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Yorba Linda

Yorba Linda is an affluent suburban community in Orange CountyCalifornia, approximately 13 miles northeast of Downtown Santa Ana, and 40 miles southeast of Downtown Los Angeles.

As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 58,918. However, more recent development in eastern outskirts and northern hills of Yorba Linda has increased the population to nearly 71,000. One of Yorba Linda’s most famous residents was the late former President Richard Nixon, who was born and raised in the city. Yorba Linda serves as the home of Nixon’s presidential library.

The city was listed by CNN as the 21st best place in the U.S. to live in 2005 [1]. Similarly, in an article by CNN Money, titled “The Richest (and Poorest) Places in the U.S.” Yorba Linda was one of the richest U.S. cities and the second highest in Orange County as reported by the Census data, showing median household income of $109,681.[2]


Yorba Linda, 1920.

This area was the home of the ChumashTongva and Juaneño Indians. In 1769 the Spanish expedition of Gaspar de Portolà passed through that included a soldier named Jose Antonio Yorba. In 1784 Yorba was granted 15 Spanish Leagues of land, that he called “Rancho San Antonio” later, through a family marriage, Yorba granted a parcel to Juan Pablo Grijalva, that became Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana in 1810. In 1834, his third son Don Bernardo Yorba I, 1801-1858 combined his father’s lands with those granted to him by the Mexican provisional Governor José Figueroa, creating one of the greatest ranchos during that time and of that area. Most of this original land was retained after the Mexican American war in 1848 by descendents of the original Yorba family.

A section of the land was sold to the Janss Corporation in 1907, and it proceeded to subdivide the land and sell it for agriculture and manufacturing. It was connected to Los Angeles by the Pacific Electric Railroad. The small town turned into a growing city in the 1960s and after a failed annexation bid by Anaheim in 1963, Yorba Linda incorporated in 1967. The site of the Don Bernardo Yorba Ranchhouse is listed as a California Historical Landmark. A portion of the city’s land is still owned and developed by descendents of Samuel Kraemer, who acquired it through his marriage to Angelina Yorba, the great granddaughter of Don Bernardo Yorba.

U.S. President Richard Nixon was born in Yorba Linda in 1913 and lived there until 1922. His reconstructed home is listed as a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark. Adjacent to this home is the Richard Nixon Library and Museum.

Another early 20th century resident of Yorba Linda was writer Jessamyn West, who was a second cousin to Richard Nixon on her mother’s side of the family. The Wests moved to California from Indiana in 1909 and young Jessamyn attended schools in Yorba Linda and Fullerton. West later authored a number of books and collections of poems, including the 1945 novel The Friendly Persuasion, which was turned into a film, Friendly Persuasion, in 1956, starring Gary CooperDorothy McGuire and Anthony Perkins. A city park named in her honor, Jessamyn West Park on Yorba Linda Boulevard at Club Terrace Drive, is situated on the West family’s former farm property.

CNN Money reports that among towns of between 65,000 and 250,000 in population, Yorba Linda had the highest median income in the United States at $121,075. This Orange County town is considerably wealthier than the city that came in second place, Pleasanton, located in Northern California‘s Bay Area, which had a median income of $105,956.

 Modern Culture

There are no movie theaters in Yorba Linda, yet there are over a dozen religious buildings, including various denominations of Christianity, a Jewish synagogue, and a mosque[citation needed].

Roman Catholic Churches: St. Martin de PorresSt. Clare de AsisYorba Linda Friends Church is the largest Quaker church in the world and their worship center is one of the largest theaters in California, with a capacity of over 3,000[citation needed].


Yorba Linda is located at 33°53′10″N, 117°47′21″W (33.886014, -117.789089)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 51.4 km² (19.9 mi²). 50.2 km² (19.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.3 km² (0.5 mi²) of it (2.47%) is water.


As of the census[4] of 2007, there were 58,918 people, 19,252 households, and 16,094 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,174.4/km² (3,042.3/mi²). There were 19,567 housing units at an average density of 390.0/km² (1,010.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 74.80% White, 1.17% African American, 0.37% Native American, 11.10% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 2.70% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.26% of the population.[1]

There were 19,252 households out of which 44.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.3% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.4% were non-families. 12.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05 and the average family size was 3.35.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $79,593, and the median income for a family was $86,132. Males had a median income of $66,712 versus $41,820 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,173. About 2.5% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.


The Yorba Linda City Council consists of five members elected by the city residents to four-year terms (three term maximum). A city manager is hired by the council to run day-to-day operations of the city. The council annually elects one member to serve as mayor, who presides over council meetings and is the city’s public representative.

Law enforcement is contracted out to the Brea Police Department. In the past, Yorba Linda has been rated one of the safest cities in the United States.

Fire services are provided by the Orange County Fire Authority with three stations located within city limits.

The Yorba Linda Water District is based within the city and provides water services to Yorba Linda and surrounding cities.

State and Federal

In the state legislature Yorba Linda is located in the 29th Senate District, represented by Republican Bob Margett, and in the 72nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Michael D. Duvall. Federally, Yorba Linda is located in California’s 42nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +10[5] and is represented by Republican Gary Miller.


Yorba Linda is part of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. This district is home to nearly 28,000 students[citation needed]. Several schools in the district have received the California Distinguished School award, which is given to schools with qualifying marks in test scores, application, and visitation. The award-winning schools are: Esperanza HighEl Dorado High, Tuffree Middle, Friends Christian Middle School, Bernardo Yorba Middle, Yorba Linda Middle School, Travis Ranch School, Fairmont Elementary,Glenknoll Elementary, Bryant Ranch School, Heritage Oak Private School, Mabel Paine Elementary, Lakeview elementary, Van Buren Elementary, Linda Vista Elementary and Brookhaven Elementary. St. Francis of Assisi School serves as the only Catholic school in the city. Many parents looking for a private school education send their high schoolers to nearby Lutheran High School of Orange County in the city of OrangeServite High School (boys) or Rosary High School (girls) in Anaheim, or Mater Dei High School (co-ed) in Santa Ana. There are no high schools located in Yorba Linda, but at least one public and one private high school are planned to be built by Fall 2009. Most Yorba Linda students attend Esperanza High School in nearby Anaheim. Historically, many students have also attended Troy High School in nearby FullertonValencia High School in neighboring Placentia, and El Dorado High School, also located in Placentia. Montessori Preschools in Yorba Linda: Montessori Academy of Yorba Linda

Notable residents

Current or former Yorba Lindans of note include:

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