The Klan in Jackson County
CANDIDATE MYERS IS VISITOR HERE
Jefferson Myers, candidate for governor of the Ku Klux Klan, as the Democratic assembly at Portland is known, spent a few hours in Medford between trains Thursday afternoon, shaking hands with acquaintances and posting his cards.
According to Mr. Myers, he has a cinch on the Democratic nomination, for he has all the optimism that goes before the votes are counted with those who believe themselves called upon to run for office.
Mr. Myers left on No. 16 for Salem. He reports that insurgency is rife throughout the state, and predicts the defeat of Republican assembly candidates.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1910, page 8
THE KU KLUX KLAN.
Is the Ku Klux Klan being organized in Oregon? The Portland Telegram says it is. For once we hope the Telegram is wrong.
For Oregon doesn't need the Ku Klux Klan. It needs no secret society to enforce the law, no night riders to terrorize the countryside. Oregon is a law-abiding state and can attend to law violators without extralegal assistance.
The Telegram declares the Ku Klux Klan is devoted to law enforcement, and is merely designed to serve as a burr in the side of law enforcement. Very likely. The purposes of the society are probably above reproach.
But the danger does not lie in the intentions of responsible members of such a society. The danger lies in the secrecy of the organization and the consequent absence of public control. Once allow such an organization full sway, and there is nothing to prevent any sort of outrage being committed in its name. Any group with a grievance, or an old score to settle, can run hog wild, and then cry Ku Klux Klan to hide their tracks.
The Ku Klux Klan has undoubtedly been revived in other states, but it is hard to believe it will make much headway in Oregon or on the Pacific Coast. No possible benefits from such an organization can possibly approach the obvious dangers.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 14, 1921, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
THE KU KLUX IN PORTLAND.What is the matter with the public officials in Portland? Does King Kleagle in his nightshirt strike such terror to their hearts they can not speak?
King Kleagle declares there are certain crimes which do not come under the law, and these crimes will be punished by the Ku Klux Klan. It would seem to be the obvious duty of the law officers of Portland to inquire what these unwritten laws cover, and promptly make the answer known to the public.
For in Oregon the people make their own laws, through properly constituted representatives. If there are crimes which the laws do not cover, the people want to know it, and they can be depended upon to secure such laws at the next meeting of the Portland council, or at the next meeting of the state legislature.
Conditions have scarcely come to such a pass in the Oregon metropolis that the mayor, district attorney, U.S. district attorney and police are powerless to enforce laws now written, or prevent mob rule until they are written.
Why don't the Portland officials say so? There is no objection to another secret society in Oregon or anywhere else, provided such society minds its own business. But the enforcement of laws, written or unwritten, is no secret society's business, but the people's business. And as representatives of the people it is decidedly up to the law officers of Portland to say so.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 4, 1921, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
The formation of the Ku Klux Klan is not having much luck in Oregon, not that the fool ideas it fathers do not appeal, but nobody wants to catch pneumonia running around nights in his shirt tail.'K.K.K.' IN FULL REGALIA AGAIN VISIT PASTOR
Arthur Perry, "Ye Smudge Pot," Medford Mail Tribune, August 15, 1921, page 4
On the West Side, one feature of the Hallowe'en fun was the shoving of Ku Klux Klan notes under the front doors of homes warning the head of the house to leave the city inside of 36 hours under penalty of death to the whole household.
Chief Timothy reports that the pranks were entirely harmless and that no complaints of Hallowe'en trouble were received at police headquarters.
"Hallowe'en Is Observed by Medford Boys," Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1921, page 3
A Pioneer Reminiscence
To the Editor: "She flies with her own wings." This is Oregon's motto, and for over seventy years how grandly has she soared aloft, the pride of we descendants of the pioneers.
But now, her wings broken, her glory dimmed, how can she ever hope to fly above the black clouds of bigotry and ignorance that encompass her.
As I look down over this beautiful valley from my home on the hillside, my thoughts go back to the days so long ago when our pioneer mothers and fathers looked down from the doors of their lonely cabins on this same beautiful valley while the smoke from the Indian camp fires drifted into the sky.
I think of the nights so long ago when the Indian signal fires blazed on the hilltops and the pioneers watched in their darkened cabins, their trusty rifles loaded and ready for the coming of the stealthy foe.
Now all is changed; the sons and daughters of the pioneer father and mothers wait in their beautiful homes, with their trusty rifles loaded and ready, not for the coming of the Indian warriors but for the masked and sheeted hordes of their own countrymen.
And there are people in the Rogue River Valley today who talk of "progress."
But there is this to be said in behalf of Chief John, the great war chief of the Rogue Rivers, and his red-skinned warriors. When they prepared themselves for a raid on the white settlers, they decked their flowing locks with eagles' feathers and smeared their faces with paint--but they never wore masks.
ALICE APPLEGATE SARGENT.Medford Mail Tribune, November 28, 1922, page 4
Jacksonville, Nov. 24.
LOCAL CITIZEN VICTIM OF KU KLUX KLAN
J. F. HALE IS GIVEN NECK TIE PARTY
Masked Men Take Local Citizen to Table Rock--Threaten to Hang Him if He Doesn't Drop Civil Suit and Leave Town--Assumed Fainting Fit Brings Liberty.
Wild rumors began to spread over the city this morning to the effect that J. F. Hale, the former well-known piano merchant, was mysteriously missing after having been called out from his home late last night. By noon these rumors, greatly exaggerated, had assumed a tragic significance and it was even said that Mr. Hale had been murdered, and it began to look as if Medford had on tapis a great murder mystery of national interest.
By noon, however, the rumors had been run down to the bare fact that Hale had been kidnapped from his home, 619 East Main Street, by a local Ku Klux organization, all carefully masked, late last night, and taken to a lonely spot near Table Rock, where with a rope around his neck he was threatened with hanging if he did not drop a lawsuit for money against a Medford man and promise to leave town at once. During this phase of the episode Hale fainted or pretended to, and the Ku Klux raiders were greatly alarmed for a time.
He was finally brought back to the city and allowed his liberty, whereupon he returned to his home at once, where he summoned a physician to attend him. So far as can be learned he suffered no bad effects from his thrilling experience beyond chill and shock. He is in retirement today, presumably at his home. The county authorities were notified during the night by someone and Sheriff Terrill and his men are investigating.
Late last night the Ku Klux organization quietly gathered at a rendezvous on the east side. There were about ten autos of them. One of their number, unmasked, appeared at the Hale home, rang the door bell and informed Hale that he was wanted at the long-distance telephone. The prospective victim unhesitatingly accompanied the man to a waiting automobile in front of the house, ostensibly to take him to answer the phone call.
As he entered the car in which were several masked Ku Klux men a man was placed at his chest, and he was warned under penalty of death to make no outcry or offer any resistance. The car at once started for Table Rock and en route was joined by the other Ku Klux men in their autos.
Arriving at a lonely place, Hale was compelled to get out the car and all preparations were made for an ostensible hanging. A rope was placed around his neck and he was threatened with death by hanging unless he dropped a suit for $150 which he had pending against a Medford citizen, and promised to leave town immediately. To this connection it will be recalled that Hale had made all arrangements to leave with his two children today for Portland, to engage in the brokerage business in that city.
While the Ku Kluxers were stipulating this promise Hale staged a complete collapse. The raiders, much alarmed, gathered around him and tried various ways of resuscitation, with but little apparent success. They finally became so frightened that they brought him back to Medford, where the victim, apparently all right again, was deposited from the car on Genessee Street, told that he was free to go and warned that if he ever uttered a word about the doings of the night and his experience he would be killed. All the cars in the party had their state licenses removed or covered up.
Then apparently Hale fainted away again as the Ku Klux Klan drove away. It seems that he shortly afterwards went home and telephoned for a physician.
It is known that Sheriff Terrill and Deputy Sheriff Forncrook worked on the case the rest of the night and all day today, but neither of them could be found to be questioned as to what knowledge [had been] gained, if any, and as to the sheriff's attitude in the affair. Sheriff Terrill with his usual acumen seemed to think the Ku Klux kidnapping was of no local interest, and that the newspapers would not hear of it for days later.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 18, 1922, page 1
KU KLUX K. DENIES HAND IN OUTRAGETo the Editor: In recent issues of the Medford Mail Tribune and Medford Sun you made charges which reflect on the character and integrity of many of your best citizens who are members on the local Ku Klux Klan and also as the Ku Klux Klan as an organization has been greatly misrepresented we take this means to place before the public the following statement:
Imperial Kleagles Make Official Statement Declaring Organization Against All Violence--
Money Presented to Pastor of Methodist Church Sunday Morning.
The Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is a regular fraternal, patriotic, benevolent order standing unqualifiedly for the following principles: Pure Americanism, protection of pure womanhood, free speech and press, free public schools, restricted immigration, white supremacy and law and order and believes in and is constantly assisting all officers of the law in the performance of their duties.
From time to time influences contrary to the principles of pure Americanism have attempted to discredit this organization, but the real Americans have not allowed themselves to be blinded to the real purposes for which we are organized.
The Medford Klan absolutely and emphatically denies having had any cooperation whatever with your alleged "necktie" party.
The Ku Klux Klan positively opposes such mob action. One of its purposes is the "prevention of the causes for mob violence and lynchings" and it will not tolerate such action on the part of its members.
Out of fairness to the many good citizens who are members of the Medford Klan and to the good name of the organization nationally we ask that this statement of true facts be given proper space and proper heading on the front page of your paper in your next issue.
JNO. J. HOOGSTRAAT,The above communication was handed the editor of the Mail Tribune by the above-named kleagles of the Invisible Empire with the request that it be printed in justice to the members of that organization.
H. E. GRIFFITH,
Kleagles of the Invisible Empire.
Room 112, Medford Hotel.
This request was granted, with the explanation that the Ku Klux Klan would be accorded the same treatment accorded to any other organization or any individual, who in a signed statement denied the accuracy of any statement or statements in this paper, no more and no less.
In the conversation which followed the editor of the paper pointed out to the Imperial Kleagles that this denial of any responsibility for the so-called necktie party Friday night, merely emphasized the danger of such a movement.
"Any group of citizens can put on sheets and masks, and commit any sort of outrage and the Ku Klux will get the blame for it, and it will be impossible to disabuse the public mind of the suspicion.
To this one of the kleagles replied that the Ku Klux is like the Knights of Pythias or any other secret fraternal organization, and that they stand as a body against any violence of any kind whatever. "To show you that this outrage was not committed by members of the Ku Klux I can state that there are only two Ku Klux robes in Medford. I have one, and my fellow kleagle has the other. The robes come all the way from Atlanta, Georgia. All we ask is that you give this denial proper publicity."
Give Money to PastorTwo men dressed in the robes of the Ku Klux Klan entered the Main Street Methodist Church, South, yesterday forenoon shortly after the service had started, walked silently up the aisle to the pulpit, presented the pastor, W. J. Fenton, with an envelope containing a statement of facts setting forth the aims and objects of the organization and a sum of money to be used for charitable purposes as the pastor saw fit.
Rev. Fenton recognized the garb of the organization as the men appeared in the doorway and remarked to the congregation, which was slightly perturbed for the moment, that they had nothing to fear as the ghosts were a terror to evildoers only. He stated that he had been doing nothing wrong and therefore had no fear of them.
After presenting the envelope to the pastor the men faced about and walked out. Neither of them uttered a sound during the entire proceeding, which took but a moment.
The statement enclosed in the envelope is as follows: "The order stands for one hundred percent Americanism, separation of church and state, free speech, free press, law and order and protection of pure womanhood."
When interviewed at his home this morning Rev. Fenton stated that as far as he is concerned the members of the Klux are welcome at his church, day or night, any or all of them.
Deputy State Motor Traffic Inspector J. J. McMahon, who has been working for several days in Grants Pass, made a special trip up here from that city this forenoon to inquire into that phase of the Hale kidnapping and hanging episode of last Friday night wherein the motor laws of the state had been violated. According to reports the kidnappers removed the license plates from their autos before starting on the night's doings.
McMahon declares he will thoroughly investigate into this and do everything in his power to have the violators apprehended for this breach of the state motor law, which comes in his line of duty.
Hale Refuses to TalkMr. Hale, who refuses to make any comment on the episode of Friday night or discuss the matter in any way, evidently expects to remain in the city, although for some time prior to Friday he had made all arrangements to go to Portland last Saturday with his children, to engage in the brokerage business in that city.
Mr. Hale is going about the city armed for any possible trouble in the event he should be molested again by the kidnappers of Friday night. He went from his home this morning on East Main Street to the Rex restaurant carrying a Winchester rifle, which lay handy for instant use while he was eating. Sunday morning on the way to breakfast at the same place he also carried the rifle, and some persons claim to have seen a bodyguard with him also. He visited the business section Sunday afternoon without the rifle, but had a bodyguard.
Chief of Police Timothy joked with Mr. Hale this morning on meeting the latter with his rifle on his breakfast trip, asking him if he was going duck hunting. "Yes, and they may be flying high" was the laughing reply. Chief Timothy says that the bodyguard is Mr. Hale's brother-in-law from Eugene, Ore.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1922, page 1
About 8:30 last evening three figures dressed in sheets tapped upon the window of Rev. W. J. Fenton's residence at 25 North Oakdale. The tapping on the window pane attracted Mr. Fenton's attention and he saw the three white-clad figures outside in the regalia of the Ku Klux Klan.
When he came to the door a small pink envelope was handed to him addressed "Mr. and Mrs. Fenton, 25 North Oakdale." Below this address, in the left-hand corner of the envelope were the three letters "K.K.K." in red ink.
Mr. Fenton opened the envelope and found the following invitation:
"Mr. and Mrs. Fenton, dear friends: You are cordially invited to attend a taffy pull, to be given at 25 North Oakdale this evening.
"Kute Kandy Kids."
Mr. Fenton had been invited, it seemed to attend a function at his own home, and, furthermore, a festivity of which he had not yet heard a word. The K.K.K.s turned out to be three young girls, members of Mr. Fenton's congregation. Mr. and Mrs. Fenton rifled the cupboards, obtained the necessary ingredients for the construction of taffy sufficiently sticky to furnish the hardest kind of a struggle in the pulling, and started the boiling process. The remainder of the evening was spent in pulling the taffy and puzzling over the different methods of letting go of it. Finally a successful method of detachment was hit upon, namely, transferring the taffy from the hands to the digestive tract. After this process was accomplished the three "Kute Kandy Kids" took their departure for home.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 21, 1922, page 5
All the newspaper men want to know about the Ku Klux excitement in Medford. They have long since refused to take the K.K.K. seriously up here. At least that's what Newspaper Row declares. "The politicians who flirted with them at first," said one well-informed scribe, "are now trying to get out from under. Instead of an asset the K.K.K is getting more and more a serious liability."
"Olcott has beaten them all in political strategy," said another. "He has kept out of the mess and quietly sawed wood. Only a stroke of apoplexy can beat him."
"Editorial Correspondence," Medford Mail Tribune, March 24, 1922, page 4
LOCAL WOMAN IS GIVEN $25 GIFT BY K. KLUX KLANMedford Mail Tribune, March 27, 1922, page 6
The sight of two members of the local Ku Klux Klan riding down Main Street and out South Central yesterday in an auto in full Klan regalia attracted much attention of people on the street, who at once jumped to the conclusion that "something is doing."
The auto proceeded on South Central and stopped in front of No. 245, where the Ku Klux men got out, entered the house for a moment, handed Mrs. R. E. Johnson $25 and drove away again. Mrs. Johnson has had much trouble the past year and is trying to make a living for herself and children by keeping boarders.
The whereabouts of her husband is unknown. After Johnson, who is a tobacco salesman, was found not guilty in court of a criminal charge preferred by his employers, for whom he looked after the Medford business of the concern, he went north. In his last letter to her he wrote that he was laid up with a broken leg and asked his wife to address him in the future in care of general delivery, Portland. That was long ago and her several letters sent to him have never been answered.
Much sympathy is felt for Mrs. Johnson by all persons familiar with her troubles and her husband's disappearance. She called at the Mail Tribune office this noon and left the following card of thanks:
"To the members of the Medford Ku Klux Klan: I wish to express my appreciation and thanks for the interest you have shown in myself and children.
"MRS. R. E. JOHNSON,
"245 South Central."
JAILER INNOCENT OF SENDING NEGRO TO HANGING PARTYMedford Mail Tribune, April 3, 1922, page 3
Although government officers have been vigorously at work for some the past, in addition to the investigation being made by county officials, ferreting out the identity of the masked bands of men who carried out the J. F. Hale and Arthur Burr kidnapping and bluff hanging incidents, and much progress has been made to this end by the federal secret service men, no arrests have yet been made. It is claimed however that they may be expected in the not distant future
J. F. Hale has left the city and gone to Portland, and Burr, the colored man, has never had the nerve to come back to the city and resume his residence in Medford after his thrilling experience with the kidnappers the night of March 14 up on the Siskiyous. They warned him then that he would meet with death if he ever returned.
There are all sorts of rumors afloat and not a little guesswork, which are impossible of verification in view of the close-mouthed attitude of the investigating officers. The Medford public is wondering what will be next heard of in the line of mob incidents.
It developed yesterday that it was not county jailer Bert Moses why hailed the passing auto in which were two men and asked them to give Burr a ride to Medford, but Alec Norris of Jacksonville, former well-known county jailer and janitor of the court house for years.
Jailer Moses had just released Burr on the evening of March 14th, as his 10 days' sentence had expired, and Burr was walking across the county jail lawn to the street, when Norris passed through the jail yard on a crosscut to his home. Norris, knowing that Burr's time was up and that he was about to go to Medford, shouted to the passing auto and asked its occupants if they would give him a ride to Medford. Surely they would, and the unsuspecting colored man climbed in the car.
It was dark at that time and neither Norris nor Moses who stood with him idly watching the departing auto paid any attention to the two men and don't know what they looked like. They attached no significance, whatever, to the incident. It had been the custom of Norris while he was county jailer to often hail passing autos to give returning prisoners to Medford.
The two men in the passing auto, containing the two kidnappers, may have been riding back and forth in front of the county jail since 5 p.m. awaiting Burr's coming out to go to Medford, but no one has knowledge to such effect, nor was such car noticed. Anyhow, this particular car was on the job at the psychological moment as Burr was departing from the jail yard. Jailer Moses says that a number of cars passed right after the car which took Burr in, as he and Norris stood talking in the jail yard.
However, no one could have definite knowledge as to the time Burr would leave the county jail, except Burr himself. Jailer Moses did not even know. Burr's time was up at 5 p.m., and when Moses spoke to him then about it Burr declared that he would not go until 7 p.m., as he wanted to stay until a checker game with prisoners was finished. He had told fellow prisoners he intended to go on the late night train to "Little Frisco," meaning Weed, Calif.
Moses left the county jail on learning that Burr did not care to be let out until 7 o'clock, and on his return from some errands at 6:30 Burr remarked that he wanted to go then. He took his bundle, Moses let him out of the jail and the erstwhile prisoner was departing as Moses was locking the jail corridor door again.
LAW OR LAWLESSNESS.The danger of the Ku Klux Klan must be apparent now to all sensible people in Southern Oregon, including, we hope, some of its members.
Two outrages have been committed in the past few weeks. The first near-hanging was officially condemned by officials of the Klan. Undoubtedly the second will be.
But this much is known. On two occasions groups of masked men have taken the law into their own hands, and jeopardized the lives of two local residents. In one case, at least, the death of the victim was averted by a narrow margin.
If these outrages were not committed by members of the Ku Klux Klan, then they were committed by some unknown individuals, masked and mistaken by the victims for the Ku Klux. That much is absolutely certain.
In either case the danger to the community is the same. If any group of citizens in this country are to be allowed to take the law into their own hands, then any other group may do likewise. If one group is to be placed above the law, then all may be placed above the law.
There can be no compromise in this sort of thing. Either this is to be a land of law and order, or a land of lawlessness and bolshevism. Either we are to continue to support our laws, our peace officers and our courts and depend upon them, or we are going to return to the jungle and call in the gunman, the undertaker, and let the devil take the hindermost.
Our entire framework of civilization is based upon equality before the law. If it is right for a "leading citizen": to take the law into his own hands, then it is right for Emma Goldman or Big Bill Haywood. The issue is plain. It is as old as civilization--the issue between law and lawlessness.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 3, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
WHY?Once more an armed band of unknown citizens have taken the law into their own hands in Jackson County. We wonder why?
We have a certain organization devoted to 100 percent Americanism which includes, we assume, the upholding of the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution declares in the 6th, 7th and 8th amendments:
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime unless on a presentiment or indictment of a grand jury.
"In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.
"In suits at common law where the value in controversy shell exceed $20, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved."
Why is it that this organization, devoted to law and order and 100 percent Americanism, should take so little interest in violations of our fundamental law as written by our forefathers?
There hasn't been one violation in Jackson County. There have been three, and all of them in the past month or six weeks--something unprecedented in recent history.
And yet the only official notice taken by this organization is to deny there is any evidence of any member of the K.K.K. being connected with them.
Is that enough? As we understand it, this organization prides itself upon assisting, in a "perfectly legal and lawful way," the local and state authorities in bringing law violators to justice. And yet the authorities have apparently received no assistance from this organization in bringing to justice these unknown citizens, armed and masked, who on three distinct occasions have violated every principle of good citizenship and turned the Constitution of the United States into a scrap of paper.
Why this apathy and inaction? Here is a situation, which to a majority of the people seems perfectly fitted for Klan service, and the restoration of law and order in this community by an organization publicly pledged to such a cause.
And yet nothing has been done. Nothing is being done. We wonder why?
Medford Mail Tribune, April 12, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
THIRD NECKTIE PARTY STAGED IN J'VILLE DISTRICTFor the third time during the past few weeks self-appointed masked and armed bands were abroad creating terror last Sunday night and adding much to the apprehension of the people of the valley.
In this last episode Jacksonville men are featured. Again the most striking feature of the so-called vigilantes was the suspension of a rope around a young man's neck in an ineffectual effort to induce him to confess to certain accusations.
County Prosecutor Rawles Moore and Sheriff Terrill were busy investigating this case yesterday and today, and the government representatives here still investigating into the Hale and Aaron [sic] Burr bluff hangings have gathered still more evidence against the lawless bands which will be presented to the federal grand jury and possibly to the Jackson County grand jury in the near future.
Sunday night's developments began with Alec Norris, his son-in-law, Mr. Goodie, garage man; Paul York, aged 17 years, and Henry Johnson, aged 22 years, all of Jacksonville, leaving that city at 5 p.m. in an auto truck to get some machinery at Ashland. They did not get the machinery and were on their way home when near the Voorhies crossing their lights went out and a short time later two cars in which were seen masked men approached them and held them up at the point of revolvers. The men all wore flimsy veils with eye holes cut out. This was at 11 p.m.
The masked band ordered Goodie and Norris to drive further up the road. Then one of the men took young York to one side, admonished him to go to work and never be seen with Johnson again. Then five or six of the others took Johnson away a short distance and accused him of the chicken stealing that had been going on in Jacksonville. This Johnson stoutly denied, whereupon his captors shouted for a rope which they put around his neck and pulled taut.
Johnson still denied that he had ever stole chickens and then was asked if he ever peddled any booze and if he ever associated with any white women. He also denied these imputations vehemently. In the meantime the captors had gone through the motions of searching the auto truck as if they expected to find some moonshine there.
Finally they asked Johnson, "Nigger, could you run," and let him go with the warning to speed away. They had addressed him as "nigger" all the way through.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 12, 1922, page 8
KOP KO KILOWATTS TO CROSS BATS WITH RUFNEX SATURDAY
The home office baseball team of the California-Oregon Power Company, known as the "Kop Ko Kilowatts" will cross bats with the "Rogue River Rufnex" of the Rogue River division Saturday afternoon. April 15, on the high school field at 3 p.m.
The rivalry between the teams originated by a challenge from the home office team to the Rogue River team, which was answered in kind by a hot acceptance edited by the manager of the Rufnex.
Some of the San Francisco officials of the power company will be present at the game and a complete staff of rooters from each side. As the two teams have already tangled and divided honors, in two practice games, it is anticipated that a hot game will be witnessed. A. P. Hagan and S. M. Scott will umpire the game.
In the evening of the same day, a meeting of the Copco Forum will be held in the Copco building, which will be attended by members of both the division and the home office staff.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 13, 1922, page 3
Condemns Vigilante Cult."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, April 14, 1922, page 4
To the Editor:
I read your editorial of yesterday in regard to the banditry of the secret organization that is terrorizing the Rogue River Valley and approve it in toto. Such an organization has no place in the United States and presents the most dangerous complications that have ever before menaced our democratic institutions. The situation is one in which the grave duties of the press cannot be mistaken. It calls loudly for the unflagging activity of every officer whose duty it is to protect, preserve and prosecute. These are the most flagrant violations of law and menace to public peace, morals and property.
C. B. WATSON.
Gold Hill, April 13, 1922.
TIME TO CALL A HALT.The expected has happened. One man has been killed, another is near death as the result of a band of masked men in Los Angeles taking the law into their own hands.
As usual the Goblin of the Ku Klux Klan arises to deny all responsibility. Of course, a secret order, with secret circles within secret circles, can always deny responsibility when its activities, day or night, are hidden behind robes and masks.
But this much is certain. Wherever the K.K.K. has been established in this country, east, west, north or south, communities which have not been troubled by depredations of.masked men in years are troubled by them at once. Under such circumstances the burden of proof, in the public mind, rests with a heavy hand upon the members of the secret order. It will take overwhelming evidence here, in Los Angeles or anywhere else, to convince the man in the street that the Ku Klux Klan is in no way responsible for these continued outrages which are throwing communities throughout the country into fear and confusion.
Regrettable as this tragedy is, however, the sacrifice may not have been in vain if it will arouse the American people to their danger and result in cleaning up this underground lawlessness once and for all. There is nothing more to be said than has already been said in this column. The issue is plain. If any group of masked men are to be allowed to take the law into their own hands, then the entire fabric of civilization falls, and we go back to the middle ages, with everyone toting a six-shooter with no one safe and the most successful citizen the Bolshevik who is quickest on the trigger.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 24, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
RESIGN ON K.K. VOTE IN AM. LEGIONTo the Editor:
Five Members of Medford Post, American Legion Send Resignations to Commander--
Failure to Condemn Law Violations Declared Contrary to Their Conceptions.
We enclose for your information and information of this community a copy of a letter forwarded today to the commander of the Medford post of the American Legion.
GORDON VOORHIESMedford, May 3, 1922.
E. E. KELLY
Medford, Ore., May 3, 1922.To the Commander Medford Post American Legion:
Two weeks ago the following resolution was offered at a regular meeting of the American Legion, and after full discussion was voted down:
Resolution"Whereas, it has come to the attention of the Medford post of the American Legion that a spirit of unrest prevails in the community due to certain alleged violations of the rights of individuals by reason of the administration of so-called mob law and the summary execution of justice, without the privilege of trial, and
Whereas, we do not believe that any cause exists in this community to take away from the constituted authorities, the police and the courts, the police and judicial power in criminal matters; and, believing that interference with the constitutional privileges of the people by any persons or person or in any manner is absolutely unwarranted, unAmerican and dangerous to the peace of the community;
Now therefore be it resolved, by Medford, Oregon, Post No. 15, of the American Legion, that we call the attention of the public at large to the principles upon which the American Legion is organized, as expressed in the preamble to the constitution of our local post, to wit:
"To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our association in the great war; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard to transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by devotion to mutual helpfulness.
"And further that we place ourselves on record as offering the support of this organization to the community to ensure, in any manner we may, its peace and tranquility."
Since that time a member of the Legion who supported this resolution has received a threatening letter, supposedly from the Ku Klux Klan, expressly condemning his support of the resolution.
The resolution above quoted was offered again at a regular and representative nesting last night, and again voted down after a statement by a member of the Legion, that the passage of such a resolution would disrupt the Legion.
The above facts show so clearly the majority sentiment of the Medford post of the American Legion, a sentiment which is entirely contrary to our conception of what should he the attitude of an American citizen, that we feel it to be our duty to hand you our resignation as members of the Medford post of the American Legion.
Respectfully,Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1922, page 1
E. E. KELLY,
CANDIDATE HALL WANTS SUPPORT OF THE KU KLUX
Denying that he is a member of the Ku Klux Klan, or has been formally giving the secret orders support, Charles Hall of Marshfield, candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, was in Medford today, and admitted to a representative of the Mail Tribune that he had been told the Klan was solid for him and hoped they were, as that meant his certain nomination.
"I have been given the endorsement of the Federated Patriotic Societies of Portland," said Mr. Hall, "but as far as I know the K.K.K. is not included in that combination. But I hope the K.K.K. will support me, for I hear there are thousands of them, and such support will make my nomination certain."
"I might also say the negro porters are going to vote for me, and at least two members of the Knights of Columbus. The bill for compulsory public school attendance has my unqualified support and will be passed by a big majority. The Masonic orders in the state are solidly behind it."
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1922, page 2
COLONEL KELLY GIVES VIEWS ON KU KLUX KLAN
To the Editor: Replying to your editorial High Office Versus Low Visibility, permit me to say that while I am the candidate of a minority party and without opposition in the primaries, your editorial appeals to me as a timely and fitting inquiry. I regard the Ku Klux Klan as the gravest menace to internal peace that has threatened this country since the Civil War.
With platitudinous mouthing of one hundred percent Americanism, mummery of high-sounding title and the fetish of mystery, it appeals to the well-meaning but ignorant, and inculcates in their prejudice racial hatred and religious bigotry.
In the year 1215 a Lateran council forbade the use of "trial by ordeal," as an institution too barbarous for Christian men. Out of this council grew the petit jury. Through the intervening centuries the tears of women and the blood of martyrs have nurtured this first flower of freedom until it gave its fairest fruition in that immoral document, the Constitution of our country. The Ku Klux Klan proposes to wipe out those intervening nine centuries of growth and civilization and substitute for constituted authority and law, mob violence and trial by the ordeal of hanging and torture.
The recent spectacle at Los Angeles of terrorized women vainly telephoning for the protection of the police while those worthies sworn to uphold the law were protecting a mob in its orgy of lawlessness and parading innocent and naked girls before the Kleagles and Knights ought to arouse in every true and thinking citizen a sense of obligation.
May I thank you for your inquiry, and I trust that I have made my position on this question plain, that I am simply a plain citizen without allegiance to any potentate, visible or invisible, Grand Goblin, Kleagle, Knight or other secret hokum.
E. E. KELLY.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1922, page 3
SHINE EDWARDS CONVICTED ON BOOZE CHARGEJames (Shine) Edwards, three times tried on a charge of selling intoxicating liquor, was found guilty by a jury in the circuit court Wednesday afternoon, after about three hours deliberation. In two previous trials the jury was unable to agree.
The first two ballots, according to report, stood nine to three for conviction, the third ten to two for conviction, and the fourth and final one resulted in a conviction.
Future legal action in the case is undecided, but it is said that the case may be appealed to the supreme court.
The case, one of the hardest fought in the history of Jackson County jurisprudence, hinges upon the sale of liquor to A. B. Gates, a state prohibition officer. Edwards alleged in his defense that the liquor said to have been purchased from him was purchased from Joe Kidd, who is under indictment but uncaught. Much of the lively testimony of the previous trials relating to a joyride to Crater Lake and Prospect in the taxi driven by Edwards, in which Gates and women were members, was ruled out by the court.
The trial of John Goodwin, also charged with selling intoxicating liquors, a previous trial resulting in a disagreement of the jury, was begun this morning, the work of selecting the jury now being underway.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 4, 1922, page 1
NEWBURY GIVES VIEWS REGARDING LOCAL OUTRAGESTo the Editor: I read your editorial of May 2nd with respect to the duty of the candidates running for public office in stating their position upon a matter that engrosses the attention of the people of this community; and I wish to say as a candidate for the office of circuit judge that I believe in the orderly methods prescribed by the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Oregon in the enforcement of the law against any law violators.
We have had three outrages perpetrated against three several citizens of this county by masked men taking these citizens from their homes and subjecting them to personal outrages and indignities that are certainly in violation of the law; and if there is any man or set of men in our community or elsewhere who stand for that kind of action, I wish to say that I stand against that sort of man, set of men or organization of men, and it matters not under what name that kind of men may be masking themselves.
No man, set of men or organization of men under whatever name such organization may be going has any right to take any man from his home or elsewhere and subject him to any assault, indignity or personal violence; and to countenance such acts is to encourage the same, and the denunciation of such acts must be had at the hands of every true American citizen.
To countenance such acts or to participate in them is raising the red flag of anarchy, and I do not wish the electorate of this district to misunderstand my position upon this question.
We have, guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Oregon, and the laws thereof, orderly, proper and lawful methods of punishing crime, and the method prescribed is the only method that law-abiding citizens can adopt for punishment of crime committed by another.
Very truly yours,
Medford, May 3rd, 1922.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 4, 1922, page 3
MAYOR GATES IS EMPHATIC, DENIAL KLAN MEMBERSHIPMedford Mail Tribune, May 5, 1922, page 6
An emphatic explosion of indignation was drawn from Mayor C. E. Gates this forenoon when a reporter had the nerve to ask the mayor if he were cognizant of the rumor in circulation for some time past, and especially the last few days, that the head of the Medford city government was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
"I am not a member of the Klan and never have been," said the mayor, who stated that the rumor had reached his ears and that evidently certain persons keenly enjoyed trying to place him in an embarrassing position by industriously spreading the Klan membership story.
"Some time ago when I was a prospective candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, a blank application for membership in the Ku Klux Klan was casually handed me by a member of that organization," continued the mayor. "What did I do with it? Why I burned it later in the fireplace at my home. That is probably the foundation for the false story being circulated that I am a Klan member.
"I frankly admit that during the period when I was thinking of entering the gubernatorial race I appeared in Portland before the Allied Patriotic Societies, an organization of 51 societies of which the Ku Klux Klan is supposed to be one of the members, to set forth my qualifications for the high office I might aspire to. I am proud of it. From 95 to 98 percent of all the candidates for state office appeared before the Allied Patriotic Societies. I only know of one candidate who did not."
GOBLINS AND GOOD CITIZENS.The Grand Goblin of the Imperial Pacific District arises from the barber chair to announce that hundreds of the best citizens on the Pacific Coast owe him allegiance.
We wonder if the Grand Goblin includes himself in that category. If so it would be interesting to know what he considers the obligations of good citizenship.
We supposed one of them was truth telling. But on Monday, April 24th, the Grand Goblin solemnly announced that the Ku Klux Klan had nothing to do with the outrage at Inglewood, which resulted in the death of one man and the wounding of two others.
On Tuesday, April 25th, two members of the Klan declared on oath that the raid was planned at an official meeting, of the K.K.K.
On Monday, May 1st, after making various conflicting statements, the same Grand Goblin announced that 150 members of the K.K.K. "who took part in the Inglewood raid" would on the following Wednesday march to the District Attorney's office and surrender. On Wednesday the same official announced there would be no such parade, but that he, himself, would put on the ceremony by proxy.
According to Los Angeles papers a public official in Venice denied he was a member of the Klan, but when evidence to the contrary was presented, he admitted he was what is called an alien member, that is to say not a full-fledged member, but on the way to becoming one, and justified his original statement accordingly.
How confusing. To the average American citizen, it would appear that if the Grand Goblin told the truth on Monday, two of his "best citizens" committed perjury on Tuesday, and if he told the truth on the Monday following admitting 150 members of his organization did participate in the raid, then he lied a week before when he proclaimed the organization had nothing to do with it. But perhaps Mr. Average Citizen is all wrong. We don't know. It's all so complicated.
It may be possible, for example, that behind these robes and masks there are standards of good citizenship which the uninitiated world knows nothing about. Perhaps in the Invisible Empire such things as truth telling, fidelity to one's oath as a public officer, and obeying the law of the land and the Constitution of the United States are invisible also.
We don't know. No one on the outside, incapable of either physical or moral invisibility, you know. But the Grand Goblin knows. He must know, for he knows everything, sees everything--"Be-ware! Be-ware!"
A deluded and ignorant world awaits patiently for elucidation.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 6, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
MEDFORD KLAN INVITES MAYOR AS A WITNESSOne of the kleagles of Medford's Invisible Empire appeared in visible form at the Mail Tribune office today and requested the editor to print the following communication written on a letterhead marked "Imperial Palace."
Local Kleagles 'Challenge' His Honor to Attend Next Regular Initiation
and Make Public Report As to Klan's Lofty Aspirations.
Hon C. E. Gates,Dear Sir:
Mayor of Medford, Oregon,
We, the undersigned, kleagles of the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and all members of the Medford Klan;
Knowing you to be a native-born, white, Gentile, law-abiding citizen, having a good reputation and able to take an oath of unqualified allegiance to our country and its flag, and believing in the betterment of your community and;
Knowing that our organization has been greatly misrepresented and maligned by the press and other forces who are ignorant as to its purposes;
We therefore challenge you to attend our next regular initiation ceremony, become thoroughly informed as to our obligations, purposes, regulations, instructions and be entrusted with all our secrets.
You to be allowed to publish all of the information thus received if you find that we are organized for any but the most lofty purposes, impelled by any but the highest and noblest ideals and standing for anything that is opposed to any of our laws or that are in any way disloyal to this, our glorious country,
Otherwise you are to keep the secrets disclosed and become an honorary member of our order.
JOHN J. HOOGSTRAAT,May 8, 1922.
H. E. GRIFFITH,
Kleagles of the Invisible Empire.
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Mayor Gates, after reading the letter of the kleagles this noon, remained in thought for a few seconds and then exclaimed:
"Like the girl that was proposed to, this is too darn sudden. I will want to sleep over this matter before giving my answer. Perhaps tomorrow;"
Medford Mail Tribune, May 8, 1922, page 1
Candidates Should Declare ThemselvesMedford Mail Tribune, May 8, 1922, page 4
To the Editor:
The voters are entitled to know the position of each candidate for public office in regard to the Ku Klux Klan. Answering the request of the Mail Tribune, Gus Newbury and Col. Kelly have announced their position in no uncertain terms, and it is not enough for candidates to deal in generalities. The public is entitled to plain and direct statements as to whether or not they favor the Ku Klux Klan organization. Candidates might not want to admit either that they now belong, or have heretofore belonged, to the Klan. There might be some obligation in the order which would deny them the right to so express themselves. But any candidate can say today whether or not he is affiliated with, or is in favor of, or admires, the Ku Klux Klan, or thinks it is a good or a helpful institution in this community.
Various rumors are in circulation as to what candidates are affiliated, directly or indirectly, with this order, and every candidate owes it to himself as much as he owes it to voters to answer this question so definitely as to leave no room for doubt or mistake.
No secret order has any right to manipulate the affairs of any civilized government. The voters will not knowingly permit this to be done. If a man be honest enough to hold a public office, he ought to be honest enough to advise the voters in a timely issued and plainly stated utterance.
As one, therefore, who feels he has a right to make this inquiry, I most earnestly, on behalf of myself and many other electors of this county and state, ask that candidates for public office in the coming primary advise the voters as to where they stand on this question, whether they are in sympathy with this order, and its evident objects and purposes, and whether or not they are now, or ever have been, directly or indirectly connected with it in any manner whatever. Especially should we know the views of candidates for governor, for members of the legislature, for supreme and circuit judges on this important question. We already know the position of some of these candidates. Other are keeping ominously silent. They, perhaps, believe in "invisible government"?
Replies to Judge Colvig.To the Editor:
As an interested observer of passing local events and actuated neither by bias nor prejudice, I feel impelled to take issue with Judge Colvig in re his article in the Mail Tribune of the 8th inst., wherein he makes demand upon all aspirants for public office to declare whether or not they are in favor of the secret organization known as the Ku Klux Klan.
Now, while I hold no brief for that organization (being actuated in writing this solely by the American spirit of fair play), nether am I a member thereof, nor have at any time made application for membership, nor do I now anticipate that I shall ever do so, yet I am forced to confess that I am so egotistical as to contend that I know quite as much regarding the aims and purposes, also the requirements for membership of and in the Ku Klux Klan as does Judge Colvig (providing, of course, that he has never been initiated in the order)--which is absolutely nothing, save such knowledge as may be acquired through the medium of that always unreliable source of information, street rumor.
If it be within the knowledge of Judge Colvig, or any other law-abiding citizen, that the Ku Klux Klan, as it is now constituted, has ever been, as an organization. convicted in a court of law of having been guilty of the commission of any unlawful act, or of the utterance of any sentiment inimical to good citizenship, the general public clearly has a right to share in such knowledge. Suspicion, arising out of insinuation and innuendo, is and should be as ineffective in the public mind as it is in a court of law.
Lacking proof of the commission of any unlawful act or utterance on the part of this organization, why single it out for condemnation from among the existing multitude of secret societies? Why not, with equal propriety, demand of the candidates who are soliciting the popular franchise that they declare their sentiments towards or affiliation with the Free Masons, the Elks, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Columbus, and so on, ad infinitum? Why single out the Ku Klux Klan for the goat, as in this particular instance?
I maintain that Judge Colvig, whom I believe is generally recognized as being highly versed in legal lore, should not allow himself to pass judgment on purely ex parte testimony, and much the less so when said testimony consists merely of unconfirmed street rumor, as he has apparently allowed himself to do in this case.
The writer hereof agrees most heartily with the erudite Judge in his contention that "no secret order has any right to manipulate the affairs of any civilized government." Can it be possible that friend Colvig is possessed of knowledge, susceptible of proof, that such is the end and aim of the Ku Klux Klan, as an organization? If he has, the public is certainly entitled to his full confidence in the matter without further delay.
In conclusion, this writer does not understand that Mr. Newbury's article, to which Mr. Colvig refers, with much satisfaction, was specifically aimed at the Ku Klux organization, but rather was it directed against all lawbreakers without regard to class, creed or social organization; which severe though righteous pronunciamiento against lawlessness in general will be unhesitatingly acquiesced in by all law-abiding folk.
H. H. LAMPMAN."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 9, 1922, page 3
Central Point, Oregon, May 9th.
MAYOR GATES AGREES TO SIT IN WITH K.K.Tho following statement was issued today by Mayor C. E. Gates, accepting the recent challenge of the kleagles of the Medford Ku Klux Klan:
Mayor in Reply to Local Kleagles Lays Down Terms Upon Which He Will Attend Meeting--No Masks and a List of Members Demanded
"Medford, Ore. May 19, 1922"Jno. J. Hoogstraat and H. E. Griffith,
"Kleagles of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Medford. Ore.
"I hereby accept your challenge to sit in at one of your meetings of the Klan under the following conditions:
"That the full work of initiation be put on, including the regular work and oath and obligation. That I be unmasked at all times and that every person in the room be unmasked also so that I may know absolutely with whom I am associating. That I may have access to a list of members, also to copy of your bylaws and constitution. If I find anything in the work or words that is contrary to the Constitution or laws of the United States of America, I reserve the right to publish same. If there is anything done that is contrary to good citizenship, I also reserve the right to publicly so state.
"On the other hand, should I find everything carried on in a manner consistent with manhood and decency, I will hold your secrets inviolate. If you should decide to accept this proportion, I am subject to call at any meeting which you may decide.
"Very Truly Yours,Medford Mail Tribune, May 10, 1922, page 4
"C. E. GATES."
What Is the Ku Klux Klan?To the Editors. Almost sixty years ago it was organized in the South, masked in sheets, rode in the night and spread terror wherever it went: mothers locked their doors, turned out the lights, spoke in whispers and cautioned their children to make no noise for "the Night Riders were out." Winston's Encyclopedia, latest edition, says this about it:
"Ku Klux Klan, a secret society of a sociopolitical nature, which arose after the American Civil War and was bitterly opposed to the Reconstruction measures which the government enacted and to the position then occupied by the late slaves. Its membership at one time spread over nearly all of the states of the South and committed many acts of violence; even murder and arson. Strong measures were taken for the suppression of the society in 1871, and it soon after died away."
Why has this association taken the name of an organization that was outlawed more than fifty years ago? Why have they adopted the white sheet mask, the manner, the night riding, mysterious warnings, acts of violence and beastly assaults for which their adopted parent was outlawed?
What is the motive? They point to their constitution with a boast of patriotic loyalty as a great law-abiding and law-enforcing society of one hundred percent Americanism and apparently have seduced many good men by the high-sounding words they use so lavishly. They have invaded many communities all over the country and wherever they have gained strength we hear of these night outrages. Is it possible that they are not responsible for these acts of violence and turbulence? Is it that their acts and organization simply furnish a mask and refuge to the criminal element who do the acts and hide behind this masked band of secrecy? If they are thus made to bear the odium, who is to blame? They furnish the excuse. They curse secret diplomacy and erect an "invisible empire." Is this democracy? Do our laws provide for such an organization?
It is a fundamental principle of our great republic that "every man is entitled to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience and that none shall molest or make him afraid." Do they recognize this great Americanism? Under our law every man who is charged with crime or wrongdoing is "entitled to his day in court." Do they recognize this? Under the law every man is presumed to be innocent until he is proven to be guilty. Do they uphold this law? The American tribunal for the punishment of crime, or the righting of wrong, is in our courts of justice. Do they appeal to the courts?
That the majority shall rule is a great Americanism. Do they recognize it? We read of those "who prefer darkness to light because their deeds are evil." Do they not invite the inevitable conclusion? Burglaries and highway robberies are usually committed in the night by masked men. Why do they imitate these outlaws?
If the Ku Klux Klan is wrongfully indicted here are they not responsible for adopting the insignia and forms of operating that is known to be that of the criminal elements of the land? Do their secrecy and operations tally with their high-sounding constitution, or are these declarations like the sheets with which they hide their identity, another mask? Words do not prove motive, but "By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them." Is it not more probable that excessively expressed loyalty, patriotism and law-enforcing principles are an exaggerated camouflage, first to deceive and then destroy? Are we to blame if, in these distressing times, we feel that behind it all is the sinister hand of the radical propagandist who only a short time ago was shouting long and loudly "down with government'? These radicals we know have declared that their purpose is to destroy the government of the United States. Thousands of them, and with them "the end justifies the means." Have we not good reason to believe that their boasted constitution is to them but "a scrap of paper," made and put forth because they know that to the truly patriotic these words embody a great and sacred truth, used by them, however, as a bait to catch the unwary? If these suggestions approach the truth, then we may learn that foreign traitors and miscreants are here seducing many of our best people by the most seductive propaganda; propaganda likely to result in civil war, by which our great land may soon be torn and agonizing like the schism-torn countries of the old world. An "Invisible Empire" is not American. Law cannot be enforced by violating the law. Respect for government cannot be strengthened by defiance of the fundamental principles upon which all government is founded.
C. B. WATSON."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 10, 1922, page 4
Gold Hill, Ore, May 9th, 1922
Sacramento Bee Scores K.K.K.More than mere denial is required of public officials who are accused of affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, declares the Sacramento Bee. The Bee calls upon nine officials, including the deputy state labor commissioner of California and the city prosecutor of Sacramento to render actual proof that their names are on the records of the Sacramento Klan kleagle without their knowledge and consent.
The Bee expresses the sentiment of every liberty-loving American citizen when it says:
"The real nature of this organization is no longer a matter of debate. Its bigotry, its intolerance, its cowardly torture, its brutalities, not alone toward men, but also toward women and children, have been stamped upon it until the brand is seen and known of all men.
"It raised the hand of one man up against his neighbor, and sets sect against sect, race against race, friend against friend.
"Like Cain, it must be driven out from the society of decent men and women, and public officials who associate themselves with it must expect to suffer the same fate."--Klamath Falls Herald.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 10, 1922, page 4
KLAN REFUSES TO LET LOCAL MEMBER RESIGNTo the Editor:
J. E. Edmiston Told He Can't Resign From K.K.K.--Letter of Resignation
Never Acknowledged or Accepted--Condemns Organization.
May I impose upon your good nature by asking that you publish in the Mail Tribune the enclosed letter, together with a statement of the facts which prompt me to make this request? These facts are:
In company with a score of reputable business and professional men of Medford, including a number of your more prominent citizens, the writer, attracted by a statement of principles which appealed to me as being worthy of my support, and by a series of promises which appeared to be made in good faith by men regarded as reputable, I separated myself from ten (count 'em) perfectly good American dollars, attached my name to a card, and went through a very brief ceremony which I was informed constituted me a citizen of the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan, and a member of Medford Provisional Klan. This honor was conferred on me at the first meeting of the Klan ever held in Medford, so I was informed.
We prospective "citizens" were assured and reassured that the Klan stood for, and would lay down its klanly life for these doctrines:
1. Maintenance of white supremacy.
2. Separation of church and state.
3. Law and order enforcement.
For purely personal reasons I took no active part in the affairs of the Klan until, nearly a year later, it stood charged with the commission of crimes against the person of three individuals. Having been told that the Klan "saw all," that it was the greatest force for good in the country today, that it was the greatest aggregation of private detectives in the world and that lawlessness could not exist where Klansmen, unknown to the lawless, went about their daily pursuits. I very naturally expected Medford Klan to round up the guilty parties and bring them before the bar of justice in a perfectly orderly manner and with record-breaking promptness.
It is enough to say that I was dissatisfied with the Klan as constituted and conducted. Public officials charged with the enforcement of law assured me the Klan had given them no assistance and, indeed, had offered none. For this reason, I tendered a letter of resignation and requested a reply. Some two weeks later I was informed that my letter had never been read on the floor of the lodge. I then made three copies of the letter and handed them to three officers of the Klan. I demanded a letter in reply stating that my resignation had been accepted. I informed Mr. Griffith, one of the Kleagles, that if the Klan failed to accept my resignation I would avail myself of the only other method open to me of assuring my friends, both in and out of the Klan, that I was no longer a member--that I would ask you to print the facts in the case.
I have waited long and in vain for this letter from the Klan, which seems to me to be a desirable addition to my private files. It has not come. Indeed I am told I cannot resign from the Klan. If this is true, my own conscience demands that I take this means of notifying "all who run" of where I stand.
Yours for one hundred percent Americanism.
Unmasked and in the open,Medford May 11, 1922.
JAS. E. EDMISTON.
Copy of Resignation of Jas. E. Edmiston.
Medford, Ore., 4, 5, '22.Medford Provisional Klan.
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,
Following the recent outrages in which self-appointed bands of masked rowdies elected to set up a "law of might" in this city and environs, the writer has waited with patience and more than ordinary interest for [the] Medford Klan to ensure a public statement branding these affairs as contemptible and criminal and pledging the every resource of the Klan to the legally constituted authorities in bringing about the speedy arrest, prosecution and punishment of all those guilty absolutely irrespective of their identities. I have urged this policy upon a number of your more active and prominent members. To my mind, no other course by your body will ever bring about a favorable verdict in the court of public opinion--the court now sitting in judgment on the Ku Klux Klan of this city.
This proposal having been officially pigeonholed without being allowed to even come to a vote of your membership, I am at a loss to reconcile your acts with your oaths. I hold it is not enough for you to simply deny responsibility for such an outrage; I believe it is your duty under your oath to exert your every influence to run to earth every lawbreaker--even though he be a Klansman--and see to it that impartial justice is administered, openly and lawfully by the proper public officials. I hold our duty to your flag, and that for which it stands, is paramount to your duty to a brother Klansman. Unfortunately, some of your leading members do not accept this view.
Moreover, I cannot and will not longer subscribe to the rules and regulations of a body of men where I have no voice in choosing its leadership.
Being thus out of step with the Klan as now constituted and conducted, the only honorable procedure open to me is to announce my position to your body and most respectfully ask that my name be forthwith stricken from our membership roll. This I now do. I should also appreciate an acknowledgment of this letter.
I cannot close without warning your body to be extremely careful in the future; guard zealously your every act to the end that the countless good your organization is capable of be not lost to the community, state and nation, through the lawless acts of misguided men who assume to take the law into their own hands. Such acts constitute a challenge to the ability of free men to govern themselves and strike at the very foundation stone of democracy.
Respectfully yours,Medford Mail Tribune, May 11, 1922, page 1
JAS. E. EDMISTON.
Commends Tribune Attitude"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 12, 1922, page 4
To the Editor:
Please accept my commendation for the utterances you are making, and the stand you are taking against the lawlessness of unknown bands of masked men, and it seems to me there should be a move of good citizens started to put a stop to such things as this, and I find I am not the only one of that opinion either.
E. R. ENYEART
Colvig Replies to Lampman"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 12, 1922, page 4
To the Editor: Mr. H. H. Lampman, in his reply to my request that candidates for public office should make known their position in re the Ku Klux Klan, seems to think that my objections to this order rest entirely on vague suspicion; and that I make an invidious distinction between it and other orders. I will admit that the K.K.K. comes into this community under a cloud of well-earned suspicion. There were more than forty outrages committed on private individuals in the state of Texas during the year 1921, and in every instance the newspapers of the state charged these outrages to the activities of the K.K.K. The perpetrators in each of these Texas cases wore white masks and hoods, and thus concealed their identity. Suspicion? Yes, I am always suspicious of a man who parades the streets in the nighttime with a mask on his face and his person otherwise disguised. In several instances the victims of these Texas outrages, and others in the United States during 1921, were branded "K.K.K." on the forehead with powerful acid. Mr. Lampman, will you please observe that none of these outrages were charged against the Elks, the Masons, or any other order than the K.K.K.s., and that none of the victims had burned into their flesh the symbols "B.P.O.E.," "A.F.&A.M.," "I.O.O.F.," or "K.C."
The recent Inglewood tragedy in California is not charged against the Elks, Masons or Odd Fellows. You say, "Why single out the K.K.K.s as the goat?" What person with a thimble full of brains would have reason to suspect any other order. Robbers, burglars and midnight assassins go out into the darkness under cover of a mask in order that they may not be identified. A great fraternal society (?) should not copy after outlaws in the matter of regalia. Masons, Elks, Odd Fellows, and members of the other great fraternities are always pleased to let people know that they belong. They have nothing to conceal in the matter of their activities. But members of the K.K.K. conceal their identity. Their real work seems to be mostly done under cover of darkness, disguised and [with] hooded features.
In the matter of giving aims they make a notable exception to this rule. In order to advertise their donations to charity they go in the daytime, wear hoods and robes, so that the public may see what order it is that is helping the widow and orphans. There were two notable instances of that kind in this city within a few days following the Hale outrage, and last Sunday in the city of Portland members of the K.K.K., completely hooded and robed, went into more than a dozen of the churches of that city and in each left a small contribution to charity. I would recommend that if they have a chaplain that he read to them what Christ said about the giving of alms as recorded in Matthew, Chapter VI, wherein he says: "Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them. * * * Therefore, when thou doest thine alms do not sound a trumpet before thee as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, * * * but when thou doeth alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth."
WM. M. COLVIG
Medford, May 11.
GOVERNOR OLCOTT CONDEMNS KU KLUXSALEM, Ore, May 13.--Declaring that "dangerous forces are insidiously gaining a foothold in Oregon," and that these forces "in the guise of a secret society, parading under the name of the Ku Klux Klan, are endeavoring to usurp the reins of government, are stirring up fanaticism, race hatred, religious prejudice and all of those evil influences which tend toward factional strife and civil terror," Governor Olcott this morning issued a proclamation calling upon all law enforcement officers of the state. including judges of the courts, sheriffs of the counties and all other law-enforcing officers to see that all "unlawfully disguised men be kept from the streets and to prevent further outrages and maraudings such as have occurred in some of our own communities and in the state of California."
SWEEP K.K. FROM STATE OF OREGON
State Executive Issues Proclamation Calling on All Officers of State Including
Judges of Courts to See That Disguised Men Are Kept from the Streets.
Law Is CitedSection 2046 Oregon laws, dealing with the subject of unlawful disguises and consequent penalties, is especially stressed in the proclamation.
"Assaults have been committed in various counties of the state by unknown, masked outlaws, the odium of which has reflected on the Ku Klux Klan," the proclamation reads. "Whether or not these outlaws were connected with the organization is immaterial. Their vile acts demonstrate that the name of the organization may be used for evil purposes and that from the nature of its activities it has the moral effect of causing unthinking and misguided persons to enter into unlawful conspiracies and to perpetrate unlawful deeds * * *."
No Invisible Empire in Oregon"Oregon needs no night riders, no invisible empire to control her affairs. Our courts of law, our enforcing officers, our whole machinery of government are founded on the fundamentals of true American citizenship and are second to no other state. Star chamber proceedings, dark conspiracies behind closed doors, are all foreign to our first government principles. Danger lurks when masked men parade the streets on missions of a character known but to themselves. Officers of the law can have no knowledge of the identity, character or aims of individuals who conceal their features, whose oath of allegiance to some private organization holds sway in their minds, and whose motives are uncertain and unknown. Even the sanctity of our various churches is no proof against their invasion in disguise.
"I call upon all loyal citizens of this state to give support to the proper law enforcing arms of the government in this movement against masked riders or cloaked and disguised figures who unlawfully skulk about on secret missions for unknown ends.
"These practices must cease if there is to be law in our land and true Americanism is to prevail."
Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1922, page 1
HOW THEY DO THINGS IN CALIFORNIAMedford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
They know how to do things in California. They have no better climate, no greater resources, but they have a marvelous spirit of united action and constructive accomplishment.
Take California's attitude toward the Ku Klux Klan for example. Every thinking person knows that if the K.K.K. should gain control in California, business would be dead. Injecting religious and racial hatreds, encouraging lawlessness and violence in any community turns neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend and renders any worthwhile constructive accomplishment impossible.
So the people of California as a whole have united against this troublemaking order, and led by every influential newspaper in the state and every prosecuting attorney from Los Angeles to Willows, they are proceeding to drive the masked marauders from the confines of the commonwealth.
* * *What is the result? The Grand Master of the Masons in California has condemned the K.K.K. and forbidden Klansmen to enter the order, the Supreme Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias in San Francisco today announced he will request the suspension of any member of the organization found to belong to the Ku Klux Klan, and declared a definite stand will be taken at the K.P. convention in August. In Los Angeles, in Sacramento, in San Francisco, public officials in the Klan have been tumbling over themselves to get out of it, while the Elks lodge of Sacramento has declared no "good Elks" can belong to it.
Consequently in a few weeks the K.K.K. will have no more capacity for trouble in California than a last year's bird nest. This is as it should be. It is essentially right. But it is not only good morals. It is good business.
As usual, when prosperity and well being and the get-together spirit are concerned, California points the way.
Newbury Answers Anderson.To the Editor:
My attention has been directed to the letter of Bert Anderson in regard to "Republicans who appear to be greatly disturbed over the present situation, and who are insisting that all candidates take sides in the public press."
Mr. Anderson knows that there were three outrages perpetrated upon three citizens in the community which it is true greatly distressed the law-abiding citizens of the community, because these outrages were plainly in violation of the laws of the land.
In my letter to the Tribune I made no reference to the K.K.K. or any other organization, but I did say that I stood against any man, set of men, or organization of men who countenanced the outrages that were perpetrated upon these individuals. Can it be that there is any other "side" to this question than the one I have expressed?
It is certainly the duty of all good citizens to denounce such outrages and it occurs to me that it is the imperative duty of any candidate for any public office to come out flatfootedly and denounce them. I am certainly unable to agree with Mr. Anderson when he takes the position that a man who publicly denounces such outrages as were perpetrated against these people makes himself unfit to sit in judgment upon the rights of his fellow citizens.
It is my humble opinion that a man who hasn't the conviction to express himself frankly and emphatically and unmistakably against these unlawful acts, and put his denunciation in such language that he cannot be misunderstood, lacks one of the essential qualifications to sit in judgment upon the rights of his fellow citizens, for one of the inalienable rights of a man is to have his person protected from such outrages.
Does Mr. Anderson want anyone upon the bench who countenances these outrages? And if he doesn't why should he object to his candidate for circuit judge expressing himself fully and frankly upon the question? Is he fearful there are a bunch of votes that he might lose if he expressed himself frankly?
It is more to be preferred to be right upon a question of this kind than it is to get votes, and when the question of mob violence is a matter of issue before the people of a community, there is no time for the exercise of such diplomacy as will bring votes at the expense of a plain, straightforward statement of where a candidate stands upon the question involved.
I have no other position to take upon this question except the one which I now take in this letter, and which I took in my previous letter, and which is emphatically against mob violence, and for the protection of the inalienable rights of my fellow citizens.
Very truly yours,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1922, page 4
Medford, May 13th, 1922.
Lampman Answers Colvig.To the Editor:
I believe that it is the poet Horace who tells us that once upon a time "The mountain labored and brought forth a mouse." This ancient proverb has been recalled by Judge Colvig's article in the Mail Tribune of the 12th inst., wherein he essayed to comply with my request for proof of his allegations anent the grievous sins attributed by him to the Ku Klux Klan; supplementary to which he made demand--not request, as he now states--that the candidates for local office publicly define their several attitudes towards that organization. It will be recalled that my request was simply that he file a bill of particulars, accompanied by the proof, in the matter of his contentions that the clan was an organized band of midnight marauders, guilty of the commission of about all the offenses enumerated in the entire calendar of crime. It will also be remembered that I did not then, nor do I now impeach the Judge's veracity, but only insisted that he produce his proof. Having such proof I would then be in position to join with him and other respecters of the law in denouncing these malefactors. To this appeal the Judge has been finally moved to make reply, which contains neither proof nor information, but rather bunk, pure and simple. Here, in brief, is his entire case: During the past year numerous. outrages have been committed by gangs of masked men in Texas, who branded the letters K.K.K. on the persons of their victims. The newspapers credited these outrages to the Ku Klux Klan and, because no other secret society was so charged Ku Klux must needs have been guilty. Logical and entirely convincing, is it not? If evidence of this character is ample to convince Judge Colvig of the guilt of one accused of the commission of a heinous crime, then God forbid that he or any man possessed of similar bent of judicial mind should ever be permitted to sit upon the bench as a trial judge. With all due respect to the press, more than forty years of newspaper work has convinced me that, considered as proof, mere newspaper statements should ever be taken with a liberal allowance of chloride of sodium.
For nearly a century the charge has been made by the enemies of the mighty Masonic fraternity that that order has not only countenanced, but actually caused to be perpetrated a deliberate and cold-blooded murder. Of course that charge has never been proven, and consequently has not been believed other than by the avowed enemies of that order. Street rumor and newspaper report, upon which Mr. Colvig places reliance, has not always dealt kindly towards even so great and good a man as the Judge himself, but wanting confirmation these irresponsible fulminations properly made no impression on the public mind as being worthy of credence.
I note with admiration the facility with which the Judge quotes from Holy Writ, although I am reminded that so good an authority as Shakespeare declares that "The devil can recite Scripture for his purpose." I also note that the Judge reiterates the statement that he is suspicious. Here again it is the immortal Bard of Avon, who admonishes us that "suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer." Of course neither of these quotations have personal application to the dear old Judge, whom we all love, save in a Pickwickian sense.
One thing, however, the Judge has succeeded in making plain and that is that the local Klansmen stand convicted of having at divers times appeared in public places robed in ghostly habiliments, and wearing masks. In this horrible guise they have even had the temerity to invade the churches of Medford while sacred services were in progress, lay their benefactions on the very altar, after which they have respectfully withdrawn without having disclosed their identity. And this is the whole head and front of their proved offending. Simply horrible to contemplate, isn't it?
In view of all this, and for the present at least, this writer refuses to regard the local Ku Klux Klan as being composed of either seraphs or demons, and therefore he absolutely refuses to join with Judge Colvig in the cry of "Crucify them!" Meanwhile he will content himself by judging them by their proven acts, for "by their works ye shall know them."
H. H. LAMPMAN"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1922, page 4
Central Point, May 13, 1922.
Anderson Answers Kelly.To the Editor:
It was purely for Republican consumption that I wrote my harmony article appearing in the Tribune of last Thursday. I specifically disavowed any disposition to criticize the Democratic candidate for judge, and it was an attack from an entirely unexpected quarter when in yesterday's Tribune I find Colonel Kelly pointing an accusing finger at me. Now it just seems impossible to satisfy those boys who have slipped a mental cog over this K.K.K. business. They have worked themselves into such a sweat that they can't see that in one year from now or sooner there will not be a single hooded or sheeted figure in the great free Republican North. There may be some excuse for them in the old Bourbon machine-controlled, illiterate Democratic South, but there can be no permanent place for them in that section of our beloved country where there is free speech, a free press, and a free ballot.
The Colonel charges me with being influenced by my "intense partisan feeling." Now as an illustration of my intense partisanship, I am going to make a bashful confession--some years ago when the Colonel was a candidate for prosecuting attorney I voted for him. I went even further than that in my partisanship--I persuaded five or six other feeble-minded Republicans to do the same. However, since that time my sins have been forgiven.
I am now going to divulge something else. Secretly the Colonel has always been my idea of what a double-fisted. peppery, fighting man should be--my opinion of what sort of a judge he would make is another story. And then, you know, I have promised myself not to interfere in the troubles of the Democratic Party.
I am grieved beyond words to express, at the foul intimation contained in the last paragraph of the Colonel's communication. If it had not been for my disinclination to vouch for anything Democratic, I could have included him in the "clean bill of health" that I was able to give our two candidates.
BERT ANDERSON."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1922, page 4
The Reptilian Vow of the Ku Klux Klansmen
To show the absolute unfitness of any member of the Ku Klux Klan to be a policeman, constable, sheriff, magistrate, public prosecutor or juryman, or to hold any other position connected with the administration or enforcement of law, nothing more should be needed than this oath, which every Klansman must take upon admission to the order:Medford Mail Tribune, May 13, 1922, page 6 Emphasis in the original.
I swear that I will keep secure to myself a secret of a Klansman when same is committed to me in the sacred bond of Klansmanship; the crime of violating this solemn oath, treason against the United States of America, rape and malicious murder alone excepted.
Note that but three out of many felonies are excepted, and no misdemeanors, the list of which is very numerous.
So if a Klansman charged with crime, or actually under arrest, should admit to a Ku Klux Klan policeman, constable, jailer or public prosecutor that he had been guilty of theft, burglary, robbery, manslaughter, counterfeiting, bribery, bomb throwing, mayhem, bigamy, child stealing, embezzlement, perjury or any one or more of a host of other crimes, the Klansman oath would be a bar to revelation of the confession.
In other words, the Klansman oath would in any such case prevent a Ku Klux Klan policeman or other officer of the law, to whom such admission might be made, from performing his sworn duty as such officer.
Accordingly the folly, absurdity and danger of allowing any such public officer to become or remain a member of the Ku Klux Klan should be clear to any person of common sense.
----Note also that the Klansman oath even excepts every other sort of murder than "malicious."
Our civil code defines murder as the "unlawful killing of a human being, with malice aforethought." But, aside from any manifestation of deliberate intent, the law implies malice when little provocation appears for the homicide, or the circumstances "show an abandoned or malignant heart."
And the law specifically declares that any killing while committing or trying to commit arson, rape, robbery, burglary or mayhem is murder in the first degree, although there may be no indication whatever of actual personal malice toward the victim.
----Now why does the Klansman oath make that peculiar exception of "malicious murder"?
Is it for the reason that hooded "night riders," when they commit a felony by breaking into a home at night--with intent to take out and infamously mistreat some man or woman--know that they may be fired upon in self-defense, and mean to return the fire, and so perhaps murder some person or persons, in the effort to carry out their lawless purpose?
Any such killing is first degree murder in the eyes of the law.
So it is little wonder that the Klansman oath binds each member to keep secret the crime of murder.--Sacramento Bee.
GATES OBJECTS TO MASKS IN SECRET ORDERTo the Editor: My answer to the kleagles agreeing to take the work, under certain conditions, was accepted and I was called upon the phone to appear. I appeared and was given the work from one end to the other.
Mayor After Initiation in Ku Klux Klan Announces Ceremony is Beautiful, But Doesn't Like Regalia--Will See Law Is Obeyed Here.
The obligation and oath was one that no Christian man could take exception to. Whoever wrote it must have been an artist, for it certainly was a masterpiece. According to that obligation, any man who violates any law of either the United States, your own state or city could not be a good Klansman. The work was beautiful and very impressive. If a man is not a better citizen after taking the work, he is not a fit subject for any order or community. When all masks were removed, and I looked around the room into the faces of over two hundred men present, men from every walk of life in the community, I could not help but wonder, why the packing of so many guns in Medford? I not only heard every word of the obligation but read it over from the ritual afterwards to be sure that I was getting it as it really was. I believe that with the class of ten that went in at the time, we received it in its entirety.
But I did find an objection, and I so stated in my talk to them when called upon. I am sorry that the mask is used at all, although they tell me that it is to be used only in the lodge room as paraphernalia and upon the public streets in a parade. If the wearing of the mask was entirely eliminated, I firmly believe the attitude of the public toward the Klan would be entirely different. The wearing of the mask gives the crooks and men of evil minds the opportunity to do unlawful acts under the guise of the Ku Klux Klan.
If any member of the Ku Klux Klan violates the laws of our community or country, I assure the public that he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, for, outside of the crime committed, he has violated his obligation as a Klansman.
Very truly yours,Medford, May 15.
C. E. GATES.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1922, page 1
THE TRUTH SHALL PREVAIL
Truth crushed to earth shall rise again.Now that's consoling. For there has been more crushing of truth, more plain and fancy lying in this present campaign than ever before in the history of Christendom.
The eternal years of God are Hers;
But Error wounded, writhes with pain,
And dies among his worshipers.
Someday the truth will come out. Then we shall see what we shall see, and it will undoubtedly restore some people's waning faith in the essential honesty of humanity.
But at the present moment the outlook is disheartening. Is Governor Olcott a liar for example? The Grand Goblin of Oregon's Invisible Empire says he is, and he is backed by the chief lecturing knight.
Governor Olcott declared there is an attempt by a secret society, under the guise of the Ku Klux Klan, to seer control of the state government. This statement is supported by every newspaper in Portland, for they have printed the K.K.K. tickets, and it has been announced that Grand Kleagles have been conducting Hall's campaign.
But the K.K.K. officials declare it all malicious falsehood. Who, might we ask, is telling the truth?
Not so very long ago it was openly stated in Medford by an official of the Klan that the Harding administration is behind the K.K.K.
Through his secretary, Mr. Christian, President Harding not only denied this, but stated he is opposed to the Ku Klux and had frequently so stated.
Who, might we ask, is telling the truth?
Repeatedly it has been stated officially that this secret order has had no connection with certain outrages, here and elsewhere, and yet in Los Angeles a coroner's jury declared there was a direct connection, and two members of the Klan swore an oath [that] the Inglewood outrage was planned at a meeting of Klansmen.
Once more, who is telling the truth? So one might go on indefinitely all down the line, and the average citizen is wondering whether he is living in the Twentieth Century or in the dark ages of Ananias.
But on the most excellent authority we have the assurance that ultimately the truth, and nothing but the truth, will prevail. That will be a great day for one side of this question. It will be a dark day for the other.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
D. M. Lowe Answers NewburyTo the Editor:
I have been reading with much interest the several letters printed in your columns in regard to the political situation and especially the letters of Gus Newbury and Ed Kelly, candidates for office. Feeling that I know something of the sentiment of the people I am constrained to add a few words that may be of benefit.
It has been talk among certain politicians of the county for some time that a new issue had to be made and unless it was made, neither Newbury or Kelly had any choice to be elected judge.
For many months we have had a ring of bootleggers and their sympathizers practically openly violating the law. Case after case has been tried in our courts where aided by certain attorneys, the defendants have in most cases been cleared, and the people, already groaning under a load of taxes that is unbearable, feel that very little has been accomplished with all this money and this ring is still defying the law.
One thing sure, no matter what the cost, the law must be enforced. No ring of criminals no matter who they may be can permanently defy the law.
The issue today is one of common decency and law enforcement.
No one knows better what the issue is than some of these men writing these letters, but they are trying to change the issue by charging an organization and its members with law violations when they know nothing about the facts, for I am giving them the benefit of the doubt and assume that if they knew who the lawbreakers were, they would furnish such facts to the officers of the law. They are attempting to throw out a smokescreen behind which they can hide as to the real issue.
I note in his last letter Gus says "when mob violence is an issue" undoubtedly thinking that he has successfully changed the issue. However, let me say that high taxes is an issue in this campaign. The courts and the law-enforcing officials must stand for the enforcement of the law, no matter what the character of the law violation is, and this includes bootlegging as well as mob violence. I notice that both Newbury and Kelly are strong against the latter, but I have not seen any statement of theirs in regard to the former.
It cost the county a lot of money to try Mr. Newbury's client the famous "Shine" Edwards three times before conviction was had, and while Gus is so anxious to declare his position against the Ku Klux Klan, it would be pleasing to a lot of us taxpayers to learn from him whether his defending bootleggers in the past is going to render him partial or impartial to them when they come before him as judge.
D. M. LOWE."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1922, page 4
FIRE CROSS BURNS ON ROXY ANNMedford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1922, page 8
A fiery cross of generous dimensions and visible for miles burned on the northern shoulder of Roxy Ann last night from about 8:30 until after ten o'clock. Numerous excited persons jumped into their autos and drove in the general direction of the cross, thinking that it was situated near the reservoir. Others took field glasses and gazed intensely in an easterly direction hoping to ascertain how the light was produced. The majority of the latter persons declare that it was produced through the use of a large number of colored fusees such as are used for railroad warning signals.
It is the general opinion of the people who viewed the cross that it was in some way connected with the Ku Klux Klan.
The IssueTo the Editor: There is only one great issue in this primary campaign. It is that of constitutional government versus invisible government.
The appeal to intolerance, to racial prejudice and religious bigotry, has sidetracked all other issues. No other issues can receive consideration until it has been decided whether we are to have government in the open or behind closed doors.
The Republican gubernatorial contest has narrowed down to a struggle between the standard-bearers of these two ideas--Ben Olcott for constitutional government and Charles Hall for invisible government through secret societies and the Ku Klux Klan. Other candidates have their unorganized personal following, but none great enough to figure in the finals.
The issue of invisible government has split the Republican Party into two camps. The cleavage runs through the entire ticket. Ku Klux leadership has endorsed a complete slate, beginning with Hall for governor, Fithian for committeeman, Hoff for treasurer, down to the legislative candidates, and counting on success at the polls is insolently organizing the next legislature behind closed doors.
Those who believe in having a governor untrammeled by secret pledges or by fealty to an "emperor" of an "invisible empire," an executive who will preserve the popular freedom guaranteed in the Constitution, who opposes a relapse to medieval intolerance that can only end in group antagonism and discord, who want government in the open sight of all in the open light of day, will vote for Ben Olcott.
Those who believe in invisible government, in having a governor who follows dictates and obeys edicts issued secretly by unknown persons behind closed doors, who would revive a secret tribunal like the Vehmgericht of ancient Germany, or the Camorra of modern Italy, to pass judgment upon offenders, substituting mob violence and trial by ordeal of hanging and torture for constituted authority and law, who would make race a test of citizenship and religion a test of patriotism, should vote for Charles Hall.
Until this issue is settled, and settled right, by the triumph of constitutionalism, all political and economic issues will remain in the background. Then we can get back to real Americanism, based upon love of country and its institutions, upon sympathy, mutual respect and toleration on the part of the people.
Are we going to have government in the open--or government behind closed doors? That is the issue, and the only issue, and Republicans can help decide it right by voting for Ben Olcott.
G.O.P."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 16, 1922, page 4
Defends the Ku Klux Klan."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 16, 1922, page 4
To the Editor:
As the primary campaign draws to a close, a lot of people are asking themselves and others why some of our candidates for judge are so exercised about the K.K.K.s and do not or dare not denounce another secret organization which has its ramifications in every part of our republic and is in politics 365 days in the year.
This organization is the active arm in America of a foreign potentate sitting enthroned at Rome and who not only lays claim to being the spiritual, but also the temporal ruler of the world and who arrogates to himself the right to demand that all governments shall send ambassadors to his court. In the last thousand years this mighty and sinister power has kept the world in a welter of blood and in the present enlightened age thrives best and wields its greatest powers where illiteracy and ignorance abounds.
The American branch of this great power has been somewhat liberalized by education and our free American institutions, but it still pursues wherever possible the dark and devious ways of Rome.
In this country it has at times defeated political parties, driven able, patriotic men from public life and has built up and maintained venal political machines in some of our great cities where every public office from policeman to mayor is filled by members of this organization or its tools, and even our public school systems, that distinctively American institution, has been at times and in certain places controlled and decimated by this foreign spawn and the garbed and gowned devotees of a religious order placed in charge of our children at public expense, even here in Oregon, where we boast of our freedom and independence. There is never a session of our legislature that this organization, working secretly and craftily, makes cringing cowards of three-fourths of our legislators.
Large numbers of our people are coming to look upon this secret organization, controlled and inspired by an alien despot, as the greatest menace to our American institutions.
Their activities inevitably led to the formation of such retaliatory groups as the K.K.K.s.
Now, since our candidates for judge are publicly explaining their attitude toward the K.K.K.s, they might tell us what they think of that other secret organization, known as the K.C.s.
And while they are giving us light on this question they might also tell us how they stand on the bootleg rings that infest our communities, and what they think of the more or less prominent citizens and bootleg lawyers who patronize and defend them and make it possible for them to exist.
E. A. FLEMING,
Medford, May 16.
CITY COUNCIL BARS KU KLUX MASKSThe city council last night passed an ordinance which went into effect at once as an emergency measure "for the immediate preservation of the peace and safety of the city of Medford," prohibiting under heavy penalty any person of persons wearing masks or other disguises on the streets or in a public place, except when attending a public or private social entertainment.
ANTI-KLAN ORDINANCE NOW A LAW
City Council Passes Emergency Ordinance by Unanimous Vote Preventing the Wearing of Masks on Streets or in Public Places--Organization Condemned
While in the ordinance the word Ku Klux Klan is not mentioned yet it is so drawn as to apply to that organization and to prevent its members or any part of them wearing in public their masks and other regalia. In fact every councilman, the mayor and all persons present thoroughly understand that the ordinance was aimed at the local Ku Klux Klan.
With all councilmen present except R. F. Antle, the ordinance was unanimously passed under suspension of the rules with very little debate. In fact Messrs. Gaddis, Keene, Dressler, Lumsden: and Miles had their minds made up as soon as the ordinance was introduced.
Took Mayor by SurpriseMayor C. E. Gates was in ignorance of the fact that such a proposed ordinance was going to be introduced or was in existence until it was read by E. E. Kelly, as a citizen appearing before the council. The mayor, who by reason of his appearing before the Ku Klux Klan recently by invitation and witnessing that body's workings, in order to make a public report of its doings, etc., was made an honorary Klan member. Hence the keeping him in ignorance of what was contemplated last night.
The matter was plainly settled when the ordinance was read by Colonel Kelly, and overwhelming sentiment was shown in its favor. He himself had in his public report on the Klan meeting suggested that the Klan should abolish the mask. What peeved His Honor, however, according to his statement, was the fact that the contemplated measure was kept secret from him and then was introduced in an irregular councilmanic manner by an outsider. He explained to the councilmen after the meeting that he held no ill will against them for the passage of the ordinance. In fact during the debate he expressed approval of the ordinance, but objected to the Klan being singled out alone in it.
Councilman Keene and Colonel Kelly took the lead in the debate following the latter's reading of the proposed measure. The mayor argued mildly but positively for "fair play" and proper investigation of the Klan, rather than going by "hearsay and prejudice and drawing a measure" so as to single out the Klan alone.
Dynamite Fuse LightedAfter the ordinance had been passed the following vehement remark made by Councilman Keene nearly precipitated a row: "Any official who belongs to the Klan ought to be investigated."
Mayor Gates tersely replied: "Any time I can't be fair as mayor and investigate anything, I am ready to resign."
Dr. Keene then went on with his denunciation of the Klan organization and principles, etc., and its danger to the public welfare, as he viewed it, and of how such an organization should be exterminated.
He explained afterwards that when he made the comment which drew forth the above reply from Mayor Gates he did not refer to the mayor personally, but had in mind that it is rumored that a number of city employees are either Klan members or in sympathy with the Klan, including several policemen. Councilman Keene further stated last night that he favored the passage of an ordinance to give the council the right to summon any city official or employee before the council and question him, and if on learning he was a member of the Klan to discharge him.
Following the reading of the proposed ordinance Col. Kelly, without mentioning the Klan by name, delivered a denunciation of any such body that appears in public only in masks and other disguising regalia, and works in the dark. He pointed out its danger to the public welfare as he saw it and called attention to the three mob rule episodes in this vicinity in the past.
"This is an honest-to-God American community," he said in part, "and is no place for a cowardly, sneaking, masked secret organization, taking the law in its own hands. It will soon die an ordinary death, killed by public sentiment."
Then came the flowing interruption from Mayor Gates: "If in these three mob happenings you attribute to the Klan, if the federal officers who have been here so long investigating have a particle of evidence as to the perpetrators why don't they begin some prosecutions?"
Then Colonel Kelly explained that the federal authorities were delayed by the fact that they were proceeding with the intention of bringing the prosecutions under an old federal statute passed in President Grant's time, and under which the last prosecution was brought in 1869. "The government is proceeding slow but sure," he said; "Its mills grind very slow but exceedingly fine."
Keene Also Denounces KlanCouncilman Keene made several speeches denouncing the Ku Klux Klan. He expressed his contempt for any organization that wore masks and worked in the dark trying to usurp the functions of the regular law and order processes.
"I was born and raised in Oregon," he said, "and up to the time this Klan put in an appearance we had a peaceful, unified and law-abiding state. Why in Medford alone this Klan is creating more discord than ever known, disorganizing the community in all ways, and is disrupting everything. The appearance of the local Ku Klux Klan is the very worst thing that has ever happened in the city's history. It must be stamped out and public opinion will soon efface it. I especially despise the men who are members of it and deny their membership."
Council Passes OrdinanceAfter the discussion was ended Councilman Dressler moved that the ordinance be passed under suspension of the rules as an emergency measure, and Councilman Keene quickly seconded the motion. The councilmen agreed to permit the reading of the ordinances by Colonel Kelly to go as the first reading of the measure. It was then quickly placed on its second and third reading and passed.
The penalty upon conviction of the anti-mask ordinance is a fine of $25 to $100, or imprisonment in the city jail for 30 days, or by both fine and imprisonment.
Klan Accepts ActionThe following communication was handed the Mail Tribune today for publication:
To the Editor:
We are informed of the action of the city council in passing an order prohibiting the wearing of a mask in public places and upon the streets and alleys of this city. In behalf of the Knights of the Kux [sic] Klan we wish to notify the public through your paper that we heartily endorse the action of the city council in its action and hereby pledge our support in seeing that this ordinance is obeyed to the fullest extent. We are a law-abiding organization and one of our principal objects is the obeying of the laws ourselves and to assist the officers of the law in seeing that they are obeyed by others. We desire to state publicly that we will cooperate at all times in securing legitimate information against all law violators. Time will convince the world that our motives are clean and sincere.
Signed,Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1922, page 1
THE KNIGHTS OF THE KU KLUX KLAN,
By Jno. J. Hoogstraat, Kleagle.
TO REPUBLICAN VOTERSThe election Friday is a primary. The Republican Party is to select its candidates for the fall election. Naturally, Republicans want to select those men best qualified to win.
It is inconceivable that a majority of the Republican voters would deliberately select as their candidate for governor a man who can be tagged with the Ku Klux Klan brand. The feeling against the Klan is strong now. It will be much stronger in November. Certain important facts, not clear now, will be clear then. Such an election would certainly split the Republican Party disastrously, and in all probability elect a Democratic governor.
We don't believe many Republicans want to do that. And yet because of the peculiar circumstances, there is genuine danger. For there is only one avowed K.K.K. candidate, Charles Hall, and he has a solid organization behind him. The anti-K.K.K. vote is split five ways. To perceive Hall's factional advantage is merely a matter of arithmetic.
Moreover, every goblin, kleagle and invisible citizen of the invisible empire will march to the polls Friday and mark a ballot for Hall. Probably not over fifty percent of the opposition will vote, for outside of the few communities where the dangers of this invisible empire have been demonstrated, the rank and file, as usual, are apathetic.
* * *The proper course then for those Republicans to pursue who still have some affection for the party of Grant and Lincoln is to unite upon the strongest man in the opposition. There are only two candidates who had the vision and the courage to stand out against this conspiracy to dishonor and destroy the Republican Party, Governor Olcott and Louis E. Bean, speaker of the house--and parenthetically allow us to give them both that honor" to which such genuine statesmanship and courage entitle them.
We would like to see them both nominated. But as that is impossible the only sensible thing to is to unite upon the stronger, who is as everyone at all conversant with the situation admits, our present Governor.
With Olcott as the nominee the Republicans of this state can go to the polls united, with confidence and self-respect unimpaired. Not only will this absurd attempt to foist an invisible empire of invisible buncombe on the state of Oregon be given its quietus once and for all, but the man best qualified for the position of governor will have been selected.
END THE FARCE.All sensible people deplore the injection of religious and racial hatreds into this campaign. The responsibility for this rests entirely upon a secret organization, born in the South, bred in the South, and responsible today to an Invisible Emperor living in the South.
How preposterous then the entire matter is! Who can blame the Democrats in Oregon from enjoying the present Republican predicament and secretly hoping that the gubernatorial nominee upon whom the suspicion of K.K. sympathies can be placed, will be selected.
Think of the party of Lincoln, with "malice toward none and charity for all," the party of Grant, who spent the last years of his life in sweeping the Ku Klux Klan from the South, the party of Garfield, that saved this union by giving equality to a race regardless of its color, the party of Roosevelt, who took the strongest stand of any American President against that bigotry and narrowness which would deny equal rights to all regardless of religion. Think of that party being tagged in the state of Oregon with the brand of the Ku Klux Klan!
* * *Everyone gets excited during an election. A great many people say things they don't mean, and exaggerate evils they don't see. But underneath all this froth, there is real truth and real danger.
We don't deny there are good men in the Ku Klux Klan, just as there are good men in all secret orders. We don't deny there may be much in the so-called ritual to commend it to many, but we do deny that that order or any other secret order hiding behind masks has a right to control the Republican Party or control the government of this state.
So let's end the farce. Let's try to get together again, as a community and a state and stop this insane and suicidal performance. And the one way to stop it is to nominate men against whom the hand of suspicion cannot be raised.
Failing in that, this mad riot will continue to the middle of November. For unless Olcott or Bean are nominated, and the K.K.K. forced to get out of polities or into the Democratic Party, nothing can stop this mess from festering and exploding throughout the summer.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
How About the K.K. Oath?To the Editor:
The Sacramento Bee is a responsible newspaper and is able to respond in damages in an action for libel or slander. In a recent issue it is said to have published a portion of the oath required of every person who joins the Ku Klux Klan, in the following words:
"I swear that I will keep secure to myself a secret of a Klansman when same is committed to me in the sacred bond of Klansmanship; the crime of violating this solemn oath, treason against the United States of America, rape and malicious murder alone excepted."
I am wondering if Mayor Gates now carries the weight of this oath on his official conscience? I am also wondering if it is possible that Mayor Gates had already become a member before the recent invitation to attend and watch the ceremony'? I am wondering if this spectacular piece of work--the confiding of these high secrets to his honor--was a method for propaganda, using the Medford mayor for that purpose? The mayor says it is beautiful work and the oaths are a labyrinth of skill in the wonderful weaving of words to express them. If the above quotation from the Sacramento Bee is a true excerpt from the K.K.K. oath, I suppose it is included in the commendation of Mayor Gates. If it is not true that the K.K.K. oath contains the above quotation, then a foundation, sure and strong, is there laid for an action against one of the greatest daily papers in California. I have not seen it denied, nor any threat of prosecution, yet it expressly says that any Klansman may commit any crime in the calendar, except treason to the United States of America, rape and malicious murder, and that every Klansman pledges his oath to "keep secure the secret when the same is committed to me in the sacred bond of Klansmanship."
Only three crimes are excepted out of the long catalogue of crimes fixed by law; all others he will keep secret. A great many crimes are already charged (truly, or falsely) against this organization, but so far as I know, not one of the excepted three. Klansmen deny that they committed them, or that they were committed under the direction or with the knowledge of the order. But, if the above excerpt is a true quotation from the oath taken by them, could they do otherwise than deny these charges, having taken oath that they would "keep secure the secret ?"
Perhaps the esthetic soul of his honor, the mayor, was so held in thrall by the beauty of the ceremony, the wonderful weaving of words to express high purpose, patriotism, Americanism and law enforcement, that he failed to see the "nigger in the woodpile." If a Klansman were indicted for, say, white slavery, for highway robbery, or moonshining, or any one of the long list of statutory crimes not listed in the "exception," what kind of a law enforcement juror would he make in the trial of such a case? Aye! What kind of a mayor would he be where these questions were involved?
The mayor finds only one thing that grates against his poetic nature, to wit: The masking. He can stand for all the rest; the name, outlawed by the United States government more than fifty years ago; the "invisible government''; the oaths and the immunity thereby granted to the whole list of criminals except three, etc., etc.
One by one the great orders, like the K.P.s, Elks, Masons, states and cities are placing taboo against this "invisible empire." Where there is so much smoke----"
C. B. WATSON."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1922, page 4
Dr. Keene Replies to D. M. LoweTo the Editor: There is one feature of the D. M. Lowe letter that requires an answer. His veiled defense of the perpetrators of mob violence needs no consideration; but the question of high taxes does need some consideration.
I think I am safe in saying that I pay as much tax as D. M. Lowe does, and I am deeply interested in a reduction of the tax burden on the people of Jackson County; and since Mr. Lowe's suggestion I am constrained to call the attention of the voters of Jackson County to Mr. Thomas' record in the legislature upon the tax question, quoting from the "Oregon Voter," which is authentic and which gives a resume of Mr. Thomas' activities as a senator, where I find the following:
"In 1921 sessions voted for 40 salary increase bills, Against 14. Absent 4."
And again Mr. Thomas was:
"One of only five senators to vote in favor of considering a resolution to bond Oregon for $40,000,000 to embark into the hazardous electrical power business, a measure which would have imposed heavy cost risks upon the taxpayers and would have held back water power development by private capital."
If Mr. Lowe's interest in the dear taxpayer is as sincere as he would have the people believe by his article in the paper, it will not be a difficult matter to determine where his vote will be cast, for this $40.000,000 which his candidate sought to inflict upon the people of the state of Oregon would have increased the burden of taxation to the people of the state for a continuous annual drag upon their purse strings for a period of twenty years; and this $40,000,000 obligation would have taken $2,000,000 annually from the taxpayers' pockets to pay the interest charge, and another $2,000,000 annually to pay the sinking fund required to meet the principal obligation. The measure is one which would have snuggled up very closely to the taxpayer's person, and would have caused an exclamation of financial pain to proceed from every taxpayer in Oregon.
And I would also call the attention of Mr. Lowe and the voters of Medford particularly to the effort of Mr. Thomas a few years ago to saddle upon the taxpayers of Medford a bonded debt of $300,000 for which the city would have received no benefit whatsoever, and the property owners would have been required to pay the bill through taxation.
Mr. Lowe and citizens of his kind are evidently of the opinion that if a man is charged with a crime he is presumed to be guilty from the very day that the indictment is returned against him, and that he is not entitled to a fair trial before a jury of his countrymen.
Under the laws of Oregon, and in fact under the laws of every other state in the union, a man is presumed to be innocent until he is proven to be guilty by witnesses before a jury, and it matters not whether a man is charged with arson, mob violence or bootlegging, he is entitled to a defense and to a fair trial.
This provision of our Constitution and of our laws is evidently a grind upon the sensibilities of Mr. Lowe and citizens of his kind. and probably the only way to satisfy them is to repeal the laws and reconstruct the Constitution so the Constitution will say that a man is presumed to be guilty until he proves his innocence, rather that that he is innocent until he is proven guilty.
Mr. Thomas has been asked to declare himself on the question of mob violence and law enforcement, and he has been and is painfully and significantly silent on the question, and apparently is lacking in moral courage to state his position on the question. evidently from a fear of losing some votes. Newbury has declared himself for law enforcement in no uncertain terms.
Very truly yours,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 18, 1922, page 4
J. M. KEENE.
Wants a Visible Judge"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 18, 1922, page 4
To the Editor: In today's issue a candidate for nomination for circuit judge states in his advertisement that he knows "That it is highly improper for him to engage in public discussion, or to form opinions concerning questions that might be presented to him for decision." Before I vote for a man for judge I want to know what his opinion is as to certain classes of law violators. I want to know whether he can form an opinion from the facts in a case without taking it under advisement to gain time to see what the public opinion is. I want to know whether he can form an opinion as soon as he has ascertained the facts, so that speedy justice may be done, or must mull it over in his mind for six weeks. I want to know whether he has the moral courage to make a decision that he knows is right but unpopular. I want to know whether his decisions would be apt to follow precedent more than justice. Every voter wants to know these things about a candidate for judge, and no candidate should expect to be elected without informing us.
No one has asked him for an opinion as to whether the K.K.K. has committed mob violence, but we want to know and have a right to know his opinions on mob law. We have a right to know whether bootleggers will get off with a fine or get a heavy jail sentence. Also as to reckless drivers. We are asked to vote for a man whose position will make our everyday life, both at home and on the street, either safe or perilous. Yet he thinks it "highly improper" that he give us even a sample of his opinions on any subject that may come before him for decision.
I have one opinion I want to express here and that it is highly improbable that such a candidate will get my vote. There are other candidates whom I know can form an opinion quickly and surely and have the courage to make it known and are willing to abide by the decision of the voters as to whether that sort of a man is the one the voters want for judge.
Medford, Oregon, May 17, 1922.
Regarding Judge Race."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, May 18, 1922, page 4
To the Editor:
Do you believe it would be right, fit or proper for Judge Calkins to make a statement condemning any organization? Would he not thereby disqualify himself, to preside at a trial in which a member of that organization is an informed party. If it is wrong for the circuit judge to condemn an organization, how can it be right for a candidate for that office to do so?
The members of the supreme court who are candidates for re-election haven't been requested to make any such statement nor have they done so. Isn't it a fact that the candidates who have answered have partially disqualified themselves for this high office, and thus proven that they are temperamentally unfit for the position?
F. C. EDMEADES.
Medford's "Anti-Ku Klux" OrdinanceThe so-called anti-Ku Klux Klan ordinance passed Tuesday night is printed below by request:
Provides for Fines or Imprisonment
The City of Medford doth ordain as follows:
Sec. I. No person shall wear upon any pubic street or alley in the city of Medford, or in any theatre or public place any mask, cap, cowl, hood or other thing or device concealing the identity of the wearer.
Sec. II. No person shall wear upon any public street or alley or in any public theatre or public place within the city of Medford any mask, cap, cowl, hood or other thing which is the regalia or a part of the regalia of any secret order, society or secret lodge if such mask, cap, cowl, hood or other thing so worn conceals the identity of the wearer.
Sec. III. The provisions of this ordinance shall not apply to persons taking part in carnivals, masked balls, shows, entertainments or celebrations conducted in accordance with the provisions of an ordinance of the city of Medford, providing the thing so worn and concealing the identity of the wearer is not a part of the regalia of any secret order or secret society. No such regalia or part of regalia so concealing the identity of the wearer shall be worn by any person in any public place within the city of Medford.
Sec. IV. It shall be the duty of the mayor, the chief of police and all peace and other officers of the city of Medford to see that the provisions of this ordinance are enforced. And it shall be the duty of the chief of police of the city of Medford and of any member of the police force thereof and of any peace officers of the city of Medford to unmask any wearer of any such device so concealing the identity of the wearer when the same is worn in violation of the provisions of this ordinance. And such officer shall then and there place under arrest any such person so violating this ordinance and charge him with the violation thereof. And any such officer so attempting to carry out the terms of this ordinance shall have power and authority to call to his assistance any other person or persons in his efforts to carry out the provisions of this ordinance and it shall be the duty of such persons so called upon to assist such officer in the performance of such duty and under the direction of such officer.
Sec. V. Any person violating the provisions of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars, nor more than one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the city jail for not to exceed thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Sec. VI. This ordinance shall become immediately operative.
Sec. VII. The provisions of this ordinance are necessary for the immediate preservation of the peace and safety of the city of Medford.
Sec. VIII. The reasons why it is necessary that this ordinance shall become immediately operative are that outrages have been committed within the limits of the city of Medford by persons whose identity was at the time obscured and concealed by masks and other devices, which masks and devices have rendered it difficult to obtain the identity of such offenders, and much discussion has been had amongst the people of Medford upon the subject and some apprehension prevails amongst the citizens, and it is therefore necessary for the immediate preservation of the peace and safety of the city of Medford that this ordinance shall become immediately operative, and an emergency therefore is hereby declared to exist and this ordinance is hereby declared to be an emergency measure.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 18, 1922, page 4
FORGET IT.Medford's Get-Together meeting in June should mark a new epoch in the history of this community. If politics can only be forgotten for a time, and the old spirit of 12 years ago revived and sustained, Medford will soon be what it should be--one of the most prosperous and contented communities on the Pacific Coast.
There is no use playing the Pollyanna act. The recent unpleasantness has aroused hatreds and prejudices, estranged friends and alienated neighbors, and anyone but an ostrich knows it. But if there will be a little spirit of conciliation on both sides, a little sense of humor here, and a little common sense there, Medford can easily return to normalcy again, and business be resumed as usual.
To do this it is only necessary to face the facts. Now there may be a race menace in Georgia, but that is Georgia's problem, not Oregon's. There may be a Jewish menace in Detroit--Henry Ford thinks there is--but that is Detroit's problem, not Medford's. There may be a religious menace in Massachusetts, but that is Massachusetts' problem, not Oregon's.
In other words there is no more need for injecting racial and religious issues into this community than there is for injecting flu or typhus germs--and one is about as good for business as the other.
So let's drop it. It does no good. It may do great harm. Above all let's drop this underground and underhanded stuff, circulating scurrilous religious tracts at night, whispering about this and that, stirring up the animals, as they did in the Middle Ages. This may get a few offices for politicians, and a few dollars for imported agitators, but the people as a whole get nothing from it but trouble.
Revive the spirit of 1910. It can be done, even amidst a political campaign, if the people will only get together and do it. This absurd hocus pocus will all be forgotten in two years. Let Medford forget it now.
Let both sides declare a truce at least in Medford. If they want a reign of terror elsewhere, including Ireland, why, let them have it. Sufficient unto this community are the real problems confronting it. These real problems all come under one head--drop politics and get to work.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 23, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
Democratic View of PrimaryFriday's Republican primaries in Oregon were fought out almost exclusively on religio-racial lines.
There was no other issue of any prominence in Multnomah County. Candidates saw intimate friends who had been their strong supporters in former campaigns desert them without explanation or apology. One such candidate declared after the primaries that he realized a week before that he was beaten because of the great number of his old supporters who had quit him to follow new leaders.
That is to say, the supreme issue in the Republican primaries in Oregon in May, 1922, was much the same as the issue in England in the time of Henry VIII and in other European countries in the same century and before.
It is a strange situation. Does anybody think there is reason in applying to Oregon's public affairs, at this critical time, the formulas that divided men and disrupted states in the sixteenth century? The late war left many problems that press for solution.
When are these problems, which directly affect men's homes, their welfare and their lives, to be solved, if men on both sides lead communities into religious controversies and racial feuds?
The bloodiest wars ever fought were religious wars. The most rancorous feuds that ever shook nations and divided men were religious feuds. Will it be profitable for Oregon at a time when there should be constructive effort to repair damages wrought by the war, to become frenzied over an issue that a thousand years of controversy has not settled and that another thousand years of debate is not likely to settle?
The election returns show that Portland is divided into two great camps. They show also that the most of Oregon is similarly divided. And where will this division get us to? What constructive thing can possibly be accomplished with the state split wide open on a religio-racial issue? Would it not be better to adjourn that controversy and take up matters of more immediate consequence to the people and the state?
The ills that each side sees in the other are mostly imaginative. At least they are much exaggerated. The Pope is not trying to capture and subdue America. The Jews pay their taxes, fight for the republic when necessary, and mostly vote the Republican ticket. Some of the best citizens to America are naturalized foreign-born. The colored in Oregon are a docile and kindly people, vote the Republican ticket almost to a man, and it seems strange that they should be the objects of antagonism in Republican primaries.
On the other hand, there is not a chance in the world for the followers of the orange ticket in Portland, even if they desired, to wreck the Catholic Church, or crucify the Jews, the foreign-born or the colored population. What they are trying to do to these groups is probably greatly exaggerated. If left unnoticed their movement would presently pass on as others like it have done.
Evidence of the excited state of mind in many was the question of a citizen to the writer: "Do you think the war between the Protestants and the Catholics will come soon?" There will be no such war, but with a lot of people expecting it and others believing similar improbable things, to what situation has the struggle brought Oregon?
If you attack the religious belief of a Catholic or a Jew, or anybody else, you make him stronger in his faith in the same way the followers of the orange ticket are cemented and made stronger by public denunciation.
Religious and racial faith is different from all other kinds of faith. Men die for it, go to the stake for it and perish on the cross for it. The experience of a thousand years and the blood on a thousand battlefields are proof that you cannot kill it.
The test for public office ought not to be whether a candidate is an anti-Catholic or a pro-Catholic, or an anti-Jew or a pro-Jew, and so on. Yet that is to be the test if the struggle as fought out by both sides in last Friday's Republican primaries is continued.
If real peril to either side were threatened by the other such a struggle might be worthwhile. But there is no real menace by either side to the other. Aside from a few fanatics, it is inconceivable that neighbors in a community harbor seriously evil designs toward other neighbors. As said above, the intentions that each has toward the other are much exaggerated. It is largely over two men of straw that Oregon has been divided into two big camps, and with the state in need of leadership for constructive work this division is a most lamentable status.
"Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them."--Portland Journal.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 24, 1922, page 4
A GREAT INVISIBLE VICTORY.The Great Invisible celebration conducted a week ago tonight was, it seems, somewhat premature. With the passing of the tumult and the shouting, there appears little in this visible and sheetless commonwealth to crow about. In fact the much-advertised K.K.K. assault upon the G.O.P. ended as far as results are concerned in a complete and dismal rout.
Ralph Williams, who was opposed by the Ku Kluxers, was renominated for national committeeman over the Klan candidate, O. H. Fithian; Labor Commissioner Gram was successful over Dalzell, the Klan nominee; T. K. Campbell, veteran member of the Public Service Commission, was victorious over J. R. Thiehoff, another invisible aspirant; Congressman Hawley opposed by the K.K.K., slaughtered A. W. Norblad; while in the third district, Korell, the K.K. candidate, was defeated by Congressman McArthur, and Congressman Sinnott, a Catholic, against whom a bitter fight was waged by the Klan, was easily victorious.
Only the governorship fight remains, as far as important state offices are concerned, and unless the K.K.K. has something more visible than talk to produce. Governor Olcott. who led the fight in this state against invisible government, is victorious over Hall by a safe and secure plurality.
The result is the more remarkable for these political innovations usually capture the public imagination at the outset and enjoy a real though temporary triumph. The old Know-Nothing stampede performed that way and the Non-Partisan Leaguers made a clean sweep of the Dakotas for the first few years. With the Klan skillfully organized, and the opposition divided; with the Klan polling a 100 percent vote and the opposition, as a whole, polling less than fifty percent, a clean sweep by the Klan would not have surprised many well-informed political observers.
But the Big Explosion proved a Dud. Instead of a boost the K.K.K. endorsement proved a blight. As a result, there is not likely to be such a wild scramble for Cyclopean endorsement at the next election, for if the K.K.K. couldn't win under conditions a week ago, they can never win.
All of which is highly desirable. For if the next election can be fought out on general constructive issues, and not on fake destructive ones, the people of Oregon will have much to be thankful for.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 26, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
Says K.K.K.'s a JokeTo the Editor: Don't take this Ku Klux Klan seriously. Barnum was right, a fool is born every minute, but Lincoln was right too, you can't fool all the people all the time.
In New York the K.K.K. is a joke. They claimed one hundred thousand members a year ago, they haven't a hundred today, and these one hundred don't dare show their mugs. And yet there are more foreign born, more Jews and more Catholics in New York than anywhere else, and more feeling against them.
Why is it a joke? Because it's all a money-making scheme and nothing else. The New York papers and magazines exposed the entire snide. The kleagles get $4 for every member they rope in, the rest of the ten is passed around to the goblins and cyclops. Get the recent book called The Modern Ku Klux published by Small, Maynard Co. There is the whole thing in black and white. If it isn't true why haven't the K.K.K. sued the papers and the publishers. They don't dare.
Now they are after easy marks along the coast and they are getting them. But don't worry, They are resigning about as fast as they are joining. In another year the thing will be as much a joke out here as in the East.
But the supreme wizard and his goblins will be on Easy Street for the rest of their lives. So why should they worry.
RALPH E. BEBBS."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, June 3, 1922, page 4
Portland, May 28.
K.K. DEMURRERS DENIED, CASES SET FOR TRIALPleas of not guilty were filed in the circuit court this morning by the six defendants in the K.K.K. nightriding indictments, charging riot, extortion and assault, and the cases put on the docket for the term of court beginning next Monday. No date was set for the trials. The court overruled the demurrers filed by the defense, attacking the validity of the indictments, and the next legal move open for securing a delay is the filing of a motion asking for a change of venue, a course not likely to be requested.
The grand jury for the October term of court began this morning and four indictments were returned before noon. Alvin Fleming, John McClintick and John McMasters were indicted for the larceny of an automobile, and McClintick was indicted for assault with a deadly weapon upon jailer Colling in an attempt to gain his liberty.
The present session of the grand jury is expected to last but three or four days, and part of the time is expected to be devoted, according to reports, to further investigation of nightshirt government in Jackson County. It is also rumored that the sheriff's office will be probed, as every grand jury has done for two years.
The petit jury for the October term of court will meet next Monday, October 23rd.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 4, 1922, page 1
THE PRIMARY VS. THE CONVENTION.Marvels never cease. Here we have the Oregonian and the Salem Capital Journal in agreement. Both Edgar Lamb Piper and George Lion Putnam apparently believe the recent election demonstrated the futility of the direct primary, and have decided to lie down together on this point, if no other.
The Capital Journal's exposition appears in another column. It's worth reading, But in our opinion its conclusions are mistaken, just as the conclusions of the Oregonian regarding the ,primary are mistaken.
Both papers point to the near-victory of the Ku Klux Klan as evidence that a return to the old convention system would mean better government, rather than worse.
* * *We can't see it. The direct primary has its imperfections, Heaven knows, but boss rule is not one of them. The K.K.K. spasm, instead of demonstrating the weakness of the primary system, demonstrates, in our judgment, its strength.
Under the old convention system, the Republican party today, in all likelihood, would be absolutely "Ku Kluxed." How can anyone question this, when the present condition of the state legislature is considered.
Now a state legislature is very like a state convention. Its members are named from various districts throughout the state; it is a comparatively small body of representative, average men, gathered together for political purposes.
The people of Oregon will not control the next legislature; the next legislature will be controlled by Oregon's Grand Exalted Cyclops--or whatever the proper invisible title may be. And the result would have been precisely the same if what we call a legislature had been a political convention.
* * *A skillful propagandist or a clever manipulator can control and bamboozle a few men--two or three hundred--gathered together in a hall. or a few in a precinct, but he can't control two or three hundred thousand people in the great outdoors. The recent election emphatically demonstrated this.
Olcott, without making a campaign, without a record that had in any way aroused popular enthusiasm, with the opposition united and his own support divided nevertheless won the nomination by a comfortable plurality, simply because the people of the state as a whole refused to be buncoed, refused to be stampeded into delivering their government over to an Invisible Empire, and emphatically declared they would run their own affairs in their own way.
In a convention the people would have had little or nothing whatever to say about it; little more than they will have to say about the doings of the next legislature.
And here lies the strength of the direct primary--it isn't efficient, but it does keep control where it belongs in the hands of the people. The people may make mistakes, but if so, they can soon correct them. As long as the primary exists, invisible nominees for high office are not impossible, but are far less likely than under the easily manipulated convention system.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 8, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
LOCAL CITIZEN EXPLAINS K.K. KLAN ATTACKTo the Editor:
B. F. Lindas Makes Public Documents in Alleged Rejection by Secret Order--
Attacked K.K. Before Membership Rejected.
Knowing your firm stand for justice and American principles, I thought I might ask you to publish this letter, as an illustration to the public as to just how the Ku Klux Klan operates, and how it attempts to stop all efforts to expose them.
In January, 1922, I was invited to join by one of their members, a Medford professional man. Like many others in the community I knew nothing about the order and thought for a time favorably of the proposition. I then received a letter in which I was asked to fill out and return the answer to some questions after which I would receive further information. A few days later a Mr. Griffin [H. E. Griffith?], one of the kleagles, called to see me at the office and explained in a very pleasant manner that it was a new order, with some of the best members of the community already members. I explained that I knew little about it and he asked me to answer the questions and that I would then hear more about it. I answered the questions. Then I was asked for a $10 donation. I told him I would see later about that after I had more information regarding it. Of course, the information was never forthcoming.
I forgot all about the matter until the March outrages in Medford, and then finding from reliable sources what the order meant, and having access to the columns of a paper I immediately denounced them and have been doing so ever since.
Almost immediately, from various sources I was warned to desist. Finally I was told I would be sorry if I did not stop it, and would be exposed. At last on May 1 I received this letter:
"Medford, Oregon, April 28th, 1922."B. F. Lindas,
"This is to inform you that your petition for membership in the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has been rejected by the Medford Klan in Klonklave assembled.
"Tl-BO-TIM."I sent this letter in reply:
"The Ku Klux Klan,
"Your letter of the 28th just received. You must be laboring under some misapprehension. I did not apply for membership in your order. Without any solicitation on my part you sent me a card to fill out, promising further information and then sent a representative to call on me. I filled out your blank but got no further information. However, I received it from other sources and have no desire to belong to your order.
"B. F. LINDAS."The whole episode being, as can be plainly seen, an attempt to frame up a defense for what I had said and might say. I counted the cost before I wrote a word. I knew I would have to endure vilification and slander. But I thought the public might be interested in knowing how they work. Had I joined the order, I would have left it and written about it the same way I am doing now. However, when their threatened exposure of their documents has been made I presume the courts are still willing to order their books and papers into court, so that the public will have a chance to determine the whole truth about this mysterious order and how it works. I might say that I wrote the first article about the Klan in the middle of March, six weeks before they decided I was not wanted as a member.
I welcome the promised attack and think it may be the means of bringing real peace to this much harassed community.
B. F. LINDAS,Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1922, page 1
Medford, June 9, 1922.
Culberson and the K.K.K.To the Editor:
Enclosed please find extract from [the] Congressional Record of June 2, page 8692, containing a letter written by Senator Culberson of Texas, which I think will be of interest to your readers.
F.M.C.Mr. King. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record in 8-point type a letter by the senior Senator from Texas (Mr. Culberson) to Major Fisher in respect to the Ku Klux organization, and what, if any, legislation is required with respect to it; also, another letter, which has to do with the attitude of the Senator from Texas upon the Cummins-Esch bill. It is very brief.
There being no objection, the letters were ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
United States Senate,Major H. V. Fisher,
Washington, D.C., March 30, 1922
Commercial Bank Building.
Dear Major: Your recent letter asking my position with reference to the order known as the Ku Klux Klan, which is now in operation in our state, was duly received, and I answer at the earliest opportunity.
I have no affiliation directly or indirectly with this organization and I am unqualifiedly opposed to its operations. If not curbed it will usurp the functions of the state and be destructive of government itself. It will indeed overthrow our Anglo-Saxon civilization in its relation to government.
Steps should be taken, therefore, at once to arrest its progress and finally to destroy it.
Appeal cannot be made to the federal government for this purpose, for it is without jurisdiction, unless application is made by Texas to the United States in the manner provided by the Constitution for protection against domestic violence, and this is unthinkable.
Fortunately, however, the power of the state is ample, and if no law now exists adequate to the occasion, the legislature may be called in extra session to supply this deficiency.
Truly your friend,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1922, page 4
C. A. CULBERSON.
THE "TRUTH" ABOUT THE KU KLUX KLAN.The deputy district attorney of Los Angeles County says every member of the Ku Klux Klan is a poor citizen.
That, we fear, is a little strong. There are good citizens in the K.K.K. It would be much more accurate to say that every member is a poor simp.
For the more one learns about this organization, the more apparent it becomes that it is nothing but a get-rich-quick scheme, which to date has been a sensational and altogether amazing success.
The K.K.K. will admit practically anyone that pays the price. It has no real principles, no genuine convictions, nothing but a passion for cash, and anyone not obviously dangerous to the order can enter the mysterious invisible empire if he puts down a ten-dollar bill at the gate, and plunks up $6.50 for a six-bit nightgown.
There is the entire K.K.K. affair in a nutshell. Take out the profits to the inner ring and it would collapse tomorrow. But as long as there are any easy marks left, as long as the graft holds, the invisible hocus pocus will continue.
* * *All this has been divulged before. The entire affair was exposed by the New York World, for which it was awarded the Pulitzer newspaper prize for distinguished public service, and it all came out later in the Congressional Record.
Colonel Simmons, who originated the idea, was, it seems, a struggling itinerant preacher a few years ago. Now he lives in a $50,000 palace in Atlanta, Georgia, with a nice little college he purchased, as a plaything; a factory which turns out the nightgowns at a profit of 3000 percent; a printing plant which turns out the K.K.K. paper, and a real estate organization which speculates in Georgia lands--the entire investment, according to the Congressional Record, running into millions and millions of dollars.
* * *Wizard Simmons divides the country--his little oyster--into "domains" each presided over by a "Grand Goblin," who reports to the "Imperial Kleagle." Each state or realm is like a regiment, and the "King Kleagle" in charge reports to his chief, the "Grand Goblin" The "Kleagle" or field man reports to the "King Kleagle" only. Ten dollars "donation" is required for citizenship. The "Kleagle" gets $4 of this and the balance is sent the "King Kleagle" who retains $1 for his part, and remits $5 to the "Grand Goblin." The "Grand Goblin" gets 50 cents and sends $4.50 to the "Imperial Kleagle," who keeps $2.50 and pays into the "Imperial treasury" for the "Emperor" $2. The whole system is as carefully conducted as a well-organized sales system, "Kleagles" being obliged to file weekly returns on a printed blank.
* * *Not a cent for club facilities, as with other secret orders, not a cent for benevolences, not a cent for insurance, but every cent for the higher ups, the inner circle, the smooth-talking, smooth-working promoters and field agents, who live at the best hotels and then move on when the rubes are picked clean.
Oh, it's a great commentary upon the gullibility of some of our leading citizens.
Of course, it has its serious side. There is a direct appeal to lawlessness and violence. The so-called creed is essentially un-American and dangerous. The preposterous attempt to enter politics and capture the government, is outrageous.
But first, last and all the time, the K.K.K. is a joke. After one has studied it for any length of time, indignation evaporates and there is only one escape:
Fresh air and a good laugh with Puck:
"What Fools We Mortals Be!"
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
Literary Digest Gives Views on Oregon's Primary Election
and the Ku Klux Klan
Under the heading "The Ku Klux in Politics," the Literary Digest, for this week, June 10th, prints the following:
"The closeness of the Oregon vote in the Republican primary contest for the governorship, in which Governor Olcott narrowly won over State Senator Hall, focuses attention for the first tine in months on the Ku Klux Klan and its entry into politics. For Senator Hall was only backed by the hooded organization and a 'Federation of Patriotic Societies,' we are told by Oregon dispatches. In Texas, too, the Klan is reported to be active in politics. Senator Culberson, one of the veterans of the Senate, who has declared against the 'K.K.K.' as a menace to civil law and organized society, is opposed by Congressman Henry, who endorses and praises the secret body, while Judge Napier, of Wichita Falls, who promises to drive the Ku Klux Klan from Texas, is out after the governorship."
While no active political campaigns are reported from other states, we learn that a recent search of the office of the Grand Goblin of California, at Los Angeles, after one man had been killed and two shot in frustrating a Ku Klux raid, brought to light two automobile loads of documentary evidence of the Klan's connection with the raid; the home of the mayor of Columbus, Ga., was bombed and the city manager assaulted, although the Klan declares that it is innocent in this instance. Among picturesque bits in the dispatches, we read that in Tulsa, Okla., a band of seven men, who said they were members of the Klan, forced a young man to marry a widow; near Hartford, Conn., there was held a ceremony in which some 1500 white-robed members are said to have participated, and in New Albany, Ind., masked Klansmen donated $25 toward a new church. Other recent and diversified activities in different sections of the country are reported from Kansas, where Governor Allen is investigating the charge that members of the National Guard are also members of the Klan; in Kansas City, Kan., where the Klan visited a hospital and left $402 With the superintendent; in Sacramento, where a secret ceremony was reported in full by the Sacramento Bee; and in a New Jersey village, where forty members of the Klan conducted their own services, much to the surprise of the widow, over the grave of a member.
"It is only in Texas and Oregon, however," writes Mark Sullivan, political correspondent of the New York Evening Post, "that the Ku Klux Klan will be 'a major political issue' in the state elections." The recent Oregon primary campaign was "the bitterest and closest political campaign in Oregon's history," according to a Portland dispatch to the New York World, yet, this paper points out editorially, "Oregon has no Negro problem." The anti-alien and religious questions, however, served the Klan's purposes, observes the Buffalo Express. In fact, the Portland (Ore.) Telegram charges that a "religious dust storm obscured the real issues." As the Baltimore American tells us:
"'On the one side was the 'Federation of Patriotic Societies,' under the acknowledged leadership of the Ku Klux Klan, and on the other side were arrayed the alien-born citizens and the negroes. The chief contest was on the gubernatorial nomination. In Multnomah County, which includes the city of Portland, the Federation of Patriotic Societies made a clean sweep in the local offices, including judicial nominations, and gave a plurality of 1059 for the candidate for governor. Hall was not nominated, but his vote is large enough to show the Ku Klux strength."
"The closeness of the vote ought to be a warning," agrees the New York Evening World. "If the Ku Klux Klan insists on entering politics, good citizens must show it the way out," declares the Detroit Free Press, for, as the Brooklyn Eagle views it, "if the movement were to become permanent, it would be the greatest sort of peril to the nation." "There is no excuse for the Klan," asserts the Fresno Republican, "for our governmental structure places the responsibility for enforcement of law and the maintenance of order on certain authorized persons." "Good government can not be achieved by privately organized force," agrees the Milwaukee Journal, and the Los Angeles Times reminds us that "a mob is a mob; it doesn't matter what secret pins or regalia it wears."
In fact, this is the tenor of all editorials which we have seen regarding the Ku Klux Klan, which the Sacramento Bee calls "infamous" and "un-American." "In a vicious and degrading campaign, Oregon has made a lamentable exhibition of itself," thinks the New York World. But hope for the future is held out by the Buffalo Commercial, which says:
"These so-called patriotic societies arouse public sentiment, and at times appear to sweep all before them. But there is nothing in the movement that is based upon right principles, hence it cannot permanently enter the political field."
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1922, page 28
JUDGE CALKINS IS THREATENED BY THE K.K.K.Circuit Judge F. M. Calkins presented the following statement to the Mail Tribune this noon:
Circuit Judge Receives Mysterious Missive Signed "K.K.K." Telling Him to "Beware"
If He Gives Dud Wolgamott a New Trial.
To the Author of the following notice:
"Hon. F. M. Calkins,
If Dud Wolgamott is given a new trial
K.K.K."I found this notice under my office door this morning, and as you failed to leave your address I am compelled to answer through the newspaper.
In answer I wish to assure you and any organization which you represent that I shall do my duty as I see it regardless of any threats.
F. M. CALKINS.June 10, 1922.
----The threat from the Ku Klux Klan consisted of a number of newspaper clippings pasted onto a plain sheet of white paper, and signed in red ink "K.K.K." Apparently the unknown writer went to great pains to escape detection, for each word in the warning was a separate clipping, in different sizes of type, taken it is believed from the Jacksonville Post. There was no typewriting on the sheet and the secret order's letters were printed with a pen very carefully.
"I am surprised to receive such a communication," said Judge Calkins, "particularly as I gave Wolgamott a very stiff sentence, a severe lecture, and my record in such cases is well known. Naturally I would not be inclined to grant a new trial except on a plain case of error."
Judge Calkins did not wish to be quoted regarding whom he believed responsible for the threat, but he plainly showed that he resented such a procedure, and was determined to consider the case on its merits, regardless of any threats sent, or any further threats received from any source whatever.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 10, 1922, page 1
KLEAGLES DENY KLAN GUILTY OF SENDING LETTERAs was expected, the two visiting Kleagles of the Ku Klux Klan called on Judge F. M. Calkins following the judge's statement in Saturday's Mail Tribune, to deny that the Klan had anything to do with the sending of the threatening letter to the judge concerning his granting a new trial to Dud Wolgamott.
Sunday morning the professional explainers for the K.K.K. telephoned the judge and asked for an interview. His honor granted it on the front lawn, where nothing could be invisible.
Probably there isn't a fairer-minded man in Southern Oregon than Judge Calkins, or a more even-tempered one, but he has no use for Ku Klux apologists and doesn't care who knows it. In reply to the well-worn formula that the K.K.K. never sends threatening letters, is never guilty of violence, stands for law and order, etc., etc., Judge Calkins replied that when the Ku Klux Klan cleaned its own house, when they ran down the unknown parties guilty of at least three outrages in Jackson County, he would be in a better mood to accept the statements at their face value.
It was a brief interview, but very much to the point. According to reports the two Kleagles didn't particularly enjoy it.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 13, 1922, page 3
B. F. LINDAS FILES A SUIT AGAINST K.K. FOR $25,000Suit was filed in the circuit court this morning by B. F. Lindas, an attorney of this city, against the "Ku Klux Klan, a Georgia Corporation," "The Clarion Publishing Company, an Oregon Corporation," and H. E. Griffiths, for $25,000 damages, as the result of the publication of an affidavit Thursday, purporting to show that Lindas had signed an application for membership in the Ku Klux Klan "on or about the 4th day of March," and, that later after being referred to two investigating committees, was "unanimously rejected." The complaint charges that the affidavit "was falsely and maliciously made."
Medford Attorney Takes Action Following Article in Local Weekly Paper--
Printed Affidavit Termed False and Malicious.
The affidavit in question purports to be signed by H. E. Griffith, and states that he is one of the "Kleagles and organizers of the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan."
Attorney Lindas sets forth in the complaint, further, that the Ku Klux Klan is supposed to be a fraternal order, having branch organizations in various parts of the country; that said organization meets in secret; that the members of said organization wear masks and garbs on the streets, and in their meeting places, and refuse to acknowledge membership in said organization; that said organizations because of its unlawful actions in various parts of the country has been denounced by the leading men of every fraternal organization in the United States, by the governors of states and public men of every party, and, that to have membership in said organization, or to seek membership in said organization, is to reflect on the character and integrity of said individual."
"That the said Ku Klux Klan has been accused in this community of complicity of many outrages and violations of the law; that it is opposed by the reputable business men of the town and county and that to be connected with said organization in any way, or to seek to become a member of said organization or to be accused of seeking membership in said body, is to damage and destroy the business and career of the individual so accused; that the said defendants with knowledge of these facts falsely and maliciously published the statement above set forth for the purpose of injuring the business of said plaintiff and injuring the standing of said plaintiff in this community."
The plaintiff then asks for $25,000 damages, and "for the costs and disbursements of this action."
Medford Mail Tribune, June 16, 1922, page 1
KU KLUX THREAT CONDEMNED BY ALL BUT 2 ATTORNEYSWe, the undersigned attorneys of the Jackson County Bar, unqualifiedly condemn the threat against his honor, F. M. Calkins, circuit judge pf the First Judicial District, contained in a letter received by him on June 10th and published in the Medford Mail Tribune on the same date, as cowardly and contemptible, and a menace to the lawful and orderly administration of justice, and as subversive of the most vital principles of American constitutional government which are founded on a judiciary untrammeled by coercion from any source, and we request a publication of these sentiments by all the newspapers in Jackson County.
How the K.K. Hurts Medford.To the Editor:
Within the past week there has been a great deal of very unfavorable comment among Seattle business men in relation to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan in and around Medford. You have no idea how this situation is hurting the Rogue River Valley in the business world. I had a talk with the owner of the Bear Creek orchard this morning. He says that the people on his orchard have received a threat from the Ku Klux Klan of violence in the event they attempt to smudge this year. [The orchard owners were Harry and David Rosenberg.] Whether the report is justified or not I do not know. It is, however, a fact that the report is all over town and as a result of it, you could not sell a Rogue River Valley orchard in the Northwest today for any price whatever. It is a common statement on the streets that business men will not invest money in a community where their property must be guarded against crimes of violence and acts of depredation. As you probably know, Seattle has been throughout the past ten years a source of income for the Rogue River Valley, and many of the best boosters for the valley either live in Seattle or formerly came from here. A loss of confidence on the part of Seattle business men would be a very serious thing for Medford.
J.P.A."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, June 16, 1922, page 4
Seattle, June 14, 1922.
Sees K.K.K. Victory Judgeship RaceTo the Editor: It seems to the writer, and others, that the editor of the Mail Tribune could well lave been a little more generous in his estimate of the political results achieved by the Ku Klux Klan in the late primaries, in penning his recent editorial entitled "A Great Invisible Victory." The majority of the successful candidates for legislative nominations in Multnomah County, as well as a number of others elsewhere in the state, were openly endorsed by the organization; nor was the Klan wholly unsuccessful in its support of candidates in our own locality, since by no means the least important event of the whole primary was a sweeping victory for the candidate who placed himself in such a position before the public that the Klan was justified in giving him its support against an opponent whose outspoken expression of hostility to the Klan afforded the successful candidate an opportunity for making his strongest campaign argument. I refer, of course, to the contest between Mr. Gus Newbury and Mr. C. M. Thomas for the Republican nomination for the district judgeship, in which Mr. Thomas placed himself on record, in a carefully considered statement, supported by the simultaneously published endorsement of a group of citizens voicing approval of his views, as being neutral and without any opinion on the disturbances which have attracted so much attention of late in this and other communities in the state and elsewhere. Surely it is a not unimportant achievement for the Klan to have so overwhelmingly rebuked one of their most determined critics, and to have placed, or substantially helped to place, upon the Republican ticket a candidate for so important an office as that of district judge, publicly pledged to go upon the bench, if elected, without prejudice against them, a position which he has since maintained with conspicuous consistence, under circumstances which might well have tempted a less steadfast man to give way.
And having taken so much of a part in the nomination of Mr. Thomas, can it be doubted that the members of the Klan will continue to give him their loyal support during the campaign and at the polls, especially in view of the fact that his Democratic opponent, Mr. Kelly, has unequivocally expressed an adverse opinion and determined opposition to their organization? In all fairness, should not the Mail Tribune concede this much to the maiden efforts of the Ku Klux Klan in Southern Oregon politics?
REPUBLICAN VOTER."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, June 17, 1922, page 4
Medford, June 17.
TO FILE TERRILL RECALL PAPERS IN A FEW DAYSCirculation of petitions for the recall of Sheriff Charles E. Terrill and the nomination of D. M. Lowe, farmer and fair exhibit expert, to make the race thereon, continue and it is claimed unofficially that 1600 names were secured the first day, Friday, and that the signers now total 2700. The petitions will be filed with the county clerk "in the next day or two."
Backers of Movement Claim 2700 Signers Secured--Election Will Cost County
Between $2500 and $3000--K.K.K. Issue Involved.
Under the state law, it is provided that to initiate a recall, 25 percent of the vote cast at the last general election for supreme court justice must be secured in signatures. In this case, it would be 1235. After the filing of the petition, the official whose recall is sought is given five days in which to resign, and, failing to do this, the county clerk must call a special election within 20 days. The cost of a special election ranges from $2500 to $3000.
Most of the signatures to the recall have been secured, it is said, in the residence districts of this city and Ashland. None have been circulated, noticeably in the business district of this city. A petition in the post office at Phoenix had no signers up to Saturday night. In the Talent district, it is claimed, they were freely signed.
In this city, petitions were circulated in a house-to-house campaign by women. Among the circulators were George Iverson, a carpenter, and Clay Walker.
The basis for the recall are allegations of "malfeasance in office" and "lax enforcement of the law." These are the written charges, and people who have been requested to sign report a verbal account of "renting stills that have been seized" and other lurid charges.
Charge K.K.K. Move.The backers of the recall movement are ostensibly the ministerial associations and the W.C.T.U. of this city and Ashland. Friends of Sheriff Terrill claim that the Ku Klux Klan is the real power behind the move, and that it is animated "by spite."
Asked this noon if the Ku Klux Klan had any connection with the recall, J. J. Hoogstraat, one of the local kleagles, said:
"The Ku Klux Klan has no official connection with the recall of Sheriff Terrill. I might say for your information, however, that the Klan looks with more favor upon Mr. Lowe than it does Mr. Terrill. The recall is backed by the W.C.T.U. and ministerial associations of this city and Ashland, and some of the ministers are Klansmen, just as there are members from all walks of life."
Mr. Hoogstraat further said that he had heard "no objections to the recall," but "that many had said, 'why not clean out the entire court house.'"
In connection with the sheriff's recall, it is reported that similar action is being contemplated against County Judge Gardner, and, that the filing of the petitions against Terrill will result in legal action against calling of the special election, on account of the expense involved, and that the heavy taxpayers of the county, neutral in the fight, will back this plan.
It is also learned from reliable sources that the selection of D. M. Lowe, to make the race against Sheriff Terrill, was preceded by meetings between the ministerial association of Ashland and the W.C.T.U. of Medford, and that Lowe was not the first choice. The favorite refused to make the race "on account of being too old" and "business interests," but that he recommended Mr. Lowe, and that his recommendations were accepted. Four or five names were mentioned for Terrill's opponent, among them being E. A. Fleming of Jacksonville; S. B. Sandefer, county prohibition enforcement officer, and J. E. Hemstreet, former Medford policeman. Whether these names were ever considered in a meeting is not known.
During his term and a half in the sheriff's office, Terrill has been the stormy petrel of Jackson County politics, and the center of persistent agitation for the last year, chiefly on the prohibition law issue. He was the target of evangelist Bulgin during his meetings in this city a year ago, and since then rumors and counterrumors of recall have been in the air constantly. One of the chapters of recent occurrence was the indictment and return from Siskiyou County of Elmer Simonds, a bootlegging episode with weird and peculiar sidelights. Terrill has been investigated by many grand juries, but no indictments returned.
Many conflicting reports anent the recall, pro and con, are abroad, the only point of agreement being that the county will be thrown into another era of political bitterness and turmoil if the election is held.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 26, 1922, page 1
WHY A RECALL?The recall is a dangerous weapon. It not only destroys all peace and harmony in a community, but it has a curious way of kicking back. Therefore, only the most flagrant wrongs on the part of a public official warrant a recall against him. For the individual to be recalled is to be disgraced, to have a stigma put on his name for life; for the community it stirs up a mess generally, and leaves wounds hard to heal.
Therefore, people asked to sign a recall should investigate carefully before lending their support to the movement. Certainly no fair-minded citizen wishes to attach his name to a document demanding a recall, unless he or she personally knows that such drastic action is absolutely justified.
* * *According to rumor, the recall is based upon a recent grand jury report criticizing Sheriff Terrill. If all the public officials who have been criticized by grand juries are to be recalled then there will be a pretty clean sweep in Jackson County.
The same grand jury criticized the prosecuting attorney, unless we are much mistaken, and if a single department of the county hasn't been criticized by some grand jury at some time or other, it will prove to be one of the marvels of the age.
No, there must be more than that. Let's have a few facts. It's time to put all the cards on the table regarding this recall or any other.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 26, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
The Governor, Dad Gates and the KlanMedford Mail Tribune, June 26, 1922, page 4
A great many persons enthusiastically applaud Governor Olcott's opinion that the duty owed the people cannot properly be discharged by a public official who is a member of the KKK. Enthusiastic approval is also given the policy that members of the KKK should not be in positions where they must decide between the obligations they owe the public and the Klan. As it is generally believed that Charles E. Gates was removed from the state fair board because of his affiliation with the KKK, the public holds the opinion that the dismissal was for "the good of the service"--the only reason the governor gave for his summary action.
It is, however, said by many, including Mr. Gates himself, that he is not a member of the KKK. That he was solicited to join the Klan, there is no doubt; he says so. But he says the purposes of the order did not appeal to him, and that he declined to accept membership. Then it was proposed to hold a special initiation service for him, so that he might see and determine for himself, without any agreement to join, if the obligations were such that he could assume with justice to himself and his fellow citizens who are not members of the Klan. Mr. Gates consented to witness the ceremonies. What he saw, what obligations were imposed, what oaths had to be taken, he has not divulged. But as he did not join the Klan that its oaths, obligations, and purposes are incompatible with the sort of Americanism of which Mr. Gates is a high type we may well suppose.
Mr. Gates is mayor of Medford; he has proved a wise and efficient official. Since he took office, many improvements have been made in the city at slight cost to the taxpayers. Things that were necessary, and whose cost seemed to make them impossible of procurement, have been installed, to the betterment of civic conditions and to the satisfaction of the taxpayers. For the many improvements and the easy burden of taxation, the people of Medford give "Dad" [sic] Gates the credit. For his efficiency and ability as mayor the Spectator takes the record of improvements made in Medford; for his popularity, the Spectator takes the word of his fellow citizens; and for the belief that he is not a KKK, the Spectator takes his own declaration.
That Governor Olcott had every reason to believe that Fair Director Gates did belong to the outlawed Klan, there is, of course, no doubt. The attitude of the people toward the KKK is fully expressed in their approval of his letter dismissing a member of his official family who was suspected of affiliation with the Klan. Oregon demands that its officials, as far as their relations with the KKK are concerned, must be above suspicion.--Oregon Spectator.
Regarding Judge RaceTo the Editor: In the issue of June 17th a "Republican Voter" wrote and published a letter in your paper calling attention to the fact that the Ku Klux Klan had won a victory in the nomination of Mr. Thomas for circuit judge, and this of course cannot be successfully denied; but as another "Republican Voter" I wish to take issue with the statement contained in this letter of June 17th, in which the writer says that Mr. Newbury gave an outspoken expression of hostility to the Klan.
This was not the fact. If my recollection serves me correctly, a reference to the letter of Mr. Newbury that was published in the Tribune will show that he denounced mob violence, but. he said nothing about the Klan or its principles or its policies; but it is a fact that immediately after the letter of Mr. Newbury. denouncing the mob violence that had been perpetrated in this community was published, the Klan solidly lined up for Mr. Thomas, who refrained from giving an expression denouncing mob violence--although invited to do so, and he of course became the candidate of the Ku Klux Klan.
It seems as though the issue in the First Judicial District is clean cut between Mr. Thomas as the Klan nominee and Judge Kelly, who is not in sympathy with the policies of the Klan, and the matter resolves itself into the question: "Which do you want? A Klan judge or one who has no entanglements?"
This issue is made emphatic by the failure of Mr. Thomas to join with the other lawyers of the county in denouncing the attack made upon Judge Calkins recently. It seems "the die is cast."
ANOTHER REPUBLICAN VOTER."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, June 29, 1922, page 3
Medford, June 28.
Challenges D. M. LoweTo the Editor: Just prior to the recent primary election Gus Newbury, a candidate, announced himself as opposed to a certain secret organization and their methods, which called forth an criticism by D. M. Lowe, who accused Mr. Newbury of raising a dust too obscure [for] the real issue to be decided. Mr. Lowe claimed that it was immaterial whether a candidate for circuit judge was endorsed and approved by that certain order, but that the real issue was a reduction of taxes. It is now announced that Mr. Lowe is a candidate, in a proposed recall election, for the office of county sheriff.
I would like to have Mr. Lowe announce the real issue in his campaign. What reduction of taxes can I effect by signing a recall petition and assisting Mr. Lowe into the sheriff's office? How about the cost of the recall election to the taxpayers? What policies would he put into effect in that office which would result in more economy than has the present officer? The sheriff's office calls for a considerable amount of moral courage. Has Mr. Lowe the moral courage to announce now what would be his official position as regards the same matters that were discussed by Mr Newbury?
CAL FARRAR."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, June 30, 1922, page 4
Medford, June 29.
K.K.K., IN ANSWER LIBEL SUIT, DENIES BRANCH IN COUNTYMedford Mail Tribune, June 30, 1922, page 6
Answers to the suit of B. F. Lindas for $25,000 for alleged damages as the result of an affidavit alleging Lindas sought, but was denied admission into the Ku Klux Klan have been filed in the circuit court by attorney John Jeffrey of Portland, acting for the organization, and H. E. Griffiths, a Kleagle stationed in this city.
Griffiths in his answer asserts that the "affidavit was and is true" and further alleges that Lindas "seeks public notoriety" in filing the suit, and also "political power and prestige among the opponents of the Ku Klux Klan." It is also alleged in the answer that the plaintiff is not sufficiently versed in legal procedure "to start a suit," and in conclusion prays that the suit be dismissed, and the costs and disbursements be assessed to Lindas.
The Ku Klux Klan, as an organization, files a short answer, stating that the seat of the order is at Atlanta, Ga., and that there is no branch in this county hence no action is possible, except in Georgia.
Defends Thomas' StandTo the Editor: I am not in the habit of mixing in public questions through newspaper communications and the recent dispute for and against the K.K.K.s or D.O.A.s or whatever they are--I consider particularly deplorable. Nothing ever before has done our town so much harm--friends separated, business being ruined because of it.
However, the remarks of one who signs himself "Another Republican (??) Voter," in a letter printed in the Mail Tribune, June 29, under the caption of "Regarding Judge Race," arouses my ire by his unfairness and I must say a word if you will permit me.
Mr. "Another Republican Voter" tells us the "Klan lined up solidly" for Mr. Thomas at the recent primaries because he "refrained from denouncing mob violence."
Perhaps they did so--I cannot say--it was their privilege to vote as they thought best of course. But I would say that if they did so vote, it was not merely because he "refrained from denouncing mob violence" but because they saw in him the material fit to make a judge--one who will listen to all the evidence and wait until the trial is ended before pronouncing sentence.
Anyone who knows C. M. Thomas knows he would decry mob violence and any organization that favors it, if there are such, if it were proper and lawful for him to enter into such discussions.
Anyone in Jackson or Josephine counties who does not know that C. M. Thomas has always stood for the best things for the people, is clean and above board in all he does, is either a newcomer who has taken no trouble to look up his record, or has a mind so biased that he does not see things as they really are.
Mr. "Republican Voter" in trying to keep alive the Klan discussions, differences and bad feeling is attempting to make a Klan fight of the judgeship race, and in so doing is playing mighty dirty politics--just the kind of politics that cause so many good men to refuse public offices and makes it so hard for us to elect a good man once he does consent to brave the conditions he will be subjected to.
The communication I object to is absolutely unadulterated political bunk, nothing else--and no one knowing the candidates and the conditions in our community will be fooled thereby. Read the statement of Mr. Thomas given in the Mail Tribune the day before the primary, May 19th, if you wonder why he has not made public statements decrying klanism.
Mr. Thomas may get a solid K.K.K. vote as has been stated. So also he may---probably will--get a heavy vote from all other organizations, lodges and clubs although he is not a member of all of them and some of them he would not wish to be a member of.
Judging by the votes counted for him at the recent primary it would seem that other organizations as well as the K.K.K.s voted solidly for him, and I have no doubt will do the same in November.
Now last but not least, Mr. "Another Republican Voter," it is plain you intend to vote for the opponent of Mr. Thomas. Well, that is your privilege if so minded. But for Heaven's sake get over on the side of the fence where you belong and don't sign your epistles as a "Republican Voter" if you are not one. Mr. Kelly may be glad to have your vote, no doubt, but I know he would not esteem you as a man, for even he hates a traitor.
Any person who attempts to make of the judgeship race a continuation of the Klan and anti-Klan fight is a poor type of citizen, and anything else than a credit to our community.
To infer that C. M. Thomas is a man who would favor mob violence is an insult that is hard for his acquaintances to tamely submit to. Any person who has the ability to think twice will know why he has not made such public statements as some others have done.
An Honest to Goodness Republican Voter."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, July 5, 1922, page 4
Prospect, June 30.
STATE TO PROSECUTE LOCAL OUTRAGESSALEM, Ore., July 6.--Following an extensive investigation by the United States government into alleged outrages committed by night mobs in Jackson County a number of months ago, and advices to Governor Olcott from United States Attorney General H. M. Daugherty that no federal statutes would apply to the crimes committed but such crimes essentially must be prosecuted in the state courts, Governor Olcott today forwarded to Attorney General Van Winkle of Oregon a direction for his office to take charge of the cases in Jackson County and push prosecution on them. So far local officers in Jackson County have failed to act.
NIGHT RIDER PROSECUTION IS ORDERED
Governor Olcott, on Advice of U.S. Government, Instructs Attorney General to Take Charge of Cases in Jackson County--Government to Assist--Call Grand Jury.
In advising Governor Olcott that federal statutes would not apply but prosecutions must be conducted in the state courts, United States Attorney General Daugherty, however, extended to the state of Oregon every assurance of cooperation and assistance.
In a telegram to Governor Olcott under date of May 17, Attorney General Daugherty said:
"Referring to your telegram yesterday, prosecution would lie in state courts. This department will offer every possible assistance including mass of information on local conditions, also general organization tactics, etc. Data on local situation Medford and Portland being compiled here and will be forwarded promptly. Should you desire assistance this department in preparation of evidence please wire me and instructions will issue immediately."
In a subsequent letter under date of May 20, in which the federal government turned over to the state all the data it had secured through weeks of investigation through its Secret Service department, Attorney General Daugherty further wrote Governor Olcott as follows:
"In response to your telegrams, I have had prepared, for your confidential use, and have the honor to transmit herewith, a summary of all of the information in the possession of this department covering the activities of the Ku Klux Klan in the state of Oregon. I shall take pleasure in transmitting to you any additional information received from time to time and sincerely trust that, in the event this department can be of any assistance whatever, you will so indicate to me. I assure you we will cooperate with you in every possible way."
As a result of the evidence submitted through the federal government's investigation and from other sources, Governor Olcott sent the following letter of direction to Attorney General Van Winkle:
"In compliance with the provisions of law of the state of Oregon I hereby direct you to attend in person or by one of your assistants the present term of the circuit court of the state of Oregon in and for Jackson County, and any and all subsequent terms of said court at and during which the matters and things herein mentioned are or may be pending, and to appear before the grand jury in said county at said term or terms of said court and manage and conduct the actions and proceedings of said grand jury relating to the said matters and things, namely:
"Certain crimes which have been committed in said county by persons therein falsely arresting or kidnapping certain individuals and by making felonious assaults upon them and by hanging and otherwise inflicting bodily harm and damage to and loss of their property; also, by threats and other unlawful means and felonious acts, putting and attempting to put divers other persons in fear of such harm, damage and injury to their persons and property; and any and all unlawful acts and things in any way connected therewith, or of a similar or different nature, insofar as you may deem it advisable."
Outrages Are CitedThe alleged outrages in Jackson County during the past several months cited in Governor Olcott's announcement today include the following:
On March 17, 1922, between 9 and 12 o'clock p. m. J. F. Hale, a citizen of Medford, was taken from his home by a party of masked men who threatened to hang him if he did not drop a certain civil suit and leave Medford at once. It is alleged in connection with this outrage that Hale was handcuffed, taken into the country and hanged from an oak tree and assaulted before he was permitted to leave and then he was ordered to leave the community, according to allegations.
Arthur Burr, colored, after serving 22 days in the county jail, in Jackson County, was alleged to have been taken onto the Siskiyou Mountains on the night of March 14, 1922, and was hanged three times by the neck before being released and ordered to leave the community.
Henry Johnson, on the night of April 6, 1922, with others, was taken by masked men, a rope was placed about his neck and he was assaulted in various ways and accused of the commission of various crimes.
----It is expected that Jackson County officials will receive instructions today or tomorrow from the attorney general to call a special session of the grand jury.
It is also expected that Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist will be assigned to handle the cases for the state. He is former prosecutor of Coos County, Oregon, a lawyer of wide experience and unquestioned ability, and recognized as one of the most fearless prosecutors in the Pacific Northwest. He handled several of the criminal actions arising out of the Bank of Jacksonville failure, securing convictions.
The news of the action of the governor in ordering a rigid inquiry and prosecution into the local conditions created only a mild ripple of surprise, as it was generally known and expected that such action would be launched in due course of time.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 6, 1922, page 1
25 PERCENT OF RECALL SIGNERS NOT REGISTEREDNo new developments arose in the recall of Sheriff C. E. Terrill, following the filing of petitions Wednesday, the county clerk checking over the list of names today, and reports that about one-third of the names have been checked with registration cards, and that about 25 percent are not registered. The county clerk further said that he had an opinion from District Attorney Rawles Moore that the names could remain on the petitions, if it was shown that they had been sworn in as voters, or were legal voters.
Attorney H. A. Canaday today made the following statement:
"I had nothing to do with the recall of Sheriff C. E. Terrill, and have not seen the petitions. I was in the court house when the petitioners filed them, and while passing down the hall from the county judge's office to the sheriff's office, I passed the delegation and a man I took to be the Rev. Oldfield of Ashland asked me if any receipt was due from the county clerk for the petitions, and I referred him to that official for the information he requested. This was my only connection whatsoever with the matter. The informant of the Mail Tribune no doubt mistook this casual incident for my active cooperation."
It was stated in yesterday's account of the filing of the recall that attorney Canaday was among those present, receiving the information by telephone.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 6, 1922, page 8
CITIZENS ORGANIZE TO FIGHT RECALLA citizens' committee, formed following the announcement of Governor Ben W. Olcott, instructing the attorney general of the state of Oregon to proceed with the prosecution of outrages committed in Jackson County during the past four months, today issued a statement and started the circulation of a petition appealing to all citizens to resist the proposed recall of Sheriff Charles E. Terrill and urging those who had signed to withdraw their names from the recall petitions at once.
STATEMENT ISSUED ON CONDITIONS
Petition to Withdraw Names from Sheriff's Recall Issued in Interest of Harmony, Good Government and of Economy Widely Signed--Charges Recite Activity of 'Certain Society'--Leave Issue to Organized Courts, Is Appeal.
The statement sets forth "that the courts are not only open, but are ready and the law is adequate to reach the situation," if guilty of any of the charges filed against him by a campaign of gossip.
The statement is as follows:
On the announcement of the filing of the petition to recall Sheriff Terrill, a citizens' committee was organized without respect to party affiliations and it issues this statement in the interest of the voters.
There is no occasion for a recall. If the sheriff has been derelict in his duty, he can be removed by the governor, as has been done in the past. If he is guilty of malfeasance in office, he can be prosecuted. If one-third of the whispered stories told in circulating the petition, no mention of which appears in the petition itself, are true, the courts are not only open, but are ready, and the law is adequate to reach the situation.
For several months past it has been generally known that the activities of a certain organization in Jackson County were the subject of federal investigation, and since May 2nd it has been quite generally known that the attorney general of the United States has requested a state investigation and prosecution in these matters.
It has been reliably stated, and can be easily established, that a certain prominent member of the National Guard, at Medford, urged upon the members of the society mentioned to fill up the vacancies in the Guard.
It is known that several of the members of the police force and other officers in one of the principal cities of Jackson County are members of this secret society. It is also known that constables and other peace officers of various communities in the county are members of this order.
The removal of the sheriff at this time would give a society organized for depriving citizens of their constitutional rights a free hand to do with citizens what they would. No call for help or aid to a law enforcement officer would be heard.
During the last session of the grand jury an effort was made by a member of the grand jury, who is reliably reputed to be a member of this secret society mentioned, to compel the sheriff to divulge the names of such deputies as he had appointed for the public protection and for the investigation of certain outrages charged to this secret organization. The disclosure of this information would have rendered these deputies subject to being called in ambush at any time of the night, and would have rendered the sheriff practically helpless in case of a serious emergency.
In the event that the United States government and the attorney general for Oregon succeed in obtaining indictments for local outrages and prosecutions should follow, additional jurors may be required to be chosen from the body of the county by the sheriff, under the direction of the court. It would be most unfortunate if, at that time, the sheriff should be a member of this secret organization on trial.
It is a time for people to think. If this society is innocent of the wrongs charged, that fact will legally develop, but it is no time for those who will be defendants in the event of an indictment, to attempt to further tie the hands of the law, so that justice may be rendered impossible.
We appeal to all good citizens to do whatever can be done by them in resisting this recall.
(Signed) CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR JUSTICE AND ECONOMY.
----The petition asking the withdrawal of names from the recall, based on "all kinds of extravagant charges," declares "the effort is non-partisan and circulated in the interest of harmony in the community," "good government" and "economy," is as follows:
To the Voters of Jackson County, Oregon:
We regard the attempted recall of Sheriff Terrill as unjust to him and as a serious mistake on the part of those signing the petition. The petition is so indefinite as to give a public officer no opportunity to meet it. Those circulating the petition did not confine themselves to the allegations of the petition, but made all kind of extravagant charges, creating a situation difficult, if not impossible, to fairly meet.
To hold an election within twenty days, based upon these indefinite charges, but in fact influenced by malicious mis-statements, is manifestly unfair. It is a time when the people of the community ought to be working together, instead of being pulled apart by political dissension, culminating in a special election held for that purpose. Such an election will be an unnecessary expense and an additional burden to the taxpayers, and no reasonable cause or excuse exists therefor. And it is reasonable to suppose that numerous damage actions will result from the present situation, entailing additional expense upon the taxpayers and creating discord and ill feeling among the people.
It is the purpose of this statement to seriously and earnestly request those who signed the petition to at once notify the county clerk, by written notice, of the withdrawal of their names from the petition. Blanks for this have been printed and will be put in circulation. Use them if available; if not, any written statement withdrawing the name will be sufficient. Do not trust to the delay in the mails. See personally that the withdrawal is filed with the county clerk immediately.
This effort is entirely non-partisan, and those signing this statement do so irrespective of any political affiliations. We believe this is in the interest of harmony in the community and is in the interest of good government and economy.
The following is a partial list of signers:
C. B. Watson.Medford Mail Tribune, July 7, 1922, page 1
C. S. Butterfield.
E. D. Briggs.
W. H. Gore.
B. E. Harding.
C. W. Ashpole.
D. W. Bagshaw.
G. M. Roberts.
Charles W. Reames.
H. D. Reed.
M. D. Bowers.
Frank P. Farrell.
William M. Colvig.
B. F. Lindas.
R. H. McCurdy.
J. J. Buchter.
Lynn W. Smith.
H. E. Bromley.
Harry D. Mills.
W. A. Hanna.
John C. Mann.
C. A. Whillock.
R. V. Brownlee.
John R. Tomlin.
John S. Orth.
Ralph G. Bardwell.
Earl S. Tumy
F. C. Preston.
Dr. R. W. Clancy.
A. H. Fisher.
A. E. Reames.
J. H. Dennison for Medford Auto Co.
John A. Perl.
Glenn O. Taylor.
J. W. Olmstead.
H. L. Olmstead.
James E. Edmiston.
L. E. Williams.
J. W. Dressler.
E. G. Brown.
L. D. Harris.
J. D. Bell.
S. I. Brown.
Frederick K. Page.
Sam T. Richardson.
Mrs. Sam T. Richardson.
J. R. Woodford.
T. J. Malmgren.
T. Slater Johnson.
A. E. Orr.
La Von Zundel.
J. V. Van Dyke.
E. H. Lamport.
C. L. Allen.
E. A. Moore.
H. F. Meador.
Wm. M. Briggs.
J. W. McCoy.
H. C. Guley.
Sam B. McNair.
G. E. Simpson.
J. M. Hughes.
E. V. Carter.
Mrs. J. H. Hughes.
W. H. Breese.
W. G. Ehrke.
A. H. Pracht.
T. O. Slade.
G. S. Songer.
M. S. Johnson.
W. H Stickel.
W. P. Chisholm.
P. H. Myers.
E. H. Rabtke.
P. H. Bell.
B. H. Hays.
John M. Hays
Samuel S. Poague.
E. T. Ham.
Arthur L. Mullen.
W. L. Cook.
CommunicationTo the Editor: For the benefit of your correspondent whose modesty compels him to adopt the pseudonym "Honest to Goodness Republican," may I invite attention to the action of his candidate for circuit judge in injecting himself into the presidency of a game and fish association whose avowed purpose is the enforcement of game laws and the punishment of violations thereof. Since the gentleman in question, to quote a prominent daily of the capital, "does not know a carp from a steelhead, nor a pheasant from a crow, and never fishes except for suckers, or hunts except for votes," it is fair to assume that his association with the same organization was for purely political purposes. He was at the time a candidate for the same high office, in fact he has been soliciting support to this end for the past two years, why didn't it occur to his highly ethical mind that he might have to sit in judgment upon some poor devil charged with snagging a salmon out of the fishway, or shooting a deer out of season? Of course it is all right to denounce the unlawful killing of animals, but when it comes to taking a human being out from his home and hanging him in violation of his constitutional rights, in or out of season, then a candidate should keep still lest he disqualify himself (?).
Four federal judges of high repute have denounced the K.K.K. in the public press as a lawless organization whose activities offer a grave menace to the nation. I venture to assert that these tried and learned jurists know quite as much about judicial ethics as does Mr. Thomas or his ardent layman friends who seek in a puerile manner to excuse his lack of moral courage.
The Oregon laws prescribe the conduct of attorneys at law, makes it mandatory upon them to maintain and uphold respect for the courts and its officers and provides as a penalty for willful violation thereof disbarment from practice.
Did your candidate know of this section when he refused to sign the remonstrance against the cowardly black hand attack upon Judge Calkins while in the discharge of his duty? Does he know that judges of the supreme court were sufficiently interested to inquire of the local bar as to the identity of the two attorneys who refused to sign this remonstrance intended to maintain a decent respect for our courts?
Yes, "Honest to Goodness Republican," your candidate refused to declare himself on mob violence for the same reason that he joined the Game Protective Association, as you so crudely put it, "anyone with an ounce of brains knows the reason," and we give even you credit for that. It's just a question of citizenship, like some kind of patriotism--while the country is in war some men shoulder a gun and either go to its defense, or send their sons. Then there is that other kind that stays at home and plays the political game, and after the war is over seeks every opportunity to wrap themselves in the flag and revel in patriotic corn-tassel oratory.
In all charity, my friend with the nomen et omen, let me suggest for the salvation of your citizenship that you get a more intimate acquaintance with your candidate.
WM. M. COLVIG."Ye Letter Boxe," Medford Mail Tribune, July 7, 1922, page 4
Favors Ashland Boycott.I, for one, feel that the patriotic American citizens who witnessed the parade on the Fourth at Ashland should not allow the insult to our country, and open rebellion to our President and Governor of this state, to go unrebuked. Marching behind the American soldiers, masked and bearing their firebrand cross, that group of K.K.K.s made every drop of blood in in my veins boil. If I had been a man, and had a few men with me who felt as I felt, that cross of flame would have been kindling wood and those would-be destroyers of our constitution would have finished their march unmasked. I thought of the birthday of our nation, of the night of agonized prayer preceding it, when Catholic Maryland joined in those prayers with her midnight masses, her patriotic citizens spending the entire night on their knees, praying the God of Justice that we might be a free nation. And then that first parade when the old Liberty Bell rang out its joyous peal, proclaiming liberty and enlightenment to all the world.
Bareheaded men, women with babes in arms, children, the feeble, the old, the young, the strong, all wild with joy, poured into the streets to vent their joy, and see the men who had signed that Heaven-inspired document. No masks there, yet that night's act placed every soul in jeopardy of death, if failure, not success, awaited them. No cowards there afraid to face the foe openly and uncovered. And through the long years of suffering and death that lead to victory, side by side, fought all religions, brothers in a common cause and love, children of one great father. I had an ancestor, an Episcopalian clergyman, in that struggle. And so through all our wars have they put aside religious differences and fought united as brothers. In this enlightened age shall we deny them a share in the fruits of the liberty their valor helped to win? A place in the country their industry helped to upbuild? A share in the government their taxes helps to support? It is not less religion we want in these difficult times, but a truer conception of God. The charity of Jesus Christ in our hearts. It is not so much the Bible in the school we need as the Bible and its teachings in the home. What hellish heart conceived the thought of painting the cross of the Prince of Peace with flames?
Now I openly advocate a general and public boycotting of Ashland until she has atoned in some measure for her lack of loyalty and patriotism and good common sense in permitting a band of men to march in a patriotic parade, masked and bearing the insignia of disloyalty, a society that the President of the United States, our own Governor, and the heads of almost every state are openly fighting and in whom every sensible person sees a grave danger to our government and a menace to our peace and safety. Wrongs there are and grave need of reforms. But in your hand and mine is the proper weapon of Americans--the ballot.
"Then don't let lightly fall the written scroll a breath might float,
For the crowning fact, the kingliest act of freedom, is the free man's vote."
A NON-CATHOLIC, BUT FAIR-MINDED WOMAN."Ye Letter Boxe," Medford Mail Tribune, July 8, 1922, page 4
The Stranger in Our MidstOn returning from two months in the furthest, wildest end of Alaska, I find that an extraordinary and sinister situation has developed in Medford. The country just visited was famous, at one time, for gun-play and lynchings, lawlessness and sudden death; and there are a few camps, here and there through the territory, that do not yet present a quiet, rural, peaceful scene. Yet I find that in two months our quiet residence city has kicked off its covers and is standing on its hind legs as no Alaskan camp has done for some years--all on account of one idea that was never a good one in the beginning.
By Edison Marshall
The idea I mean is that of the Ku Klux Klan. This is no time to mince words with talk of a "certain secret order." I feel somewhat qualified to speak on the Ku Klux Klan, and I can explain why if need be. I want to say in the beginning that many things charged against the Ku Klux Klan are untrue and laughable. I know further that many men--practically every one of the few whom I personally know to be members--are earnest, conscientious citizens, joining the body for patriotic reasons; and indeed, the published program of the Klan is one that no good citizen need fear. But the idea simply has not worked. Instead of finer Americanism, the crushing of anarchy and prevention of foreign invasion, it has succeeded beautifully in waking a religious bigotry such as has not cursed this land for some years, it has practically disorganized great orders and institutions that were bigger than the Klan ever was or ever could be, and has made Medford an armed camp.
I am looking at Medford only, no further. I want to say that I have many, many respected friends in the Klan; and I hope I can keep them. I am not attacking these friends--indeed I am bound to them by fraternal ties much stronger than those of the Klan could ever be. After many months of observation, knowing the inside and the outside, I am attacking the things that the organization unwittingly has brought about. After seeing what I have seen, after two months absence, I can not conscientiously do anything else.
I come back to find the American Legion, an order of veterans that can do more good in one week than all the klans on earth can in a year, split in two indirectly because of the Klan. Some of our great fraternal orders have divided against themselves on account of the same trivial cause. It has entered into politics--always outside the sphere of fraternal societies--and it is not only the greatest factor in our local elections but in our state election too. We are facing an expensive recall election--a foolish thing of prejudices for causes that no one can learn. Grown men are packing around guns, afraid of every tap on the door. Business houses are being boycotted, men are losing their jobs. Long-standing, friendly relations have been broken--all on account of a Stranger in our midst--a Stranger that came to us from a land of race hatred in the South, whose coming was never justified in the first place.
The Stranger isn't worth the trouble he is causing us. He has failed to help us--he has only hurt us, and brought misfortune upon us. It is time to let him go--and with him the professional Kleagles that work for him.
If those friends of mine of whom I speak will go away for sixty days, far enough to get a good look, come back and see what the Stranger has done to us, they will drop this thing and get back to normal. Bitter enmity does not help. We do not need klans, or for that matter, anti-klans. Medford needs a good, powerful get-together club, and needs it quick.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 8, 1922, page 4 Marshall was a Medford resident.
To the Editor: I naturally supposed that after the bitter primary campaign culminating in the terrific slaughter of May 19th that the contending forces would be grateful for a period of rest and recuperation before the opening of the fall engagements. But not so. Sniping has already commenced from every point of advantageous concealment. Suspicion, innuendo and downright falsehood are abroad. Piracy and character assassination are of everyday occurrence, Under the Oregon System, with its direct primary, initiative, referendum and recall, none but the hardboiled can hope to survive. However, if a few simple rules could be adopted the warfare might be made somewhat more humane, and right here your great daily can help out a little by making a rule that whoever sets a communication into "Ye Letter Box" must do so over his full signature. Ordinarily this is not important, but in a showdown fight it is.
Now, for instance, I would like to know whose these Republican voters are that have busted into print lately. It might be illuminating. This fall may be a great time for separating the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, and the real from the spurious.
Now I don't suppose there is a person in this county who has more individual Republicans catalogued than have I. They are of all varieties, rich and poor, high and low, good, bad and indifferent, and I have a real affection for them all, for I have always contended, and firmly believe, that any man or woman who has even a spark of old-fashioned Abraham Lincoln Republicanism in them can be snatched from the burning and redeemed.
It is manifestly impossible for me to continue to add to my interesting collection if they are going to have the support of the Tribune in concealing their identity. Take for example the notorious incident of the mythical "Ashland Mother" of the 1916 campaign. She appeared often in the columns of the Mail Tribune and she did yeoman service for the great cause of "he kept us out of war." I was chairman of the Republican county committee at the time and the sentimental old lady gave me many a thoughtful moment. But opportunity finally gave us a chance to lift her petticoat, and lo and behold she wore boots, and lived in Medford!
But to get back to the present. In the past two months I have had the privilege of discovering, observing and tabulating some new and heretofore unknown varieties of the Republican family. Some are hooded and gowned and some are almost entirely without covering; some believe everything they hear and read and others don't believe anything they read or hear. These are of the common of garden varieties which make up the vast majority of the electorate and are observed in the Democratic Party as well as in our own. But a new, high-bred and strikingly gorgeous type that I am now laboriously trying to classify is the kind that carry pistols--and in the daytime fume and cuss on the streets, and at night feverishly toss and babble of the Constitution being overturned, our liberties imperiled and our courts flouted. And they mutter of fiery crosses, of anonymous and threatening letters, of moonshine and recalls, of judicial candidates that refuse to talk or sign, of Kelly-Republican Clubs (ye gods!), and of carp and crows, of the wrath to come, and the old gray mare that came out of the wilderness. At about this stage they fall out of bed and weakly call for a drink.
I share honors with Edison Marshall on the discovery of this last or pistol variety. In the meantime the Pope surrounded by the Swiss Guards benignantly rules the world from the Vatican at Rome, the Imperial Wizard sits scheming and plotting on his throne at Atlanta, the modern Messiah has been displaced and eclipsed by a country town printer, Joe Tumulty is sulking in deep disgrace, the knightly and chivalrous governor of our beloved commonwealth occupies an uneasy and uncertain chair in the state house at Salem, the Republican county committee continues to function harmoniously, the Jackson County Lincoln Club still lives, grace abounds, our blessings are many, we should worry!
BERT ANDERSON."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, July 13, 1922, page 4
To the Editor:
A few days ago Mr. Hoogstraat, the kleagle of the local Ku Klux Klan, and who seems to be the brains of its "invisible government" in Jackson County, says, over his own signature, in the columns of the Tribune, that the Ku Klux Klan is not back of the movement for the recall of Sheriff Terrill.
It is possible to fool some of the people all the time, but the gentleman mentioned should know that he cannot fool all the people. There are very few who will believe him when he says the Ku Klux Klan is not using its invisible powers to recall the sheriff.
Mr. Howlett, in his news items from Eagle Point last week, stated in your columns that "Mr. Hoogstraat, the kleagle of the Medford Ku Klux Klan, and Mr. Howard Hill are here circulating a petition for the recall of Sheriff Terrill."
Now somebody has lied, and it is not "Dad Howlett." For a comparative stranger in our midst, Mr. Hoogstraat and his aides have succeeded in stirring up a great deal of strife in the community, and which will result in imposing additional burdens on the taxpayers of Jackson County.
We do not expect members of the Ku Klux Klan to tell the truth regarding their actions. The Klan loves to fight in the dark and under cover of a mask, but its work is becoming more fully understood, and this fraternity with its principles of hate, narrow religious bigotry and racial discord will in a short time be a thing of the past, and the kleagles will move on to more fertile fields for their propaganda.
WM. M. COLVIG."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, July 13, 1922, page 4
To the Editor:
Emperor is defined to be "the title of the highest rank of sovereigns." An empire is a territory or country presided over by an emperor. Invisible, that which cannot be seen; hidden, imperceptible,. All empires are not accredited with equal rank. "The Empire" would imply the highest rank. The K.K.K.s assume the title "The Invisible Empire," from which they claim the very highest rank. Not "An Invisible Empire," but "The Invisible Empire," claiming the right to regulate all functions of government by the exercise of hidden and secret methods. They claim the right to exercise direction of matters of conscience in the worship of God; to exercise all judicial functions and control of the conscience of our judges; to direct and regulate human actions by hidden and secret methods; to arrest, accuse, try, sentence and execute the commands of their "Imperial Wizard," which they are sworn by the most serious oath to do. They use every device that comes to hand to hide the identity of their membership; thus justifying their assumption of "Invisible." Their masks are not confined to sheets which cover their bodies and hide their faces, but in matters such as the present recall proceedings they have secretly humbugged ministerial associations, and the W.C.T.U. to come to the front and assume the responsibility, while the K.K.K.s use these simple-minded fanatics as a human mask to hide behind. When accused of this they either deny or stand mute, thus proving their fidelity to the oath they have taken to hold sacred the secret of a Klansman in everything except "treason, rape and willful murder." There were among those who circulated the recall petitions for the recall of Sheriff Terrill members who at the same time circulated K.K. literature to those who were solicited to sign the petitions, thus becoming "visible" in spots.
This combination of mummery and meaningless words, phrases and monkeyshines would be a huge joke did it not carry a dangerous menace to the peace, quiet and dignity of the country. The joke would be upon many well-meaning men, who, because of nervousness begat by the spirit of the times have been induced thoughtlessly to contribute their money while they swear at the hard times and high cost of living.
I have heard it claimed that there are a million members of this hocus-pocus gang klan in the United States. If so, according to the facts gleaned by the congressional investigation and the New York World's expose, it means $10,000,000 for initiation: $1,000,000 per month for membership dues and $6.50 each for masks, making in all at the end of the year $28,500,000. What becomes of this money? These investigations show that "The Imperial Wizard," Simmons by name, a very poor man only a few years ago, now receives $1000 per month and occupies a $25,000 mansion, which is designated the "Imperial Palace, besides much valuable property, while the other high functionaries are drawing proportionately high salaries and rapidly piling up riches.
These memberships are secured by playing upon the prejudices of the dupes that are biting at the bait held out to them and promises of thrills of a free hand in stirring up all kinds of disturbance under the lofty claim of 100 percent Americanism. In the South they claim to be a reincarnation of the old K.K.K. of Reconstruction days; an organization that was outlawed by the U.S. government for its crimes more than fifty years ago. In New York they play upon the prejudices against the Jews; on the Pacific Coast the prejudices against the Japs and Chinese is the card they play, while everywhere they are trying to stir up a religious war. Come, boys, if you have more money than you know what to do with, and want a thrill, buy a Ford and joyride. This will give you a lot of amusement and give our friend Joe McMahon a little exercise. Keep your money at home. Brother Gates will sell the Ford.
C. B. WATSON,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, July 13, 1922, page 4 Joseph J. McMahon was traffic officer of the state highway commission. He would run for sheriff in 1924.
Gold Hill, Ore. July 11, 1922.
Comment of State Press on Situation in Jackson CountyGovernor Olcott very properly directed the attorney general to take charge of prosecutions in Jackson County that the local authorities neglect to conduct.
Defying the Law
The mere fact that the local authorities refuse to take any action in connection with the mob outrages that took place in that county this spring is no excuse for permitting law violators to go unpunished. The executive is the sworn officer of the state for the enforcement of the law and when local officers fail to do so it is the governor's duty always to take action. In Jackson County the violations were flagrant and notorious, so much so that they attracted the attention of the federal authorities and rumor has it that the government's secret service forces have supplied the state authorities with much of their information. It is also very probable that the Ku Klux Klan outfit in that county will be in for a very stormy time and some of its members may learn that it is a serious offense to don a nightshirt and proceed to mete out "justice" with a mob jury. Even the mob that crucified Christ went through the ceremony first of appealing to the Roman court, and it carried on its depredations unmasked and in the open day.
It is quite likely too that the legal procedure to be instituted in Jackson County by the attorney general may reveal some startling reasons as to why the local authorities refused to act. It is also more than likely that when the facts in connection with the Jackson County outrages are known that they will place the governor's noted pre-election proclamation in an entirely different light.
In any event, the matter should be pushed vigorously so as to clear the atmosphere for the important coming state elections. This, with the recount, should be gotten out of the way as speedily as possible. The people are entitled to know all that can be known in reference to both matters before they cast their ballots this fall, and they are entitled to know as quickly as possible--Corvallis Gazette-Times.
----Following the failure of local authority to function, and the consequent breakdown of law enforcement in Jackson County, Governor Olcott has very properly directed Attorney General Van Winkle to take charge of a grand jury investigation and prosecution of outrages committed there, in which the Ku Klux Klan is alleged to be implicated.
Enforcing the Law
Although over three months have elapsed since the three Southern Oregon necktie parties were pulled off and the victims pulled up by masked and gowned mobs, the district attorney of Jackson County has made no effort to probe the outrages and punish the perpetrators, and there is apparently no intention of action by his office.
It is part of the Ku Klux Klan program of operations to paralyze the avenging arm of justice by admission to "citizenship" in the "Invisible Empire" of local law-enforcing officials. The first effort in a community is always to enlist judges, district attorneys, sheriffs, constables and county officials, and mayors, policemen, and city officials, as well as members of the National Guard, as members of the Klan, so as to give the Klansmen free rein to regulate the community as they see fit with immunity from interference and prosecution. In many instances, as has happened in Jackson County, no effort is made to find or punish those guilty of outrage.
Whether or not the inaction of the Jackson County law enforcement officials is due to K.K.K. membership or affiliation remains to be ascertained. We have the public admission of the mayor of Medford, where one of the victims was kidnapped, that he is himself a member of the Klan and proud of it--which in this connection has its own significance.
The state of Oregon will have in this important prosecution the hearty cooperation and assistance of the United States department of justice, which has gathered much evidence concerning these outrages. Prosecution itself rests with local and state, instead of federal authorities. Among the needs developed by Klan outrages in various parts of the country is a statute authorizing federal prosecutions when local authority breaks down.
This is the second time in as many years that the governor has found it necessary to direct the attorney general to act as special prosecutor in Jackson County because of the failure of the district attorney to properly function, the previous instances being the cases arising out of the failure of the Bank of Jacksonville. It would appear that they are recalling the wrong party in Jackson County--it is not the sheriff that is at fault.--Salem Capital Journal.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 14, 1922, page 4
MEDFORD K.K.s ASKED TO GIVE UP $10 APIECEThat the members of the Medford Ku Klux Klan has been solicited by the visiting kleagles to plunk up a minimum of $10 per for financing the recount of the Hall primary vote is shown by the following communication sent to all members of the order and duly signed by one of the kleagles:
Official Request for at Least $10 Each to Finance Hall's Recount Sent Out by Local Kleagle--Religious Appeal Included.
Faithful and Esteemed Klansman--
The recount of the votes for the nomination of the Republican candidate for governor of Oregon is in progress; a full and careful investigation reveals the fact that Hon. Charles Hall has been selected by the people of Oregon as such candidate by a large majority. The enemies of representative government have attempted to count Charles Hall out and Olcott in.
This is greater than a party question, greater than any man. Shall the purity of the American ballot be maintained.
The Medford Klan in klonklave assembled on Wednesday night voted that each member shall make himself responsible for as large a sum as possible and not less than $10.00 to assist in the financing of this recount. It was decided that the better way to raise this amount would be through the assistance of your Protestant friends who are desirous of seeing right prevail. Send the subscriptions to this fund to H. E. Griffith, P.O. Box 1067, Medford, Ore., as soon as possible. We must meet the long purse of an unscrupulous opposition by the consciousness of right and with a sufficient sum of money to pay the necessary expenses.
We dare not falter or fail.
Yours faithfully,Medford Mail Tribune, July 24, 1922, page 1
H. E. GRIFFITH.
IMMUNITY NOT GRANTED TO ANY K.K.The special grand jury continued today its investigation of the nightriding outrages of Jackson County, and devoted all its time to the hearing of testimony bearing upon the "necktie party" of which J. F. Hale was the chief actor and victim. A score of witnesses were closeted with the inquisitorial body Monday. From their lips flowed the sworn story of the incident, from the time Hale was decoyed by "strangers" from his home about nine o'clock, on the false plea that a sick relative at Marshfield wanted him on the phone, till he returned from the auto trip.
Rumor That Members Necktie Party Had Been Granted immunity, Turning State's Evidence Denied by Liljeqvist--Net of Evidence Declared Tightening.
The evidence, it is rumored, is dovetailing with the records seized in the Los Angeles raid on the grand goblin's office.
The witnesses Monday afternoon were J. F. Hale, who told of the details of the "necktie party," his son, Jay, who told of the stranger's knock at the door, and the response of his father, Miss Angie Hailey, who told of telephone calls and other matters. Hale is said to have testified to incidents during the affair, the bending of a top rod in the auto for future identification, the fainting spell 'neath the blankets with which his head was covered, the seeing of a peculiarly shaped ring on the left hand of one of his tormentors, the fright of the members of the party, when they thought death hovered over him, the calling of doctors for medical assistance when he was alone, and is alleged also to have identified the strangers.
And there also came witnesses telling of alibis that exploded, of letters, of how one reputed Klan member, on the morning after, sped from man to man, whispering and laughing, his actions arousing the suspicions of a police official, who took the names of the people he visited, giving the Department of Justice the first clues, from which they spun the present mass of testimony. It is also rumored that the names of alleged members of the "hanging party" were given to the grand jury, who drove the autos, and who picked out the spot for the "festivity," and who waited for their coming.
Drs. E. B. Pickel and E. W. Hoffman were witnesses this morning. They attended Hale after he was left at his home, and told his condition and injuries.
Ex-Klansmen TestifyTwo witnesses were called this morning who were former members of the Ku Klux Klan, and who publicly renounced allegiance to the organization, when "the rough stuff started." They were James E. Edmiston and Raymond Reter, and, it is stated, will tell the grand jury of what they saw and heard at "klonklaves" they attended. Edmiston was on the stand most of the morning. Reter was scheduled for an early appearance. Both were recipients of warnings and letters following withdrawals.
Other witnesses subpoenaed for today were W. H. Gore, president of the Medford National Bank, John S. Orth, cashier of the same institution, and Walter S. Gore. The nature of their testimony was not known, but it was said to be in connection with an alleged threat carried by word of mouth. Mrs. Helen S. Gale, called as a witness, is reputed to have testified relative to an alibi offered early the Saturday morning following the hanging, and Mr. and Mrs. Howard A. Hill, called as witnesses, are supposed to have offered evidence along the same lines.
Kleagle Is CalledStill other witnesses scheduled for appearance today were H. E. Griffiths, kleagle of the local Klan realm, and his associate with the same official capacity, John J. Hoogstraat, who was out of the city today, but would respond to the subpoena on return. George A. Codding, former district attorney, had a subpoena issued for his appearance, but it was not served until after he had left for the north to attend the annual state convention of the American Legion. Mr. Codding was not cognizant of the existence of the summons, it being placed in the hands of Sheriff Terrill too late for service.
Miss Lorain Stolz, whose questioning by the Department of Justice agents created something of a local furor, and aroused the ire of Dr. Sawyer, Klan lecturer, when he delivered an address at the Page Theater, was also a witness Tuesday afternoon. Miss Margaret Dailey told her story also, their testimony, it is said, having to do with schoolyard chatter forecasting the Hale episode a day or two in advance of its actual happening. Pat H. Dailey, deputy state game warden, was also called as a witness, presumably to substantiate his daughter's testimony.
No Immunity PromisedRegarding the report that in some quarters "immunity had been sought," Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist said Monday night he had "heard nothing about it," and stated further, "nobody needs an immunity bath to get at the whole truth; we can get it without it. It's all very interesting, if I could tell you." The assistant attorney general also announced that "no public statements would be issued relative to the investigation."
It is expected that another day will be devoted to the hearing of testimony in the Hale case, but the subpoenas are kept secret till served.
Following the Hale case, the grand jury will delve into the Henry Johnson affair. Johnson is a resident of Jacksonville, and his case is said to have more ramifications than the present one, its inception being novel and unique and somewhat comic, if taken in a less serious light.
It is also rumored that the grand jury, before its sessions are concluded, will probe a closely guarded local happening, of which little has been divulged.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 25, 1922, page 1
SWEAR MR. LOWE IS A KU KLUX KLANERThe following affidavit was made public today:
J. E. Edmiston and Wm. Craig, Former Members of Secret Order, Make Affidavit They Sat with Candidate for Sheriff in K.K. Meetings--Recall injunction Denied.
State of Oregon, County of Jackson, ss:
I, J. E. Edmiston, being first duly sworn, depose and say that during the months of February, March and April, 1922 I was a member of the Medford Ku Klux Klan lodge. Since that time I have resigned. But during that time I several times sat in the Ku Klux lodge with D. M. Lowe and know that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I make this affidavit for the Citizens Committee because the issue seems to have been raised and it is material to know whether if elected as sheriff Mr. Lowe will follow his obligation to uphold and enforce the law, or whether he will follow his oath as a Klansman to protect the Klansmen of all hazards, murder, treason and rape alone excepted.
J. E. EDMISTON.Subscribed and sworn to before me this 27th day of July, 1922.
(Seal) M. T. EDWARDS,My commission expires Nov. 9, 1923.
Notary Public for Oregon.
State of Oregon, County of Jackson, ss:
I, Wm. L. Craig, being first duly sworn, depose and say that during the months of March, April and May, 1922 I was a member of the Medford Ku Klux Klan lodge. Since that time I have resigned. But during that time I several times sat in the Ku Klux lodge with D. M. Lowe and know that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I make this affidavit for the Citizens Committee because the issue seems to have been raised and it is material to know whether if elected as sheriff Mr. Lowe will follow his obligation to uphold and enforce the law, or whether he will follow his oath as a Klansman to protect the Klansmen of all hazards, murder, treason and rape alone excepted.
WILLIAM L. CRAIG.Subscribed and sworn to before me this 27th day of July, 1922.
(Seal) M. T. EDWARDS,My commission expires Nov. 9, 1923.
Notary Public for Oregon.
Injunction DeniedThe application for an injunction enjoining the county clerk from holding the special recall election next Saturday, July 29th, against Sheriff Charles E. Terrill, was denied in a written decision handed down by Circuit Judge F. M. Calkins this morning. The decision means that the election will be held Saturday.
The meat and pith of the decision, which is two and one-half typewritten pages, is contained in the: following portion:
"As I interpret the case of Coopey vs. Keady, 81 Or. 224, this case falls completely within its provisions--that the court ought to weigh the relative convenience and inconvenience to the respective parties by the granting or refusal to grant the restraining order. And in this case, if plaintiffs are right, they merely suffer the humiliation of a recall if the election goes against them, while if the plaintiffs are wrong, a fundamental and valuable right has been taken from every voter in the county. Of course, I presume in that case another recall petition can be circulated and the ground gone over again, but if the court is going to grant an injunction in this case, it would establish a precedent for granting it in the next recall instituted. And it requires no argument that as between the private right of an individual and the public right of every voter in the county, the individual's right must yield.
"A temporary restraining order should never usurp the functions of a demurrer; and this is what plaintiffs ask."
In spite of the disqualification of Judge Hamilton in this case, after considering the complaint, which I sent him at the time the restraining order was asked, and defendant Florey's argument, he fully concurs with me in the conclusions I have reached.
"I have purposely avoided any expressions of opinion on the law of this case, which may come up on the merits later, and it is not my purpose to intimate that plaintiff's contentions or that defendant's contentions are correct, for that can only be known from a full and fair hearing on all the facts.
"But for the reasons set out herein, I am filing an order denying plaintiff's application for a temporary restraining order."
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1922, page 1
GRAND JURY INVITATION IS ISSUEDSunday night's developments began with Alec Norris, his son-in-law, Mr. Goodie, garage man; Paul York, aged 17 years, and Henry Johnson, aged 22 years, all of Jacksonville, leaving that city at 5 p.m. in an auto truck to get some machinery at Ashland. They did not get the machinery and were on their way home when near the Voorhies crossing their lights went out and a short time later two cars in which were seven masked men approached them and held them up at the point of revolvers. The men all wore flimsy veils with eye holes cut out. This was at 11 p.m.
Asst. Atty. General Requests Any and all Citizens Who Have Information on Night Riding Outrages to Testify--All Testimony to Be Kept Secret.
Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist today issued a statement requesting that "any and all citizens who may have information on the night riding outrages of Jackson County, that will assist the grand jury in its work, come and give their testimony." Mr. Liljeqvist said that this request was made so that all the evidence possible in the cases might be put before the grand jury. The assurance is given to all, that their testimony will be held secret, and that information of the proceedings is being secured from sources outside official circles, and from what has been common knowledge for weeks.
The final witnesses in the Hale case were called this morning, and the Henry Johnson case taken up, it is said, the subpoenaed witnesses having knowledge of that "necktie party."
Among the witnesses called for today are said to be Edison Marshall, short story writer, once a member of the Ku Klux Klan, but who withdrew, and wrote letters to the Imperial Wizard at Atlanta Ga. Marshall is supposed to have told the grand jury of what he saw and heard during the formation meetings of the K.K.K. in this city.
Mr. and Mrs. B. M. Bunnell, an elderly couple, were among the Wednesday afternoon witnesses. Bunnell is the defendant in a suit for $150 filed by Hale. The dropping of the suit is reported to have been one of the propositions made to Hale when a rope was around his neck.
Another witness called Wednesday afternoon was George Roberts, a local barber, but the nature of his testimony is not known. Other witnesses were Dr. Bursell and John J. Hoogstraat, a local Kleagle.
A number of witnesses subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury failed to put in an appearance, chiefly because they are out of the city, some being in Eastern Oregon, some in Salem, some in Portland, and some on their vacation.
To Call Bert MosesOther witnesses waiting call for today, according to reliable information, are Mayor C. E. Gates, Attorney B. F. Lindas, who has filed $25,000 suit against the Ku Klux Klan for alleged slander; O. D. Frazer, alleged to be the secretary, or whatever that title bears in the "Invisible Empire"; Mrs. Herbert K. Hanna of Jacksonville, Bert Moses, former county jailer, now a courthouse janitor; Percy E. Wynkoop, local real estate dealer; Alex Norris of Jacksonville, who was with Johnson and York when the two young men were hanged and given advice by a band of men, wearing what the main victim described as "Mother Hubbard affairs'; A. E. Fleming of Jacksonville, spoken of as a recall candidate for sheriff, and a bondsman in the Elmer Edmonds case, and W. H. Craig.
Johnson, whose case is now reputed to be under investigation, is a well-known character of Jacksonville, a carefree blustering sort of a youth, whose trouble is alleged to have been inspired by gossip at a meeting held in this city, attended by women, and a member of the Klan, who took notes on what he heard, "to report to the sheriff."
The Johnson OutrageThe outrage occurred Sunday, April 9, and was first made public Wednesday, April 12, the outstanding facts in the case being as follows, and as reported at the time:
The masked band ordered Goodie and Norris to drive further up the road. Then one of the men took young York to one side, admonished him to go to work and never be seen with Johnson again. Then five or six of the others took Johnson away a short distance and accused him of chicken stealing that had been going on in Jacksonville. This Johnson stoutly denied, whereupon his captors shouted for a rope, which they put around his neck and pulled taut.
Johnson still denied that he had ever stole chickens and then was asked if he ever peddled any booze and if he ever associated with any white women. He also denied these imputations vehemently. In the meantime the captors had gone through the motions of searching the auto truck as if they expected to find some moonshine there.
Finally they asked Johnson, "Nigger, could you run," and let him go with the warning to speed away. They had addressed him as "nigger," all the way through.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1922, page 1
Olcott Good Enough for Him.To the Editor:
Ordinarily an intelligent person, or plainly speaking, a person with a fair degree of reason or judgment, when they meet with an individual who says they are Napoleon, said ordinary person says "Yes you are," passes him by, and waits for the authorities to take the "Napoleonic" individual to Salem.
Likewise an ordinary person might pass an editorial written in the "Medford Klanyon" of Friday, July 21, 1922, in which the editor says in referring to Gov. Olcott: "To bolster up a losing political game, he assaulted the Ku Klux Klan, branding the members of this, the greatest order in Oregon, as outlaws."
Again I repeat, a person might pass it by, smile, and say something has gone to the editor's head, but this paper is entered in the post office at Medford as second class matter, has been printed in Medford for over a year, and consequently many good people must read it and support it, or else it could not continue to tell the truth, for it says "The Klanyon tells the truth." In view of this fact, it is high time a voice was raised in protest against the harangue of this editor.
Back to the editorial. No doubt the good people of Jackson County will want to know what made the K.K.K. the greatest order in Oregon. What do the Elks, Masons, Odd Fellows, Pythians and various other fraternal orders think about it?
Only a few years ago, "Me and Gott--Gott mit uns," tried to rule the world. What happened to him is history. The Kaiser did not have to prove that he was great; he admitted it. The Klan does not have to prove that they are great; their mouthpiece, the Klanyon admits it.
We now have in our midst, in our own free country, an Imperial "Hottentot" who sits on the throne of the Invisible Empire, and at the present time is interested in who will be the next governor of Oregon, and bringing it closer home, is ousting our friend Charlie Terrill out of office. The editor of the Klanyon goes on to say (referring to Olcott), "His motive, of course, was to draw the solid Catholic vote to his assistance, which, with his official family and political henchman, he hoped would give him the nomination."
Would like to say that I am not a Catholic, or of the official family, or a political henchman; neither am I a Republican, have voted the Democratic ticket all of my life, but when a man has the farsightedness to see that a group of persons with the seat of government in Georgia are trying to gain control of our government in Oregon, and this same governor has the courage to make known his views, why he is good enough for me, and I know personally of eight more Democrats who will vote for him.
Respectfully,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, July 25, 1922, page 4
A. N. Norton.
Medford, July 28.
GATES MADE STRONG PLEA FOR R. RETERThe special grand jury investigating the nightriding and other operations and activities in Jackson County last spring was still delving into the "hanging" of J. F. Hale, and it is not expected they will conclude hearing the testimony in this case until late Thursday afternoon. Hale, already on the stand once, when he gave intimate details of his experiences, will be called back.
Ex-Member of Ku Klux Klan Reported to Have Given Complete Report of Meeting
Which Ended in His Suspension--Fiery Speeches in Klan Reported.
The chief witnesses before the inquisitorial body Wednesday were James E. Edmiston and Raymond Reter, former members of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Edmiston withdrew and wrote an open letter criticizing the alleged methods of the organization following the first of the series of outrages. Reter, following a ruction within the lodge rooms, was "suspended for six months." Reter told the officiating officer, he testified, "to make it as long as you please," and left.
Edmiston on Stand.Edmiston was on the stand for four hours, and is slated for another appearance. He told of Klan meetings he attended, of members present, of speeches, some of them fiery, and all the intimate details of the workings of the secret political organization.
Reter in his testimony corroborated Edmiston, it is reported, and described the initiations of March 4th, discussed at great length by residents of the Rogue River Valley. Reter was accused of violating oaths "the penalty of which is death," when he resented the imputation made on the floor of the lodge that a warm friend was a Catholic. Reter told the grand jury Mayor Gates made a speech in his behalf when his case was under consideration for violation of "vows." Reter also told of the sentence of the officiating officer, his own fervid reply, and leaving the hall in a huff. Later, with his friend, he faced the latter's accuser on the streets of this city, and the matter was adjusted at a stormy session on the street, in which denials were abjectly made.
Hale Affair Discussed.Reter told the grand jury that he had "heard the Hale matter" talked of after the regular sessions of the lodge, and gave the names of those he had heard in these conversations, deploring to one acquaintance the folly of such action.
The testimony of both Edmiston and Reter, it is said, both confirm the letters found in the Los Angeles raid on the office of the Grand Goblin, when valuable documentary evidence was obtained.
Tells of Hale Trial.Department of Justice agents are expected today to tell of the "jury trial" given Hale, and tell who was the judge and who were the jury, who were the witnesses, and who was the outer guard. The "trial" is alleged to have been given in the office of a local professional man. The "trial" took place three weeks before the "necktie party."
More Witnesses.Witnesses subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury today include, among others, J. F. Hittson. former Medford chief of police, Dr. McM. M. Dow, Joe McMahan, state traffic officer, Jack Hemstreet, former Medford policeman, Dwight Vimont, until recently a post office employee, M. B. Bunnell, party in a suit for $150 filed against Hale, John J. Hoogstraat, local Kleagle who was out of the city Tuesday, when a subpoenas was issued, and P. E. Wynkoop, a local citizen.
The Tuesday afternoon witnesses at the hearings were H. E. Griffiths, local kleagle, W. J. Warner, postmaster, and Tom Word, head of the Department of Justice in the Northwest.
Bring Burr Here.Arthur Burr, colored bootlegger, who after serving 30 days in the county jail on conviction for bootlegging operations was decoyed into an auto and driven to the summit of the Siskiyous, where he was subjected to hanging and told "to run," has been located by the federal authorities at Modesto, Calif., and will be brought back to this city to testify. Burr's whereabouts have been indefinite, and he has been trailed through several Central California towns. Burr was the first victim of the nightriding operations.
The third case is that of Henry Johnson, of Jacksonville. Evidence will be introduced in this case to show where the charges against him started and who spread them to his alleged fellow knights, resulting in an "uplift movement" with a rope. Mr. Johnson appeared before the last county grand jury. Johnson says he can identify his persecutors, and is open in his charges.
Asked this noon regarding the persistent report that immunity was being sought, Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist said: "There will be no immunity, I don't care what anybody says." He said that personally no one had come begging for clemency.
From the present outlook, the grand jury will be in session for the better part of two weeks.
A representative of the Portland Oregonian, Jimmy Oleson, arrived on the ground this morning to cover the proceedings.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 26, 1922, page 1
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF JACKSON COUNTYThere will be a special recall election held in this county on July 29th. My name will appear on the ballot as a candidate for the position of Sheriff, now held by C. E. Terrill. With reference to this election and my candidacy, I wish to say a few words to the voters of Jackson County.
In the past two years the people have, to a great extent, lost confidence in the disposition or ability of the county police powers to control violations of the law. It has been necessary to bring in special officers, at great expense, to run down and secure conviction of law violators.
The sheriff's office has seemed to be helpless in dealing with certain classes of offenders. With an efficient, honest, and capable police and law enforcement administration working and cooperating with a vigorous prosecution, bootleg rings could have been broken up by the arrest and conviction of their individual members and their more or less prominent backers and defenders brought into wholesome disrepute. This should and could have been accomplished by a capable and energetic local police administration and the taxpayers saved thousands of dollars paid out for the assistance of special officers.
Another class of offenders, directed against the majesty of the law, would never have led to the division and bitterness now existing if they had been met promptly and vigorously by the sheriff and other law enforcement officers of our county. I refer to the so-called Ku Klux Klan outrages. For the past three or four months indictments and convictions have been of daily occurrence by the newspapers and other biased and interested groups, mostly for political purposes, but no arrests have been attempted by our lawfully constituted county authorities.
These crimes, however simple their nature, have been magnified and enlarged upon by rumor, hearsay and downright misrepresentation, both from home and up-state sources, until they are now the subject of a special grand jury investigation, with all its attendant expense and notoriety, with special correspondents from the big dailies, special prosecutors and assistants, ex-sleuths from Portland and witnesses from Southern California, with precious grand goblin records, all to make a Roman holiday for the lawyers, and politicians, at the expense of the people. And still a great hubbub is being raised about the expense of a recall, which is the only method under our electoral system whereby the people can have a chance to remedy an unbearable situation.
Now a word personal to myself. I have lived in Jackson County 13 years, All my life I have been engaged in productive and constructive pursuits. I have a great pride in my county and its institutions, the greatest and freest on earth, and its laws, which are the bulwark of our liberties.
If you elect me Sheriff at the coming election, I pledge you that I will give the people of Jackson County a sound, conservative business administration, and that the infractors and violators of our laws, whether they be individuals, class or clan, will have to reckon with the sheriff's office, and not with imported special officers and ex-Portland sleuths.
D. M. LOWE.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 26, 1922, page 4 Emphasis in the original.
LOWE'S OATH ANENT K.K. EXPLAINEDThe D. M. Lowe affidavit swearing he "is not" a member of the Ku Klux Klan as charged in two affidavits yesterday by former members of the Klan, proved to be the recall sensation of the day.
Candidate for Sheriff Declares He 'Is' Not Member, But Doesn't State He 'Was' Not--
Another Affidavit from Ex-Member Declaring Lowe Was K.K. Member.
The fact that D. M. Lowe says in his affidavit "I am not" and does not say he was not, is regarded as very significant by everyone who studied the document. According to report, there will be other affidavits from former Klan members swearing that Mr. Lowe was a member of the Klan and that if he is not now a member he must have resigned very recently. It is also expected that this oath given by the candidate for sheriff on the eve of election will come up for serious examination at the mass meeting at the Natatorium tonight.
Mr. Lowe's statement today created the greatest amazement among the former members of the organization, who have sat in the meetings of that organization many times with Mr. Lowe and heard him loudly discuss the various activities of the organization.
Mr. Lowe's affidavit does not state that he never has been a member of the organization and was doubtless, according to members of the Citizens' Committee, made outside of the lodge hall, upon the technical ground set out in Raymond Reter's affidavit below, he hopes to avoid the penalty of perjury. This puerile method of evasion, according to members of the Citizens' Committee, is known to lawyers as a "negative pregnant," and is, they say, in entire keeping with the shameless juggling of the truth that has characterized the vicious campaign against the sheriff and should be fittingly rebuked at the polls tomorrow.
Reter's affidavit follows:
Lowe's Affidavit Explained.STATE OF OREGON,
COUNTY OF JACKSON, SS:
I, Raymond R. Reter, being first duly sworn, depose and do say: That prior to the 11th day of March, 1922, I was a member of the Medford division, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan; that during the time I was a member I attended meetings of said organization in Medford; that the members of said organization are only known as Klansmen during the regular sessions of the said organization; that at all other times they are instructed to be known as citizens of the Invisible Empire; that no persons but the duly elected and initiated members are authorized to sit at the meetings of said organization and that they are Klansmen only during the actual time that they so sit during the lodge session.
That I am well acquainted with one D. M. Lowe, recall candidate for sheriff; that I have sat in the lodge meetings of said organization in company with said D. M. Lowe on several occasions; that I could not be mistaken as to his presence because he is a militant and vociferous member and positively know that during the time that I was a member he was a citizen of the Invisible Empire and a member of the Ku Klux Klan. That if the said D. M. Lowe makes any statement to the contrary he makes it upon the technical ground that outside of the regular meetings he is a citizen of the Invisible Empire and is only a Klansman while in attendance at a regular lodge session and that this is the status of every other member of the organization.
RAYMOND R. RETER.Subscribed and sworn to before me this 28th day of July, 1922.
G. M. ROBERTS,Medford Mail Tribune, July 28, 1922, page 1
Notary Public for Oregon.
My commission expires August 23, 1924.
LOWE NOT A K.K.K.Medford Mail Tribune, July 28, 1922, page 1
STATE OF OREGON,
COUNTY OF JACKSON, SS:
I, D. M. Lowe, being first duly sworn, depose and say: I am not a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
D. M. LOWE.Subscribed and sworn before me, a Notary Public for Jackson County, Oregon, on this the 28th day of July, 1922.
J. B. CAMERON,
Notary Public for Oregon.
My commission expires January 16, 1925.
We, the undersigned, president and secretary of the Ministerial Association of Medford, respectively, say that we have satisfied ourselves of the truth of the above affidavit.
J. RANDOLPH SASNETT,Dated at Medford, Oregon, this 28th day of July, 1922.
President of the Ministerial Association of Medford, Oregon.
COY R. SIMS,
Secretary of the Ministerial Association of Medford, Oregon.
VICTIM OF HANGING IS NOT FOUNDArthur Burr, colored bootblack, victim of the first night riding outrage in Jackson County, and an important witness in the special grand jury investigation now underway, was listed among the "missing" up to noon today. Burr left Modesto, Calif., where he was located in time to reach this city this morning at 6:05 o'clock. The authorities were at the train to greet him, but Burr was not aboard. His present whereabouts are a matter of conjecture, and the federal authorities have hopes that he will show up eventually, otherwise his disappearance, and the circumstances surrounding it, will be a matter of investigation.
Arthur Burr, Colored Bootblack, Due to Arrive This Morning, Disappears--
Investigation Started--Effort to Disband Local Klan Is Recited.
Out of deference to the religion of a member of the grand jury, who is of the Seventh Day Adventist faith, there will probably be no session of the grand jury tomorrow.
Conclude Next WeekIt is now expected that the grand jury will conclude its work early next week.
The case under investigation today is that of Henry Johnson of Jacksonville, who was "strung up" Sunday night of April 9th, and who openly boasts that he knows members of the "party." Paul York, 17, who went on the auto ride with Alex Norris and his son-in-law in an automobile after machinery, and were halted on the lonely road running from the Voorhies crossing, after the truck had stalled, was scheduled to testify. York was given a lecture on the company he kept. Johnson, however, fared worse, had his ribs "tickled with a six-shooter," and from sources outside the grand jury room and officials it is learned he will tell who [he] thinks it was that performed this function.
Alex Norris, well-known resident of Jacksonville, A. E. Fleming, also of the same city, and one time mentioned as a recall candidate for sheriff, Bert Moses, courthouse janitor, and formerly county jailer. Tom Goodie, son-in-law of Norris, both of whom were ordered to drive further up the road, when halted by the band, and Mrs. Herbert K. Hanna, have been or will be called as witnesses from the county seat. Perry E. Wynkoop, local realty dealer, Jack A. Hemstreet, former Medford policeman, and Dr. Mc. M. Dow are also awaiting call, or have been called.
Testimony, it is said, will be introduced to show how the idea of the Johnson affair started at a woman's meeting, how one of the few men present took notes on the talk regarding "chicken stealing" in the county seat, how one reputed Klansman spoke of "the necessity" of some action and how another member boasted that he "had been responsible" for the outrage, though not among those present.
These purported facts have been matters of common knowledge for weeks, and discussed on every street corner, over and over.
Edison Marshall TestifiedEdison Marshall, nationally famous as a writer of wilderness stories, was a witness Thursday. He said he was one of the first 26 to join, a majority of whom have since withdrawn from the Ku Klux Klan, when its menace was revealed. Marshall said that most of these had joined under the impression it was a "patriotic" order, and at that time there was no talk of religious bigotry or mob violence. Marshall testified that he tried to have a resolution adopted, outside the order, to disband the Medford chapter, but was unsuccessful. Marshall also gave the well-known details of the first organization of the Ku Klux Klan in this city.
In the Burr "hanging," which occurred in the Siskiyous, the details of which were not known until after the Hale incident, witnesses.will appear to tell of the finding of a gasoline book at the scene of the outrage, it is said, and the efforts to secure its return after it had been turned over to the government authorities Burr was "taken out" as he was leaving the county jail, after serving a 30 days' sentence for violation of the prohibition laws, accepting a proffered ride to Medford, but was taken to the state line instead. The impressions Burr received at "the party" have been lasting, for authorities report that he is still badly frightened.
It is also said that during the examination the past week, accounts of thrilling incidents in the "Klonklave" were recited by former members, and the text of one hair-raising speech told. The orator, who is alleged to have been a frequent oratorical offender, gave the thrilling inside story of a fight he was in once "near Corvallis," in which he covered himself with glory and victory in no uncertain terms.
"The black robes of the Klan," alleged to have been "burned in a furnace," and the meetings held on the East Side, were also told to the grand jury, it is reported. This was when the local Klan was in its infancy.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 28, 1922, page 1
BURR HERE, SANDEFER IS ALSO BACKArthur Burr, colored, who was "hanged" on the summit of the Siskiyous March 14th, arrived today from Modesto, Calif, and is in the custody of Department of Justice agents, awaiting a call to the grand jury room Monday, when the inquisitorial body will reconvene after an adjournment today out of respect to the faith of one of its members.
Colored Witness, Protected by Federal Agents, Now in Medford--More Subpoenas Issued--S. B. Sandefer Arrives--Denies Any Effort to Escape Grand Jury Probe.
Burr arrived this morning at 6:05 o'clock, and did not get off the train until all the other passengers had disembarked. He then stuck his head out of a window, surveyed the situation, saw no ominous signs, and got off. He was greeted by a Department of Justice agent, who introduced himself, and Burr, abeam with smiles, said:
"Mah gracious, boss, Ise sho glad to see you-all!"
"Why didn't you get here on time?" was asked Burr.
"Ah hain't nebber gwine to come heah at night!" was the rejoinder.
It was later learned that Burr arrived at Weed, Calif., yesterday afternoon and stopped off so his arrival here would be by daylight.
Though three months have passed since Burr had his "experience," he is squeamish on the subject, and fears further vengeance.
Subpoenas, held back pending the arrival of Burr, will be served Monday and the list is said to be a distinguished one, containing the names of men well known in Southern Oregon affairs and who have not been mentioned in the other cases.
Efforts to bring back to the city subpoena evaders, who went away on "important business," who became victims of "nervous breakdowns," and for various other reasons, are now under way. Dr. Jouett P. Bray, former chiropractor, wanted as a witness, was reported Friday evening as having left his haunts near Baker, Ore., and to be headed east in an auto. Wherever possible bench warrants will be issued for the appearance of the witnesses sought.
Hear Johnson CaseAll of Friday was devoted to hearing testimony on the "tag ends" of the Hale case, and the story of the Hank Johnson episode. Most of the witnesses in this case were from Jacksonville, and included Alex Norris and his son-in-law Goodie, who were on the trip, W. A. Bishop, drayman, B. C. York, father of Paul York, who received a lecture, Perry E. Wynkoop, local realty dealer, E. A. Fleming, active in the Earl Simmonds case and in the recall fight, Bert Moses, former county jailer and now county janitor, and Jack A. Hemstreet, former Medford policeman, and now a Crater Lake employee. Norris will be called as a witness in the Burr case.
One of the bits of evidence to be aired in the Burr case is the finding of a gasoline book at the scene of the "hanging," belonging to a local citizen. Witnesses will also be called to tell of the frantic efforts to get it back when it was turned in at the service station. There is no secret about this feature of the case--it has been talked of for weeks.
Among the "lost witnesses" who "reported in" this morning was S. B. Sandefer, county prohibition enforcement officer. Mr. Sandefer stated over the telephone that he was in the city, that he had been spending a two weeks vacation at Woodruff Meadows, and that he was not trying to evade appearing before the grand jury. "I was surprised to read in the Portland papers that I had skipped out," said he, "and I did not hear that I was wanted until I arrived." Mr. Sandefer expressed a willingness to go before the grand jury.
The Portland Telegram's version of the affair, published Friday evening, is as follows:
A Portland man, whose identity will be revealed at the hearing, drove the automobile which left the Sandefer home shortly after 4:05 on the morning of July 20 with Mr. and Mrs. Sandefer and the latter's daughter, according to the charges. The jury will hear how, a few minutes previously, a truck containing four men and provisions for two weeks' duration left the place to be followed by the auto.
How the two machines left the city, headed for the secluded mountain districts, only to discover that they were being trailed; how the men occupying the truck hastily changed places with the Sandefers, and how the Portlander with his quartet of passengers swung about to follow another road, will be recounted during the probe, it is maintained here.
The first intimation that the alleged "kidnapping" was to take place leaked out in Medford July 19, when the possible indictment of prominent Klansmen as a result of the grand jury investigation was the foremost topic of discussion.
Local men who first learned of the rumors gleaned the report that the Sandefers were to be spirited into the mountains early the following morning, the duration of the stay to depend upon the physical condition of the witness, who was said not to have been feeling as well as usual. The proposed move was even discussed by the Klan at its meeting that night, it is reported.
Conclude Next WeekIt is now expected that the grand jury will complete its work in full by Wednesday of next week. Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist and assistants and the grand jury left Saturday for the hills, and outings to get away from the strain of the probe, as the hearing of testimony with its tiring details has been a strain, mentally and physically, on all.
The local investigation occupies a prominent place in the news of the day, state and nation, being featured by practically every paper of importance in the state.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 29, 1922, page 1
BLACK CAT BAD LUCK FOR K.K.K.Developments in the resumption in the grand jury probe of the nightriding outrages today was the return to the city of Jouett P. Bray, chiropractor and minister, one of the "lost witnesses," also the appearance of Dwight L. Vimont, former postal employee, for testimony. Subpoenas have been out a week for both men, who are wanted in connection with the J. F. Hale outrage.
Dusky Feline Crossing Trail of Night Riders Blamed for Following Misfortunes--K.K. Makes Mask Out of Shirt Tail--Bray and Vimont Turn Up.
Dr. Bray telephoned this office this morning that he has been in the vicinity of Bend, Oregon, and that the first he knew he was wanted was Saturday when he saw the Portland papers. He came at once, driving the 188 miles, to arrive here Sunday. Dr. Bray said he had no intention of evading anything, and expressed a willingness to appear before the inquisitorial body. Vimont has been working on a surveying crew 26 miles from this city.
The grand jury heard testimony this morning on the Hale, Johnson and Burr cases, gathering up the loose ends of the mass of evidence presented to them.
Burr Tells StoryArthur Burr, the colored bootblack who was the "victim" of the first "hanging expedition," in the local uplift movement, was the first witness. Burr is supposed to have testified to his experiences from the time he finished his county jail term for bootlegging till he sped away from his captors in a southerly direction, with the parting admonition to run. He has regained some of his nerve since Friday.
Inspectors of Detectives Tackaberry and Phillips of Portland arrived this morning to testify before the grand jury. It is said they will testify relative to their search of a room in the Multnomah Hotel at Portland occupied by Hale, at the behest of a local member of the Ku Klux Klan who has been before the body. This may be a link of evidence showing a connection between the local organization and the state Klan organization. What the police officials were looking for has not been divulged, but it is supposed they were after information relative to what was going on in this section relative to any investigation. The incident occurred in April.
Black Cat Crosses TrailIt is also said that when Alex Norris and his son-in-law Goodie of Jacksonville were driving home from an auto trip to Ashland that terminated in Henry Johnson and Paul York, their companions, being "hanged" and lectured, that a black cat, omen of bad luck the world over, ran across the road, and one of the party remarked that "we are going to have bad luck." It is also said that evidence was introduced to show that one of the masked men had made a mask out of a piece of his shirt tail. It is supposed that testimony was offered to show that the parents of young Paul York were informed just before he left for Ashland "that if this boy falls down and breaks his leg, we'll not be responsible." The above incidents have been sources of Jacksonville talk and surmise ever since the "hanging," and have been matters of common knowledge.
Bert Moses, former county jailer, now courthouse janitor, was again summoned to appear before the grand jury today. Others were S. B. Sandefer, county prohibition officer, Dr. Bray and Dwight L. Vimont.
It is not expected that the grand jury will be able to complete its work before Wednesday.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 31, 1922, page 1
TERRILL IS WINNER BY 305 VOTESCharles E. Terrill, twice elected sheriff of Jackson County by the people, for 50 years a resident of Southern Oregon, and the subject of a year of gossip and vilification, retained his official position Saturday at the recall election by a majority of 305, over D. M. Lowe, proclaimed during the campaign as a candidate and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, though he denied the last allegation in an affidavit during the closing hours of the bitterest political battle ever held in Southern Oregon.
Ku Klux Klan Suffers Political Body Blow in Full Count Recall Election--Sterling and Jacksonville Lead County for Terrill--
Medford Gives Sheriff Majority
The unofficial count, from the 56 precincts in Jackson County complete, gave the following totals:
Terrill……2,943These figures will probably be changed slightly in the official count, which begins tomorrow, by the county clerk but not enough to alter the result.
Rumors Are RifeAshland, recognized as the hotbed of the Klan, and where the feeling was strongest against the sheriff, gave Lowe a majority of 417, as expected with about 50 percent of the registered votes going to the polls. Central Point also carried Lowe. The vote in these two cities was:
Ashland, nine precincts, Lowe 677, Terrill 256.
Central Point, two precincts, North Central Point, Lowe 88, Terrill 42, South Central Point, Lowe 100; Terrill 45.
Lowe carried Central Point by a majority of 101.
These were the two chief centers of the Lowe strength.
It was known at 10 o'clock that Sheriff Terrill had carried the day, and simultaneously rumors began to fly. It was reported in Ashland Sunday that Lowe was "only 12" behind, by a county official, and the favorite yarn on Medford streets was that "Roxy Ann overvoted herself." In this precinct 150 votes are registered and 145 were cast. Innuendos, but no direct charges, were made that "Lowe had been gypped," and, as gossip usually does, traveled on fleet wings. Threats of a contest, like the one now raging between Gov. Olcott and Hall, were made.
The banner precinct of the county from the Terrill standpoint was Sterling, where Mr. Lowe did not receive a single vote out of 20. This is the home of Mrs. Mary E. Kleinhammer, forewoman of the grand jury before the one now in session. Every precinct in the Applegate was carried by Terrill.
Jacksonville Strong for TerrillJacksonville, where Sheriff Terrill resides, as do many of those most active against him, and where a number of affidavit signers hold forth, went for Sheriff Terrill overwhelmingly. Terrill received 246 votes, Lowe 50, a majority for Terrill 196. Adherents of Lowe maintained there "was something wrong there."
Another precinct that administered a stern rebuke to affidavitistas was Lake Creek, for many years the home precinct of the sheriff. Here lives Walter F. Antle. He was accused by Bert Moses, S. B. Sandefer, and J. H. Leggitt with saying that Terrill had "tipped" him off regarding a raid by Sandefer. The vote stood Terrill 76, Lowe 4.
In Eagle Point, where lifelong friends of the sheriff live, he received 142 votes to his opponent's 49. Every precinct in the Butte Creek country went for Terrill.
Signs of Lowe strength manifested itself in the northern end of the county. Gold Hill "wrestled" a draw, the vote standing Lowe 61, Terrill 60; Rogue River went for Lowe 69 to 25, Foots Creek for Terrill 34 to 6, and Sams Valley, Lowe 39, Terrill 22; Antioch, the last precinct to report, went Lowe 35, Terrill 14.
Medford Majority WinsIn Medford, the storm center of the fight, Terrill won by a majority of 309, receiving 1181 to Lowe's 872. Lowe carried two precincts, Northeast Medford and Southwest Medford. Terrill carried the remaining ten precincts by good majorities. Many voters were sworn in by both sides, and there were many tireless workers. The activity of one county official from the Grape Street headquarters was a surprise to many people, his auto making many trips.
About 60 percent of the total vote went to the polls, a fair ratio, and the interest throughout was intense. The heaviest vote was cast in the afternoon, and in some instances people did not get to the voting places in time to cast their ballots.
It was generally conceded that the affidavits cast about during the campaign made votes for Terrill, particularly those charging drinking and cigarette smoking by Ashland people. The one alleging the sheriff threatened to shoot E. A. Fleming of Jacksonville was generally conceded to have acted as a boomerang in Jacksonville and the Applegate, where the facts were known.
A freely expressed opinion in all quarters was that the Rogue River Valley return to its fields and orchards and daily pursuits, and forget the hallucination of "saving mankind" by bitter community fights.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 31, 1922, page 1 Precinct tallies not transcribed.
THE RECALL ELECTION.The result of the recall election was an emphatic rebuke of the Ku Klux Klan. Instead of being a political asset, the victory of Sheriff Terrill demonstrates that in Jackson County K.K.K. support is a serious--a very serious--liability.
This is as it should be. There is no rightful place in this county, no rightful place in this state for a secret society which seeks to gain political control of the government. Regardless of the peculiarly insidious features of this particular secret organization, invisible government of any kind is now and always will be a serious menace to American institutions. And whenever the issue is clearly involved, as it was in the special election, the people can be depended upon to proclaim in no uncertain terms that they are competent to handle their own affairs, and want no underground influences or mystic empires to interfere with them.
* * *The defeat of the Ku Klux Klan is the more striking when the situation is carefully analyzed. For the Lowe vote is far greater than the actual K.K.K. strength. Hundreds of people who voted for Lowe have no use for the Klan as such and on any clear-cut issue of upholding or condemning this organization would have voted for condemnation, but by the propaganda issued they were led to believe that Lowe represented strict enforcement of the prohibition law and Terrill didn't, and on what they conceived to be the best moral grounds, they voted for Lowe.
In addition to this Lowe undoubtedly received the discontented vote, the vote of those who are vaguely dissatisfied with conditions as they are, and found in the recall of Sheriff Terrill an outlet for their resentment--the Klan menace to them being largely disregarded.
Subtracting these votes from the Lowe total and the Klan political strength certainly dwindles to a decidedly pathetic figure.
Unless all signs fail the time is not far distant when the widespread report that Jackson County is a hotbed of Ku Kluxism can be finally and permanently denied, and Southern Oregon can regain her former well-deserved reputation of being one of the most united and progressive communities on the Pacific Coast.
GOOD WORK.Great credit for Terrill's victory is due the Citizens' Committee. These men gave without stint and without any hope of personal reward all they could afford in money and time to prevent what they sincerely believed to be a great wrong to an honest public official and a great menace to the peace and prosperity of Southern Oregon. Theirs was good work, well done.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 31, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
GRAND JURY PROBE WILL END TODAYThe special grand jury, which for the last week has been hearing evidence on the "whitecap" activities in Jackson County last spring, moved from the federal building to the court house at Jacksonville this morning, heard a dozen witnesses before noon, and began its final deliberations at the opening of the afternoon session.
Asst. Attorney General Liljeqvist Leaves Tonight and Results of Investigation Expected Soon--Only Two Important Witnesses Fail to Appear Before Jury.
Among the witnesses called this morning were County Judge George A. Gardner, who was in the jury room but a few minutes, J. F. Hale, Arthur Burr, and Hank Johnson, the three victims of "necktie parties," Pat Dailey, deputy state game warden, Charles Harrison, a local insurance agent, Carl Beebe, a taxi driver, Roy Wilson, a cement worker, and Harry Lofland, all of this city.
Among the witnesses called Monday afternoon were Bill Jones, Carl Bowman, Clay Walker, former Medford policeman, J. A. Millard, Dr. Jouett P. Bray, Dwight L. Vimont, former postal employee, and William Barteau, engineer and in charge of the furnace at the Medford Hotel.
All but two of the witnesses subpoenaed for the grand jury appeared. They are Joe J. McMahon, state traffic officer, said to be in the Salem district, and Paul Wright, reported to be in the Umpqua Divide country on mining business.
Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist, who has been handling the investigation, will leave for Portland tonight.
Tom Word, Department of Justice chief, who had charge of the gathering of evidence in the case, left Monday night for Portland, leaving the local situation in the hands of his aides.
The grand jury, under the law, will issue a report on its findings, insofar as it deems advisable.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 1, 1922, page 1
NEGRO TELLS JURY OF HIS 'NECKTIE PARTY'MEDFORD, Ore., July 31 (Special to the Register).--The grand jury, probing alleged activities of the Ku Klux Klan in Jackson County, today heard Arthur Burr, negro bootblack, tell how he was taken by night riders and three times strung up to a tree in the Siskiyou Mountains.
Arthur Burr, Bootblack, Relates Story of
Alleged Ku Klux Affair in Jackson County
CARRIED INTO MOUNTAINS
Says Inquisitors Strung Him Up to Tree Twice
TRY TO GET INFORMATION
Captive Finally Turned Loose, Told to "Beat It" and Never Come Back, According to Testimony
A gunnysack was put over his head, and tied down and he was put into a machine with four men. This machine was then driven up into the foothills of the Siskiyous, about one hour and a half being consumed in making the trip. Burr was taken out of the machine when it stopped in the mountains and walked up a hill for some little distance, where he was halted under a tree and surrounded by 16 or 20 men.
Asked how he was taken by the night riders and spirited away in the machine, Burr said he was released by Bert Moses, then county jailer, from the county jail in Jacksonville four hours after the hour when prisoners were usually released. When he left the jail Moses informed him, according to the story, that an automobile would give him a lift to Medford. Burr said he got into the rear seat of the automobile. The persons in the car, two men, both said to be Klansmen, said nothing to him during the ride.
Burr Is HandcuffedAt this time Burr paid no particular attention, having settled down to enjoy the air that he had missed during the 30-day confinement in the Jacksonville jail for intoxication.
Before reaching Medford, according to Burr, the car turned off on a side road. Then Burr was dragged from one car, and accompanied by two men, transferred to another. After proceeding for a mile or so, one of the men handcuffed him with his hands in back of him. When later he moved to relieve the tension on his wrists, a gun was poked into Burr's ribs and he was admonished to sit still and keep still. After traveling for about an hour and a half, it is said, Burr was taken from the car.
A rope was put around his neck and he was told to tell his captors where he had been getting the whiskey which he had been drinking and selling. Burr gave them a name and was told, "That don't go." The rope was thrown over a limb and he was hauled up into the air.
He was let down in a moment and his captors demanded that he tell them the names of white women with whom they charged him with being unlawfully associated. He denied that he had done this, and was again strung up in the air. Again he was let down onto his feet and was asked if he knew who it was who had taken him into their machine at the jail and hauled him away. He told his inquisitors that he did not. He was then asked if he had any money, and he said he had 20 cents. A collection was taken up and he was given $1.25. He was turned about with his face toward the California line, the handcuffs were taken off, and he was directed to "run and keep running and not to come back."
Heads for CaliforniaBurr needed no second invitation and headed south at a long gallop, but before he had taken a dozen steps revolver shots began to ring out behind him and bullets to thud into the ground behind his flying feet.
A dozen shots or so were fired after him as he scrambled through the underbrush and over the rocks of the mountainside. He never stopped until he reached Weed, where he rested with a negro friend, and then headed on south, stopping at Chico, and later at Modesto, where he went to work, and where he had continued working until brought back to Medford to testify before the grand jury.
This, in substance, is supposed to be the story of the Burr hanging as told by Burr to the jury.
He told the story to friends in the court room, before going before the jury.
Morning Register, Eugene, Oregon, August 1, 1922, page 1
REPORT OF GRAND JURY LATE TODAYAll Jackson County was tense with excitement today awaiting the report of the special grand jury appointed to investigate the activities of the Ku Klux Klan in Medford and Southern Oregon. At press time, reports from Jacksonville were to the effect that the report would not be made public until four o'clock and perhaps would not be forthcoming until late this evening. The usual rumors were afloat, but no reliable or definite information regarding the substance of the jury findings could be secured.
News from Jacksonville at 3 p.m. Is That Result of Grand Jury Probe
May Not Be Known Until Late This Evening--Rumors Rife--K.K. List Expected.
Up to noon today the special grand jury investigating the night riding outrages of Jackson County was still in deliberation, and no news is expected on the findings of the inquisitorial body until late this afternoon. The indictments returned will be kept secret until the accused is under arrest, and this phase of the work will be under the supervision of the federal authorities.
The grand jury is also expected to make a concise and complete report on the local situation as they found it, which may include the list of 381 residents of Jackson and Josephine counties said to belong to the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan. Some of those thereon have since withdrawn, some say they never attended but one meeting, and some claim "it is a mistake." The records are said to contain the date of induction into the Klan, the Kleagle who procured the candidate, and a financial report for the week.
K.K.K. Apologists BusyRumor mongers were busy Monday afternoon in the rural districts, one report being circulated that "all the members of the grand jury were Catholics." The religious faith of the body is unknown except that one of them is a Seventh Day Adventist.
Final desperate efforts of those accused to present "backfire" testimony at the last minute was overruled by the assistant attorney general on the grounds that it was not a subject of investigation for a special grand jury. One of these was said to concern the alleged conduct of one of the "hanging victims" a couple of years ago. The bearer of the testimony was advised to bring the matter before the regular grand jury, which convenes in October.
Arthur Burr, colored, known as "Heavy," left Tuesday night for Modesto, Calif., after telling his story to the grand jury.
The indictments, if returned, will probably be based on those sections of the Oregon statutes covering riot, mob violence, and assault with a deadly weapon, the first named being exceptionally stringent.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 2, 1922, page 1
SIX KU KLUX KLAN MEMBERS INDICTED
EXTORTION, ASSAULT AND RIOT CHARGE
Special Grand Jury Hands Down Report at 2 p.m.--Names of Men Indicted Are Kept Secret--Arraignment Set for Tomorrow--Fix Bonds $2000 Each.
The grand jury report accompanying the indictments was very brief and after expressing appreciation to the U.S. Department of Justice for its assistance in ferreting out these cases of lawlessness in Southern Oregon, requested that another grand jury be called to further probe certain activities of the Ku Klux Klan, which the present grand jury was unable to completely cover.
Immediately upon receiving and reading the report Judge Calkins ordered bench warrants issued for the arrest of the men indicted and fixed their arraignment for tomorrow morning, bonds being fixed at $2000 apiece.
For 48 hours Jackson County has been on edge with excitement awaiting the grand fury report. Rumors as usual were rife from both sides, ranking from the report that the grand jury had so many indictments they had to send to Medford for more indictment blanks to the report that the grand jury was hopelessly divided and no indictments whatever would be returned.
The grand jury was made up as follows:
Marie Benedick, Applegate, forewoman.
Paul E. Pearce, Jacksonville.
D. A. Lyons, Medford.
J. W. Smylie, Medford.
Frank Silva, Little Applegate.
Lester Layton, Applegate.
Charles Layton, Ashland.
The Wednesday afternoon session of the special grand jury was devoted to completing the clerical work attached to the investigation, like the correct spelling of names, etc., etc. The grand jury made an effort to finish up yesterday, but at 6 o'clock found they would have to work far into the night. and adjourned until this morning.
During the course of the hearings the grand jury examined and heard testimony from over 75 witnesses, and counting today have been in session 11 days.
Jury May ReconveneIt is reported, unofficially, that the grand jury will reconvene in a week or ten days, and resume the investigation of other details of the nightriding outrages, and this is taken to include the well-known "Don't Smudge" and "I Know All" letters that were received by local people last spring. It is also reported that a little-known episode that was supposed to have been engineered to furnish campaign material, during the late recall election, will be investigated, inasmuch as one of the. laws of Oregon was walked all over in its consummation.
Absolutely nothing is known regarding the work of the present grand jury, and all stories of indictments are baseless and without foundation of fact.
Terrill Thanks SupportersSheriff Terrill, victor in the recall election, has received a dozen or so of letters from points throughout the Northwest, congratulating him on his winning.
The sheriff Wednesday afternoon issued the following statement:
To the Voters of Jackson County:--
I wish to thank you for your expression of confidence in my conduct of the sheriff's office.
Your answer to the dirty and ridiculous charges preferred against me has given me renewed courage and I shall try to pay you in strict attention to duty, as in the past.
Respectfully,Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1922, page 1 Emphasis in original.
C. E. TERRILL,
Sheriff Jackson County.
NIGHT RIDERS WILL PLEAD AUGUST 19Indictments charging six men, more or less prominent and well known in this city and Jackson County, with participation in the nightriding outrages of last spring, and blanket indictments covering 16 John Does "whose true names are unknown" were returned by the special grand jury which ended its investigation Thursday afternoon.
Local Residents Indicted by Special Grand Jury Given Two Weeks in Which to Plead--Bonds Furnished--Other Arrests Probable--May Continue Probe.
The men accused in the open indictments were:
Howard A. Hill, orchardist, indicted on six counts, the crimes of extortion, riot and assault with a deadly weapon, being alleged in connection with the J. F. Hale and Arthur Burr "necktie parties."
Jouett P. Bray, ex-minister and chiropractor, indicted on three counts, alleged riot, extortion and assault with a deadly weapon, in connection with the J. F. Hale "necktie party."
Jesse F. Hittson, automobile dealer, former chief of police and well-known citizen, indicted on three counts, in connection with the Hale affair, alleging riot, extortion and assault with a deadly weapon.
Bert L. Moses, former county jailer, now courthouse janitor, indicted on three counts alleging extortion, riot, and assault with a deadly weapon.
J. Alexander Norris, former county jailer and resident of Jacksonville, indicted on one count, alleging riot in connection with the Henry Johnson "party."
Thomas E. Goodie, garage proprietor of Jacksonville and son-in-law of Norris, indicted on one count alleging riot in connection with the Henry Johnson outrage.
Mr. Hittson was allowed to go on his own recognizance when brought to the county seat on a bench warrant.
Bail for $2000 as fixed by the court was secured by all the defendants, bonds being furnished for Howard A. Hill, by his father, Dillon Hill, and D. M. Lowe, recent recall candidate for sheriff.
For Jouett P. Bray by C. E. Gates and W. C. Rice.
For J. Alexander Norris, by Mrs. Alpha Hartman and A. H. Norris, a brother, all of Jacksonville.
For Thomas E. Goodie, by J. Alexander Norris and A. H. Norris, relatives.
For Bert L. Moses, by Mrs. Alpha Hartman and John Dunnington, both of Jacksonville.
To Plead on August 19.The six defendants were arraigned in court this morning at ten o'clock. Messrs. Hittson, Hill and Bray were represented by Attorney George A. Codding and Messrs. Norris, Goodie and Moses by Attorney H. A. Canaday.
After reading of the indictments, and the handing of a copy of the same to each, their respective attorneys made a motion for two weeks in which to plead, which was granted by the court, and the date fixed for pleas, and such other legal actions as may be taken, as Saturday August 19.
The indictments cover the Hale affair, listed as occurring March 17, the Burr "hanging" listed as occurring March 13th, and the Johnson "hanging" listed as having occurred April 9th.
In the indictments alleging riot the word "routously" is used. This is a little used word, and is defined by Webster's Dictionary as follows:
"A disturbance of the peace by persons assembled together with an intent to do a thing which, if executed, would make them rioters, and actually making a motion towards the execution thereof."
The deadly weapon mentioned in the indictments is described as "pistols and revolvers," and "a rope, with a noose, placed around and about the neck."
The "blanket clause" of the indictment covers the 16 John Does named defendants, on each of the indictments cover, it is said, other participants in the three incidents.
The identity of the 16 "John Does" is unknown.
Aside from the six men mentioned in the "open indictments," and the three principals, only one name is mentioned, that of M. B. Bunnell. It is contained in the indictment accusing Howard A. Hill, Jouett P. Bray, and J. F. Hittson with assault with a deadly weapon, and the portion reads: "did verbally threaten to kill the said Joseph F. Hale, unless he would dismiss a certain action at law then and there pending between the said Joseph F. Hale as plaintiff and M. B. Bunnell as defendant, and to leave and remain away from the community in which the said Hale did then and there live."
Investigation to Continue.The report of the grand jury is as follows:
"In the Circuit Court of Jackson County, for the State of Oregon.
"To the Honorable F. M. Calkins, Judge of the Above Entitled Court:
"We, your grand jury selected for the May term of the above entitled court, submit this partial report of our present investigation concerning certain alleged outrages committed in Jackson County in the spring of this year.
"We desire especially to express our appreciation of the efforts of the United States Department of Justice in ferreting out these crimes. This work has been of inestimable value to us in this investigation.
"We have examined many witnesses upon each of the cases submitted to us by the state attorney general and the district attorney, and as a result of that investigation have returned numerous indictments, the nature of which and the parties involved therein being for public purposes more or less secret for the
present. The evidence tends to connect others who are not yet indicted with some or all of these crimes, and this matter may be the subject of further investigation in the future if it be found advisable, as additional information is undoubtedly obtainable.
"The Grand Jury, therefore, respectfully suggests that it may be at this time permitted to adjourn its investigation until its regular sitting, or until the further order of the court."
Form of IndictmentThe indictment forms follow:--In the circuit court of the state of Oregon in and for the county of Jackson.
The state of Oregon vs. Bert L. Moses, Howard A. Hill and John Doe, whose true name is unknown; Richard Doe, whose true name is unknown, etc., etc., defendants.
Bert L. Moses, Howard A. Hill, and John Doe, whose true name is unknown to this grand jury, Richard Doe, whose true name is unknown to this grand jury, etc., etc., are accused by the grand jury of Jackson County by this indictment of the crime of riot, committed as follows:
That the said Bert L. Moses, Howard A. Hill and John Doe, etc., on the 13th day of March, 1922, in the county of Jackson and state of Oregon, then and there being, and all of said defendants then and there acting together, and being then and there armed with dangerous weapons, to wit: with pistols and revolvers loaded with gunpowder and leaden bullets and capable of being discharged then and there having in their possession a dangerous weapon, to wit: a rope, which was then and there capable of inflicting death and great bodily harm when used in the manner hereinafter specified, and being then and there disguised by having their identity obscured by robes, cowls, masks and other disguises to this grand jury unknown, and then and there encouraging and soliciting each other to do the acts of force and violence herein stated, did then and there wrongfully, unlawfully, feloniously, routously and riotously assemble and gather together without authority of law and with intent to do the unlawful acts hereinafter specified, and in a manner adapted to disturb the public peace, and did then and there wrongfully, feloniously, routously and riotously and in the presence of George Arthur Burr, threaten to use the force and violence hereinafter specified, and did then and there wrongfully, unlawfully, feloniously, routously and riotously use force and violence as hereinafter specified, and did then and there wrongfully, unlawfully, feloniously, routously and riotously, and in the presence of George Arthur Burr, threaten to assault and beat said George Arthur Burr, and. threaten to shoot and inflict great bodily harm upon and to kill the said George Arthur Burr, and did then and there so as aforesaid assault and beat the said George Arthur Burr, and did then and there so as aforesaid purposely point and aim said pistols and revolvers within range of said firearms at and towards said George Arthur Burr, and did then and there so as aforesaid place and tie said rope about and around the neck of the said George Arthur Burr, and place the other end of said rope over a limb of a tree which limb was above the said George Arthur Burr, and did then and there threaten to hang the said George Arthur Burr, and so as aforesaid did pull said rope over said limb of said tree and partly lifted the body of said George Arthur Burr by the said rope so around his neck as aforesaid, and the grand jury further charges that said threats to use force and violence so as aforesaid were then and there accompanied by an immediate power of execution on the part of said defendants, all contrary to the statutes in such cases made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the state of Oregon.
Dated at Jacksonville in the county aforesaid this 3rd day of August, A.D. 1922.
The Witness ListWitnesses subpoenaed and examined before the grand jury:
Raymond I. Turney, Ruberta Pearce, Joseph F. Hale, Angie Halley, Sylvia R. Hill.
Howard A. Hill, voluntarily and at his own request. Lorraine Stoltze, Marjorie Daily, Jay F. Hale, Helen C. Gale, Edward E. Kelly.
James E. Edmiston, voluntarily and at his own request. E. B. Pickel, Edward W. Hoffman. William J. Warner.
Raymond E. Reter, voluntarily and at his own request. W. H. Gore, Tom M. Word.
Harry C. Stoltze, voluntarily and at his own request. Robert B. Hammond, voluntarily and at his own request.
William N. Offutt, Jr., voluntarily and at his own request. Lizzie Launspach.
Jesse F. Hittson, voluntarily and at his own request.
Morris B. Bunnell, voluntarily and at his own request.
Newton W. Borden, voluntarily and at his own request.
John J. Hoogstraat, voluntarily and at his own request.
Herbert E. Griffith, voluntarily and at his own request.
Oliver D. Frazee, voluntarily and at his own request. Earl H. Fehl.
Sarah H. Bunnell, voluntarily and at her own request. Arvid Bursell, Fay E. Diamond.
Edward A. Flemming, voluntarily and at his own request. George O. Roberts.
Charles E. Gates, voluntarily and at his own request.
William L. Craig, voluntarily and at his own request. Benjamin F. Lindas, Leona Hanna, Edison Marshall, Charles E. Terrill, Henry Johnston, Paul York, John Miller, Jr.
Perry E. Wynkoop, voluntarily and at his own request.
Bert L. Moses, voluntarily and at his own request.
J. Alexander Norris, voluntarily and at his own request.
Thomas E. Goodie, voluntarily and at his own request.
John A. Hemstreet, voluntarily and at his own request.
Witham A. Bishop, Edward D. Collins, Luther S. York, James M. Tackaberry, Robert L. Phillips, George Arthur Burr.
Dwight Vimont, voluntarily and at his own request. William Jones.
Samuel B. Sandefer, voluntarily and at his own request. Georgia Williams, Howard L. Barto, Carl D. Bowman, Gus Newbury.
Jouett P. Bray, voluntarily and at his own request. George L. Hooker.
Clay A. Walker, voluntarily and at his own request. A. E. Reames, Harry Lofland, Ray E. Wilson.
George A. Codding, voluntarily and at his own request. Conrad J. Carstens.
John A. Millard, voluntarily and at his own request. Patrick H. Daily, Charles W. Harrison, George A. Gardner, Carl R. Beebe, Dalton Terrill, George O. Timothy, Frank L. Tou Velle.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 4, 1922, page 1
KNOCKING MEDFORDAt every opportunity the Mail Tribune quotes some newspaper which comments about the deplorable condition in Medford, brought about by the Ku Klux Klan. Every excerpt so far is from a paper either owned or controlled by Catholics. The most recent condolence comes from the Klamath Falls Herald, as follows:
"Medford business men of high standing here yesterday said the Ku Klux Klan fight in Medford has divided the town into fractions engendering a bitterness such as was never known in Klamath's courthouse controversy. Even a fraternal order of highest standing was threatened with dissolution, they said. They express the hope that Klamath would not permit the virus of the hooded order to spread in this community."
The Klamath Herald is owned and run by a K.C. named Murray. It would be interesting to know the names of the "Medford business men" who bore the sad tidings over to the city of snakes, toads and courthouses.
It is a "horrible condition" here, but not quite as bad as Ireland or Mexico.
Medford Clarion, August 4, 1922, page 6
Newbury Issues Statement.To the Editor:
On election day there was circulated in Ashland a statement by the friends of the Ku Klux Klan candidate for sheriff, D. M. Lowe, that I had said that the W.C.T.U. ladies were a bunch of prostitutes. On election day I made a trip to Ashland to ascertain who it was that put out that scurrilous lie.
I am now informed by a member of the Ku Klux Klan, who sat in the Ku Klux Klan lodge with D. M. Lowe (notwithstanding the statement made by one of the ministers of the gospel in Medford that Mr. Lowe is not a member of the Klan), that D. M. Lowe stated that I had called these ladies prostitutes, and that he had personally approached me and required me to retract the statement.
To start with, I wish to say that no such statement by me was ever made of that kind., or anything of that character, and that the statement put out is a malicious lie and if Lowe made the statement, he is a malicious liar, and if he desires the name of the member of the Ku Klux Klan who reported to me that he heard Lowe make the statement, he may call on me and I will give him the name of the member of the Ku Klux Klan who gave me this information.
The statement put out by Lowe is fairly illustrative of the character of the campaign that the members of the Ku Klux Klan carried on in order to consummate the defeat of Mr. Terrill.
GUS NEWBURY,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 1, 1922, page 8
August 1, 1922.
THE TRUTH DOES PREVAIL.
"Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again,
The eternal years of God are here,
But error wounded, writhes with pain,
And dies among his worshipers."
It was only a few months age that we quoted this quatrain of William Cullen Bryant's as an expression of our faith that ultimately the truth regarding the Ku Klux Klan would out, that the mists of doubt hanging over the valley and its problem would clear, and that in the end it would be known who was telling the truth and who was not.
At that time the public statement signed by the two Kleagles of the Ku Klux Klan had recently been printed, placing the Mail Tribune in the Ananias class. The Klan, they stated, was no different than the Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows and other secret societies, it stood for 100 percent Americanism and strict obedience to the law, it was in no way responsible for the so-called Hale outrage, nor the Burr-Johnson affairs, and it would--this official statement came a few days later--pay a reward of $100 to anyone who would give evidence leading to the conviction of those responsible for the Jacksonville necktie party.
* * *In the report of the special grand jury investigating the activities of the Klan in Southern Oregon, the Mail Tribune finds its answer and its vindication. We don't believe any further comment is needed. Whatever may be the guilt of this individual or that, only a trial can determine, but the grand jury report REMOVES FOR ALL TIME, ALL DOUBT AS TO THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THIS ORGANIZATION FOR THE LAWLESSNESS WHICH BROKE OUT THIS SPRING IN JACKSON COUNTY.
Before that organization entered this valley, there was no district in the state more justly famed for its unity of spirit, its contentment and its enterprise. Since that organization's advent, there has keen nothing but discord, grief, bitterness and dissension. The Klan has been a curse, not only to the community but to its own members; it has done harm that can scarcely be calculated, it has done absolutely no good.
We have considerable sympathy for those citizens--and there have been several of them--who were hoodwinked into joining this organization under the impression that it would be a force for betterment in this community, who accepted the statements that the Klan opposed lawlessness in good faith, who in short believed the Klan organizers were telling the truth. The worst that can be said of them is that they were deluded, flimflammed, "used."
But we have no sympathy whatever for those organizers, those political adventurers and exploiters of men's prejudices and credulities, those higher-ups, who were willing to profit by Medford's misfortunes, if they could profit financially themselves, who no matter how great her misfortunes had, themselves, nothing to lose.
Our only regret is that the Ku Klux Klan as an organization could not have been indicted, and the individuals responsible for bringing the abomination into this state cannot be made to suffer for the wrongs, the suffering and sorrow which they and their dupes have inflicted.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 4, 1922, page 4
A Reply to Mr. Jeffrey.To the Editor:
Now comes John A. Jeffrey, attorney for certain citizens recently indicted by the grand jury, and in an interview published in the local Ku Klux organ he spills about all the beans remaining in the Medford Klan pot.
Although Jeffrey has never practiced before Judge Calkins, except to appear on behalf of the Klan in the matter of the late recall proceedings, yet he brazenly charges the honorable Circuit Judge with being controlled by certain members of the bar, and rants about attempts to pack a jury on his clients.
The Klan organ refers to Mr. Jeffrey as a "prominent Portland attorney"? It occurs to me that the word "notorious" would have been more fitting. He was one of the I.W.W. soapbox orators, who with other "wobblies" paraded the streets of that city, and attempted to defy the authorities by peddling hot air from a street corner, contrary to an ordinance made and provided, and he was, I believe, arrested and imprisoned for a violation thereof. This occurrence, and his intimate association with the I.W.W., and his defense of members charged with syndicalism and sedition during the late war, are the outstanding achievements that have brought notoriety to Mr. Jeffrey. In a little booklet published by the Ku Klux in Portland for the purpose of directing patronage of the Klan to its members Mr. Jeffrey's name appears as one of the 100 percent attorneys. There can be no question as to the Americanism of Mr. Jeffrey. It is alloyed as follows: 50 percent comes from the I.W.W. nightmare and 50 percent from the fiery cross of the Ku Klux abortion.
Anyone who remembers the dynamiting of Governor Steunenberg in Idaho, and the blowing up of the Los Angeles Times can recognize in Jeffrey's interview the old familiar propaganda of I.W.W.ism; a plea which lawyers call "confession and avoidance"; an effort to blacken the character of victims of their outrages, and to justify the atrocity.
Mr. Jeffrey's Jackson County clients are above the type of malefactors that have heretofore employed him, and they are entitled to a respectable and decent defense based upon the presumption of innocence, rather than by a villainous attack upon the integrity of an upright judge, and vile slanders directed towards the personnel of our jury lists. His interview is an insult to the intelligence of the people of this county. His clients are worthy of a more decent defense, and of an advocate who has knowledge and respect for the ethics of his profession.
His interview, however, is worthy of serious consideration in one particular. In the same paragraph in which he slanders our circuit judge, he finds comfort and praise in the candidacy of C. M. Thomas. This, taken in connection with Mr. Thomas' refusal to take a stand against mob violence, and his refusal to join the members of the bar in a protest against the cowardly black-hand threat made to Judge Calkins, and his unqualified support of Lowe, a Democrat and a member of the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan, the candidate for sheriff in the recall election, against Terrill, a Republican; together with his constant association with the Kleagles and members of the Klan is capable of one interpretation only and that is found in Holy Writ, viz:
"Verily the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib." (Isaiah 1-3).
WM. M. COLVIG."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 14, 1922, page 4
Jeffrey "Replies" to Judge ColvigTo the Editor: It doth appear in these later days that surprises never cease and while attempting to defend some of the best people in Jackson County against their enemies in front, I have received a kick from the rear delivered by an antiquated has-been of the legal profession. Though once a legal preceptor of mine, he is about as far from the truth in stating my name as he is in his other "facts."
To begin with, I have not slandered Judge Calkins, but merely said what is reported in the community. I have not "soapboxed" in Portland, neither have I followed the example of my old preceptor by "peddling hot air" from a street corner. In his alleged better days, he tried cases and laid his opponents low from a curbstone, and with the same instrument Samson used on the Philistines of old. I was never prosecuted nor imprisoned for anything by any court or the order of any court. I never defended an I.W.W. I never defended a charge of syndicalism or sedition during the war. Most of the people who committed such crimes were Germans and Austrians who belonged to the same church for which Backnumber Bill is pulling the chestnuts now.
The Portland Klan never published a little booklet such as Bill complains of now. The killing of Governor Steunenberg and the blowing up of the Times were committed by people with names like Horsley and McNamara, which sound like those Colvig is assisting now. I have defended people of all creeds and faiths--most of the serious charges being against the same faith Colvig is "legging for" now, and I have given them my best service, as I shall continue to do while practicing law, in spite of the wails of ignorance, envy and superstition from any and all comers. If I am to be measured by the faith of those I have most defended then I am a Catholic.
Every man knows that any man charged with a crime is entitled to a defense--perhaps even Backnumber Bill knew this once. He should know the many falsehoods contained in his letter had he ever tried to learn the truth. But it may be that his reputation as a lawyer and a historian would have been much better had he died before he wrote the fool things contained in this latest effort.
The trouble with. Colvig is that people who are charged with crime get scared and hire someone who can get them out, instead of some old broken-down political hack. They need a real defense.
I understand "the Judge" has lately accused a Jackson County candidate of the atrocious crime of being a Democrat. Now Bill hardly knows the full depravity of Democracy, since he remained a Democrat only until thoroughly repudiated and laid on the shelf by the people of Jackson County. It did not pay any longer than that.
Mr. Colvig also has a gallant war record, in which period he suffered a wound and for which he secured a pension. He enlisted in the home guards during the Civil War, prevented a Southern gunboat from capturing Oregon, and was rewarded by a grateful nation. I have heard the wound was a rupture. I know not if this be true, but I have the word of the late respected citizen, Gen. T. G. Reames of Jacksonville, Oregon, that it was received by Bill by jumping off the fence with at least two more watermelons in his arms than any one man should ever try to carry. It is said that all the blood Colvig ever shed in defense of his country was caused by this load of watermelons. But
"Let us pay the reverence of old daysFurther, someone has "peached," else how did Bill ever find out what "lawyers call confession and avoidance," or hear about the ethics of the profession or what an intelligent community thinks. Anyway I swear I never tried to blacken the lousy nigger bootlegger in this case. It would be as useless as "to paint the lily or gild refined gold." But I recognize the right of Colvig to have all the spasms he feels like about this "big smoke."
To his dead fame,
Walk backward with averted gaze
And hide the shame."
I said we are going to have a fair jury and I swear it. If this be treason Mr. Colvig may make the most of it. Since being laid on the shelf by the people of Jackson County, Colvig has served his master, the saintly Southern Pacific railroad, until his final retirement by it, and I shall not deny that the "ox knoweth his owner as the ass his master's crib." But his friends hoped he had retired to reflect on the past and to prepare for the future. They are much pained to notice that he attempts a "comeback" by raking chestnuts for the Pope--and thus proves again the wonderful truth and prophecy of the good old book we so love to quote wherein it says:
"The dog has turned to his vomit again, and the sow has returned to her wallow in the mire." Selah.
JOHN A. JEFFREY."Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 15, 1922, page 4
Medford, Aug. 15.
C. M. Thomas and the K.K.K.To the Editor: I have been reading the articles in your paper in regard to the K.K.K. and especially the communications concerning C. M. Thomas' position as to the Klan. Of course, it is understood that a candidate for judge, especially with a number of individuals indicted in connection with alleged Klan affairs, and with the almost certainty, if elected, of being called on to preside in those cases, cannot express his opinion, either for or against the Klan. However, it is apparent that there are certain parties seeking to take advantage of Mr. Thomas' position and writing to the Mail Tribune for the purpose of putting Mr. Thomas in a false light, knowing that he cannot get in a newspaper controversy without disqualifying himself for the high position he seeks.
In view of this, it is the duty of Mr. Thomas' friends to see that he receives fair play.
As a member of the Legion, I had charge of the memorial exercises at Ashland, May 30th this year. It was the wish of both the G. A. R. and Legion that Senator Thomas make the address. He did so. I have never heard a more able, patriotic and inspiring speech. His theme was along the line of the necessity of teaching respect for the law, and strict enforcement of every law; that the law was the foundation of the government, and was the instrument through which our lives and property are protected. No one who heard that speech could for one moment imagine Judge Thomas sympathizing with any organization practicing criminal acts, let alone being a member of such an organization. Mr. Colvig and his associates will not succeed in making many people in Jackson County believe that.
DONALD M. SPENCER,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 16, 1922, page 4
Ashland, Aug. 15.
ATTORNEY JEFFREY FIGHTS BACKTo the Editor:--
ANSWERS COLVIG'S ASSAULT IN MAIL TRIBUNE.
If I may trespass again upon your valuable space, there are a few things which in justice to all ought to be said about the "night riders outrage" cases in Jackson County. One Colvig has appeared, from nowhere in particular, and cast a brick into this fight. He used to threaten to practice law and hold office in this county under the firm name and style of W. M. Colvig, when it is properly B. B. Colvig, viz., Backnumber Bill Colvig. Most of Bill's letter in the Tribune was merely personal slander of myself and shall receive no further notice, as I realize the uselessness of engaging in a contest of throwing malodorous perfume with a skunk.
But the good citizens of this county who have been indicted to make a Roman holiday are entitled to, and shall receive, a square deal. The gang whom Colvig speaks for seem to wish either to choose my clients in all cases or to choose an attorney for the defendants in the Jackson County cases. I leave to the good judgment of our people which it is they would be glad to do. When a man, or men, who have practiced law, pretend than another attorney is not a desirable citizen because he has defended someone of this or that political or religious faith, they are either lying or have not the brain capacity to entitle them to consideration. Bill and his friends can take either horn of the dilemma they choose.
Colvig says I defended syndicalism cases and sedition cases during the war. This is as false as nearly all the balance of his "facts."
Nearly all such crimes were committed by foreign races who belong to the same religion Bill is legging for now. The principal case of this grade was that of Henry Albers of Portland, and it was ably defended by Judge McGinn. No decent white man has questioned his right to make that defense either. I am criticized for insisting that the jury panel shall be honestly drawn. This insistence is called a "slander of honest men." Every decent citizen knows it is no such thing. I once came to Jackson County to try an important jury case and found 90 percent of the trial panel for the term to consist of the special friends of the two attorneys for the opposing side. I was compelled to get the case by that term by great effort and considerable humiliation. That may have been only a "coincidence," of course, but was a very unfortunate one, and produced a situation I should not care to see or experience again. It will not occur again with our present officers.
It seems Mr. Colvig has forgotten the tar and feathers given the preacher's friend for a point of view. None of his friends demand that the persecutors of the preacher be punished. Is it because there was no politics mixed up in the case or because the people perpetrating that offense were friends of the gang? If the Pope's wishes and the control of the circuit court were not concerned here, would our friend, the "Judge," and his friends be having all these spasms even if all the "nigger" bootleggers and seducers of young girls in Oregon had actually been hung by the neck until dead?
It was hardly fair of Bill to charge Mr. Lowe with being a Democrat. What does Bill know about the full depravity of Democracy anyway? He remained in that party only until the people laid him on the back part of the highest shelf in the political closet where no mention more shall be made of him by office holders forever. He served the S.P. railroad company until it also laid him on the shelf. I freely admit that "the ox knoweth his owner as the ass his master's crib."
Judging by the manner in which Colvig now flies to the relief of the Pope in his fight against the real American societies it is alas also true that "The dog has turned to his vomit again, and the sow to her wallow in the mire." Backnumber Bill has a large and remunerative war record in addition to his services for the special interests. He enlisted in the home guards during the Civil War, prevented the capture of Oregon by a Confederate gunboat and was awarded a pension. The pension was given because of a wound received while in the service. I do not know the nature of it, but once heard Gen. T. G. Reames of Jacksonville, Oregon, say the wound was caused by Bill jumping off somebody's fence during the war, while holding in his arms at least two more watermelons than any one man should ever carry. All the bloodshed by Bill in the service of his country was caused by this melon adventure.
I never "soapboxed" anywhere and never tried cases on the curbstone of any town. It is within the memory of many now living that Colvig often laid his legal opponents low while standing on the street corners and valiantly and vigorously wielding the same kind of an instrument with which Samson smote the Philistines of old.
There is no use pretending these cases are anything different from what they are. The alleged "outrages" were very trivial, they were not committed by the defendants, and those who would spend $60,000 of the county's cash to convict the defendants are only assisting the Pope and his henchmen in the age-old contest they are making against such orders as the Masons, Knights of Pythias, and Ku Klux Klan. Let us see that we be not deceived.
John A. Jeffrey.Medford Clarion, August 18, 1922, page 2
DISPUTE RIGHT GRAND JURY IN KU KLUX CASESDemurrers have been filed in the circuit court to six of the indictments returned by the special grand jury investigating the nightriding outrages in Jackson County last spring against Howard A. Hill, J. F. Hittson, Dr. Jouett P. Bray, Bert L. Moses, and Thomas Goodie, against whom true bills were returned, by their attorneys, John A. Jeffrey of Portland and George A. Codding, H. A. Canaday and O. C. Boggs of this city.
The following allegations are given as the basis for the demurrers:
That the grand jury had no legal right to inquire into the crime charged, because it is not triable within the county;
That the indictments do not substantially conform to Chapter 7, Title 18, Oregon Laws;
That more than one crime is alleged in the indictment;
That the facts stated do not constitute a crime.
Chapter 7, Title 18, mentioned as one of the grounds for a demurrer has to do with "Forms of Criminal Actions and Requirements of Indictments," the latter phase being covered in paragraphs 1436 and 1437 as follows:
"The indictment must contain:
"1. The title of the action, specifying the name of the court to which the indictment is returned, and the names of the parties:
"2. A statement of the acts constituting the offense in ordinary and concise language without repetition, and in such manner to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended."
The remaining paragraphs of the chapter provide for the form of the indictment, the manner of stating act constituting the crime what the indictment must contain, and be direct and certain, and the indictment must charge but one crime and in one form."
The defendants allege that none of the above in general was complied with.
All the demurrers are identical, and one filed for each count alleged in the true bills.
According to District Attorney Rawles Moore, the demurrers will be argued as soon as Circuit Judge F. M. Calkins returns from his vacation about September 1st.
The defendants were indicted on charges alleging riot, assault and extortion.
The demurrers were described by the district attorney as "shotgun affairs," because they cover every legal raise embraced in the indictments. It is probable that Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist, who conducted the investigation, will return to argue the demurrers, but this has not been definitely decided.
In case the demurrers are sustained, the indictments are automatically quashed, and if overruled the defendants will be required to file pleas, after which will come the legal red tape incidental to setting of a trial date.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 21, 1922, page 1
DEMOCRATS TOLD TO QUIT THIRD PARTYThat the so-called Citizens' League, a nonpartisan organization which recently endorsed certain candidates, both Democrat and Republican, for the fall election, is no more popular with the regular Democrats in Jackson County than the regular Republicans is shown by the following statement issued today by the Democratic county central committee:
Jackson County Democrats Demand Party Members Repudiate Citizens' League
or Be Held Irregular and Disloyal--Mr. Pierce Is Endorsed.
At. a meeting of the Democratic central committee of Jackson County, Oregon, held at Medford, Oregon, on the 24th of August, 1922, among other things the following resolution was unanimously adopted; that
Whereas, there appeared in a recent publication of a newspaper what purports to be a declaration of principles of certain irregular Republicans and Democrats in an apparent attempt to organize a new political party;
For the reasons as stated in said publication that "the old parties have got so far from base that they permit religious and racial bigotry to color their ideals, the straight-thinking men of all parties have come together for a new deal."
And, whereas, this so-called "straight-thinking" bunch have named a ticket consisting of certain Republicans and a Democrat:
Now, therefore, we as Democrats, constituting the regular Democratic organization of Jackson County, utterly repudiate the so-called third party movement, and pledge our support to the Democratic ticket, and especially to that stalwart, splendid and magnificent Democrat, the Honorable Walter M. Pierce, who heads the same. And we call upon every Democrat who appears to have subscribed to that so-called third party screed to repudiate the same and declare himself regular, or this organization in the future will hold such as irregular and not loyal Democrats.
(Signed) F. ROY DAVIS,VERNE T. CANON, Secretary.
Chairman Democratic County Central Committee.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 25, 1922, page 1
THE KU KLUX ACQUITTAL.To those who closely followed the Ku Klux trial in Los Angeles, the acquittal comes as no surprise. With the collapse of Nathan Baker, alleged leader of the raid and former Kleagle, the state's case collapsed. To establish the guilt of the defendants, thereafter, beyond reasonable doubt, became almost a hopeless proposition.
One of the most interesting phases of the acquittal is the statement of G. W. Price, King Kleagle of California.
"Our organization will continue to be law-abiding," said he, "as before."
One is led to assume from this statement either that the organization was not responsible for the raid of the Elduayen household, or that in the view of the King Kleagle, such a raid was "law-abiding," that when an individual is suspected of law violation, an organization like the Ku Klux Klan is justified in taking the law into its own hands, appointing itself judge. jury and executioner.
Probably the future will disclose which interpretation is correct, regarding Kleagle Price. If outrages along the coast continue, it may be regarded as certain that this verdict has been interpreted as public approval of Lynch Law justice; if outrages cease, it may be assumed that although a conviction in the first case has not been secured, the publicity accorded such activities has taught the organization a lesson, and that the attempt to plunge the Pacific Coast into the anarchy of the middle ages has been abandoned.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 26, 1922, page 4 Editorial of the Mail Tribune, most likely by Robert Ruhl.
Watson Explains Position.To the Editor:
I left here for Eastern Oregon on the 10th day of August for Klamath Falls, Lakeview and other Eastern Oregon points and returned on the 24th.
Three or four days ago I learned that some sort of meeting of the "Citizens Committee" had been held and called the "Voters League," or something. This was the first intimation I have had of such action. I am told that my name appears on the "executive committee" and was so published, and that a ticket was selected and that the organization is considered a new party.
This is all news to me. I have never voted anything but the Republican ticket in my life and am not now ready to stand sponsor for a new party. I have not always voted the straight ticket, but have never aided in the organization of a new party and have not authorized my name to be used in the manner in which it now appears.
My recent connection with the Citizens Committee has been to fight the dangerous menace of the Ku Klux Klan and for nothing else and I am still with them for that purpose, but not for the organization of a voters' league to name new, or other candidates. I will not vote for a member of the Klan if I know him to be one of the candidates of my party. I will hesitate to support a man who appears to have more affiliation with known members of the Klan than with other leading Republicans. I have made a closer study of the Ku Klux Klan organization, I believe, than any other man in Southern Oregon, and haven't the slightest doubt of the correctness of my published attitude toward that organization. I believe there are men of the best intention who have been seduced by the Klan, and believe they owe it to themselves and to the respectable part of the community with whom they associate to inform themselves. I believe every candidate owes it to himself, his party and his constituency, to let his position be known.
I do not mean that he should explicitly name any organization and condemn that organization, but if he knows or has reason to believe that there is an organization, or that there are organizations, whose purposes and practices are inimical to law and order and to the principles upon which our government is founded, he should not be slow to condemn such purposes and practices. As a Republican I expect to support the Republican ticket and as a true American citizen I shall consider myself free to scratch any name, if the holder of it has or does violate the principles of that great party.
I believe as an American every man has the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. I believe that fostering race prejudices is absolutely un-American, and breeds violence. I will not stand for it nor keep quiet about it. To join in the organization of a new party because of the Ku Klux Klan is to admit that the Republican Party is saturated with that heresy, which I do not believe.
C. B. WATSON,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 31, 1922, page 6
Gold Hill, Aug. 30, 1922.
THIRD PARTY NOT FORMED SAYS COLVIGTo the Editor:
Member Citizens' Committee Denies Effort to Form New Party--
Group of Citizens Merely Trying to Weed Out K.K.K.
from Both of the Older Parties.
The resolutions published in your paper by the executive committee of the Republican Party of Jackson County is simply an employment of the "party lash," and I have wondered where the committee gets its authority to line up Republican voters in the state of Oregon, and especially in Jackson County, to vote the straight Republican ticket when they know that the official personnel of candidates appearing under the name of Republican is weakened by the fact that two or more of these candidates for office are members of, or closely affiliated with, the Ku Klux Klan.
The "party lash" is something that the individual members of the party, in this age of the world, will not submit to. The logic of the committee's reasoning is that if a horse thief manages to secure nomination for office on the Republican ticket that every man and woman claiming to be a Republican is in honor bound to vote for that horse thief. This is logic which would do credit to a past age, and like all unsound doctrines, has long passed into the realm of things that were. Real Republicans have ceased to have rings in their noses or collars around their necks by which to be led.
Recently there was a banquet at Medford Hotel and the chairman of the state Republican central committee came down from Portland to reconcile the differences of the Republicans of Jackson County on this question of the Ku Klux Klan. At that meeting he, as well as Bert Anderson, and some others, urged the Republicans of the county to support the ticket from top to bottom, including these members or sympathizers with the Ku Klux Klan.
A very short time before this meeting the Ku Klux Klan had taken upon itself, supported by these men who are candidates for office, to recall a good, thoroughgoing Republican officer in Jackson County--C. E. Terrill--and place in his stead as sheriff a Ku Klux Klan Democratic candidate; and among the loudest-mouthed advocates of this recall was Bert Anderson and also others who are now seeking to line up the Republicans of the county to support Ku Klux Klan candidates for public office.
Does Mr. Anderson think that the Republicans of Jackson County have forgotten the insulting letter which he wrote to the governor of this state because the governor had seen fit to remove a Ku Klux Klan officer? Does Mr. Anderson think that the Republicans of this county have so soon forgotten that he made an especial effort to throw out of office the good Republican sheriff of this county? Does Mr. Anderson think that the Republicans of this county have forgotten that C. M. Thomas, two years ago, refused to go upon the stump and support the Honorable E. V. Carter, and that he quietly gave his support to George Mansfield, the Democratic candidate for the legislature, and Mr. Mansfield and Mr. Thomas had so consulted with each other as to Mr. Thomas' legislative policies, that Mr. Mansfield made the following statement in print:
"If elected your representative I will be found acting in cooperation with your Senator, C. M. Thomas, whose legislative policies I fully endorse."
No, it does not lie within the province of Mr. Anderson or any other member of the Ku Klux Klan to advise the Republicans of this county how to vote. They are men and women of real intelligence and will vote for candidates who are real Republicans and are not allied or in sympathy with an "Invisible Government" located at Atlanta, Georgia.
No, my dear Mr. Anderson, we are not launching a third party upon the troubled sea of politics. We are simply trying to replace some of the rotten material which we find in the official personnel of the two old parties.
Miss Hanley's nomination and place on the ticket will give all men and women of independent spirit, an opportunity to elect a representative, who is not a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
I do not understand why Democratic committeemen in Oregon seek to apply the "party lash." If all the Democrats in the state were whipped into line, they would only muster one-third of the votes in the state. Now, down in Texas, for instance, the Democrats outnumber the Republicans in about the ratio of 4 to 1. Hence, the Bert Andersons of Texas do not shed crocodile tears over the independent spirit of the voters.
"Consistency thou art a jewel," and thy name in not Bert Anderson nor C. M. Thomas.
WM. M. COLVIG.Medford Mail Tribune, September 1, 1922, page 1
ATTORNEY J. A. JEFFREY REPLIES TO COLVIG'S ATTACK IN MAIL TRIBUNETo the Editor:
I should like to claim a few inches of your valuable space in the interest of the truth regarding the Colvig matter.
First of all, let it be thoroughly understood that Mr. Colvig has nothing to do with either side of this controversy and has merely thrust himself into it as a hoodlum of lesser years would do by throwing a brick while occupying the position of a mere bystander at a fight. This brave soldier who fit, died and bled for his country has taken occasion to throw a brick at my back every time he has been able to get on that side of me. His latest is in the form of an "ad." It is a very nice scheme to call it that and thus prevent a reply. It is not my business how little the space in the Tribune cost him, as that would be but a small matter among friends.
However, Colvig might have said some of these things while I was in Southern Oregon. It all shows, however, how great and fair a lawyer Colvig is. He proceeds to prove his case by quoting a newspaper item in several instances where a number of years ago I defended striking cannery laborers. The unfriendly newspapers in the interests of their master's big business called these people "I.W.W.'s." Therefore, to a mind like Colvig's it must be gospel truth. Colvig has also called the defendants in these Jackson County "night riders" cases "malefactors." Now, a great lawyer who can prove anything so easily by merely quoting a three-line item from an unfriendly newspaper ten years after the event occurred is also dangerous as well as great. He can at any time by merely quoting his first "reply" to me prove that all of these citizens of Jackson County who are indicted at the present time were "malefactors"--and perhaps I.W.W.'s and anarchists as well.
Now, if Colvig knew anything at all it would be most provoking to have him say all of these things, but as he does not, some charity must be exercised. If he ever knew anything about the practice of law he would recognize that the political belief of a defendant has nothing whatever to do with the duty of every American court and lawyer to see to it that the law is fully complied with and vindicated and that he has a fair and impartial trial. But, alas, why try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?
For the benefit of the reasoning public, however, let me say that there was not a word or scrap of evidence to show that any one of these people referred to by Colvig was an I.W.W. or had any other un-American political belief. Can as much be said for Mr. Colvig and his present bunch of friends and inspirers?
As to Colvig's other lie about me, I repeat that I have never faced a court of any rank or grade in an arraignment, trial or judgment against myself or any pretended offense whatever, and therefore, I have never been in "prison" for one minute by order of any court or magistrate. I have no doubt Colvig's friends, whom he considers good Americans, have been arrested for "speeding" or the breach of some other trivial police regulation. I have never even been that far on the road to a court or a prison. It was not a crime, even if some of his friends have been caught going too fast, but what a difference it makes whose ox was gored!
Mr. Colvig was but repeating the lie of his Papal master when he said that the 100 percent directory was published in Portland by the Klan. I am glad he now admits this much, but Bill, this lie was founded on just
as good "evidence" as that by which you "prove" your case against my other clients.
Having thrown his last brick in the form of the "ad" aforesaid, Bill proceeds to jump back inside the breastworks with the remark that he has now closed the discussion and has retired for keeps. I only hope he shall be able to adhere to this one wise decision of his later years by keeping out of controversies which are none of his business either pro or con.
I am sure the reading, reasoning and intelligent public will readily see that the mere assertion of an unfriendly person, whether the editor of a newspaper or a broken-down political hack who calls himself a lawyer, does not prove anything. If it did, life would be indeed a very serious thing for all those who might incur the displeasure of an editor or of somebody else who can get into the columns of a newspaper under the form of an "ad" or otherwise. The result would be to shut the gates of mercy on mankind while justice would be but an idle dream.
Portland, Ore., Aug. 26, 1922.Medford Clarion, September 1, 1922, page 6
JOHN A. JEFFREY.
K.K.K. DEMURRERS MAY BE HEARD SATURDAYThe date for making the arguments in the demurrers filed against the six indictments returned against local and Jacksonville men, as the result of the grand jury investigation of "nightriding outrages" in this county, originally set for today, has been postponed, owing to Judge F. M. Calkins being called to Grants Pass, where the Josephine County grand and petit jury is in session this week. It is expected that a date for the hearing of the demurrers will be set next Saturday. The indictments charge assault, riot and extortion, and are contested on half a dozen legal grounds. The state will be represented by District Attorney Rawles Moore and Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist, and the defendants by attorneys John A. Jeffrey of Portland and attorneys Codding, Canaday and Boggs of this city.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 5, 1922, page 8
Lowe Explains His Democracy.To the Editor:
"There is no fool like an old fool."
This saying occurred to me when I read the column article in the Mail Tribune of September 1st, signed by Wm. M. Colvig, but it had added force and significance when I later heard it rumored over town that a certain defeated primary candidate had dictated the article and persuaded Uncle Bill to father it.
I cannot remember of ever reading a single newspaper column that contained more of half truths, of misstatement of facts, and downright falsehoods than this joint effort of two disgruntled Republican bolters. So far as the misstatements relative to Charley Thomas and Bert Anderson are concerned, I shall have nothing to say, as they are amply able to take care of themselves, but when Uncle Bill, or his epistolary friend, or both of them, charge that I am a Democrat and run for sheriff in the recall election as a Democratic candidate, I will just call them, and will state in passing, that they knew it was a falsehood when they wrote it, for party lines are not drawn in a recall fight and party regularity is not brought into question. I have been a Republican all my life. I believe in and support the Republican Party from principle. For twenty years, in Mendocino County, California, I was a registered and recognized Republican, serving for years on the Republican county committee, and for twelve years have been a registered and recognized Republican, serving for years on the Republican county committee, and for twelve years, have been a registered Republican in Oregon. I have occasionally voted for a good man on other tickets, and no doubt shall continue to do so in the future, but I have never joined any "Independent Voters League" in an attempt to disrupt my party organization, and to defeat its candidates. The only time I have ever departed the least from the straight and narrow way was when the Democrats, without my consent and knowing I was a Republican, wrote my name on their ballots some years ago, and nominated me for the legislature, and I was foolish enough to accept.
However, I was no worse than Geo. Alford, our candidate for county commissioner, this year, receiving the Democratic nomination the same way. In the meantime, everyone in the county is laughing at the situation this Independent Voters' League finds itself in--shot to pieces by the withdrawal and repudiation of good men denounced by both the Republican and Democratic organizations, weighted down by the endorsement and support of the bootleggers union by the Knights of Columbus and by a little gang of renegade Republicans and Democrats. This league is fast reaching such a point of offensiveness that even the bootleggers will be tempted to get out.
D. M. LOWE,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, September 7, 1922, page 4
Medford, Sept. 6.
LOWE ANSWERS COLVIG'S ATTACKTo the Editor:--
Pays Compliment to Bootleggers Union.
"There is no fool like an old fool."
This saying occurred to me when I read the column article in the Mail Tribune of September 1st, signed by Wm. M. Colvig, but it had added force and significance when I later heard it rumored over town that a certain defeated primary candidate had dictated the article and persuaded Uncle Bill to father it.
I cannot remember of ever reading a single newspaper column that contained more of half truths, of misstatement of facts, and downright falsehoods than this joint effort of two disgruntled Republican bolters. So far as the misstatements relative to Charley Thomas and Bert Anderson are concerned, I shall have nothing to say, as they are amply able to take care of themselves, but when Uncle Bill, or his epistolary friend, or both of them, charge that I am a Democrat and ran for sheriff in the recall election as a Democratic candidate, I will just call them, and will state in passing, that they knew it was a falsehood when they wrote it, for party lines are not drawn in a recall fight and party regularity is not brought into question. I have been a Republican all my life. I believe in and support the Republican Party from principle. For twenty years, in Mendocino County, California, I was a registered and recognized Republican, serving for years on the Republican County Committee, and for twelve years have been a registered Republican in Oregon. I have occasionally voted for a good man on other tickets, and no doubt shall continue to do so in the future, but I have never joined any "Independent Voters League" in an attempt to disrupt my party organization, and to defeat its candidates. The only time I have ever departed the least from the straight and narrow way was when the Democrats, without my consent and. knowing I was a Republican, wrote my name on their ballots some years ago, and nominated me for the legislature, and I was foolish enough to accept. However, I was no worse than Geo. Alford, our candidate for county commissioner, this year, receiving the Democratic nomination the same way. In the meantime, everyone in the county is laughing at the situation this Independent Voters League finds itself in--shot to pieces by the withdrawal and repudiation of good men, denounced by both the Republicans and Democratic organizations, weighted down by the endorsement and support of the bootleggers union, by the Knights of Columbus and by a little gang of renegade Republicans and Democrats. This league is fast reaching such a point of offensiveness that even the bootleggers will be tempted to get out.
D. M. LoweMedford Clarion, September 8, 1922, page 1
JUDGE COLVIG AND C. M. THOMAS TALK AT GRANTS PASSA great throng of Grants Pass people last night attended the county fair publicity stunt of the Crater Club in that city. The Craters and the Elks band left here at 6:30 p.m., the local people having 25 autos and numbering over 100 men.
Arriving in the "It's-the-Climate City" the autos paraded through the city from the bridge to the bandstand in the railroad park, where the Elks band gave one of its exceptionally fine concerts before the large assemblage. Between the selections C. M. Thomas was introduced to represent the absent Crater Club president as master of ceremonies by F. S. Ireland, who is president of the Josephine County fair association. Remarks boosting the local fair were made by Mr. Thomas, who in turn introduced Mayor C. E. Gates and Judge William M. Colvig, who in characteristic addresses further boosted the coming great Jackson County event. The mayor represented H. L. Walther, president of the Jackson County Fair Association, who was absent on business at Salem.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 9, 1922, page 5
K.K. DEMURRERS DELAYED AGAINAt the session of the circuit court held in Jacksonville this morning by Judge F. M. Calkins, the date of hearing arguments on the demurrers filed against the nightriding indictments was deferred until next Saturday, if a session of the court is held that day. Judge Calkins is holding court in Josephine County next week.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 9, 1922, page 6
INDEPENDENTS EXPLAIN STAND ON K.K.K. ISSUEThe self-styled leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in Jackson County, through published resolutions, have attempted to rebuke the action of lifelong, active and honored members of both parties who have condemned the influence of Ku Kluxism in politics.
Executive Committee Reiterates Its Position As Constructive One
of Cleaning Both Big Parties of Klan Incubus--Still Loyal
To the voters of Jackson and Josephine counties.
To assure the honest and intelligent voters of all parties of our integrity of purpose, we make the following brief statement:
We are loyal to the principles of the great political parties with which we have been affiliated, most of us, from our first votes. We have never given cause for doubt of our honest loyalty to and interest in these parties.
But we have declined to be "kluxed."
As loyal American citizens, we must uphold constitutional government and the orderly execution of law. We denounce the effort of the leaders of the Ku Klux Klan to overthrow the former or to interfere with the latter.
We decline to vote for any candidate at the fall election in Jackson County, or the state of Oregon, who will avow or practice greater allegiance to the "Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan" than to the constitution of the state of Oregon or of the United States of America, no matter upon what ticket his name may appear.
We shall likewise endeavor to defeat the election to office in Jackson County or the state of Oregon, of any candidate who is affiliated or in sympathy with, or apologetic for, such an organization.
We have organized for this purpose, and this purpose alone.
In so doing we best serve the great parties to which we are and ever have been loyal and active adherents.
Our aims are constructive, not destructive.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 19, 1922, page 1
K.K. TRIALS MAY NOT BE HELD IN FALL TERM COURTThe jury list for the October term of the circuit court will be drawn Wednesday, October 4th, by the county clerk, and the grand jury will be convened Monday, October 16th, and the petit jury will meet a week later, Monday, October 23rd. For the first time in over a year, no Bank of Jacksonville failure case--civil or criminal--will be on the docket for the petit jury to consider.
It is not likely from present indications that any of the indictments for the nightriding outrages of last spring with be tried at the October term of court. No date has been yet set for the arguments on the demurrers filed by the six defendants. The county clerk's office said Monday that they understood Judge F. M. Calkins, who has been holding circuit court sessions in Josephine County, would set a date for hearing arguments on them next Saturday. The indictments charge riot, extortion, and assault.
There are a number of men in the county jail at the present time awaiting action of the grand jury in connection with alleged criminal offenses of a minor nature.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 19, 1922, page 5
LILJEQVIST HERE TO ARGUE CASE K.K. DEMURRERSMedford Mail Tribune, October 2, 1922, page 6
Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist arrived Sunday from Klamath Falls, where he has been conducting a grand jury investigation into the failure of the People's First State and Savings Bank, and with District Attorney Rawles Moore, will represent the state in the arguments on the demurrers filed against the indictments returned last July in the night riding outrages of last spring, scheduled to be heard in the circuit court at Jacksonville tomorrow morning.
The defendants in these cases are J. F. Hittson, Dr. Jouett P. Bray and Howard A. Hill of this city, and Tom Goodie, Bert Moses and J. Alexander Norris all of Jacksonville. The men are indicted on from one to three counts, arising from the Hale, Burr and Hank Johnson episodes, and the specific charges alleged are riot, extortion and assault. They are represented by attorneys George A. Codding, H. A. Canaday and O. C. Boggs of this city, and, it is said, attorney John A. Jeffrey of Portland.
The demurrers cover all legal phases of the controversy, and some not yet revealed. The main contentions set forth in the demurrers, identical for each defendant, are:
That more than one crime is charged in the indictments.
That the grand jury had no right to make an investigation, because the crimes charged are not triable in this county.
That the grand jury procedure, as set forth in the Oregon laws, was not followed.
In the event that the demurrers are sustained by the court, the indictments would be automatically quashed. If the plea is overruled, the next legal step is entering of pleas and setting of the date of trial. After this, the next step will probably be the filing of a motion for a change of venue.
K.K. DEFENSE IS PRESENTED IN CIRCUIT CT.At the conclusion of the arguments in the Klan cases at Jacksonville this afternoon Judge Calkins declared he would take the matter under advisement, rendering his decision later.
Klan Attorneys Demand Report of Grand Jury and Claim Irregularities in Grand Jury Proceedings--State Denies Charges--Decision Taken Under Advisement.
A motion to quash the indictments returned last July by a special session of the grand jury, in the K.K.K. nightriding outrages last spring, and to inspect and make a copy of the grand jury notes, was filed by the defense this morning in the circuit court as a prelude to the arguments on the demurrers.
The motion, which District Attorney Rawles Moore characterized "as an eleventh hour move, filed at five o'clock on the day before the scheduled hearing of the arguments on the demurrers" is based upon the following contentions:
That the provisions of the Oregon law relative to grand jury procedure were not followed,.
That A. E. Reames, a paid prosecutor, E. E. Kelly and Gus Newbury, attorneys, appeared before the grand jury in the guise of witnesses, and in effect made pleas before that body, and gave no material testimony.
That Raymond I. Turney, deputy district attorney of Los Angeles County, appeared before the grand jury and gave testimony anent information gathered there against "the Ku Klux Klan, a Protestant organization."
That the investigation was against "the Ku Klux Klan, a Protestant organization," and not the "nightriding activities."
That Howard A. Hill, one of the defendants indicted, and George Arthur Burr, a colored man, and victim of the Siskiyous summit hanging, were in the grand jury room at the same time.
That George A. Codding, Charles E. Gates and Bert Moses were named in the list of witnesses on the indictments "as appearing voluntarily and at their own request," when they were subpoenaed.
That George A. Codding, Charles E. Gates and Bert L. Moses were asked if they were members of the Ku Klux Klan, which was "incompetent."
That the defense had no opportunity to meet any of the witnesses "face to face with the exception of George Arthur Burr."
The defense was represented by Attorneys O. C. Boggs, who made the main argument, George A. Codding, and H. A. Canaday, John J. Jeffrey of Portland, whose name is affixed to the motion not being present.
State's Case Explained.The state, represented by Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist and District Attorney Rawles Moore, combated the contentions of the defense with the following claims:
That the turning over of the notes of the grand jury, with further investigations of the nightriding episodes probable, with a session of the grand jury called a few weeks, would "force the state of Oregon to disclose its hand, and give to the world the names of suspected persons, now known as John Does and Richard Roes."
That the revealment of the grand jury notes was "against public policy and the ends of justice endangered."
That Howard A. Hill and George Arthur Burr were in the grand jury room at the same time, and solely for the purposes of identification and that "not a word was spoken."
That the testimony of A. E. Reames, E. E. Kelly and Gus Newbury was material, and may be proven by future events.
That the state has the right to call witnesses upon the assumption they may possess information of value.
That the contentions of the motion are founded upon conjecture.
That the time for filing the motion, under the Oregon law, was at the time of arraignment, and had not been filed within the time allowed by law.
That the state has the right to probe the operations of any organization, in connection with a grand jury investigation of crime.
That the prosecution had been placed at a disadvantage by the "eleventh-hour filing of the motion."
Boggs Opens Arguments.Attorney Boggs made the opening argument for the defense, and quoted Mississippi, Oklahoma and New York statutes to prove his arguments and read sections of the code relative to the abuse of the grand jury, in Custer County, Oklahoma, wherein it had been used to "persecute" and "stab in the back." He charged that District Attorney Rawles Moore has refused an "inspection of the grand jury records." District Attorney Moore denied the charge on the spot.
Attorney Boggs also contended the grand jury "had no more right to investigate the Ku Klux Klan than they have the Methodist Church."
He dwelt at length open the points set forth in the motion.
Attorney George A. Codding, for the defense, referred the court to three actions of the Oregon laws, covering the defense claims.
Attorney H. A. Canaday made the closing argument for the defense, in what the district attorney called "a vigorous and vehement argument." Mr. Canaday stressed the inability of the defense to meet all the witnesses, as did attorney Boggs, "and that it would be necessary to chase them from Portland to Los Angeles." Attorney Canaday also remarked "that something is wrong," and alleged "suspicious circumstances from start to finish," and that "he felt, with no malice towards the district attorney, that things were not fair, not right, and something is wrong." He also referred to every "law-enforcing agency from the sheriff to the Department of Justice," working on the case.
During the arguments, there wore flashes of spirited interchanges.
Who Violated Oath.District Attorney Moore made the opening arguments for the state, and attacked the motion, section by section. "If the claims set forth in the motion are true," said the district attorney, "I wonder who violated their oath, and disclosed evidence given before a grand jury which is still in session."
In arguing against the making public of the grand jury record, the county officials said, "It was against good public policy and "might cause an exodus of citizens that would take the sheriff a year to catch them all." He held that the making public of the notes would place evidence in the hands of John Does, and be detrimental to further grand jury investigations that ought be contemplated. He contended that "the claim that the evidence of E. E. Kelly was not material was based upon a conclusion of J. Alexander Norris." The sanctity of the grand jury room had not been violated, he argued.
Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist closed for the state. He said that he "came ready to take all the blame assigned to the district attorney, and "that nothing is plainer in the English language than the law upon the points raised." He maintained that "the state of Oregon has the right to investigate when men belonging to an organization or suspected of belonging to an organization put masks upon their faces like burglars, and go out upon the highways and byways to violate the law as an organized mob."
He contended that the making of the grand jury notes a public record "would give information to men now listed as John Does," and hinted that further investigation of the nightriding outrages would be undertaken by the next grand jury. He opposed any action that "would force the state of Oregon to disclose its hand."
He explained that Howard A. Hill and George Arthur Burr were in the grand jury room at thy same time, solely for the purposes of identification, as allowed by the law, and not a word was spoken.
He combated the filing of any affidavits based "necessarily upon the barest of hearsay evidence."
The court then announced an adjournment till 1:30 this afternoon, when the arguments on the demurrers will be started.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 3, 1922, page 1 Emphasis in the original.
FIRST ROUND IN K.K. CONTROVERSY LOST BY STATEArguments in the demurrers filed against the six indictments returned in the K.K.K. nightriding outrages of last spring will be submitted in writing, according to a stipulation agreed upon Tuesday afternoon between attorneys for both sides. The defense is required to submit its briefs by Saturday night and the state by the following Wednesday, and will be taken under advisement by the court.
Arguments on the motion to quash the indictments and the plea to make the notes of the grand jury investigation public were closed Tuesday afternoon, the court announcing that he would not take into consideration the contention of the state, that the motion was not filed within the time limit for such action. This point was a bone of contention between District Attorney Rawles Moore and Attorney O. C. Boggs, as to just what had been agreed upon at a meeting with the court to fix a date for hearing the arguments.
The afternoon session was devoted to the closing arguments of the defense, it being held that the state's claim that making the grand jury records public, was not well taken, as they should have indicted everybody they intended to when in session and not adjourn.
The opening argument was made by Attorney H. A. Canaday, who went over the ground he covered at the morning session, with some variation. Mr. Canaday contended that the defendants were "not being surrounded with the protection that the law guarantees."
The strictly legal points of District Attorney Moore's argument were diagnosed unfavorably by attorney George A. Codding.
The closing arguments for the defense were made by Attorney O. C. Boggs, who declared he was "amazed" and "astounded" and "unable to conceive why the state was assuming the attitude it had shown." The declaration of the district attorney "that he would be almost willing to go to jail before he would be willing to turn over the grand jury records" for public inspection was also a source of wonderment to the chief counsel for the defendants. The state contended that revealment of the proceeding would "disclose the state's hand,"' and be good news to known and prospective "John Does" and Richard Roes."
To a layman the case seems to hinge on whether the rules for grand jury procedure were violated by having Howard A. Hill, one of the defendants in the grand jury room at the same time as George Arthur Burr, colored, and the motive for the Siskiyou Summit hanging bee.
The defense argued that this was a "violation of the rights of the accused." The state maintained that the step was only for the purposes of identification. and nothing prejudicial to the defendants took place. The defense argued that this was a subterfuge, and should have placed Hill in a crowd, and then have the colored man select him. Attorney Canaday, in his talk, maintained the "alleged masks and gowns worn by the accused at the time of the alleged crime" operated against the reliability of a visible identification.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 4, 1922, page 5
K.K.K. DECISION WILL BE MADE TOMORROWMedford Mail Tribune, October 6, 1922, page 3
Circuit Judge F. M. Calkins announced this morning that he would hand down an opinion tomorrow morning, on the motion of the defendants in the K.K.K. nightriding cases, for quashing of the indictments, and making public of the grand jury notes on the investigation. The motion was argued at Jacksonville last Tuesday.
K.K. MOTION DENIED BY THE COURTThe motion of the defendants in the K.K.K. nightriding cases in Jackson County to quash the indictments, and the petition to be allowed to inspect and make a copy of the grand jury notes, were "in all things denied." in an opinion handed down this morning in the circuit court at Jacksonville by Circuit Judge Calkins.
Ku Klux Klan Meets Complete Defeat in Effort to Secure Dismissal of Indictments--
Grand Jury Proceedings Proper--Demurrers Come Up Next.
The opinion sets forth, in denying the right to inspect the grand jury records, "that it is not apparent why the defendant needs the grand jury records in his behalf now," as the "demurrers pending may be sustained and "the defendants may plead guilty." The court holds the granting of the plea "would open the way to test the sufficiency of the evidence before trial, contrary to the statutes," and "leave the state helpless."
The contention of the defense that this grand jury had no more right to investigate the Ku Klux Klan than the Methodist Church was overruled with the opinion that the grand jury had the right to investigate both the "Ku Klux Klan and the Methodist Church," as "any organization may be investigated through the acts of its individual members."
Relative to the contention that A. E. Reames, "a paid prosecutor," and attorneys E. E. Kelly and Gus Newbury of this city appeared before the grand jury "in the guise of witnesses" and made pleas for indictments, the opinion holds "there is evidence to show that the grand jury was influenced, or had not returned indictments before their appearance."
In regard to the claim that the grand jury had no right to ask Mayor C. E. Gates, George A. Codding, and Bert Moses, the latter indicted, if they belonged to the "Ku Klux Klan, a Protestant organization," the opinion holds that the grand jury had the right to hear testimony bearing on the alleged crimes, and the incompetency of the question was not sustained.
The contention that the grand jury procedure was violated by having Howard A. Hill, indicted, and George Arthur Burr, necktie party victim, in the grand jury room at the same time, was not given consideration, and supreme court decisions were quoted to sustain the action.
The opinion, which is lengthy, covers thoroughly the legal grounds set forth in the defense motion and petition, and law is quoted to sustain every opinion of the court.
The next legal step in the procedure is consideration of the demurrers filed against the indictments, which will be submitted in writing by both sides, the defense brief to be submitted by tonight, and the state by next Wednesday.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 7, 1922, page 1
K.K. CASES WILL BE COMPLETED BY OCT. GRAND JURYThe grand jury term of the circuit court will convene next Monday, October 16th, and, in accordance with the hints dropped last week during the arguments of the K.K.K. motion to quash the night riding indictments, will continue, it is said, the probe of nightgown government in Jackson County, with the probable revealment of the 16 John Does, Richard Roes and Samuel Poes named in the secret batch of true bills. The grand jury is expected to gather up the loose ends left when the special session was adjourned. It is expected that Assistant Attorney [General] Liljeqvist will conduct the investigation.
It is also stated on fairly reliable authority that the ins and outs, ups and downs, and twists and turns of the Elmer Simonds case will be aired. Simonds was in town a week ago with letters from officials of the Weed Lumber Company, stating that he was honorable and honest and hardworking, to contradict the report, he said, that had been scattered rather extensively that he was engaged in bootlegging. Simonds was indicted by a grand jury of which E. A. Fleming of Jacksonville was a member, and alleged to have been "tipped off" by Sheriff Terrill. Simonds also claimed that he had been requested to sign an "affidavid" [sic] recently, the purport of which he did not state.
There are also several criminal cases in the county jail awaiting the action of the grand jury.
The jury, the same as the special grand jury, is composed as follows: Paul E. Pearce, Jacksonville; J. W. Smylie, Medford; D. A. Lyons, Medford; Frank Silva, Little Applegate; Lester Layton, Applegate; Charles Layton, Ashland, and Mrs. Marie Benedick, Applegate, forewoman.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 10, 1922, page 1
ALL BRIEFS IN K.K. DEMURRERS FILED IN COURTBriefs, pro and con, in the applications for a demurrer against the indictments in the K.K.K. nightriding cases have been filed both by the state and the defense, the latter filing its opening brief last Saturday, and the former filing its written argument yesterday with the clerk of the circuit court. Another brief will be filed by the defense.
The demurrers, which were originally filed by the defense, attack the right of the county to investigate the outrages, the method of procedure in the grand jury room, in fact, most of the contentions brought out in the motions to quash the indictments last week, which were overruled by the court.
Whether the cases still come to trial at the next term of court or not is a question. The state is anxious to present the issue to a jury. Attorney O. C. Boggs this noon characterized them as "political indictments," and doubtful "whether they should be brought to trial on the eve of an election." No definite conclusion has been reached.
The indictments tread a long legal path. If the demurrers are sustained in the action now pending, the indictments are automatically quashed. If overruled, the next step is receiving the pleas of the six defendants, and then the right to request a change of venue is open.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 12, 1922, page 3
KLAN ASKS CONTINUANCE KLUX TRIALA motion for a continuance of the trials of the defendants in the K.K.K. nightriding cases, from the term of the circuit court beginning next Monday, to the February, 1923 term of court, was filed in the circuit court this morning.
Attorneys for Alleged Night Riders Claim Indictments Are Political, People Are Prejudiced and Need Time to Prepare Case--Newspapers Condemned.
The first ground upon which the motion is based are lack of time to prepare evidence, interview witnesses and assemble data; that: the indictments were returned in August "at a time when counsel usually takes and plans for a vacation, and counsel for defendants had so planned at that time," and "that it was understood that at the time the demurrers to these indictments were filed that John A. Jeffrey of Portland, Oregon was to be in charge of these causes," and "that after his return from his vacation counsel was asked to take charge of these causes," and that the preliminary work has prevented the assembling of "the evidence that should be assembled in order that these defendants may have a fair and just trial, unless this motion for continuance is granted."
The second ground sets forth that "these defendants allege that an inspection of the minutes of the grand jury, and a right to take a copy thereof, is absolutely necessary to these defendants in the preparations of their defense * * * with time to study the notes and interview the witnesses. A request for an order from the circuit court to allow the inspection of the notes is embodied in the motion."
The time element is supported, by the claim "that on Tuesday, October 17, 1922, three important witnesses for the defense came to the knowledge of the defendants, and were brought in for an interview with the counsel."
Politics Alleged.The third reason assigned in support of the motion for continuance allege the following:
"That the said indictments are in the nature of political indictments.
"That all over the West Coast of the United States inflammatory articles against the Ku Klux Klan, of which these defendants are alleged to be members, have led the columns of the newspapers, and particularly the columns of the Medford Mail Tribune * * * also the columns of the Pacific Record Herald, a weekly newspaper * * *.
That it would be prejudicial to the rights of the defendants to place them on trial immediately before or after the coming election to be held in the state of Oregon, November 4, and that "said inflammatory articles are being used as campaign articles, for and against candidates for office in the coming election," and that the rights of the defendants would be "prejudiced."
Claim K.K. Vilified.That "continuous vilification of the members of said Ku Klux Klan by certain well-known residents of Jackson County, Oregon, has tended to prejudice residents and inhabitants of Jackson County against the defendants."
And, "that, if these cases are continued over this term of court, that this prejudice will, in some measure, if not in a large measure, have subsided and ceased to exist, so that in all probability these defendants can have a fair trial at a subsequent term of court."
Newspaper clippings and affidavits to support the claims of prejudice are filed with the motion, one for each of the six defendants. The affidavits are sworn to by the defendants, among others, and they set forth that from conversations with people throughout the county they have discovered no prejudice against the defendants, and cite incidents, one by the Rev. Jouett P. Bray, alleging that in a conversation with Vern Van Dyke, a clerk in E. H. Lamport's, remarks about the rapid increase in gun sales while the excitement was at a high pitch last March.
Bert L. Moses, former county jailer, now courthouse janitor, and one of the defendants, in an affidavit alleges "that the prejudice is so great even at this time," that the defendants could not have a fair trial. Mr. Moses also charges "that a large amount of this prejudice is due to the efforts of Charles E. Terrill, at this time sheriff of Jackson County, Oregon, and other public officials in his office."
Sheriff Is Blamed.Mr. Moses further deposes that the Mail Tribune, Jacksonville Post, and the Pacific Record Herald "would greatly prejudice these defendants, in the event of their cases coming to trial before the said election, or shortly thereafter."
It is also set forth in the affidavits of Mr. Moses, "that others than the sheriff and his officers have circulated false and scandalous reports concerning these defendants and other defendants, alleged to be connected with the alleged outrage in Jackson County, Oregon, and have done everything possible for them to do to prejudice the people against these defendants."
The date for the hearing of the motion has not been set. Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist will arrive in the morning to appear before the grand jury, now in session, and will remain over to contest the granting of the motion, according to District Attorney Rawles Moore.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 19, 1922, page 1
JUDGE W. M. COLVIG REFUSES TO VOTE TICKET STRAIGHTJudge W. M. Colvig and attorney Charles Reames addressed voters of Prospect and vicinity in the Jim Grieve dining room Thursday night, on the issues of the campaign, state and county. Miss Alice Hanley, independent candidate for the legislature, was also present, and after the oratory shook hands and visited with the audience, some of whom had traveled a number of miles to be present.
A count of noses revealed 47 present, a fair representation in a precinct that has only about 65 votes, full strength. At the recall election in July, 52 votes were cast there.
Attorney Reames in his remarks dealt with the county situation, and read figures of money expended on the Talent and Eagle Point irrigation districts, from a report filed with the state superintendent of banks. He dwelt also upon the qualifications of judicial and legislative candidates.
Judge Colvig, the main speaker of the evening, reviewed the situation from the battle of Runnymede to date, and told why he was not going to vote the Republican ticket straight.
"Walter Tooze, the Republican state central committeeman," said Judge Colvig, "told me when the harmonizing of the party was under way to be a man and vote 'er straight. I told Mr. Tooze that I would not vote for a member of the Ku Klux Klan or a sympathizer.
The judge then went down the ticket and enumerated the scratches he was going to make on his ballot.
He defied Mr. Tooze to "whip me out of the Republican Party," and said Miss Hanley had entered the race, so both Democrats and Republicans could vote for a member of the legislature, "about whom there is not the slightest doubt."
At Butte Falls Wednesday evening, Miss Hanley, Judge Colvig, Colonel E. E. Kelly and P. J. Neff addressed a crowd of about 40 people. Owing to the handbills announcing the meeting not being distributed, it was necessary to hire a small boy with a dinner bell, to spread the tidings. The Butte Falls citizen to whom the bills had been sent for distribution turned out to be of a different political faith.
Tonight Col. Kelly, P. J. Neff, W. H. Gore, Judge Colvig and Miss Hanley will address a meeting at Wimer.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 20, 1922, page 5
KLAN TRIAL DATE IS SET FOR NOV. 27Arguments for the motion for a continuance of the trials of the six men indicted for the K.K.K. nightriding outrages last spring were made in the circuit court this morning. and at their conclusion, Judge F. M. Calkins handed down a verbal decision, postponing the trial of the cases until Monday, November 27, 1922. The plea of the defense for the right to inspect and make a true copy of the minutes of the grand jury in special session was denied. The same request was made and denied, when a motion to quash the indictments was heard. The defense sought to have the case postponed until the February term of court.
Judge Calkins in View of Election Excitement Gives K.K.K. Attorneys Time Extension--Refuses Request for Trial in February Term--Boggs Presents Argument.
The court, in reviewing the motion, gave as his reasons for granting the postponement until November 27, the pending election, with its turmoil and said: "Our campaigns are like a boil, and the election is the lance. We forget them a short time afterwards. This contention of the defense, that the defendants might be injured by the campaign, is worthy of consideration, and the one that grips my attention in this cause. The public mind will be calmed down by November 27th, and I will postpone the cases until that date."
In reference to the contention of the defense that Medford and Jackson County newspapers published articles detrimental to the "Ku Klux Klan of which the defendants are alleged to be members," the court reminded the defense counsels "that newspapers are also working on the other side of the proposition."
The court held that the withdrawal of John A. Jeffrey of Portland as counsel for the defendants, and lack of time to prepare the cases, were no grounds for a continuance as set forth in the motion.
Attorney O. C. Boggs for the defense read newspaper articles printed to show papers opposed to the Ku Klux Klan "were inflaming the public mind," and read several articles written by B. F. Lindas and extracts from the Mail Tribune. Mr. Boggs deplored the publicity of the two kleagles to move. He touched also upon an article written by Col. Gordon Voorhies, urging community unity, Mail Tribune editorial, and the recall election mess, as elements tending to create an unfavorable prejudice for his clients.
Attorney H. A. Canaday in a short talk emphasized the contentions of Mr. Boggs.
Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist, in reply to defense counsel, said "that by bringing the cases to trial at this time, the real menace is to the state, in the danger of securing a man upon the jury who was more loyal to the Klan than to the constitution of the state of Oregon."
He declared "if the people are prejudiced, they are entitled to be of an organization whose members swear fealty to an 'Emperor' in this democracy" and asked "is it any wonder the people are afraid" when hate is being substituted for tolerance.
The assistant attorney general denied "there was any relation between the candidacy of any man and the trials," and cited the Brumfield murder case as a sample of newspaper enterprise when the public interest is at high pitch.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 21, 1922, page 1
KLAN IS STILL THE BIG ISSUE SAYS REAMESSpeakers of the Independent Voters' League held forth at Eagle Point Wednesday night on the compulsory school bill, "the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan," its visible Jackson County operations, and the merits of candidates for office at the coming election. There was no rumpus. There were 122 people present, including many women, and this census is from a nose count, and does not include small boys, babes in arms, musicians, orators, and local sightseers who anticipated a recurrence of the Talent hubbub. It was a highly attentive audience throughout, and all the speakers were frequently applauded.
Leader of Local Bar Throws Light on Political Plot of Invisible Empire--Although Lifelong Democrat, Will Support Republicans.
The principal speaker of the evening was attorney Evan Reames of this city. and he told for over an hour of the workings of the Ku Klux Klan, and that organization's machinations in this section. In part he said:
Judge Calkins Threatened"This Invisible Empire now seeks control of the political machinery of Oregon, through control of departments--the law-enforcing offices of the legislature, and the judiciary. You all know of the attempt to seize the sheriff's office through the recall. They wanted to have control of the jury-selecting body of the county. You know of the threatening letter sent Judge Calkins, which Charley Thomas refused to sign, on the grounds it would render him unfit to sit on the bench during the trial or the indicted men, and which is a flimsy excuse. That letter was cut from a copy of the Jacksonville Post by a man known to myself, the sheriff and the Department of Justice." The speaker exhibited a photographic copy of the letter, a protest against which was signed, the speaker declared, "by practically every lawyer in Medford."
Klan Supports Cowgill"On the legislative ticket we have Ralph Cowgill, I do not know whether he is a member of the Ku Klux Klan--he is here, and says he is not, but I do know that his most ardent supporters and tireless workers are either members of the Ku Klux Klan, or apologists for it."
"T will vote for George W. Dunn, the Republican candidate for the senate against Newton W. Borden, the Democratic nominee, because Borden is the Exalted Cyclops of the Medford Klan, and chairman of the committee of nine, who sit behind closed doors upon the fate of men, while acting as judge and jury."
"I am a Democrat. I have known Walter Pierce for years, he is my friend and he expects me to support him, but Ben Olcott is good enough for me, because he has taken an outspoken stand against 'Invisible Government,' and all know where he stands."
Happenings in the lodge room. of the Medford Klan, what he characterized as "telephone espionage," and a dawn getaway last July just before the grand jury met were discussed, as was the state and national objects of the nightgown leaders. The speaker also declared that the ringleaders at the Talent demonstration "numbered many whose names are on the list of members." The speaker spoke for over an hour, and gave a thorough review of Klan doings and operations.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 26, 1922, page 1
C. M. THOMAS AND THE KU KLUX KLANMedford Mail Tribune, October 28, 1922, page 8
C. M. Thomas, alleged "regular" Republican candidate for circuit judge, imposed himself on the party ticket in the May primaries very largely through a policy of "mum as an oyster" on a question then and now the leading political issue before the voters of Jackson and Josephine counties and the state of Oregon.
In his principal primary campaign statement he proclaimed himself, in unctuous phrases, to be "open-minded" and of opinion absolutely unformed on the bed-sheet-and-pillowcase brigade then, as now, the outstanding issue between the contending candidates for any office within the gift of the electorate to whom Mr. Thomas' pronouncement was addressed. True, his statement in question did not name the Ku Klux Klan; but no other public or private offenders against the institutions of orderly government then, or since, stood within the obvious meaning and intent of his announcement--proven beyond controversy by their flocking in to his support. With six of their ringleaders since indicted by name for grave crimes, and sixteen more quaking in their John Doe shoes. Candidate Thomas has publicly advertised precisely the kind of an "open mind" on the subject of their activities which they yearn, with a great longing, to have elevated to the bench. Witness the recent strenuous efforts of their counsel to have their trials put over to the next February term of court!
The favored candidate went on record over his own signature in a full-page advertisement of his position in the Mail Tribune, flanked and followed by some ninety others, unreservedly endorsing their champion's "open-minded" stand in a symposium of signatures gathered in from the highways and byways and meeting halls of Jackson and Josephine counties, no less than fifty of whom were members of or known sympathizers with the Ku Klux Klan--and as for the remainder of the list, it does not contain the name of any man or woman publicly distinguished, then or since, for condemnation of that band of midnight marauders. One of the first-mentioned group of Mr. Thomas' supporters on that noted occasion was so eagerly interested in the alleged beauties of the Ku Klux Klan ritual and that oath of allegiance to the "Invisible Empire' about which candidate Thomas is so eminently "open-minded," that he wasn't satisfied with one dose of it, but, following his first secret initiation in the regular course of business, he went back two months afterward and had another one, personally advertised and publicly proclaimed, so there could be no mistake about it, or any more concealment than there is about the public support of Mr. Thomas' candidacy by this conspicuous and widely advertised member of the Ku Klux Klan.
A little later, when the Ku Klux Klan shocked our community by an audacious assault upon the dignity and security of the very position to which candidate Thomas aspires, by concocting and sending a threatening letter concerning his judicial duties to Judge F. M. Calkins, the members of the bar of Jackson County voiced the righteous indignation felt by every decent citizen in a resolution condemning the outrage. This resolution appeared in the press, followed by the signature of every member of the bar association then in the county, excepting only two, who refused their signatures--and one of the lawyers who so refused to join in this public protest against the Ku Klux Klan was candidate C. M. Thomas.
Later on, the candidate for judicial honors had another opportunity to demonstrate the quality of his "open mind" toward the Ku Klux Klan, when he actively supported the Klan candidate in the recall election engineered by the "invisible" institution against Sheriff Terrill, in an attempt to foist one of candidate Thomas' clients into an office everywhere coveted, for obvious reasons, by the Ku Klux Klan. He went so far in his desire to put Sheriff Terrill out and his Klan candidate in that he even tried to get the wife of one of Terrill's deputies to vote for the recall ticket!
Upon another recent occasion, candidate Thomas again promulgated from on high his declaration of "open-mindedness" toward the Ku Klux Klan and all of its works (for what other issue, what other organization, we ask again, calls for such a statement?)--only this time he saw fit not to reproduce the numerous endorsements of his candidacy by Klan members and sympathizers and others which decorated his primary campaign publication.
Upon yet another occasion, the cloak of "invisibility" slipped off from Candidate Thomas' ample shoulders that never wore a uniform, when, in a public address before the Grand Army gathering at Rogue River he came out boldly in support of the Ku Klux Klan's pet piece of legislation, the so-called "Compulsory School Bill," which no other professional man in Jackson or Josephine counties, not a member of or engaged in defending the indicted members of the Ku Klux Klan, has supported or defended, either publicly or privately.
But over and above all else, as evidence in support of the indictment which his own acts publicly draw against the truth of candidate Thomas' published professions of neutrality toward the Ku Klux Klan, is the fact of his frequent unconcealed association with known members and sympathizers of this infamous organization; the fact that he numbers among his supporters in this campaign, as in the primary campaign, precisely those persons who are so known, to their everlasting discredit; the fact that he does not number in his list of backers a single man or woman who has ever been distinguished by any public act or statement that would identify such a one with the opponents of this insidious movement; the fact that every man and woman in the two counties known to be actively and determinedly against the Ku Klux Klan is to be found in the ranks of those who are contesting the elevation to the judicial seat of this Pecksniffian ally of organized riot and disorder C. M. Thomas.
----Since the above was prepared for publication, candidate Thomas, by his own public exhibition, has swept away every vestige of pretense that he is not intimately associated with the Ku Klux Klan, by attending one of his opponent's meetings, at Talent, uninvited and accompanied by a bodyguard composed of men notoriously affiliated with the Klan, who, acting in concert, and with the smirking approval in front of and facing the audience, with one or two of his Klan jackals beside him, publicly and repeatedly insulted an old and respected citizen of Jackson County, Hon. Wm. M. Colvig, and when Mr. Thomas, at his own request, was accorded the courtesy of addressing his opponent's meeting, a courtesy which he flagrantly abused, he missed the most conspicuous opportunity that life will ever present to his experience to play the, to him, unaccustomed part of a gentleman, when he failed to publicly apologize to the people of Talent for the misconduct of his hoodlum escort. He dared not do it--for they were his crowd, his Ku Klux Klan adherents and supporters; and nobody knows better the claims which that association and that support rivet upon him than does C. M. Thomas, the Ku Klux Klan choice for circuit judge.
He seized upon that occasion, however, to address an audience gathered together by his opponent's committee's advertising, in a hall which that committee had rented for the occasion; with the declaration that he refused to sign the bar association's protests against the insult to Judge Calkins because he did not want to have any act, opinion or relation of his to disqualify him, if elected judge, from sitting as the trial judge at the trials of the indicted members of the Ku Klux Klan--and the actual fact is that Mr. Thomas has been active as an attorney all of the time in advising some of the members of the Klan, who were and are his clients, and who have been charged with taking part in the Klan outrages, upon the conduct of their defense, and he is thereby already disqualified from presiding over the trial of these cases. This is the secret spring of his desire to preside at their trials and of their desire to have him in the judgment seat.
INDEPENDENT AMERICAN VOTERS LEAGUE.
Wednesday the handbills that had been distributed around town announcing that there would be public speaking at the dance halt that night by Hon. E. E. Kelly, Judge Colvig, A. E. Reames and Miss Alice Hanley caused a large number of our citizens to collect to hear them, as almost everyone is interested in hearing the issues of the campaign discussed, especially as there were two prominent hard-boiled Democrats and one half-bolled Republican, Judge Colvig, for the first time I heard him he was advocating the election of Sam J. Tilden for President of the United States, and the next time I heard him he spent most of his time trying to explain to the voters why he had left the Democratic Party and flopped over to the Republican, and so I don't know how hard-boiled he is, and Miss Alice Hanley, also a Republican, and we had reason to believe that we would hear something worth while, but--well I will not find fault, although many of us were disappointed. Col. Kelly opened the meeting by accusing his opponent of playing dirty tricks at their meeting in Talent, and if the charge against Mr. Thomas, his opponent for circuit judge, was strictly correct he should be shut out entirely, but I see in the Friday Daily Mail Tribune the names of twenty-three prominent citizens of that section denying the correctness of the statement--that is that Mr. Thomas had packed the house with K.K.K. and hoodlums to break up the meeting, etc. Well, I confess that I was surprised to hear such a speech from such a man as Hon. E. E. Kelly, for it only added to the friends of C. M. Thomas, for I met an old hard-boiled Democrat the next morning who was a Kelly man and he told me that he and several of his neighbors who were going to vote for Kelly would vote for Thomas Nov. 7th.
Mr. Kelly was followed by Mr. Colvig with a spicy speech telling us to scratch our tickets and vote for the best men but be sure to vote for Gov. Olcott and F. Tou Velle, the Democratic candidate for State Treasurer and for Alice Hanley for the legislature, and by way of a little pep he referred to a remark made by Ralph Cowgill, Miss Hanley's opponent, something detrimental to his standing for truth, that if he met Mr. Cowgill on the street, and he repeated it, that he would knock him down, etc.
Mr. Colvig was followed by Hon. A. E. Reames, in his soft and polite manner, giving us an insight, as far as it was expedient, into the workings of the K.K.K., but he kept back what he wants to use in the trial, but cautioned us not to vote for C. M. Thomas and be sure to vote for Miss Hanley. Miss Alice Hanley then came forward and in a very few words told us that she was a candidate for a seat in the legislature and desired to go there. to help reduce the taxes. Everything passed off very pleasantly, and at the close the floor was cleared for a dance and your Eagle Point correspondent started for home.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, October 30, 1922, page 6
Wants Anti-K.K. TicketTo the Editor: A lot of us folks wonder why you haven't published an Anti-Ku Klux state and county ticket. I know some women here who are afraid to vote for fear they will help elect a Grand Dragon or something like that. You fought the Koo Koos to a standstill for a while but now you seem to have quit. What's the matter? Won't you please publish a list of those candidates who are known to be opposed to the Koo Koos?
P. DONOVAN,There is no Anti-Klan ticket as such, but for our correspondent's information, the following candidates on the state and county ticket have, we believe, either taken a public stand against the Ku Klux or are supposed to be opposed by the Klan:
R.F.D. 2, Nov. 4.
For Governor, Ben Olcott.
For state treasurer, F. L. Tou Velle.
For supt. of public instruction, J. A. Churchill.
For commissioner of labor, C. H. Gram.
For public service commissioner, Thomas K. Campbell.
For circuit judge, E. E. Kelly.
For state senator, George W. Dunn.
For state representatives, John Carkin and Miss Hanley.
The position of the Mail Tribune on the Ku Klux Klan is the same as it has always been--uncompromisingly against it.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1922, page 4
Let's Have a Rope Party.To the Editor:
The community in general made every allowance for your un-American method of campaign, and gave you full length of the "proverbial rope." Not content with hanging yourselves, you dare to hang a picture of Great Britain's new premier upon the front page of today's Mail Tribune, instead of giving that right to the Honorable Walter M. Pierce, the new governor-elect.
It has created no small comment among the 100 percent Americans, all of whom voted for Mr. Pierce.
Yours is the only daily paper in Medford, and what a splendid opportunity you have had to give the people the news in an unbiased, unprejudiced way instead of the manner in which you dish it out.
At this time the people are much more interested in seeing the picture of Oregon's new governor than in seeing "Great Britain's New Premier."
If the adage "As ye sow, so shall ye reap," is dependable, you and your ilk are no doubt aware of the fact by this time that in good old Oregon's soil, where roses bloom so plentifully, there is no chance for the harvest of thistles.
GRACE WICK MERRITT,"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, November 9, 1922, page 3
Central Point, Oregon.
KU KLUX TRIALS ARE POSTPONEDMedford Mail Tribune, November 27, 1922, page 3
The motion for the continuance of the Jackson County nightriding cases to the February term of the circuit court was granted by Judge F. M. Calkins this morning, acting under instructions from the attorney general's office at Salem. District Attorney Rawles Moore interposed no objections. This is the second continuance, the first one being granted October 19th.
The illness of the wife of one of the defendants, who is a material witness, and unable to attend court, was the chief ground, it is said, for the attitude of the attorney general's office, it desiring to bring all the defendants to trial at the same time. Political prejudice, newspaper articles in Jackson County and Pacific Coast cities against the Ku Klux Klan and the campaign aftermath that were held to menace the right of an impartial trial were also set forth as reasons for a continuance, all supported by affidavits.
KLAN TRIALS MAY BE HELD IN FEBRUARYSALEM, Ore., Nov. 25.--(Special to Mail Tribune). The state will offer no objection to the motion, Attorney General Van Winkle said today, which will probably mean a continuance of the Ku Klux trials in Medford.
Motion for Continuance in Night Riding Cases Filed Today in Circuit Court--
Klan Attorneys Claim Prejudice Too Strong to Get Fair Trial Now.
----A motion for a continuance of the trial of the six defendants in the Jackson County nightriding cases was filed in the circuit court this morning and Judge F. M. Calkins set Monday, originally set for the beginning of the trials, as the time for hearing the arguments. The motion prays that the trials be set for the February term of court.
Attorney O. C. Boggs, attorney for the defendants, said this morning that it was his understanding that the attorney general's office, which conducted the special grand jury investigation that resulted in the indictments, would not oppose the motion.
Four grounds for a continuance are set forth in the petition, most of which were used as a basis in a similar motion submitted last October.
Prejudices growing out of newspaper articles against "the Ku Klux Klan, an organization of which these defendants are alleged to be members," and the last campaign are two of the contentions. It is charged that the indictments are in "the nature of political indictments." On account of these allegations defendants "believe that if their cause is continued until the next regular term of court they will be able to have a fair and impartial trial in this county," which, it is held, they could not secure at this time.
A further claim for a continuance is that "a material and necessary witness in the trial of these cases" is ill. Attorney Boggs said that he imparted this information to the attorney general's office at Salem, and that upon the showing they manifested a willingness to agree to a continuance.
It is also set forth in the motion that the funds appropriated for the conduct of the circuit court have been overdrawn to the extent of $1300 from the general fund, and "that the expense of these trials would be much less at the next regular term of court."
In the argument Monday, the state will be represented by District Attorney Rawles Moore and the defense by Attorney O. C. Boggs, George A. Codding and H. A. Canaday.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 25, 1922, page 1
I see that I have omitted to say anything about our election. Well, it passed so quietly that it scarcely caused a ripple, for there seemed to be a fixed determination on the part of the voters to vote regardless of party lines, for instance in one neighborhood, where they were noted as being solid Republicans, I understand went solid for Kelly, while scores of Democrats, and many of them lifelong Democrats, voted and worked for C. M. Thomas, and it was the same way with regard to other names on the tickets. There was a general turnout, as there were two hundred and seventeen votes polled.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, November 16, 1922, page 6
THOMAS DIXON, AUTHOR OF KLANSMAN,NEW YORK, Jan. 23.--Thomas Dixon, author of the Clansman, vigorously condemned the modern Ku Klux Klan in an address last night and declared it had stolen the livery of the original organization. He was one of several speakers at a meeting called by the American Unity League to discuss ways and means for combating the hooded organization.
SCORNS THE MODERN KU KLUX KLAN
He said that when the modern Klan was organized a few years ago he declined an invitation to join, warning the organizers that "if they dared to use the disguise in a secret oath-bound order today, with the courts of law working under a civilized government, the end was sure--riot, anarchy, bloodshed and martial law."
"We have already reached the riot and bloodshed," he said, "and unless the thing is throttled promptly we are in sight of martial law."
The original Klan was founded as a weapon against a corrupt and intolerable tyranny by the bravest and noblest men of the South, he said, but the proscription of the negro races by the modern Klan is inhuman.
"The Klan assault upon the foreigner is the acme of stupidity and inhumanity," he said. "We are all foreigners except the few Indians we have not killed.
"Our fathers blazed the way through the wilderness for the trembling feet of liberty. They built a beacon on these shores, flashing its rays of hope to all the oppressed of the earth. Shall we, their sons, meet the humble immigrant of today with no mask and dagger and push him back into hell? If this is 100 percent Americanism I, for one, spit on it."
Medford Mail Tribune, January 23, 1923, page 1
Eternal Vigilance Necessary.To the Editor:
The expression "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" may be a hackneyed phrase, yet it is a short method of pointing to a very important attitude. We are in the habit of giving extravagant attention to any new and startling appearance on the political and social horizon, only to throw it aside for something else that newly arrives.
I think, however, that we should not lose sight of the dangerous situation resulting from the aggressiveness of the Ku Klux Klan. Among the many disturbing factors that now, in the hope of self-preservation, are attracting attention, the most insidious and dangerous is the Ku Klux Klan. The following extract taken from the editorial utterances of the Review of Reviews, in its February number, it seems to me, is worthy of reproduction and wide distribution, "Lest we forget."
"Governor Perkins of Louisiana has often in times past shown himself to be a man of independence and courage. But just now these qualities have been more than ever apparent, as he has taken the lead in trying to rid his state of the terrifying influence of secret orders that set themselves above the law, and attempt to regulate the private as well as the public affairs of communities. The exposure of the Ku Klux Klan methods in a single Louisiana county must embolden good citizens to resist and expose such methods not only in other counties of Louisiana but also in several other states. There are times when newspapers give far too much space to sensational cases in the law courts, but it can hardly be said that the open grand jury inquiry in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, conducted by Attorney General Coco under orders of Governor Parker, has not justified the extraordinary fullness of the press reports as published throughout the country.
"For this is not simply an exposure of the misguided and evil conduct of certain individuals or groups in one or two Louisiana neighborhoods. It is, rather, the unveiling of a danger to which thousands of neighborhoods in many states have been subjected by the rapid growth of an oath-bound secret order setting up an 'invisible government' superior to the laws of the land, endangering the rights of citizens who do not choose to subject themselves to the authority of headstrong men imagining themselves fit to dictate and to rule. There should be no confusing the nationwide publicity that is proper in the Louisiana case with the wholly morbid and improper attention given by the newspapers to the details of ordinary criminal trials."
The earnest thinking man will not be drawn aside from what he recognizes as a real danger by the injection of bait, or camouflage. There are many good honest men who have been seduced into this thing, who, as fast as the real truth is made clear to them will abandon and denounce the fraud that has been practiced. His seducers have relied upon a natural human pride as sufficient to hold him to the oaths he took with no full knowledge of' the purport of them. It is a well settled proposition of law that "Fraud vitiates every transaction." If I take an oath without a full comprehension of its full purport and purpose, one that had I known, I would never have subscribed to, then and in that event I may of right treat it as having been obtained from me by fraud and, therefore, not binding, for in reality I never took such an oath. Medicine is often sugar-coated to hide its bad taste and the child made to take it in the belief that it is candy. These K.K.K. oaths have thus been sugar-coated by the terms in which they are couched and men who would never nave taken them at all if they had known the real contents have been deceived by the fraud.
Pride, honesty and a sense of injury, together with the higher sentiment of patriotism and love of country, demands that these deceived and defrauded men come out from among the deceivers.
C. B. WATSON.Gold Hill, Oregon, January 27, 1923.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, January 29, 1923, page 4
FIRST NIGHTRIDING CASE WILL GO ON TRIAL NEXT WEEKMedford Mail Tribune, February 19, 1923, page 8
The circuit court convened this morning, and set tentatively the calendar for the term of the petit jury beginning next Monday, February 26th. The first of the nightriding cases, that of Dr. Jouett P. Bray, was set for the first on the docket, under the indictment charging riot. The other defendants will be tried in order after the conclusion of the Bray case.
A number of law and equity cases were also set, the court making up the calendar for the term this afternoon.
In open court this morning, the county clerk and the sheriff drew 75 names for a special venire to serve as the petit jury term, the action being necessary on account of the regular venire being depleted by failure to report. Out of 15 women on the regular jury list, only one signified a willingness to report.
The special venire is as follows:
Hugh L. Cox, Butte Falls; D. L. Forrest, F. L. TouVelle, Jacksonville; Lavina S. Carkin, Medford; Albert E. Stratton, Talent; Luke Lewis, Jacksonville; A. Crabtree, Fred Puhl, Medford; E. D. Dimmick, Rogue River; Ed Huston, Trail; Harry F. Sheets, Talent; T. W. Halley, Medford; C. S. Newhall, Medford and F. L. Childreth, Engle Point.
Anna N. Gray, Gold Hill; M. Berrian, Medford; S. H. Moore, Fred W. Weeks, Medford; Ellen Fish, Medford; Robin L. Gore, Medford; H. W. Davidson, Medford; Joe M. Rader, Phoenix; B. F. VanDyke, Phoenix; Mattie A. Coleman, Medford; Bertha E. Adams, Gold Hill; A. E. McKay, Medford; Leona Furniss, Medford.
N. B. Hildreth, Butte Falls; Alda G. Swink, Butte Falls; Mary E. Lozier, Medford; Gordon Cox, Trail; Clyde A. Richman, Central Point; Geo. W. Dunn, Ashland; John Norris, Eagle Point; Guy C. Jacobs, Ashland; F. E. Wahl, Medford; Lelia H. Fouts, Medford; George Hooker, Medford; Elsie Klingle, Lake Creek and Harvey G. Fields, Medford.
Maud Lyons, Medford; W. H. Eberhardt, Medford; W. L. DeFord, Central Point; Tom Lamb, Cora E. Hill, Medford; N. W. Atwood, Medford; Mollie Ray, Ruch; W. H. Day, Ashland; Benton Poole, Applegate; Abel Loomis, Ashland; Leon B. Haskins, Medford; Louise Harr, Jacksonville; Minnie Guy, Rock Point; George Beers, Rogue River; E. I. Johnson, Medford; Luella N. Lindley, Medford and N. D. Putnam, Medford.
James G. La [sic], Central Point; Earl C. Gaddis, Medford; Ben Edmiston, Butte Falls; Mary A. Webber, Medford; Minnie Boardman, Medford; J. A. Nordstrom, Ashland; Mary L. Godlove, Medford; Edna A. Hoag, Medford; George L. Treichler, Medford; Sarah A. Fraley, James Firestone, Ashland; T. E. Dorn, Applegate; George E. Maddox, Medford; Minnie Slade, Gold Hill; Annie Brophy, Eagle Point; William Sarr and C. B. Dunnington, Jacksonville.
1ST NIGHTRIDING CASE SCHEDULED TUESDAY MORNINGMedford Mail Tribune, February 24, 1923, page 6
Preparations for the trial of Dr. Jouett P. Bray on an indictment alleging riot, next Tuesday--the first of the Jackson County nightriding cases--are underway, and Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist is on the ground, surveying the regular and special jury venires drawn for the petit jury terms. The sheriff's office will complete today the work of serving subpoenas for witnesses. Dr. Bray arrived in the city Friday, from Myrtle Point, Oregon, where he has been residing this winter.
The work of selecting the jury is expected to start Tuesday morning and this phase of the case is apt to take two days or more.
W. A. Stewart, representing the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is the first of the newspaper correspondents to arrive to report the trial. Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist said this morning that he understood no representative of a Portland newspaper would attend the trial.
Dr. Bray was indicted last August by a special grand jury on three counts, charging riot, assault with a dangerous weapon, and extortion, in connection with the J. F. Hale episode March 17th last.
The five other defendants in the night riding cases are scheduled to be heard at this term of court.
WITNESS HERE FOR TRIAL OF DR. JOUETT P. BRAYThe case of the state against Dr. Jouett P. Bray, first of the Jackson County night riding cases, will probably start in the circuit court at Jacksonville tomorrow afternoon, as it is expected the civil action now being heard will not be finished before that time. Dr. Bray will be tried on the indictment returned against him, charging riot. Two other true bills charge him with assault with a dangerous weapon, and extortion. Dr. Bray arrived Friday from his home at Myrtle Point, Ore., for the hearing.
Both the state and the defense attorneys were busy today preparing for the opening of the trial. The state will be represented by Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist and District Attorney Rawles Moore. The defense will be conducted by attorneys Boggs and Codding, the latter also being subpoenaed from his duties in the commissioner of corporation's office at Salem, as a witness. The assistant attorney general also stated that they were advised by an unofficial source this morning, that John A. Collier, former district attorney of Multnomah County, had also been retained as counsel for the defense, and that the information had not been confirmed.
The sheriff's office said they had served 30 subpoenas for witnesses for the state, and that the defense list had not been submitted to them, but understood it to be about the same number, not including a large number of character witnesses.
The selection of the jury is expected to take at least two days, and the Bray trial is expected to require at least a week or ten days. The case concerns the J. F. Hale episode March 17th last. Hale is now a resident of San Diego.
Arthur Burr, the colored bootleg, and central figure in the Siskiyous "party," after serving thirty days in the county jail on a prohibition violation charge, arrived this morning from California. He is supposed to be a witness in the cases against Howard A. Hill and Bert Moses, whose trials are also scheduled for this term of court.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 26, 1923, page 1
DR. BRAY'S TRIAL OPENS, START ON JURY SELECTIONMedford Mail Tribune, February 27, 1923, page 3
The first of the Jackson County nightriding cases--that of Dr. Jouett P. Bray--was called in the circuit court this afternoon, upon the conclusion of a minor civil action. Attorneys and principal for both defense and prosecution, expressed a desire to have the cases come to trial, and both spent yesterday and this morning making ready for the selection of the jury, which according to Assistant District Attorney Liljeqvist will take the greater part of two days, with a prediction that it would take five days to hear the witnesses.
There were persistent reports that the defense was endeavoring to retain as counsel John Collier, former district attorney of Multnomah County, and B. F. Mulkey of Portland, a former Jackson County prosecutor, and onetime head of the state normal school at Ashland.
J. F. Hale, the central figure in the kidnapping and hanging episode of March 17 last, arrived last night from his home in San Diego, Calif., to testify at the trial of Bray. Arthur Burr, colored, arrived yesterday from California. He is said to be the chief witness against Howard A. Hill and Bert Moses and was the principal in the Siskiyous affair.
The chief development of Monday was the arrest and arraignment of Tom Word, department of justice agent, charged with being "intoxicated in a public place," and Word's statement that the arrest "is a frameup to discredit my testimony in the coming Klan trials." Word was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Taylor late Monday afternoon, and was released on his own recognizance. Word was the federal investigator who gathered the evidence in the cases.
KLAN QUERY BARRED BY THE COURT
Judge Thomas Rules That Membership in Ku Klux KlanMembership in the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan flared to the fore today at the very outset of the opening of the trial of Jouett P. Bray, minister and chiropractor, charged with Howard A. Hill, orchardist, and Jesse F. Hittson, former Medford police chief, and 16 John Doe defendants, with riot, assault with a deadly weapon and extortion in connection with the alleged kidnapping and hanging, March 17, 1922, of Joseph F. Hale, capitalist and piano dealer.
Not Valid Query for Jurors in Bray Trial--
Case One of Riot--Selection of Jury Is Proceeding Slowly.
Mrs. Mary E. Lozier, housekeeper and past middle age, a resident of Medford for many years, was called as a prospective juror, and was asked by Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist:
"Are any of the members of your family a member of the organization known as the Ku Klux Klan."
Attorneys for the defense leaped to their feet, with objections as the venire woman answered "not."
In the ensuing legal exchange Assistant Attorney Liljeqvist, upholding the materiality of the question, contended that the "state expects to prove" that the crime with which the defendants are charged was purposed, propagandaed and carried out by numbers of the Ku Klux Klan acting under orders of high officials of the Klan, as part of their program, and in the regalia used by the Klan."
Defense counsel contended that the query was immaterial, and the counsel for both sides went into chambers session with the court for a discussion of the issue before prospective jurors.
Case One of Riot
"This case is one alleging riot, and not one at this stage of the proceedings affecting the Klan, and it makes no difference what they had on," said the court in ruling on the materiality of the state's query before going into chambers for further argument on the point. After a 15 minutes' discussion, the court left its previous ruling unchanged, and the questioning of the prospective juror proceeded.
The ruling of the court on the Klan membership phase apparently blocks the way for the possible injection of the Klan issue during the selection of the jury. It also forestalls the asking of similar questions by the defense. The membership in the Klan may be brought out however in the testimony. The state counsel asked general questions covering practically the same ground as that involved in the overruled query.
Upon continuance of the examination of jurors, Mrs. Lozier was asked if she had any idea or belief that the orderly functions of the law had been broken down, or if she approved of lawlessness under the pretense of law enforcement. She replied she did not.
The trial opened with the state represented by Attorney General Liljeqvist and District Attorney Rawles Moore, and Walter Winslow of Salem, and attorneys Boggs, Canaday and Flaegel of Medford, representing the defense.
J. G. Love Excused
James G. Love, a farmer residing in the Central Point district, was the first talesman examined, and after two hours' questioning by Attorney Boggs was excused upon the objection of the defense that he entertained fixed opinions regarding the guilt or innocence of the defendants.
The questioning of Love covered a wide range--his business, social and fraternal relations, and his acquaintanceship with leading figures for and against the Ku Klux Klan in the year that the organization has been before the Rogue River Valley citizenry. The talesman said he "was a Republican but never voted the ticket straight. His relationship with the fruit association of which Howard A. Hill is or was a member was also probed into deeply.
Love at first said he gained his knowledge of the "Hale episode" and subsequent developments from reading the local papers, and stated he had formed no opinions. In response to a query he said, "If Hale was taken out, I think it is against the law." The defense counsel stressed the point regarding the impressions he had gained from the newspapers, but Love insisted he had formed no opinions.
Love was later excused from service without protest from the state, the court stating that the general tenor of the answers of the talesman had shown a state of mind that unfitted him as a juror.
Ed Huston of Trail said he had read both sides of the issue from local newspapers, and had opinions regarding the guilt of the defendants. He was excused.
In the defense questioning of Mrs. Lozier, she said she "had no faith in newspapers" and knew defendant Hill when "he was a little boy." She had no fixed opinions.
The talesmen remaining in the box at noon, and which includes three women, is as follows:
Mary E. Lozier, housewife, Medford; S. H. Moore, farmer, Rogue River; Loretta M. Lindley, housewife, Jacksonville; H. W. Davisson, merchant, Central Point; Fred W. Weeks, merchant, Medford; Clyde A. Richmond, farmer, Central Point; Mattie A. Coleman, housewife, Medford; Leon B. Haskins, druggist, Medford; Newt Lewis, farmer, Jacksonville, and A. E. Stratton, farmer, Central Point.
JUDGE STATES REPORTER ACTED IN GOOD FAITH"I am satisfied after full investigation that the representative of the Mail Tribune received his information as it was reported in that paper from the sheriff or his employees, who were entirely mistaken in the facts as disclosed by statements made by the parties concerned in open court."
Mail Tribune Correctly Reported Sheriff's Office Regarding "Witness Advised to Leave Town"--Sheriff Mistaken As to Facts.
This was the statement made to the Mail Tribune by Circuit Judge C. M. Thomas last night, concerning the article published Thursday night to the effect that a witness for the State, William Brown, had been told to leave town because there was a warrant for his arrest on a bootlegging charge.
According to Judge Thomas he questioned both Borden and Brown carefully, Friday afternoon, and is satisfied that there was nothing said by Borden to Brown which justified the sheriff's office in reporting that Brown had been approached and advised to leave town. Brown's and Borden's stories, it is declared, agree in the main particulars.
The Jackson County nightriding cases will be resumed Monday morning at 9 o'clock. The court adjourned Friday afternoon, until that time upon the granting of the motion of the state for a postponement owing to the illness of its chief witness, J. F. Hale, who was stricken Thursday afternoon with hemorrhage of the stomach.
A medical commission composed of Drs. R. W. Stearns and F. G. Thayer, appointed by the court to act with Dr. E. B. Pickel, Hale's physician, reported that he might be able to appear Monday, barring the unforeseen. The adjournment was taken with the proviso, "if the doctors permit."
Dr. Pickel reported this morning that Hale was "resting comfortably," and that he had suffered from only one coughing spell during the night.
The state in its application for a postponement filed affidavits, which were not read, supporting its contention from Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist, Dr. E. B. Pickel, Jay F. Hale, son of the stricken man, Tom Word, federal investigator, and John S. Orth, Medford bank official.
The defense did not oppose the granting of the postponement motion, which the court said he regarded in the nature of an adjournment, but asked that the state be required to file a statement of the testimony Hale was expected to give as required by law, in cases where illness overtakes a witness on the eve of trial. The defense was represented by attorney Winslow.
Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist argued for the state. He said he was willing for "the defendants to have all they were legitimately entitled to" and was prepared to turn over the requested statement, if the court so ruled. "The state wants the defendants to have a fair and impartial trial," said Liljeqvist, "and also expects to prosecute, as the gravity of the charges they face, demands."
The court, from the bench, denied the plea of the defense.
Lured by the prospects of hearing the opening statement of counsel for both sides, and the taking of testimony, the largest crowd of the week attended the Friday afternoon session, which was replete with unexpected incidents.
Disarmament orders were issued to Henry Johnson and Paul York, as a result of a statement by J. Alexander Norris, that they had made threats against him, and his son-in-law, Thomas E. Goodie. Norris told the court that while in front of the courthouse early last Monday afternoon, Johnson and York had said, "that if the court don't get you, I will within the next two years," and also that "somebody will be going home with their hip pockets full of lead."
T. W. Halley said he saw the parties conversing, but did not catch the gist of their conversation.
Johnson and York are the purported main actors in the nightriding episode of last April, of which Norris and Goodie are alleged to have been members. York was dismissed with a lecture, and Johnson given more vigorous treatment, so the story goes.
Johnson appeared and denied the charges of Norris, and the court ordered his "to turn in his gun immediately," and administered a warning. Johnson admitted that he carried a gun, "mostly at night." The two youths later in the afternoon turned in their armament.
The court also, in this connection, directed that the sheriff's office file at once a list of citizens to whom permits to carry guns had been issued during the past year.
In connection with the Brown matter, the district attorney said the federal agent, Tom Word, had turned over to him the original and Brown, on the subject, and refused to make it public, pending investigation.
The court then suggested that the Mail Tribune "retract its headline over the Brown story, the information for which was secured from the sheriff's office and federal agent Tom Word.
The court also said that citizens should report to the court any incidents of a similar nature, and they would be handled through the regular processes of law.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 3, 1923, page 6
HALE TELLS OWN STORY OF HANGINGIdentification of Dr. Jouett P. Bray, minister and chiropractor, and partial identification of J. F. Hittson, auto dealer and former Medford chief of police, and M. B. Bunnell, retired, as alleged members of the nightriding party of March 17, 1922, was made Monday afternoon by J. F. Hale, star witness for the state, and victim of the hanging and kidnapping, now on trial in the circuit court at Jacksonville. The first two are defendants; Bunnell was not indicted.
Dramatic Scene Enacted in Jacksonville Court When Victim
of Night Riders Reclining on Couch Recounts Experiences
on Night of March 17, 1922.
Hale, stricken with stomach trouble last Thursday, came into court on the arms of two attendants, and gave his testimony, lying on a couch, facing the jury. He spoke in a low voice, and frequently wet his lips with his tongue. His face was haggard. Hale presented a marked contrast to the trim, debonair figure known to scores of Jackson County residents. His hair was disheveled, his face unshaven, and he nervously twisted his hands throughout the long afternoon of questioning by state and defense counsel. He stood the ordeal well, however.
"I saw him with my own naked eyes," said Hale, when questioned in regard to recognizing Dr. Bray.
He was telling the story of the hanging in the Table Rock district, and Dr. Bray, according to the testimony, was bending over Hale, administering first aid. "Bray's mask was off, and his face was close to mine. I saw it in the glare of a flashlight." Later the witness said: "I have nothing but the kindliest feeling for Dr. Bray, as I believe he is the man who saved my life." He also testified he recognized Dr. Bray from his southern accent.
Hale was not positive in regard to his identification of Hittson. He based his opinion that he was a member of the party upon his voice, his general build, and that other members called him "J.F." and "Chief," and from a Studebaker car. Hale under cross-examination by the defense said he "wished he could believe Hittson was not a member of the party, but that it was his opinion." He said at the time of the "hanging," a deal was on for the purchase of a Studebaker car from Hittson, and that he had always regarded him "as a friend," and had known him for a long time. Throughout Hale maintained his views and did not alter his story under cross-examination.
Hale testified he believed Bunnell to be a member of the night riders because of questions asked him during the hanging, that no one else knew but him and Bunnell, and from his voice and general carriage.
Feared Hale Would Die.
Hale testified that during the questioning, 'neath the oak tree in Table Rock district, with a rope around his neck, that he had been asked "if his little boy did not cry to go with strangers rather than with him." After he had swooned, on the way back to an auto, after the episode, a voice had said: "Be careful, this man has stomach trouble, and if he dies on our hands we'll all be in a mess." Hale also testified someone in the crowd had said when he expressed fears of dying, on account of his children, "Hell! the babies would be better off if he was dead." Threats alleged to have been made against him by Bunnell in two arguments on the main street were also recounted by Hale.
Bunnell is a southerner, well past middle life, who bought a home from Hale, out of which a lawsuit grew, now amicably settled, it was brought out by the defense examination.
Hale said he was unable to identify Howard A. Hill, defendant, as a member of the party.
Ordered "Hands Up."
Hale first told the story of the men coming to his home about 9:30 o'clock p.m., March 17, 1922, and entering an auto under the impression he was going to answer a long-distance call from "sick relatives in either Eugene or Marshfield." He said after entering the back seat of the car, he was ordered to hold up his hands. He was driven for about an hour. He judged the distance was 30 miles, and the number of the party 15 or 18. Hale said he had never been able to locate the scene of the hanging since.
Hale testified after disembarking from the auto he was led to a post beneath an oak tree, a rope placed around his neck and the other end thrown over the limb of the tree. He could not tell the exact size of the rope. When in this position he was asked, he said, regarding his relations with young women of Medford, and when he denied any wrong, was called "a liar," and a cry went up, "Bring on the rope!" Hale declared he was asked to confess to something he had not done, and when he refused "they stretched my neck." Hale said he had attempted to ease the strain by standing on his tiptoes. The witness also testified he was ordered to "return letters; you know who they belong to," and dismiss a lawsuit pending against a "certain Medford citizen," leave town by Monday night, as "he was not a decent citizen," that he could see Evan Reames, his attorney, but once, and was threatened with death if he ever told. Hale said he agreed to all this, under duress, and told the band that he was already preparing to move to Portland. Witness testified he was then told "500 men in Jackson County have been watching you, and 10,000 will be watching you in Portland."
Swooned in Car.
After this ordeal, Hale en route to the car said he was suffocated by the heavy cloth over his face and swooned, and alleged it was at this stage of the proceedings he identified Dr. Bray. As he lay on the ground a call went up for a doctor, and that Bray came forward, and rubbed his neck, back and stomach and said: "Brace up and be a man; you're not going to die. We're going to take you back to your babies!" Hale swore he recognized Bray, from his face and hands and voice, and described what he termed the treatment given him.
Hale then told of the trip home, and said there were three men in the car besides himself, and that to one in the front seat he had said, "I'd know that voice if I heard it in Texas." He swore this observation was met with a drawn gun, and the words: "If you say that again I'll blow a hole through you!" He said he requested the man to take off his mask, shake hands, and be friends. He said he was "rolled out of the car about 250 yards from his home," and that there had been talk of taking him to a hospital, as he was in a serious condition. Hale testified that while in a swoon at the scene of the "hanging," mud was rubbed on his face to cool it off, but he did not know who did it. He alleged he was told to tell his people "you have had a fit" if asked for an explanation of his condition.
Hale testified the "kidnappers" wore long black robes and black hoods with eye holes.
Under cross-examination by the defense, through attorney Winslow, Hale was queried at length regarding his relations with three Medford young women, and made a general denial of any wrongdoing. This subject was opened up by the state in its closing questions of direct examination.
Hale admitted he "talked some of marriage," but denied that he had been engaged to anyone.
Asked regarding conversations had with Mrs. Bunnell, Hale generally replied he "didn't remember." He was also hazy on the courtship details, and indefinite about any and all engagements.
He admitted he had discussed "the future" with Mrs. Bunnell, and denied accusations, alleged to have been made at that time by the mother. He flatly denied that he had said to Mrs. Bunnell, regarding one girl, that he said "that was the one mistake of my life." He also denied that one of the girls involved had threatened to kill herself unless he married her, and that his son Jay had taken the revolver from her.
Hale also denied that he had ever said, "if the Bunnells don't stop talking, I'm going after them for damages." He also declared he had never said to Mr. Bunnell in the Union Depot in Portland "that there was no rope, and he had never been hung," and that he had never made similar statements to Tom Fuson in front of the Medford National Bank, with Colonel E. E. Kelly near or in the presence of attorney H. A. Canaday in the Root Music Shop on Main Street.
The witness also denied that in the office of A. E. Reames, in the presence of Tom Word, federal investigator, he had identified Dr. Bray by his voice and hands, and a ring thereon, without mentioning his face, and that Dr. Bray had said: "Come out on the street and make that statement in front of a reputable citizen, and I'll sue you for damages."
Hale's Shirt Identified.
The days when Hale had a bodyguard, and his movements the past year, were delved into by the court, and it developed that Hale carried a gun "more or less since the hanging," and his permit from the sheriff of Jackson County was introduced as evidence.
A silk shirt, torn, and identified by Hale as worn by him on the night of the "hanging" was introduced as evidence, as was a letter received by Hale, March 20, 1922, which was printed and as follows:
"You know what you were to do by Monday 3-20-22. You lied. We are coming soon or late. Reames is No. 2. Committee Tar and Feathers."
Court adjourned with Hale still under examination, with the state offer of a night session opposed by the defense.
The testimony of Miss Ruberta Pierce on defense cross-examination was postponed until after the examination of Hale, owing to his physical condition.
The cross-examination of Hale was completed in the circuit court at Jacksonville at 10:30 this morning by both sides. Wan and weary, after a sleepless night, Hale continued to give his testimony and answer questions from a couch placed before the jury and the two alternate jurors, both women.
Hale's "Affairs" Touched On.
Far afield went the defense in its cross-examination of Hale. His romances with women, delicate affairs of the heart, his ways with them and his opinion of the gentler sex were all subjects of quizzing by the defense. They asked about statements he was alleged to have made to M. B. Bunnell, and other Medford citizens, as to statements made on the streets. Only once or twice did the trend of queries stray to the actual "hanging."
Hale denied making derogatory statements of women to Bunnell on an auto trip with him through the northern part of this county. Once the sick man said he had been friendly with the Bunnells, and described them as "very nice people." He said he had written "some very sweet letters" to the Bunnell daughter, and had returned them to Bunnell. In response to a question by the state Hale said these letters were one of the objectives of the "necktie party" and that he had fulfilled his promise at that time to return them. Hale denied all questions asked by the defense relative to statements he was alleged to have made to Mrs. Bunnell in the Bunnell home.
The defense asked Hale regarding purported meetings with Miss Ruberta Pierce at Eugene, Salem and Roseburg last January, and entered a sweeping denial of any wrongdoing at that time. Efforts to tell of alleged attempts to break into his room at Salem by men claiming to be officers was blocked by the defense. Dr. Bray, one of the defendants, is said to have seen Hale at Roseburg.
Hale Taken to Hospital.
The state on its final cross-examination of Hale brought up an incident in the Multnomah Hotel at Portland involving, the state contended, defendant Hill and was met with objections from the defense, the court ruling the state would be allowed to develop its proof along the lines of conspiracy.
Alleged "harassing" of Hale, since the kidnapping and hanging, will be brought out by the state during the course of the trial, the assistant attorney general hinted.
The morning session was slow and uninteresting, with no new points developed. A couple of sharp interchanges of words by attorneys burst forth, to be quickly suppressed by the court. A crowd that filled the pioneer courthouse comfortably attended the morning session.
Hale, after finishing his testimony, was taken to a hospital for treatment. He was on the stand for three-quarters of a day, and his story at the finish remained unshaken in any essential detail.
Miss Pierce Testifies.
Miss Ruberta Pierce, comely, 24, and quite determined, completed her day on the witness stand this morning, with a sweeping and emphatic statement that "there had never been anything but the most proper relations" existing between herself and J. F. Hale. Well versed in legal procedure from long experience in the county clerk's office, she parried neatly the queries of defense counsel. Miss Pierce described the status of her affairs as "not exactly engaged," and that she had made "weekend visits" to Hale at Roseburg, Salem and Eugene, "paying my own way." At Salem she testified a "policeman knocked at her door," and she "peeked around the corner of the door at him" to inquire what he wanted. She said the minion of the law did not state. The young lady testified that she was now residing with an aunt in Los Angeles and had paid her own expenses to this city.
Jay A. Hale, son of the "hanging victim," aged 15, was called as the third witness of the trial, and was subjected to no cross-examination by the defense. He described events following his father's return from the expedition. He could not identify a torn shirt worn by his father.
William L. Craig, an auto mechanic, testified just before the noon recess that he "had belonged to the same fraternal organization as defendants Hill and Dr. Bray," and that he attended a meeting at which they were present, "and all wore regalia." He described the regalia as consisting of black sackcloth reaching to the heels, and a cowl, cut square on top, and reaching down on the forehead, but not covering the face. The court ruled that the name of the organization was not admissible. Craig is now a resident of Salem. The cross-examination of Craig was brief.
Attorney Evan Reames testified to being called to Hale's house on the night of the "hanging" and described conditions there as he found them. He also described Hale's condition. He was not cross-examined by the defense, except to be asked if he represented Hale as attorney in this case, which was acknowledged.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 6, 1923, page 1
"HANGED" VICTIM IDENTIFIES TORTURERS FROM HOSPITAL COTMedford, Ore., March 6--Although J. F. Hale, the principal complaining witness, was declared to be still too ill to leave his room, the trial of the case against the alleged night riders was begun yesterday after having been postponed from Saturday. Hale was brought into court in an ambulance, and lying on his cot gave his testimony for the prosecution. He swore to the identity of Dr. Jouett P. Bray, and partially identified J. P. Hittson, as members of the mob who engaged in the "hanging" episode in which Hale was repeatedly strung up until he became unconscious. He was unable to identify the third of the defendants, Howard A. Hill, as one of those in the night riding party.
Cordova Daily Times, Cordova, Alaska, March 6, 1923
HANGED VICTIM STANDS GRUELING BY ATTORNEYSMedford, Ore., March 7--Haggard and pale, J. P. Hale, the alleged victim of the Medford night riders who last summer took him from his home and subjected him to brutal treatment for alleged immoral conduct, was again brought into the Circuit Court yesterday to give his testimony against the three defendants charged with the crime. Reclining on a couch, Hale submitted to a grueling cross-examination by counsel for the defense. He refused to be shaken in the details of his main story, and flatly denied the charge of immorality.
J. E. Edmiston, another witness for the prosecution, testified that he had joined the Klan, and had not believed them responsible for the night riding outrages of last summer. But when he had asked the members to disavow the acts they had failed to do so and he had resigned. A fight for the admissibility of Edmiston's evidence developed between the rival attorneys, the defense holding that it ruled, however, that "what took place in the Klan hall and connects these defendants with the crime is admissible evidence."
Cordova Daily Times, Cordova, Alaska, March 7, 1923
DEFENSE IN NIGHT RIDER CASE CLOSESTestifying this afternoon for the state Delbert M. Ryan, foreman of the special grand jury which returned indictments last summer against the night riders now on trial in circuit court at Jacksonville, said that William Offutt did tell the grand jury that he had overheard a conversation between Howard Hill and two of the Klan kleagles to the effect that the former said "Hale had merely been lifted off his feet and then had thrown a fit."
State Starts Rebuttal Testimony at Jacksonville--
Court Rules Out John Doe Indictment Request by Defense--
Lie Is Passed Between Opposing Counsel.
Yesterday in testifying for the state Offutt could not remember having made such a statement. The grand jury records were introduced by the state to refresh Ryan's memory, and at the request of counsel for the defense the court allowed them to inspect the records also.
Judge Thomas refused to allow Attorney A. E. Reames to testify regarding his conversation with Hale following the hanging. The final arguments started this afternoon at 3:15.
The defense closed and the state started its rebuttal testimony in the Jackson County nightriding trials today. All the evidence is expected to be in by late afternoon and the arguments to the jury started.
That Hale's neck showed evidences of his alleged hanging was an important point brought out by the defense in its questioning of Mrs. Ora Barnett just before the noon recess today. Mrs. Barnett said Hale showed her the neck abrasions, and added that his neck was very red. The witness was called to impeach Hale's testimony that he had been handcuffed and said that Hale showed her his wrists at the same time and that she saw no evidence of handcuffs.
There was a sharp interchange between Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist and attorney Winslow, during the morning session, in which the state's head counsel applied to his opponent the short and ugly word, reiterating it with an added "Yes, you are," which brought a good-natured chuckle from Winslow and admonishment to both from the court.
Attorney Evan Reames of Medford was called to testify to a conversation he had with Hale on the night of the "hanging." The defense made an objection and the court delayed decision until this afternoon.
Mrs. Helen Gale Cook, a former patient and office assistant of Dr. Bray, was called to identify the two checks, alleged to have been paid to Bray by Hill for sick visits to his daughter, and an important link in the Bray alibi. She said on the Monday following March 17th Dr. Bray threw a check for $2.50 on the office desk, and told of receiving a similar check for professional services. Mrs. Cook said Dr. Bray told Dr. Hoffman, his partner, to keep this check, as he "had occasion to use the other one."
An effort was made by the defense this morning, to have the state reveal the names on the John Doe indictments returned last summer in the night riding cases, but their contentions were overruled by the court, on the grounds that the question was not material. Attorney O. C. Boggs for the defense addressed the court along the same line threshed out last fall before Judge Calkins in the motions for the postponement of the night riding cases and not granted then. The court cited the case of George Putnam, former Medford publisher, defendant in a contempt proceeding, as the basis for his ruling, wherein a decision was rendered that the state could not be compelled to disclose the grand jury proceedings.
The Rev. F. C. Becker, pastor of the Presbyterian church of Jacksonville, was called as a witness, and was asked preliminary questions, when his testimony was also barred by the above ruling. The jury was excluded from the courtroom during the argument.
Attorney Boggs in his remarks stressed the statement of the assistant attorney general made in the court proceedings last October, when he said "if the John Doe indictments were made public, there would be such an exodus that it would take the sheriff a year to bring them back."
The assistant attorney general characterized the remarks of the defense as "a piece of propaganda to influence the jury," and also, "that I take serious exceptions to remarks of defense attorneys."
A motion of the state to strike out from the records the testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Bunnell in regards to statements alleged to have been made by Hale on an auto trip with Bunnell, and to Mrs. Bunnell in her home, was not allowed.
Mrs. Harry Stoltz was recalled to identify a letter, alleged to have been written by Hale to her, and the defense said it was solely for the purpose of identifying a previous letter introduced as coming from Hale, both written on a typewriter, and neither made public. The letter was identified.
Reported to J. F. Lawrence
J. C. Deever, a warehouseman, testified that J. E. Edmiston, a former Klansman and important witness, had told him "he feared he would be indicted, because he had told Tom Word to go to the devil." He said he had worked near Edmiston for a year.
Under the questioning of the state, Deever admitted he had signed up an application to join the Klan. Considerable questioning was required to get this information from the witness. Asked if he had not been commissioned to get information regarding Edmiston, the witness at first denied it, and finally admitted [he] "had reported some but not all to J. F. Lawrence."
Mrs. Glen Fabrick testified that she had passed the home of J. F. Hale on East Main the night of the kidnapping and hanging about 9:30 o'clock, and had seen no cars or people. She said when she passed the Sparta building it was "a little past twenty minutes past 9 o'clock," and that it took her four minutes to walk the distance, "having paced it this morning."
Defendant Hittson was recalled, and asked if he had a conversation with Tom Word in which Word said to him, "I heard you were mixed up in this, but don't believe it." He said he had.
Rev. Coy Sims of the Methodist Church, South, was called by the defense, but was not present, and the defense was given the right to call him later. When he did arrive he was asked regarding Dr. Bray's reputation for being a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, and answered it was "good."
The testimony of M. B. Bunnell, charged by J. F. Hale, victim of the "nightriding party," of March 17, 1922, in his testimony as one of those he suspected of being a member, and the calling of witnesses to impeach the testimony of J. E. Edmiston, former Klansman, on grounds of veracity, were the chief features of the Thursday afternoon session of the nightriding trials at Jacksonville.
There also came into the trial testimony to show the source of the "black robes," witnesses who testified the "morality" of J. F. Hale, the state's star witness, was bad; a show of feeling on the part of several witnesses, and frequent laughter by the crowded courtroom, amused by the unexpected answers of witnesses.
Favored Hanging Hale
Bunnell, well along in years, a retired stockman, told the jury that he had not been a member of the "Hale party" as accused, and offered an alibi for his whereabouts upon that night. "If I had been in that party, Hale would be hanging there yet," Bunnell said. He admitted he was a member of "what we call the Klan," and that he had attended meetings, in the Odd Fellows' hall.
The aged witness, who complained at times of poor hearing, said that at one time he and his family had been friends with Hale and that he, himself, had become "disgusted with him," after Hale had expressed derogatory opinions of women on an auto ride through the northern part of this county in "November or December of 1921," he was not sure. Regarding this occasion, Bunnell said "If I could have driven a car, I would have kicked him out and come home alone."
Bunnell, during the course of his testimony, at different times classified Hale "as the biggest coward on the coast," and "an awful liar."
Bunnell said that when attending a meeting in the Odd Fellows hall, the date of which he could not remember, he had seen black robes hanging in an anteroom, but did not recall ever seeing them worn in a lodge session. He testified white robes were used, however. The witness said he saw the defendants in a lodge meeting. Regarding the black robes the witness was not positive.
Bunnell, in response to a query from the state, said that he never told anyone after the grand jury meeting that he had seen anyone wearing black robes, or saw anyone in that garb at a lodge meeting. The witness also denied that he had ever made any threats.
Bunnell testified that Hale and his daughter had been friendly, and had written letters, for the return of which he had paid $25, his purpose being, he said, to solace his daughter, who was perturbed about them. He said he did not read the letters, as he regarded them as the property of his daughter. Hale told of the breaking off of the friendly relations with the rejoinder, "you can't insult that man Hale," and also "Hale wanted to marry me worse than he did the girl, because he thought I had a little money." Witness testified Hale had been a frequent visitor at his home.
The witness said he did not know what caused the "break," in reply to the state query, "if he had not been told Hale was writing letters to Ruberta Pierce," and that this had caused the trouble.
A Willing Witness
Bunnell was a willing witness, and once while he was on the stand attorney Winslow for the defense, in an effort to interpose an objection, said sharply, "Mr. Bunnell."
The witness stated he had met Hale in the Union Depot at Portland and that Hale had expressed delight at meeting him, and he (Bunnell) had retorted he had "told lies," and that "no one ever had a rope around your neck," further giving Hale his opinion of him in general.
Mrs. Bunnell was called and corroborated her husband's testimony that they had been at the home of Harry Lofland on the night of the alleged hanging until close to 10:30 o'clock, when they went home and retired.
Mrs. Bunnell testified Hale asked permission to pay attentions to their daughter, and had conversations with him, in her home, and had once asked him regarding Miss Pierce and Miss Halley, and Hale had said, she testified, "they both wanted to marry me, but are things of the past." Mrs. Bunnell testified that Hale had told her "that Ruberta Pierce had threatened to kill herself because he had refused to marry her," and "that Angie Halley was the one mistake of his life in Medford." Mrs. Bunnell was desirous of giving a complete story, but was restricted by the ruling of the court after objections by the defense.
I.O.O.F. Black Robes
John Demmer, secretary of the I.O.O.F. lodge, testified that he had been a resident of Jackson County for 23 years, and that black robes were part of the regalia used by that order in degree work, and described them as long gowns with headgear, and no covering over the face. The state asked Demmer if the robes did not belong to an order known as "the Guardians of Liberty," and the witness had never heard of that society.
Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Lofland testified that they were at their son Harry Lofland's home until 9:30 p.m. March 17, 1922, and that when they left Mr. and Mrs. Bunnell were there. Mrs Harry Lofland corroborated the testimony of the Bunnells and the elder Loflands.
Admits Meeting Night Hale Hanging
R. L. Ray, a farmer living between Medford and Jacksonville, in response to the state query, "Are you a Klansman," replied, "Yes and proud of it!' and testified he had a conversation with J. E. Edmiston in the Masonic club rooms, about April 7, 1922, others being present, during which Edmiston had said, substantially, "that he (Edmiston) had inside dope about the Hale party, that he had not been hung; they sure gave him a talking to." Also that Edmiston said "those boys made a mistake, they should have left him hanging there." The witness admitted he "did not like Edmiston." Questioning by the state, relative to the witness organizing a "reserve force" that met in Edmiston's warehouse on the night of the Hale party, was met with objections from the defense. The witness and the assistant attorney general engaged in short interchange of words, both fairly shouting and being halted by the court. Ray finally admitted there had been such a meeting the night of the alleged hanging.
The assistant attorney's parting shot at Ray, "You were born in America" occasioned the bench to ask the witness if he had any expressions to make on his "views of law and order," but on objection by the defense, the witness did not answer.
Harry Stoltz testified that he had nearly joined the Klan but never initiated, was called as a character witness against Edmiston, and testified the latter had said "he knew all about it, and who was there," meaning the Hale "party." The witness said he was not friendly with Edmiston, and described the details of his dealings with Tom Word, federal investigator, as far as it concerned himself and Edmiston.
Edmiston Is Attacked
Mrs. June Van Leuen, former district manager of the Earl Fruit company, testified the reputation of J. E. Edmiston for "truthfulness" was bad. The witness denied she was "mad at Edmiston because he had kept her out of a fraternal organization she desired to join," and was emphatic in her statements that Edmiston was "untruthful." Asked to name people who had told her that, she opined "that it would take me all afternoon to name all of them." She recalled seven. The witness said she had no personal dispute with Edmiston, "because he is not man enough to stand and listen." Mrs. Van Leuen gave a vivid description of transactions in the fruit business, and an affidavit, circuited through "the fruit district," the state asked, for the purposes of discrediting Edmiston.
Asked if she belonged to "The Ladies of the Invisible Eye," the witness convulsed the audience with the reply, "I should say not. I never even heard of them." She denied the affidavit she made was due to business enmity between rival fruit concerns.
Glen Fabrick testified that Edmiston's reputation for truth was bad. James G. Love, a Central Point orchardist, the first juror to be excused at this trial, testified to the same, and admitted under cross-examination that a suit was pending between him and the fruit concern Edmiston represents "for breach of contract," and that Edmiston had once ejected him from his office.
C. A. Myers, a rancher, who also admitted a suit was pending with the concern Edmiston is connected with, testified Edmiston's reputation was bad.
Mrs. Kate Young certified J. F. Hale's reputation for "veracity and morality" was bad.
Tom Word, federal investigator, testified to alleged conversations between himself and defendants Hill and Bray, during the investigations, and that Hale at that time had identified Dr. Bray by voice, ring and face, and offered, if Hale was disarmed, "to give him a licking" for making the accusation. Word denied that he had tried to talk "Masonically" to either.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 9, 1923, page 1
INTEREST IN NIGHT RIDERS' CASE HOLDS SWAY IN CIRCUIT COURTMedford Clarion, March 9, 1923, page 1
STATE RESTS IN CASE AGAINST DR. J. P. BRAY, CHARGED WITH RIOT
IN CONNECTION WITH HALE "NECKTIE" PARTY.
At the time of this report, the evidence of the prosecution in the case of the State of Oregon against Dr. Jouett P. Bray, the first of the so-called night riding cases, now on trial at Jacksonville, was before the jury, and several witnesses for the defense had testified.
Much interest attended the trial from the first because of the prominence of the defendants and especially owing to newspaper publicity, accentuated by the special grand jury convened at the instance of Governor Ben W. Olcott prior to the election last summer when an attempt was made to recall C. E. Terrill, sheriff of Jackson County. This grand jury rendered indictments against the defendants now on trial: Dr. J. P. Bray, a chiropractor and former minister of the Methodist Church; J. F. Hittson, ex-chief of police and prominent automobile dealer; Howard A. Hill, a prominent young orchardist and son of Dillon R. Hill, owner of one of the largest orchard tracts in the Rogue River Valley. These defendants were all of Medford, and indictments were also returned against Alexander Norris and T. E. Goodie, prominent citizens of Jacksonville, charged in connection with the manhandling of persons other than J. F. Hale.
Attempt to Indict KlanFrom the very day these offenses were committed every effort has been made by the prosecution to fasten them to the Ku Klux Klan, and the local daily newspaper which also supplies the reports for the Associated Press has lent every assistance possible, by exaggerating and perverting the news.
A local organization, using the sheriff and his deputies as tools, has spread propaganda in an attempt to make the people believe the Klan is a body of outlaws, organized to execute the law without resort to the courts. The sheriff issued written and even verbal permits to numerous persons allowing them to carry pistols. Evidence has disclosed that sheriff C. E. Terrill delivered blank cards to A. E. Reames, a local attorney and bitter opponent of the Kan, authorizing him to make promiscuous appointments of deputy sheriffs, all of whom were permitted to go armed.
The two Jacksonville victims of the night riders, Johnson and York, were given verbal permission by the sheriff to carry guns, according to their statements, and diligently proceeded to do so.
Threaten to Shoot NorrisAt the commencement of the present trial Alexander Norris, implicated by indictment with having helped to manhandle Johnson and York, made charges in open court that these worthies had threatened to shoot him if the courts failed in conviction.
York and Johnson were disarmed by C. M. Thomas, the trial judge, who also gave them some savory advice.
A prospective witness for the state complained to the sheriff's office that he had been advised to leave the county, whereupon the Sheriff, instead of reporting the matter to the court, called in Tom Ward, the federal official who has spent several months working up the evidence against the defendants, to investigate the charges.
This contempt of court was not overlooked by Judge Thomas. He called the Mail Tribune reporter, who had "played up" this piece of news, the Sheriff and Mr. Ward to thresh out the facts, and later called the witness and the person alleged to have issued the threat.
It developed that the witness, one Brown, who some time ago had pleaded guilty to a charge of bootlegging, had met his attorney, N. W. Borden, on the streets, and Borden had, jokingly, warned Brown to be careful, for Sandefer was busy looking after bootleggers. Borden did not even know that Brown was a witness in the cases being tried.
Different Feeling in CommunityThe court advised the reporter to correct the false statement, especially the headline, but this was never done. But the fact that Jackson County has a judge who is running the circuit court was quickly shown and respect for law and order has increased a hundredfold.
So far the trial has been conducted with fair play to both sides and satisfaction is generally expressed.
J. F. Hate, the witness of the night riders, was, of course, the chief witness, and a delay of two days in the trial was caused by his alleged sickness, he claiming to have been stricken Thursday with hemorrhage of the stomach. Doctors appointed by the court advised that Hale could appear Monday, and that afternoon he testified reclining in the court room on a couch.
He withstood the ordeal well, even a rigid cross-examination the second day Tuesday--and--and appeared to be no worse off. A physician admitted Hale could have given his evidence sitting up, but it was safer and more comfortable to recline on the couch.
Answered Telephone CallAccording to Hale's story on the night of March 17, St. Patrick's Day of last year, a man called for him at his home with the information he was wanted at the long distance telephone, [a call] having been made by relatives in Eugene or Roseburg who were ill.
The man at the door conducted him to a waiting automobile and he stepped in.
"I did not know the man. He was not masked, but I had never seen him before and have not since," Hale said.
Inside, he discovered there was another man in the rear and two in front. The man in the rear shoved a revolver at him and commanded: "Put up your hands damned good and high." He obeyed and one man in the front also whipped out a revolver and turned around. They put handcuffs on him and tied a black cloth over his head, ordering him to be quiet.
Handcuffs RemovedThey drove about an hour and, to the best of his Jjudgment, they went in a northerly direction. When they finally stopped and took him from the automobile he says they "very kindly" removed the handcuffs, which had been drawn so tight that they had numbed his arms.
The riders stood there in the darkness. He heard more cars and saw more men, about 18, but he was so excited he did not notice whether the moon or stars were shining, or whether the sky was overcast with clouds. Then a hoarse voice called: "Bring that man here."
He was led to a place where a huge limb of an oak tree loomed above him against the sky. Two men with revolvers at his breast stood in front of him. Another stood a little to the right. The rest were indistinct and terrible. He was then questioned.
"What right have you to seduce young girls?" one hooded figure demanded.
"Did you not hire a certain physician to perform an illegal operation on a Medford girl?" another asked.
He told them all "No."
Strung Up TwiceThen they placed the rope around his neck, put the other end over the limb and "stretched my neck until I could barely touch the ground." When they let him down they demanded that he return a bunch of letters he had and dismiss a lawsuit pending against "a Medford citizen." They hanged him again, this time higher than before and when they let him down they said, "We are going to take you back to your babies, but we want you to know that 500 men here in Medford are watching you and that 1000 will be watching you when you get to Portland.
They extracted a promise that he would drop his litigation and leave Medford by the following Monday evening at 6 o'clock. On the way to the car was when he collapsed and when he claims to have identified Dr. Bray.
Hale Identifies BrayHale told [of] the incident leading up to the alleged "hanging" on March 17, 1922, of which he was the victim.
Hale testified that the man who ministered to him after the "hanging" was Doctor Jouett P. Bray. "I saw him with my naked eye," said Hale.
"I pointed my finger at him and said:
"I know you, your office is in the Liberty Building."
The first witness called by the state Monday, Miss Roberta Pearce, former Medford stenographer, testified that she was at the home of Joseph Hale when he was called by telephone on the night that he professes to have been mistreated by an alleged band of night riders.
His family was extremely nervous, she testified, at his extended absence, and when he finally returned he was very much shaken, his neck red, his collar missing and his clothing disarranged.
Hale Seemed DazedA. E. Reames, who for a number of years has been Hale's attorney, also testified that he had not yet retired when Miss Roberta Pearce called him by phone and asked that he come over and see his client. Reames stated that Hale's face was dirty, his hair disheveled and his shirt torn, and that he appeared in a dazed condition. Asked by the defense to explain more fully the dazed conditions, the witness said Hale's head appeared to be "whirling around and around."
Loved More Than OneTuesday some of Hale's love affairs were aired, when he was brought in on his ouch to complete the testimony he began Monday against the first three of the six men indicted for riot.
Both state and defense threw down the bars for the admission of all testimony regarding Hale's popularity with the gentler sex, the former indicating that it considers these relationships to have been a partial cause for the noose party in the mountains where Hale was the guest and a band of hooded and sheeted night riders the host, according to the state's claim.
Defense to Discredit CharacterThe defense hopes that by admission of such evidence as this that it may discredit the state's chief prop in the eyes of the jury.
In answers to questions concerning Roberta Pearce, who testified for the state, Auge Halley and Miss Bunnell, Hale freely discussed his relations with the young woman. "I don't think I was engaged to any of them," Hale said in his enfeebled voice, "Each one might have considered we were engaged, but I didn't."
Hale's testimony was considered entertaining by the crowded court room and bailiffs were forced to move about continually throttling chuckles with warnings of ejection.
Hale denied that there was anytime anything improper in his relations with any of the young women of Jackson County. The defense, on cross-examination, sought to establish that Hale and Miss Pearce visited Eugene and Marshfield together, but Hale, although he admitted that he had met Miss Pearce at Eugene once during the winter of 1922, he said they had gone together only as far as Salem and then had parted. He said officers broke into his hotel room at Salem and searched it.
NIGHT RIDER CASE GOES TO THE JURYBefore a crowded court room, final arguments in the nightriding cases were made today in circuit court at Jacksonville, attorneys Winslow and O. C. Boggs making the addresses for the defense. Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist will close for the state after the noon recess and the case will probably go to the jury shortly after three o'clock this afternoon.
Counsel for Both Sides Sum Up Case at Jacksonville--
Defense Flays Hale and Questions Hanging--
State Admits Hale No Saint, But Declares Hale Not the Issue.
Attorney Winslow reviewed the evidence for the defense and contended that the state had failed to prove its case, offering, he maintained, "nothing but the uncorroborated testimony of this man Hale." Winslow read two stanzas of Bobbie Burns' "Cotter's Saturday Night" to describe the character of Hale.
The defense chief counsel declared "that if the state wanted to prosecute somebody why didn't it indict Edmiston, one of the state witnesses, the man who knows so much about this case."
Craig, another witness for the state, was classified as a "self-confessed perjurer."
Attorney Winslow reviewed the alibi offered by the defense and declared they were strong ones.
Attorney Boggs in his arguments classified Hale as "a lowdown miserable perjurer" and declared his word "unworthy of belief."
Mr. Boggs declared he was "astounded," and that "it was outrageous that the state of Oregon would send down its assistant attorney general to try peaceful and law-abiding citizens of this community upon the word of J. F. Hale."
Attorney Boggs said the explanation of Hale as to how he happened to go with the night riders was the queerest tale ever told in a court room.
Boggs stressed the testimony of Hale, and its lack of corroboration, and "the grave improbability that he had ever been taken out."
Concede Hale's Reputation.
One of the largest crowds that ever attended a court session in this section attended the afternoon session, and the ancient courthouse was filled to the limit.
District Attorney Rawles Moore opened for the state and reviewed the "highlights of the evidence." He said the "state would concede that Hale was not a reputable citizen," but that it was not a paramount issue in the trial. He charged that the "hanging and kidnapping was conceived by shrewd minds."
"It was not the helter and skelter of the unorganized mob formed suddenly," declared the district attorney, "but organized and premeditated and carried out in regalia--black masks and robes--the members matching their presumed 'superior virtue' against the supposed 'bad reputation' of Hale, whom they were disciplining."
The district attorney expressed regret that the names of two young women had been brought into the trials--Ruberta Pierce and Angie Halley--and declared they have been vindicated from the witness stand, and charged that they had been the victims of "rumor and scandal, that always travels fast."
The prosecutor declared there was a strong contrast between the statements made on the witness stand, and the "statements Hale testified were made to him" at the scene of the hanging.
"The bitterness and vindictiveness of the testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Bunnell show the malice" and declared that "if the jury believes the testimony of Mr. Bunnell regarding a conversation he said he had with Hale in the Union Depot at Portland, there is no use giving any further consideration to this case." He asked the jury to analyze the testimony of the Bunnells.
Regarding the identification by Hale of defendant Bray, at the scene of the "hanging," the district attorney said: "Hale was a sick man, but he could still see and hear. The occasion was a remarkable event in his life, and one to make a vivid impression on his mind and memory." He said he identified Dr. Bray when he came to administer aid, in the excitement following his swoon, on the way home from the "party."
The Bray Identification.
He called the attention of the jury to the fact that Dr. Bray was a chiropractor, and continued: "The ordinary man would have fanned him, or thrown water in his face, or unbuttoned his collar. Instead his head was jerked from side to side, and his spine was pounded." Moore asked the jury to remember that Hale had been fair. "He testified that he had the kindliest feelings toward Dr. Bray because he felt he probably owed his life to him," said the prosecutor.
The prosecutor said the attack on the "veracity of Edmiston" was a fifty-fifty proposition, "between the witnesses for the state and the defense." He declared that Mrs. June Hinman Van Leuen showed "personal bitterness" in her testimony against Edmiston, and "that two others were involved in litigation with Edmiston's concern."
Hittson Alibi Attacked.
The prosecutor attacked the alibis offered by defendant Hittson, on the grounds "that it was highly improbable that Offutt, an auto mechanic and driver and owner of a car," would walk 14 blocks to the home of Hittson on a night in March." Offutt testified that he had spent the evening up to 11:30 at the home of Hittson, with his wife and daughter, and that a business contract was signed at that time, the same being introduced in evidence.
The alibi of Howard Hill was also attacked by the state on the grounds of "improbability," and that it contained "peculiar points." Contending that no man with a sick child "would wait outside a theater while the doctor he sought was inside observing the picture." The state attorney also contended "there was too much time used in making the adjustments."
"There have been many ramifications to this case," said the district attorney in closing, "and I have only touched the high points, and I want to refresh your mind of the probability of people doing the particular thing they did that particular night, just when they did do it."
Defense Sums Up.
Attorney Walter Winslow of Salem opened the arguments for the defense and paid a compliment to Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist with the observation "that when he rants and yells in closing, it was because he was afraid to come up at first." Defense counsel declared the state's conceding that Hale was not a reputable citizen "undermined their case."
Hale, the star witness for the state, was characterized as "a moral leper" and a "degenerate," and "a shame he is in the community." He declared "the word of peaceful and law-abiding citizens was pitted against the word of this moral leper and degenerate," and said he was "surprised the sovereign state of Oregon asked for convictions upon his word." "The defense does not concede that Hale was taken out," said attorney Winslow, who also charged "that the indictment was false on its face."
"The methods employed in getting Hale out of his home are the most preposterous and flimsiest have heard in a long time," said Winslow. "Here was a man, with a telephone in his home, who had done business for years, who left to answer a long-distance phone call--he didn't know exactly where it was from, and the man who knocked at his door, he has never been able to identity, but he could identify men in masks and robes at the scene of the 'hanging.' It's nine to one the hanging never occurred. It was a mighty poor excuse."
State Case Flimsy.
Winslow declared that the very foundations of the case were "flimsy" and contested the contention of prosecutor that the "party was engineered by shrewd men."
The defense chief counsel declared that "Bunnell's attitude on the stand was proof of his innocence," and charged "that there was four times more evidence to bring an indictment against Bunnell than against the defendants Hill, Bray, and Hittson."
Hale's testified identification of Dr. Bray was scoured by the defense. "Hale testified that he recognized Dr. Bray when he took off his mask and it was the last time on earth for a man to take off his mask."
"The defense," continued attorney Winslow, "has no desire to cast stones at the girls in the case, and it is regrettable." Miss Pierce denied that she had been warned, when County Clerk Florey testified he had warned her. "She is badly fooled and will wake up one of these mornings to find out that she has been deceived, like the Halley and the Bunnell girl."
The counsel said Miss Halley was a "most outraged girl," and that she had testified in the afternoon that "the engagement had been mutually broken and the next morning that it was because she found Hale in his house at a birthday party with Ruberta Pierce." "The defense had to bring it all out to show the moral cowardice of Hale," said counsel.
The defense branded Hale as a "contemptible sneak," because Hale had "cast an odium on her name, damned her character and hauled her into court. Hale never had a rope around his neck. If he had he would have told anything against any girl."
The defense further charged that the testimony that members of the mob had said "we're going to take you back to your babies," was "plain bunk," and "sympathy stuff." The defense counsel called the attention of the jury to Hale's 16-year-old boy, who was a witness, and asked, "Did he look like a baby." The young man in close to six feet tall.
Attorney Winslow finished his arguments this morning, and then Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist will make the final summing up for the state this afternoon.
Big Crowd in Court.
The Jackson County nightriding cases drew to a close at the Friday afternoon session, and a crowd that filled the courtroom to overflowing listened to the proceedings. Every seat was taken, the aisle was crowded, and the side of the courtroom filled with spectators.
At the opening of court a ruling was handed down that Attorney A. E. Reames could not testify relative to the condition of Hale and what he said after his return from the hanging. The objection of the defense was sustained.
Delbert Lyons, member and clerk of the special grand jury last summer, was called to impeach Wm. Offutt Jr. who testified Thursday. The witness refreshed his memory from the grand jury records. Objections were registered by the defense and the court reporter looked up his notes on the questions asked Offutt, when the court overruled the defense. Lyons testified Offutt made the statement that he had heard Hill and the two kleagles, in which it was said "Hale was lifted off the ground and was not hurt, but had had a fit." Offutt denied making this statement when questioned Thursday.
Lyons was then questioned regarding the testimony of M. B. Bunnell, regarding the black robes, which he had denied. Lyons upheld the state's contention.
The defense continued its efforts to secure the right to inspect the minutes of the grand jury, and the court ruled the defense could inspect the entire record. The state attorneys said he had "personal objections" and thought the defense should be restricted to the testimony of Offutt and Bunnell.
Mrs. Gaddis Testifies.
Mrs. E. C. Gaddis, wife of the mayor of Medford, and living next to the Hale home, testified that about 10 p.m. March 17, 1922, she looked out of the window and saw "two or three cars driving slowly across the street" from the Hale house.
Dr. Hoffman, a former business partner of Dr. Bray's, was called to testify regarding the two $2.50 checks paid to Bray by Hill for his visits, as told in his alibi to Hill's home on the evenings of March 17 and 18.
Dr. Hoffman testified it was understood all collections would be turned into the bank, "but this was not lived up to."
The witness said Dr. Bray said he had received two checks from Hill, had used one of them, and gave him the other, to make a fair division of all receipts.
Two questions relative to the uses of chiropractory were held immaterial.
Mrs. Helen Gale Cook, former patient and assistant of Drs. Bray and Hoffman, testified it was the office custom to report all sick calls the day after made, but the Hill cases were not reported until the following Monday.
Wm. J. Warner, Medford postmaster, testified he and his family were close friends of the Hills, and a query as to what the Hil child had eaten on the Sunday evening following the visit of Bray while on a visit to the Warner home was barred. What Mrs. HillN was alleged to have said about the condition of the child was also barred, as having no bearing on the case at issue.
The state rested after a short recess.
The defense recalled Miss Ruberta Pierce to ask if she had not told the grand jury that Hale returned from the "hanging party' about 11:15 o'clock. Miss Pierce said she "did not name any time for sure."
Delbert Lyons was called again and was asked by the defense if he had written Miss Pierce's testimony that the return was "about 11:15" and said it was.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 10, 1923, page 1
SECOND NIGHT RIDING TRIAL OPENS TUESDAYThe second of the Jackson County night riding cases will be called in the circuit court at Jacksonville tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock. The defendants are J. Alexander Norris, former county jailer, and his son-in-law, Thomas E. Goodie, garageman, both of Jacksonville, indicted for riot for the alleged "taking out" of Henry Johnson, on the evening of April 9th last.
A jury in the trial of Jouett P. Bray, Howard A. Hill, and Jesse F. Hittson, charged with riot in connection with the alleged kidnapping and hanging of J. F. Hale, on March 17, 1922, returned a verdict of not guilty Saturday evening, at 5 o'clock, after 40 minutes' deliberation.
The story of the affair, for which Norris and Goodie and a number of John Does were indicted by the special grand jury last August, is as follows:
Johnson, the star witness for the state, and Paul York, both residents of Jacksonville, claim they were asked by the defendants, Norris and Goodie, to accompany them to Ashland in an auto truck, for the purpose of getting a piece of machinery. The young men consented, and on the return trip, the machinery not being secured, when a short distance beyond the Voorhies crossing engine trouble developed, and a short time later, two cars with seven masked men approached, and ordered Goodie and Norris to drive further up the road.
Young York was taken to one side and given a "lecture" and Johnson was taken to a nearby tree, where he was accused of chicken stealing and liquor violations. He denied the accusations, and the rope was drawn taut around his neck, but he was not lifted off the ground. After a short time, Johnson was allowed to go with the query, "Nigger, can you run?"
The band then dispersed. According to the reports at the time, they all wore masks over the face.
At the opening of the present term of court, Norris came into court and charged that Johnson and York had made threats against his life, in front of the courthouse, which was denied. They were directed by the court to turn in their firearms, which they did.
The trial is not expected to last over three or four days.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 12, 1923, page 1
NIGHT RIDERS NOT GUILTY, IS VERDICTMedford, Ore., March 12--Having been out but forty-five minutes, the jury sitting in the trial of the alleged Medford night riders brought in a verdict of acquittal late Saturday afternoon. The verdict thus releases Howard Hill, Dr. Jouett Bray and Jesse Hittson, who had been accused through a grand jury indictment of rioting. It was charged that they, with sixteen others, had kidnapped and repeatedly hanged J. F. Hale in March, 1922, afterward releasing him.
Cordova Daily Times, Cordova, Alaska, March 12, 1923
2ND NIGHT RIDING CASE IS STARTEDSelection of a jury in the second of the Jackson County nightriding cases, in which J. Alexander Norris, former county jailer, and his son-in-law, Thomas E. Goodie, as defendants, began in the circuit court at Jacksonville this morning, the defendants are charged with riot, and 16 John Doe's were named on the indictment returned against them.
Selection of Jury Begun for Trial of Norris and Goodie
Accused of Riot in Alleged 'Hanging' of Henry Johnson
Near Medford Last April--Trial to Last Three Days.
The first juror called into the box was State Senator George W. Dunn of Ashland, who was excused by the defense for having a fixed opinion. Frank L. Tou Velle, former county judge and Democratic candidate for state treasurer at the last election, was excused upon the grounds that he will probably be called as a witness for the defense. Several of the jurors had served or had been called in the first nightriding case.
The state in its examination of the jurors hinted that much of the evidence in the case would be circumstantial, and asked the views of the veniremen upon that point. They were also asked if they entertained any racial prejudices, what section of the country they hailed from, and if they believed in mob law for certain types of crimes. They were also asked if the verdict in the trial that ended Saturday would influence their verdict. Johnson, the main witness for the state is supposed to be of mixed Mexican blood.
The defense, in their examination, inquired if the talesmen had formed any opinions from reading newspaper articles or general discussions of the nightriding cases, if they were acquainted with well-known local men who had expressed themselves on the nightriding cases, and if they believed that the alleged crime had been committed.
Leon B. Haskins of Medford, druggist, was excused by the defense for having an opinion that the alleged crime had been committed.
Mrs. Mary E. Lozier, housewife of Medford, excused from the jury last week, was drawn to fill a vacancy, and was passed by the defense. Under state questioning, Mrs. Lozier said she had no impressions, nor had she heard the case discussed in her presence. Mrs. Lozier said she had attended the first case, and was present when the verdict of acquittal was returned. This, she said, had not caused her to he influenced. The juror said she had not engaged in a conversation with Mrs. York, mother of Paul York, a witness, and minor principals, about the cases in general. Mrs. Lozier said she had no prejudices against Paul or Henry Johnson, the chief witness. Mrs. Lozier had no race prejudices, she said, and knew none of the witnesses. Mrs. Lozier also said she had expressed an opinion of Tom Word, but it would not influence her in this case. After a lengthy examination, Mrs. Lozier was passed for cause by the state.
Joe M. Rader of Phoenix was excused by the defense for "fixed opinions." Rader was called to the box in the first trial.
Mrs. Loretta Lindley of Jacksonville, also a prospective juror at the trial last week, under defense queries said she knew the defendants "by sight" and she knew the main witnesses in the affair by sight and many of the others.
Mrs. Lindley said she had heard the affair discussed by Jacksonville people after it became public, but "all was indefinite now." Her acquaintances with the wives of the defendants would not color her sympathies, and she held no race prejudices. Mrs. Lindley was passed by the state.
Joseph Webster of Phoenix said he had no reason to believe he could not give both sides a fair trial, and was queried by the defense on legal points involved.
Mr. Webster said he only read the headlines of the papers, and had taken no interest in the cases. Color issues did influence him, and he knew none of the principals or witnesses. He had no prejudices against the attorney general's office, and was not opposed to circumstantial evidence.
David Force of the Meadows said he had known Henry Johnson, the "party" motif "all his life," but knew of nothing in that acquaintance that would influence him. He also had known defendant Norris and family for several years, but this would not affect his verdict.
When court recessed at noon, 18 veniremen had been questioned, and six had been excused for cause and opinions.
Counsel for the defense forecasts that the case will take the better part of three days, with one day devoted to the securing of a jury.
Witnesses listed with the county clerk for the state are Perry E. Wynkoop, retired, Medford; A. E. Fleming, orchardist, Jacksonville; Mrs. Leona Hanna, housewife, Jacksonville; William A. Bishop, truck driver, Jacksonville; Luther S. York, Jacksonville, father of Paul York, who was on the "party," and excused after a "lecture," it is said; Sheriff C. E. Terrill, Jacksonville and his son, Dalton; Tom Word of Portland, department of justice agent, who assembled the evidence in the case.
Assistant Attorney General Liljeqvist, who is in charge of the state's case, was absent from the morning session but will arrive today by auto.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 13, 1923, page 1
NEGRO IDENTIFIES BY THEIR VOICES TWO NIGHT RIDERSMedford, Ore., March 15--Testifying before the jury in the second trial of night riders in which J. Alexander Norris and Thomas E. Goodie are defendants, Henry Johnson, of Jacksonville, aged twenty-two, principal witness for the State, identified by their voices today members of a band of which he is alleged to have been the victim. Johnson, who is a negro, declared that he recognized by their speech County Judge George Gardner and former County Judge F. L. Touvelle as members of a masked band of eight or ten persons who placed a rope about his neck and threatened to hang him after accusing him of selling moonshine and of associating with white women.
Cordova Daily Times, Cordova, Alaska, March 15, 1923
SECOND CASE NOW ON AT JACKSONVILLEThe second night riding case, that of the state against J. A. Norris and T. B. Goodie, charged with the manhandling of Hank Johnson and Paul York nearly a year ago, is on trial this week, having been commenced Tuesday morning.
JURY ACQUITS ALL DEFENDANTS IN FIRST CASE
Jury Expresses Doubt As to Whether Hale Was Really Kidnapped.
As was generally expected the jury in the first night riding case of which Jouett P. Bray minister and chiropractor, Jesse F. Hittson, auto dealer and former Medford police chief, and Howard A. Hill, orchardist, charged with riot, were defendants returned a verdict of not guilty at 5 o'clock Saturday afternoon, after 40 minutes' deliberation. The trial has been in progress for two weeks and attracted wide attention.
As the words that made the well-known and prominent citizens free fell from the lips of the court, a wild shriek of a woman in a rear seat rang through the courtroom, quickly followed by hand clapping. The bench rapped for order, with the admonishment: "Order must be preserved."
The defendants shook hands with the jury, and were congratulated by their friends and families upon the outcome of the case. The court thanked the jurors for their faithful and conscientious service, and excused some jurors to whom home tasks have been calling.
The court announced that the next of the so-called night riding cases, that of the State against J. Alexander Norris, and his son-in-law, Thomas E. Goodie, in which Henry (Hank) Johnson of Jacksonville is the chief witness for the state, would be called Tuesday morning at 9 o'clock.
The court in its instructions defined the legal points involved, and instructed the jury in the form of verdicts to be returned. The law on alibis, the defense of the defendants, and impeachment, one of the main contentions in the case, were also discussed by the court. Identification was another of the high points in the trial, and the court after reading verbatim the testimony of one witness, said the jury could use it in the consideration of the identification.
Medford Clarion, March 16, 1923, page 1
NIGHT RIDER CASE DISMISSED BY COURT ON STATE'S MOTIONMedford, Ore., March 16--On the motion of Attorney General Liljequist, the court yesterday dismissed the cases against J. Alexander Norris and Thomas E. Goodie, of Jacksonville, charged with participation in the alleged hanging of Henry Johnson, of Jacksonville, on the night of April 9th last year. The chief counsel for the State announced that he was convinced the State could not prove a case against the two alleged night riders.
Cordova Daily Times, Cordova, Alaska, March 16, 1923
REPORT MISS PIERCE IS NOW MRS. HALEIt is reported that J. F. Hale, principal figure in the recent nightriding trials, was married last week in San Francisco to Miss Ruperta Pierce, also a state witness in the recent trials.
Although the report has not been definitely confirmed it is reported by employees in the county clerk's office that a letter for the recording of a deed for Miss Pierce reached the office recently and that she signed herself Mrs. J. F. Hale.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1923, page 1
NIGHTRIDING CASE DECISION EXPECTEDA formal announcement of the disposition of the remaining Jackson County nightriding cases from the attorney general's office at Salem is expected this week, and the indictments cleared up, one way or the other, at the present term of the circuit court. When the state moved last Thursday for the dismissal of the charges against the defendants in the Johnson and the Burr incidents, the remaining indictments against Jouett P. Bray. J. F. Hittson, and Howard A. Hill in connection with the J. F. Hale case were tried and acquitted on the riot charge.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1923, page 8
HITTSON UNLOADS CAR STUDEBAKERSThe Hittson Motor Co. are unloading a carload of Studebaker cars this afternoon.
Mr. Hittson says this is one of five carloads that he had ordered, but on account of the demand for Studebakers they are hard to get.
In this carload are two light six tourings, one light six-passenger roadster, one light six sedan and one special six sedan.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1923, page 8
HALE'S MARRIAGE IS CONFIRMEDSAN FRANCISCO, March 21.--J. F. Hale, who said he was a victim of night riders at Medford, Ore., the principal witness for the state in the recent night rider trials, was married here March 17, to Miss Ruberta Pierce, who also was a state witness in the trials.
Hale at a hotel here said he and Miss Pierce obtained a marriage license last Saturday and were married the same day. Hale also said he intended to go into business here and would not return to Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 21, 1923, page 1
OREGON KLAN TO QUIT POLITICS, SAYS GIFFORDPORTLAND, May 30.--The Ku Klux Klan in Oregon will withdraw from political activities--except in the matter of supporting legislative measures which are pro-Protestant--and will function in future closely along lines that are purely fraternal, with "better Americanism," as the foundation of the ritual.
"The religious and racial fight is over, so far as the Klan is concerned, and unless the other side brings it to us, we will have none of it. We will remain pro-Protestant, as we have always been, but we will not be actively anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish or anti-anything racial or religious."
This announcement was made in an interview by Fred L. Gifford Saturday afternoon, at which time he announced his appointment as imperial representative, with control of all the territory west of the Rocky Mountains.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 30, 1923, page 5
B. F. LINDAS TRIED TO JOIN THE LOCAL KU KLUX KLANThe Clarion takes pleasure in presenting proof that B. F. Lindas, local attorney, made due application to became a member of the Medford Ku Klux Klan and was denied membership by that order.
PROOF SUBMITTED THAT LOCAL ATTORNEY MADE APPLICATION IN DUE FORM AND WAS REJECTED.
Lindas has vigorously denied this transaction, in one statement, that of June 8, in his great "Religious Weekly" declaring it "a damn lie."
The local officials of this order were, of course, reluctant to supply proof in this matter, and did so solely because Lindas in his published denial left no other honorable course open.
The following affidavit is interesting when taken in connection with Lindas' public statements:
AFFIDAVITState of Oregon )
County of Jackson )
I, H. E. Griffith, being first duly sworn, depose and say that I am one of the kleagles and organizers of the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan at Medford, Oregon, and have been a resident in Medford since January, 1922. That in the course of organization work, I have from time to time solicited membership for the local klavern; that on or about the 4th day of March, at the suggestion of a friend and local member, I personally interviewed B. F. Lindas and solicited him to make application to become a member of the local Klan; that at said time, the said B. F. Lindas appeared much interested and ardently in favor of becoming a member, and evidently presuming that he might be objected to on account of his past affiliations with the Catholic Church, then and thereupon gave a lengthy explanation as to his religious affiliations in the past and the present, and stated that although he had been reared a Catholic by a Catholic mother, he later renounced Catholicism and ever since that time had been an ardent Protestant.
That the said B. F. Lindas at the said time signed an application in due form, which was and is the same form of application signed by all applicants, and turned the same over to me; that he did not at said time pay the initiation fee of $10, for the reason that many applicants do not make such advance payment, waiting to ascertain if their petitions are accepted.
That the petition of the said B. F. Lindas thereafter was read at the first meeting of the klavern, and was referred to an investigation committee and that at the next meeting, thereafter, the same was reread and specially referred to another investigating committee and was thereupon by this committee held for considerable period; that thereafter the said committee reported unfavorable and the said petition of the said B. F. Lindas was thereupon by the klavern unanimously rejected. That the said B. F. Lindas at no time recalled his application until after notified thar he had been rejected by the Klan.
H. E. GRIFFITH.Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 13th day of June, 1922.
(Seal) L. B. Cameron.Medford Clarion, June 16, 1923, page 1
Notary Public for Oregon.
My Commission Expires January 16, 1925.
KU KLUX KLAN HAS DEMONSTRATIONA demonstration, participated in by 278 members of the Ku Klux Klan and Ladies of the Invisible Empire from Roseburg, Glendale, Gold Hill, Central Point, Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass, was seen Friday night on the streets of this city. The marchers were out in full regalia and marched to Riverside Park where the weekly band concert was in progress, then came to the city where they marched the length of Sixth Street. The demonstration is believed to have been given as a preliminary to the school elections on next Monday.
At Riverside Park the leaders of the Klan and the Ladies presented the band with a purse. The Klan's purse contained $100.25 while the one given by the Ladies contained $25. The parade marched into the park during the latter part of the concert and requested the national air to be played. They then turned and marched back to the business center of the city where they were viewed by the people who had advance word that it was to be held.
In the neighborhood of 15 cars of members of the organization from the northern cities were present. It is believed that double that number were present from the towns to the south.--Grants Pass Courier.
Medford Clarion, June 23, 1923, page 1
NO KLAN ORGANBecause the Clarion has in several issues defended the Ku Klux Klan, and censured its enemies who sought its downfall by false news and unfair criticism it has been by some persons classed as a Klan organ.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. This paper is not an organ for any party, order, creed, cult or denomination. It seeks the truth and fights in defense of the right as it sees the right. It searches for inherent good and justice in men and institutions, and condemns only what is palpably wrong. Its sympathy is with the oppressed and downtrodden. It likes to assist the underdog.
Any institution or concern that gives promise of improving conditions--political, civic, social or religious--will meet with the support of this newspaper.
The Klan purports to be a fraternal order for human uplift; for better laws and stricter law enforcement. It professes to be unalterably opposed to lawlessness, and the fact that many persons of loose morals and known proclivities for breaking law are determinedly fighting the order gives credence to the sincerity of the claims asserted. True, many good and well-meaning persons are earnestly opposed to this secret order. The Clarion, however, believes they are misinformed and deluded by false and sinister propaganda and misinformation. So far it has never been established that the Klan has perpetrated any unlawful or violent acts.
When it is proven that this order or any of its members with knowledge or acquiescence of its officers or with official knowledge, or sanction, commits a deed of outlawry, the Clarion will be first in condemning it. Law breaking cannot be condoned from any source, and it would be most reprehensible in an order or individual sworn to its enforcement.
In the meantime let it be known that the Clarion is neither owned nor dominated by the Ku Klux Klan and
stands as ready to condemn as to praise it--when justice so dictates.
Medford Clarion, June 30, 1923, page 6
Muddled Minds in OregonOregon seems to be in a disturbed frame of mind and unable to recover its mental poise. A little while ago a Ku Klux wave swept over the state, leaving Governor Pierce in office before it receded. In so well-ordered an all-American community as Medford in the southwestern part of the state, a community suffering from crime as acutely as William Jennings Bryan suffers from the cares of high office, either political or Presbyterian, scores of the "best" citizens playfully strung up a couple of mildly undesirable characters, letting them down again before breath departed front their bodies permanently, and the "best" citizens committed these crimes under the strange delusion that thereby they were purifying the town and upholding the majesty of the law!
The respectable, American population of Oregon, mostly in the country and in the small towns, joined the Klan and supported the Klan candidate, incidentally voting for the law designed to abolish all private schools. And now the Oregon granges support a resolution demanding the release of the political prisoners still in federal prisons on account of their opposition to war.
The conscientious objectors were mostly radicals and atheists. Also they stood for the principle of free speech and personal liberty.
The methods whereby the same minds found it logical to join the Ku Klux Klan and petition for the release of political prisoners must forever remain a psychological problem.--August Sunset.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 21, 1923, page 4
KLAN LECTURE DRAWS CROWD"The Call of the Ku Klux Klan" was the subject of a lecture Thursday night at the new armory building, delivered by V. K. Allison, a Christian minister, and the official Grand Lecturer of the Realm of Oregon for the Klan.
Mr. Allison is an attractive speaker, as unique as eloquent, and he held the large audience for three hours, with scarcely a seat vacated during that time.
Many persons in the audience gained a very different opinion of the Ku Klux Klan from that which they previously had, as the speaker gradually unfolded the design and explained the principles of the organization. He apparently convinced all of them that the Klan does not stand for night riding or other manhandling, but is strong for law enforcement through regular official channels.
The speaker also stated convincingly that the Klan has no fight to wage against the Catholics or the Jews, but is strictly an order formed upon patriotic principles, to wage relentless warfare against anything opposed to pure Americanism.
KLAN INSURGENTS IN OREGON FORM NEW ORGANIZATIONPORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 19.--An offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan has been incorporated at Salem under the name of the Allied Protestant Americans. Back of the new A.P.A. society are insurgent Klansmen, or rather Klansmen who are insurging against Fred L. Gifford, grand dragon of the realm of Oregon. Also in the new movement are members of the Lemon faction of the Loyal Orange lodge, who are opposing the Kirkland faction of the Ku Klux Klan.
The incorporators are Luther I. Powell, king kleagle of the Klan, who has been denouncing Grand Dragon Gifford and whose contract to secure 50,000 new members for the Portland Klan was rescinded by the Klan a few weeks ago; Captain J. A. Pilz, and Harry A. Giddings, the latter secretary to Powell. The articles of incorporation state that the headquarters of the Allied Protestant Americans will be in Portland and that membership fees have been fixed at $6.
The movement which brought about the creation of this new organization came after the recent attack made on Grand Dragon Gifford and which was followed by announcement that charges had been preferred against King Kleagle Powell at Atlanta, Ga., and that Powell had been suspended from the privileges of the Klan pending his trial. Subsequently the king kleagle received a telegram from Imperial Wizard Evans saying that Powell had not been banished.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 19, 1923, page 8
ANTI KU KLUX ORGANIZATION IN OREGON FORMEDSALEM, Ore., Jan. 7.--With a declared program of opposition to "mob rule, intolerance, racial discrimination and un-American practices of any kind," and to "condemn all activities that bring class, religious, or racial discrimination or prejudice," the National Fortress of Minute Men and Women of America filed incorporation articles with the corporation department here today.
The officers named in the articles are William Mart, president; W. H. Mason, secretary, and T. W. White, treasurer.
While all of these officers are residents of Klamath Falls, headquarters are to be maintained in Portland.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 7, 1924, page 1
KLAN CIRCLES OF OREGON MAD AT YE GRAND CYCLOPWhile Fred L. Gifford, grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in Oregon, is at Cleveland, O., attending the Republican national convention, according to report, there will be a gathering of exalted cyclops in Tillamook town today, ready to go Bolshevik.
Klandom has not settled down to normalcy since the recent primaries. Its candidates were defeated quite generally. Apparently there has been a renewed outbreak against Gifford and his actions during the senatorial primaries. After many individual members of the order had tied themselves up to K. K. Kubli or George L. Baker they resented the eleventh-hour direction of Gifford that no klansman should do anything to oppose the nomination of Charles L. McNary.
To talk matters over, a number of cyclops from upstate klans are said to have agreed to meet in Tillamook today and it is predicted that they will revolt against Gifford. One program is to propose a klan organization ignoring the Portland klan and Gifford, but as Gifford is close to the Evans administration at Atlanta, Ga., the insurgents it is predicted will not get far in that direction. Gifford has weathered several insurgent storms in the last year.
Klansmen are prepared to display influence at the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Gifford was one of three men to whom was assigned the task of electing suitable delegates throughout the nation, Gifford being responsible for delegates in 11 states. The Oregon delegates are pledged, of course, to Coolidge and McAdoo, respectively, and cannot vote otherwise, so that they cannot be used very well as a klan "bloc."
What the klan leaders are particularly interested in, however, are the platforms of the two parties. They have certain planks which they want inserted and they are anxious that no anti-klan planks be embodied. There are delegates to the conventions who are ready to offer anti-klan planks, and the order wants these thrown out. For months a member of the Republican national committee has insisted on an anti-klan attitude by the convention, and while the klan will be more strongly represented in the Democratic convention than at Cleveland, there are bitter enemies of the klan who will have seats and much influence in New York. The klan question is already playing its part in the Democratic pre-convention gossip and McAdoo is known to have many klansmen among his delegates. Three such are from Oregon, but most of the McAdoo klan support is from the Southern states.--Oregonian.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 10, 1924, page 8
DR. JOUETT P. BRAY VISITS IN CITYDr. Jouett P. Bray and family are now in the valley spending their vacation. On the way here they visited Upper Lake, a large summer resort, Eureka, Crescent City and Bandon. They state that about one hundred miles of the Roosevelt Highway was steep and rough and a one-way road.
Dr. Bray says the Rogue River Valley is the most beautiful spot he has ever seen, having traveled extensively in California and made a trip to Georgia. "This is the most prosperous place and the only place I care to make my home," he says.
The visitors intend to stay here a month, and then will go back to Princeton, where Dr. Bray has charge of a church.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 4, 1924, page 2
OREGON KLAN IS SUED FOR $50,000Medford Mail Tribune, August 12, 1924, page 4
McMINNVILLE, Ore., Aug. 12.--Suit for $50,000 damages has been filed here against the Ku Klux Klan and the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as sundry individuals alleged to be members of the organizations by Edna F. Cummins, in the Yamhill circuit court, who charges defamation of character.
In her complaint Mrs. Cummins sets forth that she is well and favorably known in Dundee and Newberg, and that prior to her filing suit she was a member of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, holding the office of "Night Hawk" in the Klan auxiliary.
Fred L. Gifford, grand dragon of the Klan in Oregon, and Mrs. Fred L. Gifford, alleged "realm commander" of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, and other defendants who are declared to be members of the two organizations are accused in the complaint of having circulated a statement in Newberg to the effect that Mrs. Cummins behaved in an immoral manner and showed a lack of regard for her mother.
IMPERIAL WIZARD OF KU KLUX KLAN VISITS MEDFORDDr. W. H. Evans, "Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Ku Klux Klan," paying his first visit to the realms west of the Rockies, arrived this morning at 10:30 o'clock, in the special kar "Superb," and the same is now parked on the Medford Grocery Company side track, and will konfer, konfab, and konfide with dignitaries of the Province of Jackson during the day. The private car is the same car as used by President Harding on his ill-fated trip to the Pacific Coast in 1922.
The Imperial Wizard was eating his breakfast with the rest of the party when the train came in. Everybody seemed to know what was in the car, but everybody seemed diffident about approaching it. Citizens, ostensibly from suburban klaverns, stood around in two percent reverent awe, and trying to look 100 percent unconscious of what it was all about.
Finally a husky man wearing, among other things, a medium-sized cowboy hat, and a powder blue overcoat, neatly striped, came out of the car packing a black suitcase. He also appeared mysteriously unconcerned. A porter revealed the information that he "was a detective from Texas." The man from Texas strode southerly down the platform. When he got about 10 feet away, Dr. E. H. French, an innocent bystander, said real pleasant-like, referring to the black satchel:
"Open her up, and let's see what's in it."
The doctor was rewarded with a glare of klanly disgust, that would have put him in the morgue if looks killed. The doctor was riotously amused by the turn of events, and laughed right out loud.
About this time a little pudgy man, with his Sunday suit on, piled out of the private car and stretched himself before he started talking to a number of citizens who just happened to be in that vicinity.
C. E. Gates shook hands and talked to "the detective from Texas" for a moment, and then entered the Imperial conveyance, reappearing in about four minutes. The regular train pulled out for San Francisco, and a freight engine approached and yanked the "Superb" down to the Medford Grocery track. This is the first time a special car marooned in this city has been parked so far away from the local public eye. Heretofore, they have been switched as close to Main Street as possible.
Your correspondent ambled down to the private car, in the hopes of having a chat with the "Imperial Wizard." What is supposed to be a "Fury of the Province" had his weather eye peeled, and all that was viewed was a number of people eating, some of then in their coat sleeves, and the colored crew cooking and dusting, without the usual languidness. There was no interview, but this reporter saw the "Imperial Wizard" tearing into a piece of toast in a businesslike manner.
In an interview published in the Portland papers, the Imperial Wizard expressed pleasure at the election results, hope for Texas, where the detective hails from, and the assurance that the organization of which he is the head would and always had behaved itself.
The Imperial party consists of the following:
Charles H. McBrayer, grand dragon of Kansas, and wife; General Nathan B. Forrest, grand dragon of Georgia; George K. Butcher, chief of staff and great titan of Texas; Mrs. Brown Harwood of Washington, D.C., wife of imperial klazig; Norman K. Campbell, Washington, and C. F. Hill, Birmingham, secretaries to Dr. Evans; A. W. Tracy, Washington, head of the bureau of education and publication.
The special car will be attached to the Shasta Limited tonight at 7:45 o'clock.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 21, 1924, page 6
To the Editor:
I do not think that we should place a halo around the head of C. P. Talent for killing the man, Lousignont, for the act was unjustifiable, and entirely without authority of law.
"Stop! Or I will kill you!" he called to the fleeing stranger. He did not know the man. He did not know the man was a criminal. The man was not resisting arrest. Talent had no warrant to arrest him and did not know that a crime had been committed by the man in front, at the time he took his life.
Lousignont was a criminal, and could have been punished by a short term of imprisonment, but Talent constituted himself judge, jury, and law and condemned the man to suffer death at once. The Ku Klux Klan mobbed and punished alleged law-breakers without authority, but they concealed their identity behind masks, and the individuals of that detestable organization were fully protected, but since the breaking up of that outfit, there are a few of its one-time members in our midst, who yet uphold the assumption of zealous officers in righting wrongs unlawfully.
WM. M. COLVIG.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, September 24, 1925, page 4
FACTS ABOUT THE KU KLUX KLANMedford Mail Tribune, December 4, 1925, page 5
(Published by authority of Krater Klan No. 7, Medford)
We, the Order of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, reverently acknowledge the majesty and supremacy of Almighty God, and recognize His goodness and providence through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
(To be continued)
FACTS ABOUT THE KU KLUX KLANMedford Mail Tribune, December 11, 1925, page 16
(Published by authority of Krater Klan No. 7, Medford)
(Continued from Mail Tribune of Dec. 4)
Recognizing our relation to the Government of the United States of America, the supremacy of its Constitution, the union of States thereunder, and the Constitutional Laws thereof, we shall ever be devoted to the sublime principles of a pure Americanism, and valiant in the defense of its ideals and institutions.
(To be continued)
FACTS ABOUT THE KU KLUX KLANMedford Mail Tribune, December 18, 1925, page 13
(Published by authority of Krater Klan No. 7, Medford)
(Continued from Mail Tribune of Dec. 11)
We avow the distinction between the races of mankind as decreed by the Creator, and we shall ever be true to the maintenance of White Supremacy and strenuously oppose any compromise thereof.
(To be continued)
DR. JOUETT P. BRAY RETURNS AS PASTOR OF LOCAL CHURCHMedford Mail Tribune, December 19, 1925, page 6
Dr. Jouett P. Bray, who has been holding a series of revival meetings for his brother in Ray, Arizona, has just returned to Medford. Dr. Bray had expected to open offices in the Medford building beginning with the new year, but during his absence Pastor Coan, pastor of the M.E. Church, South, resigned his pastorate and Dr. Bray was wired asking to accept the pastorate of the church here. He will assume his duties of pastor of the church tomorrow and will possibly have offices in his home after the holidays. Dr. Bray built the Main Street Methodist church during his pastorate of 1919 and 1920 and served same until his breakdown during the fall of 1920.
FACTS ABOUT THE KU KLUX KLANMedford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1925, page 8
(Published by authority of Krater Klan No. 7, Medford)
Extracts from an authorized interview with Dr. H. W. Evans in regard to the views and purposes of the Ku Klux Klan, of which he is the head.
No. 1--"Klansmen of today are fighting to preserve a good national government. This can be done by maintaining a Christian civilization in America. We can do this, if we will. We can reach a higher level than mankind has ever reached, if we will. If the Klan aspires to purify America and make her impregnable, it is not for any selfish reason; it is in order that America, pure and impregnable, may extend a giant's helping hand to people less fortunate."
No. 2 Next Week.
Mr. Perry and the Klan.To the Editor:
In one of Art Perry's recent Smudge Pots we find an article dealing with a raid the K.K.K.s made on some communists of Long Beach, Cal., who were peaceably assembled in one of their homes. When we were afflicted with the Klan in these parts a few years ago, no virtue whatever was found in them, and we were surprised that praise should be given them for their activities in the land to the south of us.
Mr. Perry does not believe in using them only for special occasions. Of course not, none of us do. If the recent breakdown of everything in Jackson County could only have been accompanied by the activities of such a bunch of self-appointed bigots--w't-a-mess! Were it not for the fact that sauce for the goose usually proves to be sauce for the gander also, this theory might be more palatable.
We are told they are the cat's whiskers in dealing with the bomb-throwing, government-cussing bolsheviks. California should not need their assistance to enforce their bomb-parking ordinance, judging from the way they handled Tom Mooney, the notorious bomb-thrower, which he was not.
As for cussing the government, that seems to be the most popular outdoor sport at present. "Everybody's doing it, doing it, doing it," at least prior to November 8, A.D. 1932.
We all, no doubt, have moments when we are so overcome with righteous zeal that we would be willing to turn things over to Tom, Dick and Harry, or even the shirttail gang, provided they agree to always work on the other fellow and not us, and our pet notions and cravings.
We have a national law that has given us considerable concern. It has almost been decided that we, a great race of red-blooded, two-fisted he-boys, can't enforce. So we have started to wipe this one off the books before the public discovers our weakness and they try violating some of our other laws. If the Klan can cope with the reds so efficiently, before we throw up the sponge, why not sic them on our gangsters and bootleggers who have been giving our wet friends so much worriment?
BERT HARR.Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1932, page 4
Jacksonville, November 27.