OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: George Annin, Fullerton Police Officer, Councilmember

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Given that the Fullerton Police Department's murderous ways are getting mucho coverage this week due to the Kelly Thomas killing, let's turn our attention anew to the department's old days, when it featured many Kluckers among its ranks, Kluckers who were hell-bent on turning Fullerton into a refuge as wonderful as Klanaheim.

One of those KKKers was George Annin, a former Fullerton councilmember in the days when the governing body wasn't filled with Klan members but just regular ol' Mexican-haters. He only served one term, from 1914 to 1916, before returning to his job as a police officer. It's as an officer that, in 1926, Annin participated in a move for Klan power that, while successful in the short run, was one of the last gasps of the Invisible Empire's reign in Orange County.

Two years after the Klan's failed war against Orange County District Attorney Alex P. Nelson, the Fullerton Klan--the most-powerful klavern in the area--tried to take control of its city's government and police department one final time. The Klan and its allies concocted a tale that Fullerton was a bootlegger's paradise, and that two officers (non-Klansman) and the city recorder were actively protecting said bootleggers. The KKK convinced the council to convene a special meeting in which they made their claims. Among those who testified was Annin, who claimed the record wasn't willing to grant search warrants to police officers, something that the city's chief of police disputed.

The council (which had two Klansmen among their ranks) agreed with the Klan's findings, fired the recorder, and tried to clean house at the police department. But the Klan's power play failed, a story we'll save for another time...oh, and while there is an Annin Avenue in Fullerton, it's named after George's non-Klan relatives, not the pendejo.

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

Previous entries:

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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19 comments
909Jeff
909Jeff

"Given that the Fullerton Police Department's murderous ways are getting mucho coverage this week due to the Kelly Thomas killing, let's turn our attention anew to the department's old days, when it featured many Kluckers among its ranks, Kluckers who were hell-bent on turning Fullerton into a refuge as wonderful as Klanaheim"

I'm sorry my memory is all effed up... whats the fullerton officers name that is charged with 2nd degree murder?

Jeff Gallagher
Jeff Gallagher

You haven't lived until you've seen a real, live klan cross burning. 30 years ago, I moved to Alabama with my brother. The klan used to hold their meetings in the field across from his house. It was supposed to be a secret organization but everyone knew who the klansmen were. There are probably more klansman in California than the entire south nowadays.

mitch young
mitch young

Here's Klavito still linking the beating of red-haired white man Kelly Thomas --by a greaser and a wop -- to 'da Klan' of distant past -- even if only subliminally. 

¿Por fin, hombre, no tienes ningún verguenza? 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Cool--now we know that your faux outrage in this case were mere crocodile tears, Armenian genocide denier.

Jeff Gallagher
Jeff Gallagher

Cerillo. And in answer to your ither post, do you think I could possibly make that up?

909Jeff
909Jeff

You cant possibly be serious?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Hey, moron: the Irish are hardly white. Just ask your potato-blighting ancestors.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Not at all,  I just thought it was convenient of you to leave out that it was a Mexican (Ramos) who beat Kelly to death.  

Your words "Given that the Fullerton Police Department's murderous ways are getting mucho coverage this week due to the Kelly Thomas killing" Given the context of the article you are leaving most readers to assume that the majority of Fullerton cops are white therefore those crazy crackers in Fullerton are at it again. But hey,  again, I point out that actual details were never your strong suit

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

Why is it that some asshole people don't like to be reminded of history? Is it that bad fellas? Does it hit the spot? Does it bring shame? Does it underscore reality? Would lube help?

909Jeff
909Jeff

I Had the misfortune of having to live in Tennessee just outside of Memphis as well as Jacksonville Florida and being from OC at the time I was shocked at the blatant and open bigotry.  On levels I had never seen here in southern California. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Bill, The sky is also blue and water is wet... And as usual Gustavo uses his "Journalistic Prowess" to exploit a current event to suit his column. 

mitch young
mitch young

"No shortage of stories in the OCW on perps with latin-based surnames."

For once I agree with Bill T. , whole-heartedly.

Bill T.
Bill T.

More evidence of your selective memory. No shortage of stories in the OCW on perps with latin-based surnames. I just did a quick look, four on the news page.

Carlashworth
Carlashworth

mitch, nice work and thanks for the site to cite for my fellow history majors

mitch young
mitch young

Here's an actual scholarly work on the Klan during the period in question, by the Freakonomics guy--Steve Levitt and a guy named Fryer I don't know. Careful it's a pdf.

http://www.economics.harvard.e...

Here's the abstract

=====The Ku Klux Klan reached its heyday in the mid-1920s, claiming millions of members. In this paper, we analyze the 1920s Klan, those who joined it, and the social and political impact that it had. We utilize a wide range of newly discovered data sources including information from Klan membership roles, applications, robe-order forms, an internal audit of the Klan by Ernst and Ernst, and a census that the Klan conducted after an internal scandal. Combining these sources with data from the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses, we find that individuals who joined the Klan were better educated and more likely to hold professional jobs than the typical American. Surprisingly, we find few tangible social or political impacts of the Klan. ***There is little evidence that the Klan had an effect on black or foreign born residential mobility, or on lynching patterns. Historians have argued that the Klan was successful in getting candidates they favored elected. Statistical analysis, however, suggests that any direct impact of the Klan was likely to be small. Furthermore, those who were elected had little discernible effect on legislation passed. Rather than a terrorist organization, the 1920s Klan is best described as a social organization built through a wildly successful pyramid scheme fueled by an army of highly-incentivized sales agents selling hatred, religious intolerance, and fraternity in a time and place where there was tremendous demand.***====In other words, the 2nd Klan did little harm. No doubt they were 'intolerant' in the sense they didn't like the way the country was changing.

909Jeff
909Jeff

You're response is apropos to the whole point of this series... Reminded of history is completely different than rolling up the history book and swatting us on the nose with it, which certainly is Gustavo's intent.  Is it that Bad?  No! it did happen, these people were here, they were klansters no doubting that.  Does it hit the spot? Does it bring shame? Not in the sense that your hoping.  I feel no white guilt for what some crackers did 100 years ago, just as im sure you feel no Castillian guilt because your great great great great great great great great GrandPapi raped pillaged and decimated entire cultures. Does it underscore reality, I guess if you're buying Gustavo's rhetoric then yes.  Would lube help? I'm not sure ask gustavo since he's the pitcher and you're the catcher. 

mitch young
mitch young

It's the abuse of history we object to. This series has produced little to no evidence of actual wrong doing. Certainly there is no conceivable link between the beating of Kelly Thomas -- a peckerwood looking dude if there ever was one -- and the Fullerton kluxers of nearly century ago.

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