Yorba Linda Post Office
(July 19, 1912 – )
City historian March Butz wrote that, “The very first mail service in Yorba Linda was by rural mail delivery from Fullerton. The settlers put up about twenty mailboxes on Prospect Avenue and went there daily to collect their mail.” Hoyt Corbitt, a pioneer settler, recalled in a 1968 interview: “The first grocery store built in Yorba Linda was just a small, what we called in those years, a California type of building, straight up-and-down boards with battings over the cracks. It was built by Mr. Pullen on the corner of Olinda Street and what is now Imperial Highway. He operated this little country store and also delivered mail which he picked up in Placentia. He had a little system of mailboxes up in one corner of his store where he delivered mail. He was the appointed postmaster – the first postmaster of Yorba Linda, but he didn't stay in Yorba Linda very long. That was the latter part of 1910, as I recall, when he came there. That was the first business in the townsite of Yorba Linda.”
Henry C. Pullen, 1912-1913
As noted above, Henry Pullen had the first store in Yorba Linda around 1910. But there wasn’t much business then and he soon sold out. The post office then moved to the Buckmaster Hardware Store, leading some locals to assume that Joe Buckmaster was actually postmaster. He was not, but his daughter Esther may have been working the window as a clerk.
Lily Ann (Jones) Harris, 1913-1920
In fact, Lily Harris was Yorba Linda’s second postmaster, having previously run a substation in East Los Angeles. In 1917, she and her new husband, George Harris, built a little brick building on Olinda Street for the post office, plus “a store of stationery, dry goods and notions.” The building later became the Yorba Linda Library. Lily Harris was still living in 1970 at age 84.
Carrie J. Drake, 1920-1921
Carrie Drake (d 1936) was active in social affairs in early Yorba Linda and served as first Worthy Matron of the local lodge of the Eastern Star (1917). She served as postmaster only briefly before resigning.
Eldo R. West, 1921
Eldo West (1879-1969) was one of the first settlers in Yorba Linda in 1909. He served only seven months as postmaster before resigning. His daughter, author Jessamyn West, wrote several books based on her Yorba Linda childhood.
Frederic W. Stahler, 1921-1934
Fred Stahler and his wife (who served as his assistant postmaster) lived upstairs over the post office on Main Street. A Republican, he lost his post after Democrat Franklin Roosevelt took over the White House.
Ollye Beard, 1934-1943
Mrs. Beard was active in the PTA and other community organizations.
Maude F. Olsen, 1943-1951
Maude Olsen served on the Orange County Democratic Central Committee – a typical route to becoming a postmaster in the early days.
David W. Cromwell, 1951-1964
“Whit” Cromwell had worked part-time in the post office as a student, when Fred Stahler was postmaster. He went on to serve on the first city council when Yorba Linda was incorporated in 1967 and was the city’s second mayor.
Thanuel O. Spessard, 1964-1965
Thanuel Spessard had previously served as superintendent of the post office on the El Toro MCAS base before becoming acting postmaster in Yorba Linda. He never received a full appointment.
Carl A. Tice, 1965-1986?
Carl Tice (1923-1989) was a World War II veteran and a local avocado grower. Postal Service records online do not list his retirement date, but it was after 1978.
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)