• Share:
  • Download/Print:
  • PDF

Ku Klux Klan Tillamook, Oregon Chapter No. 8 records, 1922-1929

Overview of the Collection

Ku Klux Klan, Tillamook
Ku Klux Klan Tillamook, Oregon Chapter No. 8 records
1922-1929 (inclusive)
1.25 linear feet, (1 container)
Collection Number
Bx 046
The Ku Klux Klan, Tillamook Chapter No. 8 was active from 1921 through 1938; its activities were mostly anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic. The collection contains correspondence, minutes, reports, membership lists and paraphernalia, financial records, an account ledger, and costume insignia. Included are some records pertaining to the Klan’s Empire Mutual Life Insurance Company, a national organization.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

After WWI the Ku Klux Klan, which had been largely suppressed since the 1870s, underwent a national resurgence under the leadership of William Joseph Simons. The re-established Klan retained its former goals of white supremacy and sectional patriotism, but added new targets of religious, cultural and social bigotry to its agenda. During the 1920s the Klan grew into the largest anti-Negro, anti-Semitic, anti-Roman Catholic and anti-immigrant organization in the history of the US. This growth reached Oregon in 1921 when out-of-state Klan organizers arrived in Medford and began enrolling members around the state. According to Eckard Vance Toy, “The peak of Klan power in Oregon was reached during 1922 and 1923 when the Klan’s lobbyists and political organization applied continual pressure upon legislative and law enforcement officials. Klan influence was still important during the legislative assemblies of 1925 and 1927, but by then it had lost its hold over the people and even its own members” (Toy 34).

One of the major agenda items adopted by the Oregon Klan was the Compulsory Education Bill of 1922, which required all Oregon children to attend public schools and ordered the closure of all private and parochial schools. Although the bill was passed by popular vote, the US Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1924 and the law never took effect.

Religion dominated the Klan’s activities in Tillamook, although they were opposed by a vocal Roman Catholic minority. Recruits were found among local ministers and members of churches, most notably the Nazarene, Baptist, United Brethren and Christian; and among fraternal organizations including the Masons, the I.O.O.F., and the Elks. Klan membership in the early 1920s peaked at 600 to 800, although at any given time there were rarely more than 200 actively participating members. Nevertheless, from 1922 through 1932, most city, county and state officials from Tillamook were either Klansmen or former Klansmen. The mayor of Tillamook was a Klansman, as was the editor of the Tillamook Headlight; his newspaper often backed Klan positions.

By the end of the 1920s, however, the Tillamook Klan had lost much of its aggressive political power, and had deteriorated into “a social organization on the fringes of respectable fraternalism” (Toy 84). By 1938 the Depression, public disgust at Klan tactics, and lack of substantive issues had combined to render the Oregon Klan all but obsolete.

Work cited: Toy, Eckard Vance Jr. The Ku Klux Klan in Oregon; Its Character and Program. Thesis, M.A. University of Oregon: June 1959.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes correspondence, reports, minutes, membership materials, financial records, an account ledger, and costume insignia of the Ku Klux Klan, Tillamook Chapter No. 8. The majority of the records constitute membership materials and financial documents.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Ku Klux Klan Tillamook, Oregon Chapter No. 8 records, Bx 046, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

InventoryReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 1

Series I:  CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 2
Official correspondence
1 3
General correspondence

Series II:  ReportsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 4
Kligrapp's Quarterly Report 1st
1 5
Kligrapp's Quarterly Report 2nd
1 6
Kligrapp's Quarterly Report 3rd
1 7
Loyalty and Kligrapp's Quarterly Report Blanks

Series III:  MinutesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 8
Minutes (incomplete)

Series IV:  Membership MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 9
Completed Petitions for Membership
1 10
Handwritten Member List
1 11
Membership and Dues records
1 12
Membership Lists and Dues Suspensions
1 13
Suspend Non-Payment List
1 14
Membership Application Blanks
1 15
Krusaders Oath and Loyalty Questionnaire Blanks
1 16-18
Loyalty Questionnaire Blanks
1 19
Membership Data Blanks

Series V:  Financial recordsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 20
Business Bills
1 21
Electric Bills
1 22
Janitorial Work and Maintenance Bills
1 23
Miscellaneous Bills and Receipts
1 24
Paid Stubs
1 25
Klabec's Official Receipts
1 26
Statements of Account
1 27
Deposit Slips
1 28
Voided Checks
February 1924-June 1924
1 29
Voided Checks
June 1924-July 1924
1 30
Voided Checks
January 1925
1 31
Voided Checks
February 1925
1 32
Voided Checks
March 1925
1 33
Voided Checks
April 1925
1 34
Voided Checks
May 1925
1 35
Voided Checks
June 1925
1 36
Voided Checks
July 1925
1 37
Voided Checks
September 1925
1 38
Voided Checks
October 1925
1 39
Voided Checks
November 1925-December 1925
1 40
Voided Checks

Series VI:  MiscellaneousReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 1
Notices and Bulletins
2 2
Empire Mutual Insurance (Insurance Bonds, Application blanks, Receipt, Premium Card)
2 3-4
2 5
Supply Order Blanks

Series VII:  ArtifactsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 1
Costume insignia (two cloth patches and one red silk sash)

Series VIII:  OversizeReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 1
Account Ledger