OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Jo Lowell, Santa Ana Rancher, Namesake of Street

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Lowell Street in SanTana is one of those fascinating streets that skips across the city's various economic realities. It cuts through the muy muy neighborhoods of Washington Square and Floral Park (where, true to its exclusionary background, they call it Lowell Lane) and shady barrios, single family homes and apartment-filled neighborhoods, bisecting the central part of OC's favorite ciudad but broken up into many different parts. It's named after Jo Lowell, a rancher from the 1920s whose house on 1108 W. Fifth Street still stands, near the present-day Lowell Street.

"An industrious, successful man of comfortable affluence is Jo Lowell, the rancher of 1108 West Fifth Street, Santa Ana, whose modest disposition, despite his useful, influential life, draws to him a circle of devoted friends," reads the intro to his self-bought bio in Samuel Armour's book.

Lowell wrote other nice things about himself, except for what we care about in this column: he was Klan.

I think my favorite Klan members are from SanTana, because you know they're rolling in their graves within nice mausoleums over at Fairhaven Memorial and Santa Ana cemeteries. So here's to you, Jo Lowell: your ranch is now infested with Mexis, and you can't do anything about it from beyond the grave!

"OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members" is an award-winning series examining Orange County's sordid Ku Klux Klan past. Tune in every Monday around 5 p.m. for the latest entry exposing OC's city fathers who were Klan members!

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Previous entries:

A. Verd Napier and James E. Rymer, OC Newspapermen
Walter W. Davis, Health Officer for Brea
Lawrence A. Stevenson, Orange Councilmember
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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What's with all the Hate & bigotry against the Klan?  The Klan is simply just another Masonic Organization.  That's all.  So get over it. 


"Lowell wrote other nice things about himself, except for what we care about in this column: he was Klan." So, how do you know Lowell was a member of the KKK/


"Lowell wrote other nice things about himself, except for what we care about in this column: he was Klan." So, how do you know he was a member of the KKK


Gustavo wrote: “Mentioning that the Klan controlled Anaheim .. is the easy jab people always employ against .. Orange County .. whenever they want to describe us as fundamentally racist. But as I (have previously written) - The Klan's rise in (Orange County) during the 1920s is well-documented--as a stand by good people against racist terror, an easy narrative to write and honor.” So what has changed Gus?


Keep em coming, Gustavo.  Understanding the darker side of OC history helps us understand some of its current problems.  "In this great future you can't forget your past."--B. Marley


Seriously, get over the history of the OC KKK. It's done, it's over. It's blah. Come up with something more original.


"single family homes" now inhabited by 3 families collected pro-rated Section 8 for their US born anchors.


muy muy - Washington Square? I've got a court ordered rehab house on one side and my other neighbor was yelling about the crap he took in the backyard at 6:15 AM Saturday morning.


@GustavoArellano Santa Ana City Council MUST remove the name of the STREET AND SCHOOL!


@GustavoArellano it seems clear that the more sensible approach would have been to list the few founders who WEREN'T KKK members.

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @dbrown Oh, please. Floral Park is Floral Park is Floral Park. Just because some yahoos don't want their Tudors to be associated with ranch homes doesn't change the neighborhood.


 @jesselatour Well, seeing as how these guys were in the 2nd Klan in the 1920s, and OC was hugely prosperous until the early 1990s, it seems pretty impossible they had anything to do with its 'problems'. In fact, the county they created attracted the likes of Klavito's parents. The 'problems' are far more likely the result of way too many such folks being allowed to immigrate. 

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @RustieX I come up with something original every day, son! Have a problem with the Klan series? Complain to the editor...which would be me. AHAHAHAHAHA!

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @jmcguinness Dude, I looked into Washington Square when I had money for half a second; MUY muy muy, although definitely not Floral Park—would never insult ustedes that way haha



 Actually both neighborhoods have their own bylaws, own boards, own budgets, own events.  Has nothing to do with association between neighborhoods who are friendly.  Has to do with you getting it correct for once.  Oh wait, I forgot you don't care about that.


@GustavoArellano It's cagada!

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @dbrown Tomato, tomatoe. It's like that region of the San Fernando Valley that renamed itself to keep their higher property values, as Mike Davis so memorably pointed out in <i>City of Quartz</i>

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