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Kraemer, the first black families moved to the area.At one time, the City Council even discussed dismantling the Compton Police Department in favor of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in an attempt to exclude blacks from law enforcement jobs.In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of 30 pioneers to the area.These families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California in search of ways to earn a living other than in the rapid exhaustion of gold fields.Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Leland, Downtown Compton, and Richland Farms. Dominguez's name was later applied to the Dominguez Hills community south of Compton.The city is generally a working class city with some middle-class neighborhoods, and is home to a relatively young community, at an average 25 years of age, compared to the American median age of 35 (2010 data). The tree that marked the original northern boundary of the rancho still stands at the corner of Poppy and Short streets.

In the late 1940s, middle class blacks began moving into the area, mostly on the west side. One reason for this was Compton was close to Watts, where there was an established black community.

Originally named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was later called Comptonville.

However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton.

On May 11, 1888 the city of Compton was incorporated with a population of 500 people.

The first City Council meeting was held on May 14, 1888.