Place:Orange, California, United States

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source: Family History Library Catalog


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Orange County is a county in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232, making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and more populous than 21 U.S. states. Its county seat is Santa Ana. It is the second most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. The county's four largest cities by population, Anaheim, Santa Ana (county seat), Irvine, and Huntington Beach, each have a population exceeding 200,000. Several of Orange County's cities are on the Pacific Ocean western coast, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente.

Orange County is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Metropolitan Statistical Area. Thirty-four incorporated towns and cities are in the county; the newest is Aliso Viejo, which was incorporated in 2001. Anaheim was the first city, incorporated in 1870 when the region was still part of neighboring Los Angeles County. Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city with a large downtown central business district (CBD), Orange County has no single major downtown / CBD or dominant urban center. Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and Irvine all have smaller high-rise CBDs, and other, older cities like Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, and Orange have traditional American downtowns without high-rises. The county's northern and central portions are heavily urbanized and fairly dense, despite the prevalence of the single-family home as a dominant land use. Its southern portion is more suburban, with less density and limited urbanization. There are several "edge city"-style developments, such as Irvine Business Center, Newport Center, and South Coast Metro. Orange County is part of the "Tech Coast".

The county is a tourist center, with attractions like Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and several popular beaches along its more than of coastline. Throughout the 20th century and up until 2016, it was known for its political conservatism and for being a bastion for the Republican Party, with a 2005 academic study listing three Orange County cities as among America's 25 most conservative. However, the county's changing demographics have resulted in a shift in political alignments. In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first Democrat since 1936 to carry Orange County in a presidential election and in the 2018 midterm elections the Democratic Party gained control of every Congressional seat in the county.[1][2][3][4]

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Members of the Tongva, Juaneño, and Luiseño Native American groups long inhabited the area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish expedition led by Junipero Serra named the area Valle de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area's first permanent European settlement. Among those who came with Portolá were José Manuel Nieto and José Antonio Yorba. Both these men were given land grants—Rancho Los Nietos and Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, respectively. The Nieto heirs were granted land in 1834. The Nieto ranches were known as Rancho Los Alamitos, Rancho Las Bolsas, and Rancho Los Coyotes. Yorba heirs Bernardo Yorba and Teodosio Yorba were also granted Rancho Cañón de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Canyon Ranch) and Rancho Lomas de Santiago, respectively. Other ranchos in Orange County were granted by the Mexican government during the Mexican period in Alta California.

A severe drought in the 1860s devastated the prevailing industry, cattle ranching, and much land came into the possession of Richard O'Neill, Sr., James Irvine and other land barons. In 1887, silver was discovered in the Santa Ana Mountains, attracting settlers via the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroads.


After several failed attempts in previous sessions, the California legislature passed a bill authorizing the portion of Los Angeles County south of Coyote Creek to hold a referendum on whether to remain part of Los Angeles County or to secede and form a new county to be named “Orange” as directed by the legislature. Such referendum required a 2/3 vote for secession to take place, and subsequently on June 4th, 1889, the residents south of Coyote Creek voted 2,509 to 500 in favor of secession. After such referendum, Los Angeles County filed three lawsuits in the courts to stall and stop the secession from occurring, but such attempts were futile. On July 17, 1889, a second referendum was held south of the Coyote Creek to determine if the county seat of the to-be county to be in either Anaheim or Santa Ana, along with an election for every county officer. In the end, Santa Ana defeated Anaheim in such referendum and elected right leaning officers, with some, including one of the primary lobbyists for the creation of the county, Henry W. Head, elected to the Board of Supervisors while being a member of the Ku Klux Klan (even though “...the Klan wasn't even supposed to exist at this time, with Bedford [ Nathan Bedford Forrest, Grand Wizard of the Klan] having officially told the Klan to disband and burn all belongings.”),[5] with Head’s son, Horace Head, elected as District Attorney of the soon to be county, who was known to, as stated by the OC Weekly, threaten “...any Mexicans who walked in front of their homes with shotguns when not burning crosses on front lawns,” along with Horace Head supporting and defending his fathers affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan. With the referendum taken place, the County of Orange was officially incorporated on August 1st, 1889, as prescribed by state law. Since the date of the incorporation of the county, the only geographical changes to have occurred which affected Orange County was when the County and Los Angeles County agreed to trade land around Coyote Creek to adjust the border of the two counties to conform with city blocks.

The county is said to have been named for the citrus fruit in an attempt to promote immigration by suggesting a semi-tropical paradise–a place where anything could grow.


Other citrus crops, avocados, and oil extraction were also important to the early economy. Orange County benefited from the July 4, 1904 completion of the Pacific Electric Railway, a trolley connecting Los Angeles with Santa Ana and Newport Beach. The link made Orange County an accessible weekend retreat for celebrities of early Hollywood. It was deemed so significant that Pacific City changed its name to Huntington Beach in honor of Henry E. Huntington, president of the Pacific Electric and nephew of Collis Huntington. Transportation further improved with the completion of the State Route and U.S. Route 101 (now mostly Interstate 5) in the 1920s.


Agriculture, such as that involving the boysenberries made famous by Buena Park native Walter Knott, began to decline after World War II. However, the county's prosperity soared during this time. The completion of Interstate 5 in 1954 helped make Orange County a bedroom community for many who moved to Southern California to work in aerospace and manufacturing. Orange County received a further boost in 1955 with the opening of Disneyland.

In 1969, Yorba Linda-born Orange County native Richard Nixon became the 37th President of the United States.

In the 1980s, Orange County had become the second most populous county in California as the population topped two million for the first time.

In 1994, an investment fund meltdown led to the criminal prosecution of treasurer Robert Citron. The county lost at least $1.5 billion through high-risk investments in bonds. The loss was blamed on derivatives by some media reports. On December 6, 1994, the County of Orange declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy,[6] from which it emerged on June 12, 1996. The Orange County bankruptcy was at the time the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.[6]

In recent years, land use conflicts have arisen between established areas in the north and less developed areas in the south. These conflicts have regarded issues such as construction of new toll roads and the repurposing of a decommissioned air base. El Toro Marine Corps Air Station was designated by a voter measure in 1994 to be developed into an international airport to complement the existing John Wayne Airport. But subsequent voter initiatives and court actions have caused the airport plan to be permanently shelved. Instead, it became the Orange County Great Park.

Timeline

Date Event Source
1887 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1889 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1889 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1889 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1889 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1889 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1890 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1890 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1890 13,589
1900 19,696
1910 34,436
1920 61,375
1930 118,674
1940 130,760
1950 216,224
1960 703,925
1970 1,420,386
1980 1,932,709
1990 2,410,556

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Orange County, California, United States

Research Tips


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