Profiles in OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Earl Sechrist and Burton Young, Brea and Yorba Linda Ministers

All right! Mega-project out of the way, time to return this desmadre to its weekly status! Since I missed last week, this week is another two-fer, from a profession that contributed many members to the Ku Klux Klan's roster in Orange County during the 1920s: Christian ministers.

The Klan was famously anti-Catholic: one of the few actual incidents of terror polite historians have been able to pin on the OC Klan (they're not looking close enough, but that's another blog post...) is their burning of a cross in front of St. Boniface Church at the height of the KKK's power in Anaheim. But hatred toward Catholics didn't translate into bigotry against all Christians, of course.

Indeed, the head of the Anaheim Klavern was the Rev. Leon Myers, head of the First Christian Church in Anaheim. We've previously discussed Samuel Hilgenfeld, who was a minister at Buena Park Congregational Church before founding the Hilgenfeld Mortuary. Add to the list of supposedly holy men who were Klukkers Earl Sechrist and Burton Young of Brea and Yorba Linda, respectively.

Sechrist was the head of the Congregational Church of Brea, and the more outspoken of the two. It was he who addressed a meeting of Klukkers after the Klan staged a raid on alleged bootleggers, the raid that eventually helped lead to the downfall of the hooded pendejos. Young, the minister at First Methodist Church in Yorba Linda, seems to have been just a rank-and-file member of the Invisible Empire--but let's see what the archives have to say soon...just look at what they're unearthing about Schuller!

Tune in every Monday around 5 p.m. for the latest entry exposing Orange County city fathers who were Klan members!

Previous entries:

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


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >