OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Charles C. Kinsler, Brea Fire Chief/Clerk/School Board Member/Pioneer

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Charles C. Kinsler was a lot of things as one of Brea's pioneers. He was a recording judge in the rough-and-tumble oil town, served on the first school board, and also did a stint as the town's clerk-recorder. He was a Mason and the city's first fire chief; he also organized one of the first unions in Orange County, an oil-workers local. He was the first secretary of the Brea Chamber of Commerce and built one of the first houses in the city, a house that still stands. In gratitude for Kinsler's civic interest, Brea named Kinsler Court after Chas.

And Kinsler, like all good pioneers in Brea, was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

"He takes a keen interest in the welfare of Brea," read his purchased, self-written entry in Samuel Armour's History of Orange County series back in the 1920s, "is a dominant factor in its business life, ever on the alert to advance its best interests, and justly enjoys the comforts worthily earned by his labors, and the esteem and respect of his fellow-citizens."

As long as they were white of course, haha.

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

Previous entries:

Alvin L. Hitchcock, Orange County Chief Deputy Clerk
George W. Cullen, Brea Schools Clerk
Walter S. Gregg, County Statistician/Aid Commissioner
Forrest Hurst and Ben Blanchard, Brea Councilmembers
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

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The year is 1924.  A huge banner welcoming members of the KKK stretches across the main road in Anaheim.  The Klan is everywhere.  KKK signs in shop windows afford Klan members a 20% discount.  Autos displaying KKK medalions guarantee protection against speeding tickets and discounts at gas stations.  How did Anaheim come to be a model city for this racist secret society?  What role did the DW Griffth blockbuster movie "Birth of a Nation" play in this scenario?



These articles are interesting, and I think it's important that we know about these people, however..... I must agree with Mitch, they have no meat.  Gus,give us something interesting other than they were Kluks...............


I would like to propose a name change for this bit...

Hear me out its kind along but fitting.

Brea-Olinda residents of the 20's who held trivial public jobs and happened to be closet klan members during a time of nationwide racial segregation but didnt really do anything illegal and are only guilty of bad judgement....WHEW!

Is the barn burner of this series gonna be that the director of public works was a klan member and wouldn't hire Mexicans to scoop horse shit off the dirt roads? 


mitch young
mitch young

Interesting article. You'll notice not only is everyone involved in the pro and anti-Klan factions white, but most have German names. Yet another indication that Klavitos trying to link opposition to the Mexicanification of the US to this ancient history is BS. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the Klan's opposition would be considered 'white supremacist' by today's standards (as would Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and for sure Thomas Jefferson). 


".. they have no meat."

Yeah .. they seem like Kiwanians with a bad attitude.  They didn't like Catholics or Mexicans - or Catholic Mexicans for that matter.  They did not care for the Mexicans coming in who were fleeing from the violence of the Mexican Revolution - sound familiar?


Yeah, because councilmembers and people with streets named after them ain't pioneers...and LOVE how you excuse white supremacy as "bad judgement"—come on, man! Don't get reduced to Mitchie levels of pendejadas...


No direct role - However, Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" presented images that electrified movie goers.  The movie rewrote history, portraying the violent and hideous KKK into the noble defenders of virtue and purity.

Director D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation glorified the original Klan - the second Klan was a formal fraternal organization, with a national and state structure.


mitch young
mitch young

That's pretty much want they were, although 'bad attitude' is subjective. 

And it's news to me that there is a violent Revolution going on in Mexico. 


Context my friend...

Being a closet klanster in the 1920's = Bad Judgement Being affiliated with the klan in 2011 = Ignorant Idiot

One of the flaws with this series is that you haven't take into account the advancement in education and overall increased tolerance and understanding of other races.  You seem to want to hold the subjects of this series to the same standards you would expect of people today and that's just not fair sense of judgement.  Did klan members burn crosses and lynch people.  Yes.  Did any of these klan members do that? Thus far in the series no, but I'm depending you you to tell us if there was. 

Again, I use the same example I used last week. The UCI MSU have affiliated themselves with radical Imams who openly support terrorism.  Yet its not acceptable to refer to the UCI MSU as terrorists... Why not?  I suspect its because we are better educated than that at this point. 100 years ago would have been a different story.  

So far this series has only demonstrated that these guys were KINO (Klan in Name Only). Which tells me they showed bad judgement.  

If you were to out a current council member you could count on me to be right there alongside you calling for a resignation of the Ignorant Idiot.    

mitch young
mitch young

Where's Blackjack Pershing when you need him?


".. it's news to me that there is a violent Revolution going on in Mexico."

I will bet that it is not news to you that there is a violent drug war going on in Mexico.

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