Olive Post Office
(February 2, 1887 – September 29, 1900; December 28, 1900 – October 31, 1963)
It has sometimes been stated that Olive had a post office as early as the 1870s, known as Burruel Point. Actually, the local storekeeper, Desiderio Burruel (a Yorba son-in-law), carried the mail privately from Anaheim, so his customers could pick it up at his store. Although an application for a post office was prepared as early as 1884, there was no official post office here until the town of Olive Heights was laid out during the boom days. “A petition for a new post office at Burrel [sic] Point has met with success, and a post office will soon be in running order there, with L.Z. Huntington as Postmaster. This will accommodate a large number of people and is a move in the right direction.” (L.A. Herald, 2-25-1887) “Our friends at Burrel [sic] Point are to be congratulated on their new post office. It is called Olive, and L.Z. Huntington is P.M. Burrel Point is soon to attain the dignity of a lively town, and will be quite an important station on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. It is a beautiful place, commanding an entrancing view of the valley and ocean, and land in and around it is proving A No. 1. The people up that way are wide-awake, and will ‘keep pace’ with the procession.’” (Orange Tribune, 3-5-1887) The post office was closed briefly after the introduction of rural free delivery in 1900, but quickly re-established. It survived until 1963 when it was reduced to a station of the Orange Post Office.
Lewis Z. Huntington, 1887-1888
L.Z. Huntington (d 1926) had a grocery store here even before the Olive Heights tract was laid out. His daughter, Ada, served as assistant postmaster. He resigned as postmaster to go into the nursery business in Anaheim and later served on the Orange County Horticultural Commission. He was an early booster for planting eucalyptus trees as windbreaks around the orange groves.
William T. Bush, 1888-1890
“Billy” Bush (1861-1917) was the son of pioneer settlers in the Olive area. He briefly ran a grocery store at Olive Heights but was better known as a lawman, serving as a constable (1899-1901) and city marshal (1901-03) for the City of Orange.
James P. Small, 1890-1891
J.P. Small was the bookkeeper for the Olive flour mill at the same time he served as postmaster. He moved in 1894 and later lived in Santa Paula, where he died in 1930 at age 88.
Albert K. Small, 1891-1892
A relative (perhaps the son) of J.P. Small, ran the store in Olive while he was postmaster. He later managed the city water works in Orange then lived for many years in Murrieta.
Warren D. Small, 1892-1895
Warren Small presumably took over the store and got the post office with it. In 1894 he became the Santa Fe agent at Olive and soon after resigned as postmaster.
Frank L. Carr, 1895
Frank Carr was married to one of the Small girls. In later years he worked in the Florida citrus industry.
Theodore Danker, 1895-1896
The Danker family were longtime residents of Olive. In 1895-96, Theodore Danker was running a general store in town.
Alonzo R. Williams, 1896-1897
Alonzo Williams ran both a store and the post office until selling out in the spring of 1897.
Frank E. Upham, 1897-1900; 1900-1906
Frank Upham (d 1910) came to the area from Massachusetts in the 1880s. During his tenure as postmaster the Olive Post Office was briefly closed (Sept-Dec 1900), probably due to the arrival of rural free delivery. Curiously, in 1906 the Fullerton Tribune reported that he was offering the post office for sale (3-22-1906), noting that rural free delivery had seriously cut into the revenue from the local post office – which was the basis for Upham’s salary.
Harrison W. Borden, 1906-1909
Julius W. Kusel, 1909
J.W. Kusel owned a half-interest in the Olive Store. His short tenure as postmaster ended with his death on December 22, 1909.
Andrew M. Lorenzen, 1910-1920
Andrew Lorenzen was J.W. Kusel’s brother-in-law. After his death, he bought out Kusel’s partner, John Baum, and he and his sister, Marie, continued the business as Kusel & Lorenzen. Born in Germany in 1886, he came to the United States as a child and became a citizen in 1914. In 1916 he was one of the founders of First National Bank of Olive. He and his sister sold the store in 1920 and retired from the grocery business.
Leonard G. Holman, 1920-1928
Long Beach merchants L.G. Holman and D.E. Trefy bought the Olive Store in 1920, with Holman serving as manager and taking over as postmaster. In 1923 the store moved from its old location to a new brick business building. “The change … is another [step] in the making of Olive into a newer and more modern community.” (Santa Ana Register, 7-24-1923) Holman also served on the Olive Elementary School Board and the Orange Union High School Board before selling out in 1928.
Myrtle V. (Stinchfield) Tackett, 1928-1931
In 1928 the Olive Store became the Olive Department Store and Myrtle Stinchfield took charge of the dry goods section and the post office. Her father was a real estate agent in Olive. In 1929 she married Gus Tackett, a foreman on the Bixby Ranch. The Tacketts were still living in the area in the 1940s.
Marian A. Cole, 1931-1932
Theodore H. Mieger, 1932-1946
Theodore Mieger ran a meat market adjoining the Olive Department Store. He had been made Deputy Postmaster shortly before his appointment. He was one of the founders of the Olive Improvement Association (the local chamber of commerce) and served as its secretary at one time.
Ella A. (Williams) Dominguez, 1946-1963
Ella Williams married Roger Dominguez in 1947, soon after becoming postmaster. In 1961 the Olive’s brick business block burned and the post office moved to the Santa Fe depot. In 1963, when it became a station of Orange, it moved its current location at 2683 N. Orange-Olive Road, and Ella Dominguez continued as station superintendent.
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)