Yorba Linda ("Beautiful Yorba", in English) is an affluent suburban city in northeastern Orange County, California, approximately northeast of Downtown Santa Ana and southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. Yorba Linda has been identified as one of the richest cities in the U.S. by the U.S. Census Bureau, which shows a median household income of $121,075, higher than any other city in 2006.
As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 65,237. Its most famous resident was Richard Nixon, who was born there; however, his father moved the family away before Yorba Linda incorporated. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is in Yorba Linda.
In 2005, CNN ranked Yorba Linda 21st among the best places in the U.S. to live. In 2008, Yorba Linda ended up 42nd on Money magazine's list of America's best small cities. Similarly, in an article by CNN Money, Yorba Linda was one of the richest U.S. cities and the richest in Orange County as reported by the Census data, showing a median household income of more than $120K: "Among towns of between 65,000 and 250,000 in population, Yorba Linda, California, where six-figure incomes are the rule, had the highest median income at $121,075".
In 1834, Jose Antonio Yorba's most successful son, Bernardo Yorba (after whom the city would later be named), was granted the Rancho Cañón de Santa Ana by Mexican governor José Figueroa. Most of this original land was retained after the Mexican American war in 1848 by descendants of the Yorba family. A portion of the city's land is still owned and developed by descendants of Samuel Kraemer, who acquired it through his marriage to Angelina Yorba, the great-granddaughter of Bernardo Yorba. The site of the Bernardo Yorba Hacienda, referred to as the Don Bernardo Yorba Ranch House Site, is listed as a California Historical Landmark.
Near that same site sits the second oldest private cemetery in the county, the historic Yorba Cemetery. The land was given to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Bernardo in 1858 since Orange County was not established out of Los Angeles County as a separate county until 1889. The cemetery closed in 1939 and was subsequently vandalized; however, in the 1960s, the Orange County Board of Supervisors took possession of the property to repair the damage, and tours are now available one day per month.
A section of the land was sold in 1907 to the Janss Investment Company, which first called the area Yorba Linda, and proceeded to subdivide the land and sell it for agriculture and manufacturing. In 1910, the agricultural aspect of that endeavor materialized, and the first of many lemon and orange groves were planted: at the time, the population was still less than 50. A year later, The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company began serving Yorba Linda, and the first school was constructed.
In 1912, several things happened in Yorba Linda: it received its first post office; the Yorba Linda Citrus Association was founded; the Southern California Edison Company began providing electricity; and the first church was constructed. The area that would later become downtown was also connected to Los Angeles by the Pacific Electric Railway in 1912, primarily for citrus transport.
In 1915, the Susanna Bixby Bryant Ranch house was constructed. It is now a museum and can be toured by the public.
In 1917, the Yorba Linda Star began publication. It has since become an online section of the OC Register. However, a printed version of just the Star still exists and is available at various city buildings free of charge and is delivered to every household in Yorba Linda each Thursday. Moreover, its past articles are available for viewing on microfilm at the Yorba Linda Public Library. In that same year, the first street was paved, Yorba Linda Boulevard.
The small town had grown significantly by the 1960s, with more than 1,000 residents by the 1960 Census, and survived or fought off three annexation considerations or attempts: one by Brea in 1958 and one each by Anaheim and Placentia in 1963. These experiences culminated in incorporation, which occurred in 1967.
In 2007, Yorba Linda High School broke ground after many years of planning.
In November 2008, eastern Yorba Linda suffered from fires that destroyed 113 homes and damaged 50 others. The destruction was due largely to erratic winds causing embers to fly up to half a mile away.