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Ku Klux Klan Denies 1922 Table Rock Lynching

A Ku Klux Klan kleagle called on the Ashland Weekly Tidings on March 22, 1922, to refute reports the Klan had anything to do with a “necktie party” the previous week at Table Rock.

The story did not give details of the Table Rock crime, but in those days “necktie party” referred to a hanging or lynching.

The kleagle, H.E. Griffith, also disputed reports the Klan had sent threatening letters to several people in Ashland.  He said the letters did not carry the Klan letterhead, but copies had been turned over to a fingerprint expert for the purpose of “running down the culprits.” 

To quote the Oregon Encyclopedia, in the 1920’s “Racism , religious bigotry, and anti-immigrant sentiments were deeply entrenched in the laws, culture, and social life of Oregon, and few Oregonians questioned the Klan's doctrines of white supremacy, Protestantism, and ‘One-Hundred Per Cent Americanism.’"

In the kleagle’s words, the Klan was a “regular fraternal, patriotic, benevolent order, standing unqualifiedly (for) … Pure Americanism, protection (of) pure womanhood, free speech and press, free public schools, restricted immigration, white supremacy, and law and order.”

Sources:  "K.K.K. Finger Print Expert Works on Threatening Notes." Ashland Weekly Tidings 22 Mar. 1922: 1. Print; Troy, Eckhard. "Ku Klux Klan." The Oregon Encyclopedia. Oregon Historical Society and Portland State University , 2016. Web. 22 Jan. 2016. .

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.