Profiles in OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: John A. Leuzinger, Brea Mayor, Founder of Brea Electric
It is absolutely amazing, if not downright frightening, to see the effects Google has on modern-day reporting. Last year, the Orange County Register ran a story on Brea Electric, one of the oldest businesses in the city. Reporter Lou Ponsi lifted the history of the company wholesale from its website, which states it was founded by F.E. Hurtz and one J.A. Leutinger. The only problem with that is that the founder was actually J.A. LeuZinger, with a z: John A. Leuzinger. And he wasn't just some entrepreneur but rather a former mayor of Brea.
And Leuzinger wasn't just any mayor but rather the Klan mayor of Brea, leading a Klan-majority council.
When the official historians of Orange County decide to get off their orange-crate loving asses and buckle down to right the historical record, their first priority should be getting the Klanaheim label off poor old Anaheim. As I've written before, Anaheim was hardly the worst offender of city fathers being cluckers--hell, it's at least behind La Habra, Fullerton, SanTana, but especially Brea, where the Klan lasted long after the legendary takedown of the OC KKK in 1925, when District Attorney Alex P. Nelson exposed their stupidity and Anaheim voters booted the Klan council out of office.
But four years later, the Klan still ruled Brea. Leuzinger, as mayor, presided over a Klan-majority council, and other key city officials also belonged to the Invisible Empire. Who were they? Details, as always, to come...
Tune in every Monday around 5 p.m. for the latest entry exposing Orange County city fathers who were Klan members!
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