OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Forrest Hurst and Ben Blanchard, Brea Councilmembers

My apologies for missing the entry in this series last week, but I needed to do another post for that day–and why do two posts in one day unless it's timely? This Klan plan, on the other hand, is timeless–and besides, whenever I do miss a week, I come back with a two-fer, which leads us to the cases of Forrest Hurst and Ben Blanchard.

Both of them were councilmembers in the Klan-happy city of Brea (really, who WASN'T Klan in that town during the 1920s and 1930s?). City council records show that Blanchard only served a couple of years on the council–from around 1921 until maybe 1924. Hurst, on the other hand, served for longer than that.


How long I'm not sure, as those records are incomplete. But I do know that Hurst Place is named after him, so Hurst must've been a man of some importance, no?

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

Previous entries:

Evrit S. Boice, La Habra's First Mayor
Morris W. Martenet, Jr., Anaheim Councilmember, Owner of Martenet Hardware
William F. Espolt, Jr., La Habra Banker/Citrus Grower
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

One Reply to “OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Forrest Hurst and Ben Blanchard, Brea Councilmembers”

  1. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Brea was founded by Klansmen but I wouldn’t have imagined that Ben Blanchard was one of them. My parents rented a house from Blanchard in the 40’s. It was on North Orange St next to the Blanchard’s house. He always seemed like a good guy but of course we never talked about the KKK or black people. I do remember that there was a black man who came into town, a shoeshine guy, and that by law he had to leave town at sundown.

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