Fullerton's first beauty queen was May Heaslip, who served as Floral Queen for the city's ten-year anniversary celebrations in 1897. Because Fullerton had no professional photographer, the young women went to Santa Ana for this formal photograph. Seated, bottom row, left to right: Myrtle Lovering, Mary McEachran, Ruth Smith. Seated, second row, left to right: Mable Schulte (Gregory), May Heaslip (Floral Queen), Anna Vail (Gardiner), Eva Lyons (Smith). Standing, left to right, Anna Hansen, Ethel James (Kitching), Grace Smith. This is the only surviving photograph from the 1897 celebration. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library)
This photo shows Ethel Chapman, the daughter of Charles C. Chapman, Fullerton's first mayor, surrounded by her court in October 1905. Miss Chapman was queen of the three-day Carnival of Products held from October 15-17, 1905, in Santa Ana. Queen Ethel the First is considered to be Orange County's first beauty queen. (Photo courtesy of the Anaheim Public Library)
This is the May 1923 May Day Queen and her court at Fullerton Junior College when it was still part of Fullerton Union High School. All of the girls and young women wore white. The queen was selected from the college, but her court included students from the elementary school and high school. (Photo courtesy of the Fullerton College Library Archives)
This is a closer shot of the 1923 May Day Queen, Josephine M. Eseverri (later Josephine M. Lindauer). She would later move to Palm Desert and have three children, Marian, Lucy, and Lloyd. (Photo courtesy of the Fullerton College Library Archives)
With the May Day Queen looking on, female high school and college students perform a dance for a largely male audience. Over 2,000 people would attend the May Fetes. (Photo courtesy of the Fullerton College Library Archives)
This is Ada Williams, then 14, posing with her Miss Florida cup (and other winning cups) in 1927. She always wore pink silk hose, a green swimsuit, matching green shoes, and pearls. One year later, she would be selected Miss Fullerton, representing the city at the annual Valencia Orange Show in Anaheim. Williams would be the most famous beauty queen to come out of Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)
This photo of Ada Williams as Queen of the Valencia Orange Show was published in the May 12, 1928 issue of Mid-Week Pictorial: A National Magazine of News Pictures. For 1928, the orange show theme was China and Chinese culture, linked in some way to the Valencia orange. Fullerton won first place for the design of this booth at the fair.
After her selection as Miss Fullerton in 1928, Ada Williams suggested that she might stay in Fullerton to complete her high school education. She chose instead a movie contract from the Fox Film Corporation, appearing in a number of B movies as either Ada Williams or Ada Ince. This is a movie still of Williams and Rex Bell from Fox Film's Joy Street (1929), one of her early films. Williams played "a member of the young whoopee set" in the movie. (Photo courtesy of Walt Johnson and the Fullerton Public Library)
In 1929, the title of Miss Fullerton went to the girl or young woman who could push or roll a Valencia orange the fastest to the entrance of the 9th annual Valencia Orange Show in Anaheim. Marguerite Kroeger, a Fullerton Junior College freshman, came in with the winning time of 29 minutes and 14 seconds. Kroeger Avenue in Fullerton is named for her family. (Photo courtesy of Walt Johnson and the Fullerton Public Library)
To celebrate the town's fifty year anniversary, Fullerton residents staged celebratory events across the city during 1937. As part of the celebrations, townspeople voted for the Queen of the Golden Jubilee. The contestants' photographs were published in the Fullerton News Tribune. Four co-eds from Fullerton Junior College were nominated, but the selection of Pearl McAulay Phillips as Queen was controversial at the time because she was married.