Harper Post Office
(March 25, 1909 – May 11, 1920)
Harper was the original name of what is now the City of Costa Mesa. Both the post office and the community were re-named in 1920 after a public contest to select a new name.
Walter R. Ozment, 1909-1913
Walter Ozment built the first store in Harper in 1908. “Ozment, a public-spirited man, soon decided that the town needed a post office. He circulated a petition and succeeded in establishing the first mail service at Costa Mesa.” (Santa Ana Register, 2-4-1926) Naturally the post office was in his store, and he and his family also lived upstairs. His wife served as assistant postmaster. In 1915 he sold out and moved to Santa Ana, where he ran a store until at least 1930.
Frank W. Garlock, 1913-1914
Frank Garlock previously ran a grocery store in Delhi, which did a big delivery business through the area south of Santa Ana. After he resigned as postmaster he ran a feed store in Santa Ana and later went into the poultry business.
James E. Snow, 1914-1917
James Snow worked for H.O. Garlock in the Harper Store until the beginning of 1917 when the old building (still owned by Walter Ozment) burned. The postmaster job was no plum in those days – in 1915 it paid just $223. Snow later ran a coffee shop in Santa Ana.
Robert W. Binkley, 1917-1920
Henry O. Garlock (Frank’s brother?) was offered the postmaster job, but declined. Instead, Robert Binkley took over both the store and the post office.
Charles W. TeWinkle, 1920
Hardware merchant Charles TeWinkle was serving as postmaster when the Harper Post Office was renamed Costa Mesa. He would later serve as the city’s first mayor (see the Costa Mesa Post Office listing for more details).
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)