Appalachia, Billy Sunday, Charleston, history, Island Creek, Ku Klux Klan, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mud Fork, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about the Ku Klux Klan in Logan County in 1922:
Has Logan An Organization of the Ku Klux Klan in her Midst?
Mysterious Fire Surrounded by Many Figures in Long Flowing Robes Observed
JUNCTION OF MUD FORK AND ISLAND CREEK ASSEMBLY SPOT
Ceremony Lasted Until Midnight, When Fiery Red Cross Was Raised and the Crowd Left
Has Logan a Ku Klux Klan?
Wednesday night a bright fire was observed on the mountain at the junction of Mud Fork and Island Creek, around which the figures of many beings were assembled. Many people that observed the fire made a closer inspection and they witnessed a secret meeting around a large, brightly burning fire, in which 60 or more figures dressed in long, flowing white robes participated. In the circle formed by these people could be observed the figure of the Chief, and the ceremony, while it could not be heard, was beautifully executed as each member arose and in a majestic manner saluted the Chief, and hastened to do his bidding.
The ceremony lasted until the hour of twelve when the fiery red cross was raised and the blazing emblem cast a ghostly shadow throughout the valley beneath. When the names from the flaming symbol had died away the clan evidently dispersed for the fire around which they had been assembled was ____ out and no further signs of the figures could be observed.
The Ku Klux Klan does not signify what the clansmen stood for during the reconstruction period. The Ku Klux Klan in this day assists in maintaining law and order, yet they still stand for supremacy of the white race. Unlawful acts and violence have no place within their councils, yet in their silent way they have a means whereby they are enabled to right wrongs and assist the authorities in maintaining the peace and dignity of the commonwealth. This invisible society is not to be feared by any that are law abiding citizens but to those who are inclined to do those things which are morally wrong yet probably within the law may sometime play host or hostess to a visit from these weird strangers.
Inquiry was made in the city as to whether or not there was a local branch of the Ku Klux Klan here. They are known to exist in many parts of the state and nation for the revival conducted at Charleston by Billy Sunday, which has just closed, was visited by members of the Klan there, who appeared in their weird attire. Of course no one here would speak authoritatively, but one prominent party of the town vouched for the information that they were here and in larger numbers than the public would suspect.
Strange and mysterious lights have been observed high on the peaks of the mountains about our city for some weeks. These lights have a habit of mysteriously appearing and suddenly disappearing. They occur at all hours of the night and in various places. Whether or not these strange lights have any connection with the meeting of Wednesday night is, of course, a matter of conjecture. However, those who observed the meeting of the Ku Klux Klan are inclined to believe all the lights signify individual members of the council which held forth Wednesday night.
Their future meetings will be observed with interest–if they can be discovered.
Logan (WV) Banner, 14 April 1922
Ku Klux Klan Has Been Organized Here
Organization Which Has Sprung Up So Quietly Within Our Midst Gives Promise of Being Strongest of Any Other Body in the County if Information Gained is True
Perhaps the readers of the Banner were a little doubtful of the authenticity of the statement made in these columns a few weeks ago relative to the presence in Logan county of the Ku Klux Klan. If any doubt existed then it is well to rid your mind of further doubt, for the Ku Klux Klan is here and the organization is not holding “marshmallow roasts” as was thought by a contemporary newspaper.
According to information which we feel is authentic, the second meeting of the Klan was held in this city Wednesday evening at which time the organization was perfected but only those on the inside are aware of the place of the meeting and just what occurred that evening. It is understood leaders were elected and members were made acquainted with the purposes and objects of the organization.
The movement for the organization in this country, while made secretly, spread like wildfire and applications for membership swamped those behind the movement and the Klan now numbers about 500 members, of which it is thought approximately 200 are to be found in the city while the remainder is scattered throughout the county and is composed of the most prominent business and professional men of the Guyan Valley.
The first meeting of the Klan was held a few weeks ago. Since that time the movement has grown with rapidity and it is understood several hundred applications for membership are now on file. New members are being carefully and systematically chosen and the Logan Klan will evidently take first rank with the numerous other Klans found throughout the state.
The Ku Klux Klan movement has met with the endorsement and approval of the most prominent men of the nation. The Rev. Billy Sunday, during his recent revival in Charleston, proudly announced he was a member and many of the Klans throughout the state number among their members, officials, professional men, and others whose moral character and community standing is above reproach.
The greatest secrecy attends all movements of the order and the identity of the members and the place of meeting of the Klan are secrets carefully guarded. secrecy is necessary in view of the old false prejudice against the order in the north, yet since the objects have become nationally known the order is experiencing its greatest growth in northern states. Membership is limited to native born Americans and initiation is open only to those who receive special invitation to join.
The Ku Klux Klan is described as an institution of picked men standing for “Chivalry, Humanity, Justice and Patriotism”; embodying in its genius and principles all that is chivalric in conduct, noble in sentiment, generous in manhood and patriotic in purpose; its peculiar objects being:
First: To protect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless from the indignities, wrongs and outrages of the lawless, the violent and the brutal; to relieve the injured and oppressed; to succor the suffering and unfortunate, especially worthy widows and orphans.
Second: To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and all laws passed in conformity thereto, and to protect the people thereof from all invasion of their rights thereunder from any source whatsoever.
Third: To aid and assist in the execution of all constitutional laws and to preserve the honor and dignity of the state by opposing tyranny, in any and every degree attempted from any and every source whatsoever, by a fearless and faithful administration of justice to promptly meet every behest of duty without fear and without reproach.
Logan (WV) Banner, 12 May 1922