OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Lawrence A. Stevenson, Orange Councilmember

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The surviving membership roster of the Orange County Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s isn't perfect. There are pages missing, not all the Klukkers have home addresses assigned to them, and some of the names are misspelled--which makes the mystery of finding out which local pioneer was Klan and which merely had someone with the same name in the Invisible Empire but not them that much more difficult.

That's what I had such a hard time positively identifying Lawrence A. Stevenson of Orange as a Ku Klux Klan member.

City directories of the 1920s have him listed as an Orange councilmember and living in the same place--but the official Klan registry doesn't list him but rather an "S.A. Stevenson," and an address. Census records and the city directories list that address as belonging to an "L.A. Stevenson"--Lawrence!--and confirm there weren't any other adult members that might've taken to wearing a white hood in those days.

Plus? I knew the L.A. Stevenson sounded familiar--he wrote a hilarious letter to the Santa Ana Register attacking OC District Attorney Alexander P. Nelson for outing him as a Klan member, to which Nelson wrote a HILARIOUS response. Gotta go back into the salt mines to find that one, which I'll post once I find it...in the meanwhile, Larry, you can run from your Klan past in the afterlife, but you can't hide!

Wait, I just found it: an August 21, 1924 letter to the Orange Daily News. Nelson had just exposed Stevenson as a member of the KKK in the pages of the Santa Ana Register, because Stevenson was running for public office. Stevenson strenuously denied being a member, writing "I demand that he prove his statement that I am now a member of said organization or retract his statement" even as the pendejo admitted that "the Klan, like any other organization, must have some good features or else it would have been a dead issue a long time ago."

Nelson's response? Busted out the same membership roll I have-and Stevenson shut his mouth and lost the election. BURRRRRRN...

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

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Previous entries:

Roscoe Gulick Hewitt, Former Chairman of the OC Republican Party Central Committee
Oswald Richard Meissner, Brea Councilmember
Maurice Enderle, County Assessor
Stanley Edward Goode, Santa Ana Councilmember
Albert Ore, La Habra Pastor
Robert S. Elliott and Dorsey L. Ellis, Santa Ana and Fullerton Police Sergeants
Oliver N. Thornton and James Henry "Harry" Whitaker, Brea and Anaheim Postmasters
Earl L. Matthews, Santa Ana Automotive Electrician Pioneer
Harold S. Twombly, Fullerton Rancher/Black Sheep of Prominent Family
Elvin A. Ames and Osborne Garber, Fullerton and Santa Ana High School Teachers
George Bird and E.P. Rudy, Brea Constable and Marshal
Harry Winchell, Brea's First City Marshal
Charles E. Smith, Brea Justice of the Peace
Earl B. Tozier, Founder of Fullerton High School's Band
Dr. Charles V. Doty, Santa Ana Dentist
Orrin M. Thompson, Fullerton Councilmember
Albert O. Nelson, Placentia Constable
Earl G. Glenn, Santa Ana Postman/Record-Breaking Cyclist
Arnold F. Peek, Santa Ana Butcher
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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6 comments
NG Coot
NG Coot

So the thousands of good Orange County citizen voters who prevented a known member of the KKK from assuming public office deserve no credit?

Carlashworth
Carlashworth

slicing away the implied connection that is rooted in the gut, what is the logical connect between Mexican and no assistance?

Carlashworth
Carlashworth

You would have to contact the ghost writer for gustavo to get that info

Roberto
Roberto

Is the klan list available somewhere the public can access? My ancestors were OC pioneers, but probably too lowly to make your list if they were KKK.

NG Coot
NG Coot

How about some props to the good citizens of Orange County who did not vote to elect a member of the Klan?

Carlashwort
Carlashwort

You make me laugh. This is an improvement and I will follow your sources . Kudos to your assistant.

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