Los Alamitos Post Office
(February 8, 1897 – )
Los Alamitos was a company town, built around Orange County’s first sugar beet factory. The town sprang up almost overnight, and had a post office less than six months after it was born.
John H. Badgley, 1897-1901
John Badgley came to town from Indio at the end of 1896 to serve as agent for the Southern Pacific railroad. “As a recognition of faithful service, the railroad company transferred him here, built a commodious combined station and dwelling house for his occupancy and now [with the arrival of his family] he will have plenty of help in the different departments under his charge, passenger and freight business, telegraph, express and post office (?).” (L.A. Herald, 1-17-1897) The question mark was because the post office had not yet been established. It came along a few weeks later. That summer, Badgley was one of the incorporators of the Los Alamitos Improvement Co., which was “organized to do a general merchandise business” and sell real estate. Badgley continued to work for the SP after leaving Los Alamitos, and in 1905 was stationed in Anaheim.
David J. Parker, 1901-1905
Parker may have been a local storekeeper. In 1901 the Santa Ana Blade reported the post office was in “Barber’s store” (perhaps an error for Parker?).
Charles B. Scott, 1905-1906
George N. Watts, 1906-1915
George Watts was manager of the Los Alamitos Mercantile store and a trustee of the Laurel School District (which served Los Alamitos). He moved to Anaheim in 1929 but his brother, Jim Watts, continued to run the store at least on into the 1940s.
Hugh T. O'Connor, 1915-1940
Hugh O’Connor was born in New Orleans in 1865 and “received his education in Ireland, home of his father and in America, home of his mother.” He was a construction engineer and “came to Southern California in 1909 and helped build the old Los Angeles post office. Ready to retire from business life, through a financial investment in Los Alamitos he became interested in that territory and has been there ever since, actively engaged in civic enterprises.” He initially worked as a bookkeeper for one of the local firms but around 1917 opened a grocery store, where the post office was located. He also served as local Justice of the Peace at one time. In a small office like Los Alamitos he was able to survive several changes of administration in Washington. He finally retired in 1940 when he was well into his 70s, “because the growth of the office would in the near future, he thinks, make the work too heavy for his increasing years.” (Register, 5-20-1939, 3-28-40)
Loren R. Cloud, 1940-1945
Loren Cloud had lived in Los Alamitos for a number of years, and served as president of the local chamber of commerce. He topped the list of three candidates who took the civil service exam to replace Hugh O’Connor. “Before the ‘chosen’ [candidate] can be placed on the Senate nomination list, however, the department must obtain a medical certificate, a fingerprint chart, and a personal history sheet.” (Register, 7-24-1939)
Phellis T. Cloud, 1945
Loren Cloud took a leave of absence during World War II and his wife, Phellis (postal records spell in Phillis), was named Acting Postmaster.
Blanche Dunn, 1946-1966
Ben Garden, 1966-1972
Ben Garden had been assistant superintendent of mails at Buena Park before being appointed postmaster. He had a long career with the Post Office Department.
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)