Great Value for Midway City Landlords
Two miles directly to the east of Midway City was the now-defunct Town of Bolsa, which was established in 1870. Midway City's northern most boundary, Hazard Avenue, is named after the great grandparents of Clyde Hazard: early American pioneers Robert Samuel and Betsy Ann (née White) Hazard, who moved from Hitchcock County, Nebraska with their children to the Westminster district in August 1881 and subsequently purchased forty acres northwest of the Town of Bolsa on February 6, 1882. Ann was a direct descendant of the White family, who relocated to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 on the Mayflower. In 1891, Midway City received its post office from Bolsa. In 1915, one of the top United States poultry judges, W. M. Wise, moved from Michigan to perform breeding and service work for Pacific Southwest Poultry Farm in Midway City. Seven years later, Midway City began to take shape in 1922 when John H. Harper purchased 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land based on the location of a local stagecoach stop and needs of the workers in the Huntington Beach Oil Field located west of the stagecoach stop. Harper subsequently subdivided his land by laying out streets, building sidewalks, and, in 1923, started selling lots. As the Huntington Beach Oil Field expanded, the homes in that area that stood in the path of drawing oil from the ground were physically relocated to Harper's lots in Midway City, which "started Midway City." The area, which now includes four unincorporated anemic sections as a result of annexation for the Westminster business district, is known as Midway City and the largest section looks like a crooked letter "P". Midway City is six miles from Santa Ana, six miles from Huntington Beach, and seven miles from Long Beach, giving rise to the Midway City name. Harper Street, which vertically bisects the largest of the four Midway City section, is named after John Harper.
Prior to 1927, Zenith Corporation manufactured farm implements in Midway City. After learning of American aviator Charles Lindbergh's famed May 20–21, 1927 first solo transatlantic flight via non-stop fixed-wing aircraft flight between America and mainland Europe, Zenith Corporation owners Charles Rocheville and Albin Peterson formed the Zenith Aircraft Corporation. Three months later, by August 1927, Zenith Aircraft Corporation built a huge, lightweight tri-motor aircraft named Schofield Albatross in a hangar/factory at Midway City Airport. To make its maiden flight some time in the fall of 1927, the Albatross, identified as Zenith Albatross Z-12, had an externally braced wing spanning 90-ft and a fuselage designed to carry 14 passengers and baggage at a maximum speed of 100-mph. With no market for the then-largest aircraft in the world, the Zenith Albatross Z-12 eventually was sold to Hollywood and used to represent a crashed Fokker in the 1928 film Conquest directed by filmmaker Roy Del Ruth. Zenith manufactured a second airplane, the Zenith Albatross Z-6, before the 1930s Great Depression affected the corporation and Zenith went back to manufacturing farm equipment in 1932.
In 1928, American aviator Charles Lindbergh and some investors stopped off at Eddie Martin Airport looking for another airfield field in what was to become Midway City to see Zenith's Albatross. That same year, the politically powerful Ladies Social and Civic Club of Midway City built a community clubhouse at the corner of Bolsa Avenue and Monroe Street from land donated by Harper that the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations subsequently used. The proactive women's group, which originally met at John Harper's house and included Harper's wife, also worked to keep out roadhouses and landfills from the Midway City lands. The next year, 1929, the Methodist Episcopal Church's Latin American Mission outreach began holding services and marriage ceremonies in Midway City for Mexican field workers who had come to the area after the end of the Mexican Revolution. In 1932, the Ladies Social and Civic Club of Midway City renamed itself as the Midway City Women's Club. The Long Beach earthquake of March 10, 1933 had such a significant impact on Midway City that it still was a main topic for the residents in August 1933. Three years after renaming itself, in 1935, the club established a Midway City branch of the county library and joined the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The clubhouse for the Midway City Women's Club eventually was moved in 1989 to Leaora L. Blakey Park at 8612 Westminster Boulevard.
In 1936, seven families that made up the Midway City Dairy Association received a loan of seven thousand eight hundred fifty dollars in June from the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal U.S. federal agency that, between April 1935 and December 1936, relocated struggling urban and rural families to communities planned by the federal government. The loan stood out in that it was the first loan by the Resettlement Administration to a self-help cooperative and lead to other cooperatives seeking money from the Resettlement Administration. The seven families used the money to rehabilitate the Midway City Dairy Association: "The plant was immediately renovated, and better equipment procured by trade. Bidding tactics of competitors were studied with all the zeal of poker experts, means of developing consumer cooperative markets were explained, and all plans laid to take full advantage of their new capital and condition as free producers in an open market." In obtaining the loan, Henry Lotz noted, "This Resettlement loan, it's a future to us from the bidding platform for old age labor."
The 1930s also brought additional services to Midway City. The United States Postal Service opened a post office on Jackson Street in 1930. The Midway City Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1935. The Midway City Sanitary District, which presently provides sewer and solid waste services to the residents of Midway City and others in its district, was established in January 1939 when its Governing Board held the first meeting at the Fire Hall in Midway City. The Midway City Volunteer Fire Department received a fire station in 1952—Orange County Fire Authority Station #25—and eventually became a permanent part of Division I of the Orange County Fire Authority. However, after 80 years of operation, by 2011, the Midway City Post Office was identified by the U.S. Postal Service as one of one-hundred twelve California post office locations "that have not seen enough postal customers to generate the revenue necessary to keep them open." In December 2011, the U.S. Postal Service delayed the closure Midway's post office until Congress first pass legislation to overhaul the United States Postal Service.