Recently on my Facebook page, one of my amigas--a proud White woman--chimed on my status and repeated the tired truism that Anaheim was THE hotbed of white supremacy in Orange County. Sigh...while the Klan did control the city during the 1920s and gets all the attention in the history books, the Klan's reach and power was much more nefarious and all-encompassing in the cities north of Klanaheim: Fullerton, Brea, and La Habra, places where Klan members openly pursued anti-minority measures (as opposed to Anaheim, which didn't start official discrimination until after the Klan lost its power). It's that trio (and good ol' SanTana) that had the majority of the Klan's members in Orange County, and where their legacies is most felt, Klanaheim be damned. And it's about time the history books get righted, no?
We've already had two pioneer Klan Fullertonians on this list, so time to show La Habra some love. Lucien E. Proud, come on down!
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The above plaque tells most of Proud's story--one of the city's first mayors, a school trustee, and an all-around involved man in the community. Of course, much more illuminating is what's not on the plaque--that La Habra was an officially segregated city during Proud's years in political office, one where Mexicans had to live in run-down citrus camps and where the children attended Mexican-only schools, the type of town where a big-league player like Jesse Flores would only be allowed to live in the gabacho part of town if he played ethnic politics.
This legacy of racism was present at La Habra's beginning. I don't have the report in front of me right now, but more than a few of La Habra's first government officials were proud Kluckers even long after the Orange County Klan lost its cachet. They (Proud included) were the folks who created and enforced such racial realities, who set in motion La Habra's longstanding reputation as a backwards 'burb even to this day. We'll reveal those names later in this series, of course--stay tuned!
Tune in every Monday around 5 p.m. for the latest entry exposing Orange County city fathers who were Klan members!
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