OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Arnold F. Peek, Santa Ana Butcher

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When the Brave New Urbanists talk about the good old days of SanTana, the days before Mexicans destroyed the Golden City, they inevitably point to people like Arnold F. Peek.

Like the Brave New Urbanists, he wasn't originally from the area, hailing instead from Kansas. Like the Brave New Urbanists, he appreciated the craft of artisan food, operating the Fourth Street Meat Market in downtown SanTana. Like the Brave New Urbanists, he took an undue interest in the well-being of his new town, participating in many civic causes.

But unlike the Brave New Urbanists, Peek was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Peek would go on to move his meat market to Old Towne Orange, another stuck-in-time county landmark that's rapidly gentrifying. Just a warning, hipster kids: the good old days you so seek for your adopted SanTana were only great for gabachos--and more than a few of you aren't, and most of the rest of you don't like Klukkers. Forward, not backword, ho!

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

Previous entries:

William A. Culp, Brea Schools Board of Trustees President
Harry E. Inskeep, Fullerton Justice of the Peace
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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18 comments
NG Coot
NG Coot

".. the Invisible Empire had launched a violent campaign of cross burnings, death threats and angry rallies in its quest for civic domination and white supremacy."That's it - second paragraph - second sentence - no need to read further; I am calling BULLSHIT!

You have presented no evidence that the OC Klan of the 1920's (actually 1922-25) was on a “quest for white supremacy.” Why would they be on such a quest? The OC population of non-whites at that time was less than 10% in the OC.

What the KKK of 1922-25 OC was about was:1. Supporting Prohibition aggressively2. Hating Catholics3. Political power. The Klan capitalized on genuine discontent through aggressive newspaper criticism of the Anaheim City Council - (sounds like GA would fit right in).4. Business interests - if you didn’t belong to the Klan you didn’t do business with certain people5. They didn’t like unions6. A shoppers discount - 20% off for Klan members7. Protection against speeding tickets8. Did I say hating Catholics?

I will give you this Gustavo; there is no doubt that race played a part in the OC Klan - people were concerned about the influx of Mexicans fleeing the terror of the Mexican Revolution. But this was no “quest for white supremacy” in the OC. The worst event in the OC that you could come up with was “a large rally near a Mexican citrus camp.Before you go calling me a supporter or apologist for the OC KKK, let me say that I completely 110% agree with Alexander P. Nelson’s statement:"In my opinion, the KU KLUX KLAN as an organization is absolutely un-American, and its slogan of 'One Hundred Per Cent American' is absolutely misleading, for the reason that the fundamental principles upon which the KLAN is founded are RACIAL HATRED AND RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY," But your statement that the OC KKK was on a “quest for white supremacy” is also absolutely misleading and is counterproductive towards fostering racial tolerance and understanding.Before you go calling me a supporter or apologist for the OC KKK, let me say that I completely 110% agree with Alexander P. Nelson’s statement:"In my opinion, the KU KLUX KLAN as an organization is absolutely un-American, and its slogan of 'One Hundred Per Cent American' is absolutely misleading, for the reason that the fundamental principles upon which the KLAN is founded are RACIAL HATRED AND RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY," But your statement that the OC KKK was on a “quest for white supremacy” is also absolutely misleading and is counterproductive towards fostering racial tolerance and understanding.

mitch young
mitch young

You know, Klavito, this 'series' might just backfire on you. White progressives are learning first hand the reality of live as a minority among, how shall we say it, less successful groups of people. For instance, Newsweak just had an article about how hipsters -- who unfortunately are now spawning -- are homeschooling  their little darlings rather than have them go to the local PS where they will constitute 10% of the enrollment and compete for teachers time and resources with kids that don't speech English, are at a cognitive disadvantage, are more prone to disrupt class, etc.

It's not such a far cry from 'homeschooling' and the earlier 'charter school movement' to the 'massive resistance' and 'white academies' that Southerners engaged in after Brown v. Board. A few of the hipsters will be intelligent enough to see that. Plus they'll appreciate that a guy who thought that way was into quality meat.

NG Coot
NG Coot

This series is going nowhere Gustavo - it is boring as hell.  All you are doing is naming people who are on a list as belonging to the KKK and trying to associate those people with every hideous vile thing done by the Klan elsewhere - with no evidence that the OC KKK really did much of anything - other than being on a list.

Where is the beef?

NG Coot
NG Coot

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... - So where is the violence, hatred and widespread segregation directed toward people of color?  I don't see it Gustavo - point it out to me, if it existed at the time. 

peter sparks
peter sparks

Gastavo,

Really.? !  ?

 Seems to me your cover is being pulled off by yourself. you must hate yourself for being a mex, or you just hate whites. Then again possibly both.

this whole story line has been beaten to death for fifty plus years along with some people. Its done and over. Have another drink and you will be ok.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I used to get into with Gustavo over this series,  I see it as just dancing on the graves of the long dead who may have worn the uniform, but fell far short of being as viscous as the real klan of the south and midwest.  Its actually interesting that even back as far as the 20s So-Cal residents were already earning the reputation of being softer than the rest of the country. 

It is history and he has the right to present it as such.  I think he could do a better job at giving OC a little credit for advancing as a society. And he will occasionally try to draw parallels that are a bit of a stretch. Gustavo will always go back to pointing out isolated cases that, while pass the racist sniff test, were probably just an exercise of poor judgement, with no malicious racist intent behind them.

Are there still racists in the OC?  Absolutely.  Probably just as many Aryan Brotherhood and Stormfront members in Costa Mesa as there are Reconquistaists in Santa Ana.  Whatever... I don't care about either one. and nor should anyone else.  The greatest weapon to hush either group is not to give them an audience to talk to. 

mitch young
mitch young

One of the biggest pro-segregation voices in the South of the turn of the century (last century) was the editor of 'Progressive Farmer'. Read old American Political Science Association journals and you'll find more than a few articles by Yankees praising segregation as helping to preserve peace between black and white and also giving blacks a 'place of their own'. Woodrow Wilson, progressive reformer and destroyer of the patronage system, took the lead in resegregating Washington. Marcus Garvey, a black man with more than a few schools named after him, was a segregationist who met with the Exalted Cyclops (or whatever) of the KKK about the same era as Klavito's boogeymen lived.

Alan3223
Alan3223

white basher gustavo - talk about hate speach....

Bill T.
Bill T.

Sparks, this comment is better than any defense of the series as to why Gustavo is doing it.

Much revisionist Coot? The evidence has been presented. You are either not aware or have chosen to ignore it, both inexcusable.

NG Coot
NG Coot

Bill T. - What "evidence"??

These people signed up for the KKK of the 1920's OC - which was the 2nd generation of the Klan and was MUCH different than the Klan of the post Civil War South.  Read your history.

Don't just say there is "evidence" and then cite NOTHING - that is not credible.  If there is evidence of violence, hatred and widespread segregation in 1920's OC I want to see it.

Put up or shut up - and that goes for Gustavo as well.

mitch young
mitch young

Not only not against the law, but constitutionally protected free speech.

NG Coot
NG Coot

Found it GA - give me some time to respond.  I think that I am going to have fun with this.  So far just wild-ass uncorroborated statements without evidence - but I will give you the benefit until I am finished reading.

One thing pops out - the OC KKK was NOT about Mex immigrants - it was about political power - prohibition - and anti-catholicism.

Be back soon ........

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Find the recent cover story I did on the subject, apologist. Then apologize to me haha

NG Coot
NG Coot

"They just happened to be held on poor schmuck's lawn down the road."

That would be intimidation and a hate crime.

Private ceremonies which include cross burnings are not against the law.

I am not a KKK supporter or apologist - I despise what the Klan stands for - I just want all of the facts out in the open.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Hey, Gustavo, obviously KKK ceremonies. They just happened to be held on poor schmuck's lawn down the road. Nothing personal, though, just a ceremony.

NG Coot
NG Coot

Were the cross burnings done as intimidation or were they done as part of KKK ceremony?  There is a difference.

Please explain in detail the death threats to the DA and the "menacing" of school children.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Yeah, because cross burnings, death threats to the DA, and menacing schoolchildren mean NOTHING in the world of this Catholic Klan apologist pendejo...

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