OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: William F. Espolt, Jr., La Habra Banker/Citrus Grower
William F. Espolt, Jr. was quite the busy bee in his day. He was the chair of the La Habra Midway Oil Company, which sought out black gold up in them thar hills, and a stockholder in two banks. His father was one of the founders of the La Habra Citrus Assocation, and Billy also followed in daddy's footsteps by becoming a citrus farmer in his own right. Why, he even invented ladders!
"That Mr. Espolt is a man of diversified interests will be seen by his activities since branching out for himself," read his self-submitted bio in Samuel Armor's 1921 mug-shot history, History of Orange County, California. "Although the care of his property consumes much of Mr. Espolt's time he has never been too absorbed with his own interests to forget or neglect his duties as a citizen, and he voices his political opinion through the candidates of the Republican party. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Elks and Odd Fellows of Whittier."
Wonder why Espolt left out his membership in the Klan?
I just realized this, but I haven't given the La Habra part of OC's KKK enouhg love 'round these pages. Fact is, they were nastier than Anaheim's Klan, or even SanTana, although nowhere near the evil exhibited by Fullerton and Brea. Remember that La Habra kept its Mexicans away from everywhere except the orange groves and packing houses, and stay tuned for more details...
Tune in every Monday around 5 p.m. for the latest entry exposing Orange County city fathers who were Klan members!
Perry Woodward, Deputy County Assessor, Failed Supervisorial Candidate
George Annin, Fullerton Police Officer, Councilmember
Harry E. Becker, Mayor of Brea
Francis Allen Kidder, Santa Ana Father and Son
Leslie C. Rogers, Santa Ana City Marshal
Earl Sechrist and Burton Young, Brea and Yorba Linda Ministers
Rollin Marsden and Roy Davis, Fullerton Councilmembers
William French, Fullerton's First Deputy Police Officer
Rudolph Kroener, Co-Owner of Former Gas Station that's Now Orange's Filling Station
William E. Fanning, Brea Schools Pioneer, Namesake of Fanning Elementary
Jesse L. Hunter, San Juan Capistrano Innkeeper, Owner of Mexican Restaurant
John A. Leuzinger, Brea Mayor, Founder of Brea Electric
Newton E. Wray, SanTana Rancher, Failed City Council Candidate
Samuel F. Hilgenfeld, Buena Park Minister, Founder of Anaheim's Hilgenfeld Mortuary
Elmer E. Heidt, OC's First Scout Executive for Orange County Boy Scouts Council
James W. Newell, Fullerton-area Miner/Mason
Garland C. Ross, Santa Ana dentist, batted against Walter Johnson
Ferris F. Kelley, San Juan Capistrano Postmaster
Clyde Fairbairn, Longtime Olive resident/nice guy
Charles McClure, Brea's first police chief
John F. Pieper, Tustin feed-store owner, councilmember
William Starbuck, Fullerton school trustee, druggist
Hoyt Corbit, Yorba Linda pioneer, fan of Richard Nixon
Lucien Proud, La Habra mayor/school trustee
Albert Hetebrink, Fullerton rancher
Henry W. Head, Orange County godfather
Dr. Roy S. Horton and Marshall Keeler, Santa Ana Unified trustees
Sam Jernigan and Jesse Elliott, Orange County sheriffs
Herman Hiltscher, Fullerton bureacrat
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