Profiles in OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: John F. Pieper, Tustin Feed Store Owner, Councilmember

It's always a blast to read the polite histories of Orange County and compare them to the true story. Take, for instance, their treatment of Tustin pioneer and former councilmember John F. Pieper, for whom the city's Pieper Lane (in the ritzy Tustin Ranch area) is named.

He ran Pieper's Feed Store from 1918 to the 1950s, a vital component of the small town in the days where its high school's Tillers nickname was more than a remembrance of the old days. The Pieper family remains in the area, with one of his daughters getting called upon during history celebrations to recall the good old days until her passing a couple of years back.

Part of her daddy's days? The Klan.

Pieper must've really believed in the White cause, as the membership roster of the Orange County KKK lists him as the only Tustin resident who ever joined the Invisible Empire. Unlike the cities of Brea or La Habra, joining the Klan wasn't a de facto requirement for doing business in the city. And as previously disclosed in this series, there were dozens of other fraternal organizations around at the time that Pieper could've joined, leading to the conclusion the man was a raving racist. No other way around it–IT'S IN THE MEMBERSHIP FORM, PEOPLE.

Wonder what sort of conversations Pieper had with a young Jimmy “Barefoot Africans” Utt back in the day…do the polite histories mention any of this? Nope–HILARIOUS!

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

Previous entries:

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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