Profiles In OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: James W. Newell, Fullerton-Area Miner/Mason

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That old-time racism that once marked Fullerton is rearing its ugly head right now over at the Friends for Fullerton's Future blog, in the comments section in a simple post about the future of the Chicano murals near the Lemon Street overpass. Of course! As we've noted before on this blog, Fullerton had a much-more-active, much-nastier Klan than Anaheim, so we might as well add another Fullertonian to the list: James W. Newell.

Both Newell Avenue and Place in Fullerton are named after the man, a jack-of-all-trades who is alternately listed in Orange County directories as a miner, a farmer and a subdivider.

Those same directories also list him with different addresses--Fullerton has the streets named after Newell, but Placentia is where he kept a home, and it was in Yorba Linda that Newell decided to join the Masons, becoming the lodge's first Worshipful Master. What was it about Newell and secret societies?

What else? This James Newell is NOT Iggy Pop. . . .

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

Previous entries:

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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4 comments
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Guest
Guest

Gustavo, why don't you ever mention racist comments made on OC Weekly's site about white people? Why don't you ever try to write a story about white people and Mexicans living harmoniously together? I swear everything I read from you is attempt after attempt to convince people that Orange County is still this "Orange Curtain" filled with white conservatives. Look at Anaheim, dude... look at all of north county. Koreans, Middle Easterners, Mexicans, Vietnamese...Orange County is hardly what it was thirty years ago. As a white female who dates Mexican men, your articles infuriate me; it is chocked full of consistent anti-white undertones and at times just blatant accusations. I was a Journalism major at CSUF a few years ago. I was present for a lecture of yours and I could barely stand to be in the same room with you. Journalists like yourself are exactly what I don't want to be, which is why I had to change paths soon after. I hope one day you find success without capitalizing on racial stereotypes of your OWN people.

909Jeff
909Jeff

How is this guy a Pioneer?

Bill T.
Bill T.

Actually the Free and Accepted Masons are not (technically) a "secret society". Their membership is not particularly hidden, you'll notice that masons and members of related organizations tend to proudly display their membership. If asked, they will tell you they are a mason. If you ask, you can join, the only requirement being a belief in a supreme being. Their secrets are limited to some passwords and some ritual work, in the days before IDs this was the only reliable method of identifying a member you had no personal knowledge of. The KKK is in direct contrast with a membership that is and was a strictly guarded secret, a true secret society. That said, membership in the masons, and I'm sure, the KKK was part of maintenance of the good-old-boy network and strict segregation of the haves and the have-nots.

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