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Unread 05-01-2008, 06:27 PM
x1x x1x started this thread
 
Location: My Heart Is In WV
227 posts, read 514,395 times
Reputation: 130
Arrow Kkk In West Virginia

I was wondering if anyone had any information or storys about the KKK in WV?
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Unread 05-01-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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Yes, my nonna said they used to march through the coal camp of Pemberton, WV with their sheets over them. One guy was real short and everyone knew who he was, even with the sheet. Nonna's family were Italian Catholics, and they closed the door and drew the blinds during the marches. This is only a few miles from Crab Orchard, WV, where the good Senator was known to attend Klan rallies. But these West Virginia Klansmen probably just made a fuss, and nothing much seems to have came of it. So I don't think WV has the stain on its reputation like Mississippi. MS and AL have more of a history of savage brutality than WV does.
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Unread 05-01-2008, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
4,879 posts, read 9,760,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x1x View Post
I was wondering if anyone had any information or storys about the KKK in WV?
Why? You lookin' to join?
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Unread 05-01-2008, 06:55 PM
x1x x1x started this thread
 
Location: My Heart Is In WV
227 posts, read 514,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
Why? You lookin' to join?

No, I'm just interested....
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Unread 05-01-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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My mother's people were involved in that organization. I'm not making apologies either but I've tried to find an understanding and motive for their involvement. First of all, they supported the south in the Civil War and they were Democrats and Baptists...I feel all of that had something to do with their belonging to the clan.
My GF was born in 1888...much of West Virginia was lawless at that time and vigilante justice was a rule. Social Codes were determined by the fear of God preached by the churches...and what a person could get away with...if he was less than honest.
My GF was a coal miner...entering the mines at the age of 12...I believe his personal motive for joining was Union involvement and the determination to counter the Italian 'Black Hand Society' the mimiced the clan.

He was a officer of rank in the clan...his coal mine position as 'Fireboss' was a position of influence and prestige and he did that job for 45 years. If leadership positions carry a transference then he was a clan organizer and leader.

He would tell the story of them building his home in 1925. A Sears & Roebuck kit house, delivered by train from Chicago. Cost was $2500. He had the basement foundation laid and 40 workers (members) showed up to build the house...they built it in 5 days and wanted to put the clan insignia in the roof shingles...He declined the offer. He said when they finished he had one keg of 16 p nails and one interior door left over from the build.
He also would speak of the parade in Fairmont in 1926. (No record exists of this event presently) He had a newspaper of that day. 20,000 marchers in white hoods walked 12 abreast...up onto the side walk to intimidate the watchers...The photo is almost 1/2 page and very intimidating....I have no idea what the rally was for...if it was only WV or involved other states as well. The parade lasted over 4 hours.
He belonged to the Odd Fellows Lodge, and I always wondered if that was a front or meeting place for the clan in our area.

A story was always told of an uncle, who as a small boy was waving my GF's robe out the window of an 2 story house in Far##\*%%, WV and yelling to anyone below. My GM saw him and got the items back into the trunk in a hurry...telling the passersby that it was only some bed sheets and Wi%%@#& was only playing a joke.
Those robes were incinerated in the 1960's.

He said it was a necessary evil to keep order. If a man was cheating on his wife or not supporting his family the was given several warnings...usually a bundle of sticks thrown on the porch. If the message was not heeded...the man was whipped...or tarred wth hot tar and feathered with the feathers out of a pillow. A difficult clean to do with the burning of the tar.
In 1959, a negro was hung by someone (it could have possibly been the clan) in the town of XXX. My GF was 71 at that time. I hope he was not involved. The mans crime was co-habitation with a white woman.
Seems so trivial now...shows how far we have come in throwing off hatred and prejudice.

That's almost all that I know...with the exception of one more story.
It was the early 1980's and a small group was porported to exist in the town of M###$$$^^n. It was famous for not having negro's living in its boundaries. A negro was living with the daughter of a city official and a warning was scheduled. The negro had two huge dogs and they were bribed with meat and led away. A cross was set and set afire. The people stayed in their house and no damage was done...other than scaring the wits out of the people and the small children in the home. I think a few shot gun blasts were heard or some dynamite was exploded...what was really crazy was this:
A police officer lived on that same street and got off work at 11:00 pm and drove by the house and never saw a thing...I've asked him about it twice...and he looks at me with the straightest face and says he didn't see a thing...
That couple moved that night.

That area is 'Redneckville' and I'll bet that some holler still holds a get-to-gether once in a while. I'm
sorry to say I have this knowledge of this topic...but it too, is part of the history of this state and its people...the secret part that should be kept secret...
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Unread 05-01-2008, 07:25 PM
x1x x1x started this thread
 
Location: My Heart Is In WV
227 posts, read 514,395 times
Reputation: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kennedy View Post
My mother's people were involved in that organization. I'm not making apologies either but I've tried to find an understanding and motive for their involvement. First of all, they supported the south in the Civil War and they were Democrats and Baptists...I feel all of that had something to do with their belonging to the clan.
My GF was born in 1888...much of West Virginia was lawless at that time and vigilante justice was a rule. Social Codes were determined by the fear of God preached by the churches...and what a person could get away with...if he was less than honest.
My GF was a coal miner...entering the mines at the age of 12...I believe his personal motive for joining was Union involvement and the determination to counter the Italian 'Black Hand Society' the mimiced the clan.

He was a officer of rank in the clan...his coal mine position as 'Fireboss' was a position of influence and prestige and he did that job for 45 years. If leadership positions carry a transference then he was a clan organizer and leader.

He would tell the story of them building his home in 1925. A Sears & Roebuck kit house, delivered by train from Chicago. Cost was $2500. He had the basement foundation laid and 40 workers (members) showed up to build the house...they built it in 5 days and wanted to put the clan insignia in the roof shingles...He declined the offer. He said when they finished he had one keg of 16 p nails and one interior door left over from the build.
He also would speak of the parade in Fairmont in 1926. (No record exists of this event presently) He had a newspaper of that day. 20,000 marchers in white hoods walked 12 abreast...up onto the side walk to intimidate the watchers...The photo is almost 1/2 page and very intimidating....I have no idea what the rally was for...if it was only WV or involved other states as well. The parade lasted over 4 hours.
He belonged to the Odd Fellows Lodge, and I always wondered if that was a front or meeting place for the clan in our area.

A story was always told of an uncle, who as a small boy was waving my GF's robe out the window of an 2 story house in Far##\*%%, WV and yelling to anyone below. My GM saw him and got the items back into the trunk in a hurry...telling the passersby that it was only some bed sheets and Wi%%@#& was only playing a joke.
Those robes were incinerated in the 1960's.

He said it was a necessary evil to keep order. If a man was cheating on his wife or not supporting his family the was given several warnings...usually a bundle of sticks thrown on the porch. If the message was not heeded...the man was whipped...or tarred wth hot tar and feathered with the feathers out of a pillow. A difficult clean to do with the burning of the tar.
In 1959, a negro was hung by someone (it could have possibly been the clan) in the town of XXX. My GF was 71 at that time. I hope he was not involved. The mans crime was co-habitation with a white woman.
Seems so trivial now...shows how far we have come in throwing off hatred and prejudice.

That's almost all that I know...with the exception of one more story.
It was the early 1980's and a small group was porported to exist in the town of M###$$$^^n. It was famous for not having negro's living in its boundaries. A negro was living with the daughter of a city official and a warning was scheduled. The negro had two huge dogs and they were bribed with meat and led away. A cross was set and set afire. The people stayed in their house and no damage was done...other than scaring the wits out of the people and the small children in the home. I think a few shot gun blasts were heard or some dynamite was exploded...what was really crazy was this:
A police officer lived on that same street and got off work at 11:00 pm and drove by the house and never saw a thing...I've asked him about it twice...and he looks at me with the straightest face and says he didn't see a thing...
That couple moved that night.

That area is 'Redneckville' and I'll bet that some holler still holds a get-to-gether once in a while. I'm
sorry to say I have this knowledge of this topic...but it too, is part of the history of this state and its people...the secret part that should be kept secret...

Thank you DK, I thought you would have a good story to tell, I enjoy reading your post's...
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Unread 05-01-2008, 09:53 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
7,913 posts, read 14,755,700 times
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Just look up our dear Senator Byrd...he was the Grand Poba of the KKK way back when...
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Unread 05-02-2008, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
961 posts, read 1,467,516 times
Reputation: 824
Interesting stories, David. My dad told me that my great-grandfather was a high officer in the Cabell County klan. My dad found out when me met an old man who asked him if he was related to William X, and my dad said he was, and the "old boy" told him that it was my great-grandfather who had inducted him into the klan. But all this was news to my dad, so no further stories to tell. Though I don't believe, from what I've read, that the WV klan was as aggressive or dangerous as in the deep South. I remember reading one of the Wayne County newspapers from the mid-20s, and they had an advertisement for the klan picnic, people were invited to attend and bring dishes for pot-luck supper.
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Unread 05-02-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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He has apologized for that part in his life, as did Harry Truman. I'm good with that. People change as they go along...
I wonder if Marmet had Rotary, PTA or Lions Club?
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Unread 05-02-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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This was and still is a 'White...Supremacy Group...similar to being a Nazi. They held down the negro and the Italians because they considered them to be inferior. They had the high ground of power in their day and I'm glad to see that day pass.
The negro was segregated instantly because of his color. The Italian had a different language and some education. He was a threat because of his ability to communicate secretly...outside of the english language. This same trait put the Poles, Russians and other groups in a lower chaste of the coal camps of the 1900's. Remember who brought them here to Wv and why?
We have thrown off the attitudes quicker up here in NCWV because we have mixed with these groups in only two generations. The second world war helped to do that...

I remember a friend...a very learned fellow who has argued law at the Supreme Court saying this a few years ago after lunch.
"The hardest thing about going to school at XXX was never being invited to anyones birthday party...Your family was the only family who ever did that...Why were you different?"
I replied. "My dad set the rules...He told my mother to invite everyone. He said, "I fought with those coloreds in the war, I work with them in the mine...and I hunt with them on the weekends...Invite those kids too."
Now we are old men and women..
I would have been a lessor person if I had never known the friendship of XX and his family. They have been great achievers...role models whose example should be know and followed. They were a family in the very best sense of the word and when I raised my children, I taught them that principle...that we, everywhere, are family too and deserve a certain measure of respect and admiration for the work we do as HUMAN beings...
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