OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Oswald Richard Meissner, Brea Councilmember

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All good things must eventually pass, and so it came to be that by the end of the 1920s, the power of the Ku Klux Klan in Brea was on the wane. They had a good run, having set up in 1922 as part of the original KKK in Orange County and weathering the jihad that District Attorney Alexander P. Nelson and others waged on them from 1924 through 1926 so they could continue to remain in power right up until 1928. That's when the Klan was able to elect their last councilmember: Oswald Richard Meissner.

Meissner's election showed the power the Klan exerted in Brea even in its death throes--how else can you explain a lonchero as councilman?

The 1930 United States Census lists Meissner as a "lunch-driver," while the membership rolls of the KKK list him simply as a "driver." And while I'm all for the hoi polloi getting elected to office, no way one could get elected in 1920s Orange County unless he had the Klan hookup.

The victory gave the Klan a majority on the Brea council. But Meissner's reign was not long--he served a two-year term and didn't pop up in the council again. It would be the last new Klan member the Kluckers were able to sneak into the chambers, although two other pendejos--Forrest Hurst and John Leuzinger--stayed on for years afterward. After they left, the Klan was no more in Brea, or (cue Oscar Bluth)...were they? Details to come...

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:

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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