Yorba Linda – Land of Gracious Living
A small city in Orange County, California, with a population of 65,237 (2010), Yorba Linda is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Richard M. Nixon and the home of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Indeed, it is a place that is rich with history. But it is also a city of unusual affluence and a distinguished educational profile.
Early missionaries and Spanish explorers found settlements of Luiseño, Tongva, and Juaneño peoples throughout the coastal region of what is now Orange County. When Spanish land grants were awarded in the early 19th century, José Antonio Yorba was granted a spread of 62,000 acres.
As they farmed their expansive holdings, the Yorba family and other settlers saw periods of boom and bust development. Finally, in 1907, Porfirio Yorba sold the property. The Janss Investment Co. of Los Angeles, envisioning a family community of small farms, subdivided the land and named the town Yorba Linda, after the first family.
Ranch houses and citrus groves proliferated and the Pacific Electric Railroad, connecting Yorba Linda to Los Angeles, assured that growers could get their crops to market. The city continued to thrive through the early part of the 20th century, maintaining its small-town feel. Finally, in the 1960s, the town began to grow in earnest and in 1967 Yorba Linda was incorporated as Orange County’s 25th city.
As the population grew, Yorba Linda and its surrounding Orange County neighbors responded by building a robust service economy and an extensive network of schools. More than 60 high schools, four community colleges, two large state universities, private colleges, and many award-winning schools at every level serve a community with high expectations of its teachers and its children.
In addition to a well-educated population, Yorba Linda has been distinguished as one of the richest U.S. cities and the richest in Orange County (CNN Money) and in 2012 was ranked 42nd on Money magazine’s list of America’s best small cities. It is indeed the “Land of Gracious Living.”