OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Perry Woodward, Deputy County Assessor, Failed Supervisorial Candidate

For once, I'll admit ignorance: I have little idea of who Percy Woodward was. I do know that he was a deputy county assessor, and that he was a Klucker from Fullerton. But Woodward was one of the pieces of the puzzle for the Invisible Empire's attempted takeover of Orange County politics in 1924, as he ran for Orange County supervisor without bothering to tell the public he was KKK.

That didn't sit well with Orange County DA Alex P. Nelson, the crusading lawman who more than anyone fought the Klan out of power in OC–but we'll get to that later. For our purposes, we care about Nelson's relationship with Woodward–he outed him and other Klandidates, getting their names from the magical KKK roster list that serves as the basis of this series.

Nelson had possessed the list for at least a year, but had delayed its release until he could confirm all of the men listed were Kluckers. But the rise of Woodward and other candidates alarmed the DA, and he released a partial list to the newspapers at the time, saying it was a way to let voters “intelligently determine whether or not they desire to be ruled by an invisible empire such as the Ku Klux Klan.”

Woodward tried to deflect attention from his membership in the white-supremacist organization, instead proclaiming himself as an ur-Tea Partier. “Some attention should be paid by public officials to the variations in the income of the people and where less is being made by the people less should be spent by officials,” Woodward told the papers, adding his platform was “faith to the people, believing that Honor is more than life and political and official honor should be as highly esteemed as private and personal honor.”

Only for gabachos, of course.

Woodward was thrashed by William Schumacher, and the Klan's attempt to win a supe seat died with it. And the whites-only band played on…

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

Previous entries:

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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