Whittier () is a city in Southern California in Los Angeles County, part of the Gateway Cities. The 14.7-square-mile (38.0 km2) city had 85,331 residents as of the 2010 United States Census, up 1,631 in ten years. Whittier was incorporated in February 1898 and became a charter city in 1955. The city is named for the Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier and is home to Whittier College.
Whittier's roots can be traced to Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto. In 1784, Nieto received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), Rancho Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage settlement in California. The area of Nieto's land grant was reduced in 1790 as the result of a dispute with Mission San Gabriel. Nonetheless, Nieto still had claim to 167,000 acres (680 km2) stretching from the hills north of Whittier, Fullerton, and Brea, south to the Pacific Ocean, and from what is known today as the Los Angeles River east to the Santa Ana River. Nieto built a rancho for his family near Whittier, and purchased cattle and horses for his ranch and also planted cornfields. When Nieto died in 1804, his children inherited their father's property.