OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Harry E. Inskeep, Fullerton Justice of the Peace

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Good news, all five readers of you: I've finally been able to move out all my Orange County history books from the catacombs into my new office, meaning I now have full access to all sorts of directories and local history books that I can match up with the OC Klan's membership roster from the 1920s! Yay!

This series was easy enough for me as it is based on my knowledge of OC esoterica; now, armed with these books, it'll be like finding pedophiles at a diocese. Take today, for instance, where all I had to do was flip open a book--and there was the name of Harry E. Inskeep.

Inskeep was the justice of the peace for Fullerton in 1919, just as the KKK was ready to exert its influence in Orange County and right before the term of fellow Klukker William French. Wonder how many wrongfully convicted Mexicans Inskeep threw in the slammer during his time as the city's holder of the scales--another project for another year...

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

Previous entries:

Arthur E. Koepsel, Chair of the OC Republican Party Central Committee
Frederick Bastady, Buena Park Citrus Rancher/School Board Member
Charles C. Kinsler, Brea Fire Chief/Clerk/School Board Member/Pioneer
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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13 comments
Glenn Grab
Glenn Grab

hey, crybaby, you probably had relatives who killed Californian Indians, so quit your whining and grow up!!!....you're in the majority now.....it's your turn to oppress people.....do you really think your sissy attitude will win the hearts and minds of anyone?....tell your shrink how hurt you are.....nobody else cares!!!....(actually, he doesn't either, he just takes your money and says what you want to hear)....

junior
junior

In California the KKK worked for political reform. In 1924, the Klan became active in local politics in Anaheim, California. The city had been controlled by an entrenched commercial-civic elite that was mostly German American. The elite gave little support to the prohibition laws--the mayor, for example, had been a saloon keeper. The Klan, led by the minister of the First Christian Church, represented a rising group of politically oriented non-German citizens who had been shut out of influence and who denounced the elite as corrupt, undemocratic and self-serving. Cocoltchos says the Klansmen sought to create a model orderly community. There were about 1200 Klan members in orange County, and Cocoltchos tracked them through local records, comparing them to 300 prominent anti-Klan activists. The economic and occupational profile of the pro and anti-Klan groups shows the two were similar and about equally prosperous. Cocoltchos finds no evidence of status anxiety. The Klansmen were all Protestants, as were most of the antis, but the antis also enlisted many Catholic Germans. The Klansmen had a much higher rate of voting and joining nonpartisan civic groups (such as the Chamber of Commerce) than the others before they joined the Klan, suggesting to Cocoltchos it was a high sense of civic activism that led to joining the KKK in the first place. The Klan easily won the hotly contested local election in Anaheim in April 1924. They systematically fired Catholic city employees and replaced them with Klansmen. The new city council tried to strictly enforce prohibition, and the Klan held large rallies and initiation ceremonies over the summer. The opposition organized, bribed a Klansman for the secret membership list, exposed the Klansmen running in the primaries and defeated most of them. The antis stepped up the campaign in 1925 and succeeded in a hotly contested election in voting to recall the Klansmen who had been elected in April 1924. The Klan in Anaheim quickly collapsed, its newspaper closed after losing a libel suit, and the minister who led the local Klavern moved to Kansas.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K...

tylerh
tylerh

Only five readers, and I still can't get to the top of the list. Oh well, I'll be Numero Uno at something, someday.

junior
junior

"Wonder how many wrongfully convicted Mexicans Inskeep threw in the slammer during his time as the city's holder of the scales .."

Probably not all that many Gus, since the hispanic population of OC was less than 5% at the time.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Only a pathetic man or a racist would try to defend the Klan...so which one is it?

Bill T.
Bill T.

So your ambition is to be first to post a comment with zero content, ok ...

tylerh
tylerh

That isn't very convincing.

Given the effort the expended keeping Mexicans working in the orange groves for lower wages than Irish, there was almost certainly a steady stream of legal harassment directed at Mexicans[*].  A Klucker JP would have fit right in.

Back in my day, (the 70s,  Dallas TX),  blacks made up less than twenty percent of the population, but one hundred per cent of the murderers given the death penalty. The Law in all its majesty commonly focuses on smaller groups with a limited political voice.

[*] what - you think police-endorsed harassment of Mexicans started with the Zoot Suit ?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Try more like 20 percent, at least—but, then again, you've never particularly cared for the truth of anything.

junior
junior

How do you figure that I am defending the 1920's OC KKK by posting word for word from wiki?

You want to make the Klan out as a big fuckin' deal in Orange County for your purposes.  The Klan was a footnote in OC history for a couple of years nearly a hundred years ago.

You don't tell the entire story - you want to associate OC history with the violent hateful despicable KKK of the post Civil War era South - that's not the way it was.

junior
junior

How many Mex's were harvesting crops in 1919 - what percentage?

Where is your evidence - statistics?

junior
junior

I got my 5% figure from the US Census office.

tylerh
tylerh

5% is plenty for Gus's point.

As for references, from  the section "Picking Citrus Fruits" of USDA  Bureau of Plant Industry Bulletin 123 , p 15 (1908) :

" Among the Laborers are found Americans, Japanese, Mexicans, Chinese, and a few other nationalities."

That summary was written by G Harold Powell following a tour of  the Southern Californian orange industry.

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