forrest Johnston, a local chiropractor (but they divorced eight years later). The postmaster’s job was considered a lifetime appointment. “It is a life job because Gloryetta is a fourth class post office, and fourth class postmasters hare appointed direct by the Postmaster General, do not require senatorial confirmation, and are for [an] indefinite term, subject only to removal by the department for cause.” (Register, 12-30-35) But eventually no one – not even Olive Johnston – was willing to take the job and the Gloryetta Post Office officially closed on April 14, 1936. Curiously, the Santa Ana Register reported that Walter W. Gregory was the last postmaster; perhaps he was doing the work while Johnston officially held the appointment.
With the demise of the Gloryetta Post Office that name faded away, but the older name of Delhi is still in use to this day.
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)