Cecil Mauldin “Cye” Featherly

Supervisor, First District, Jan. 1949 – Jan. 1968.
Chair of the Board of Supervisors, 1960, 1963, 1968.
Republican from Santa Ana.

Cye Featherly was born on Nov. 25, 1896 in Dillon, Montana. He graduated from business college and from LaSalle Extension University. During World War I, Featherly served with a heavy artillery unit in France. His first government job was as a water commissioner in Beaverhead County, Montana, where he also ran, unsuccessfully, for County Assessor.

When he left Montana in 1922, he planned to stop in California to visit relatives and then continue on to Portland, Oregon. He entered Santa Ana for the first time on Nov. 18, 1922, fell in love with the place, and spent the rest of his life living and working there. He worked for a number of furniture stores before opening Featherly Drapery Shop in 1932. He also served as a sheriff’s deputy for a number of years. Around 1928, he married Susan Helen Smith. He was also involved in the American Legion, the Santa Ana Elk’s Club, the Santa Ana Exchange Club, and many other fraternal, community and charitable organizations.

Featherly ran for Orange County Supervisor for the first time in 1948, and won. He served in that office for 20 years (five terms). While in office, oversaw the growth of the County’s park system, and pushed for a new jail and courthouse. He was also a strong advocate for the County Library system, employee relations and veteran’s issues, and he headed the County’s retirement and law library committees. Serving on the Board throughout the region’s post-war boom, he saw Orange County transformed from agriculture to cities and suburbia.

After Featherly’s retirement as a Supervisor in 1968, he served on a County assessment appeals board until illness forced him to quit. He died on May 5, 1974. Featherly Regional Park was named in his honor.

The papers of C. M. Featherly held by the Orange County Archives include the following:

Correspondence: 1930, 1964-1972. Includes personal, general and retirement-related correspondence.

Photographs: c. 1905-1968. Includes images of award ceremonies, county projects, construction sites, parks, dams and harbors. Also includes family gatherings, vacations and portraits of C. M. Featherly.

Printed Materials: 1918-1974. Includes event programs, brochures, magazines, newspaper clippings, announcement cards, Orange County Employee Association newsletters, and several books.

Monthly Planning Calendars: 1961, 1963-1964.

Recognition of Public Service: Plaques, certificates, awards, and other documents of recognition given to Featherly by various organizations, government bodies and agencies. 1959-1974.

Speeches: 1966-1970.

Memorabilia: 1952-1969 and undated. Includes arm bands, judges’ pins, etc.

Death certificate: May 8, 1974.