Toledo Talk

Ku Klux Klan in Wood County

A quick plug for my new book, which is hitting the bookshelves as we speak. The Ku Klux Klan in Wood County, Ohio examines the history of the Wood County KKK through a variety of archival sources.

At its peak the Klan boasted over 1400 members in the 1920s, and the group had a significant presence in the county until at least the start of the Second World War. The book is available in both paperback and e-book formats, and I am told that they make great stocking stuffers.

OK, I lied about the last part.

I am not sure what local bookstores the publisher has arranged for local sales, but the major online booksellers carry the book, and it can be purchased from the publisher at the link above.

Thanks in advance for considering the book!

created by historymike on May 21, 2014 at 06:12:07 pm
updated by historymike on May 21, 2014 at 06:16:14 pm
    History     Comments: 34

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Emergency Meeting Called

Due to recent developments on the local message board SwampBubbles coinciding with the publication of The Ku Klux Klan in Wood County, Ohio by Michael E. Brooks, PhD, an emergency meeting of the Toledo Talk Praetoriani was convened at the Star Of India on Reynolds Road.

If your firewall is active and has been upgraded to protect against the pseudo-root kit trojan aitchonebee, you may also check the link here: The Ku Klux Klan in Wood County, Ohio on Amazon.

posted by madjack on May 21, 2014 at 06:18:38 pm     #   7 people liked this

Heh - I thought we were the "palace guard." Praetoriani does sound more menacing.

posted by historymike on May 21, 2014 at 06:23:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

Latin for Praetorian Guard.

Hail Caesar!

posted by madjack on May 21, 2014 at 06:34:32 pm     #   2 people liked this

The first rule of Praetoriani is: You do not talk about Praetoriani.

Oh, did everyone receive their new burner phones and updated code books? Soon, I'll forward you our new .onion sites for on-line communication on the Deep Web.

Due to a successful phase one, we have destroyed the Lucas County BOE and increased local voter apathy. Now it's time to move into phase two of our long-term strategic plan.

posted by jr on May 21, 2014 at 08:55:32 pm     #   4 people liked this

I thought Mike's book was the code book. Also...the ninja squirrels fly at midnight, the ninja squirrels fly at midnight; nuff said...

posted by SensorG on May 21, 2014 at 09:36:14 pm     #   3 people liked this

Any signed copies available?

posted by gamegrrl on May 21, 2014 at 11:25:56 pm     #  

More power to the vidalia. Looking forward to reading the book HM. Grew up with the stories of cross burnings on the family lawn for being ROMAN Catholic in the '20's. "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Caesar." Bill Shakespeare.

posted by Mariner on May 22, 2014 at 06:45:02 am     #  

gamegrrl:

I will be honored to sign any copies! I have a few book signings already lined up; the first is July 12 at Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green (2-4 pm).

posted by historymike on May 22, 2014 at 08:57:40 am     #   1 person liked this

Mariner:

Yes, the Wood County Klan was virulently anti-Catholic in its heyday. They considered the Knights of Columbus to be some sort of front for the Pope to build an army, and they believed Catholic schools to be spreading "papal poison" in the U.S.

Frequently they would hold marches past Catholic churches and K of C meeting places, and they did indeed burn hundreds (perhaps thousands) of crosses in Wood County in the period from 1922 to 1941. Scarcely a week went by without a flaming message of terror being sent to someone in the years from 1923 to 1927, when the Wood County KKK was at its peak. Recipients might be political enemies, still operators, Catholics, African Americans, or people who just pissed the Klan off. They even burned crosses and set off bombs outside a Protestant church when the church members refused to permit the Klan to hold a service in their church.

posted by historymike on May 22, 2014 at 09:02:27 am     #  

Congrats on the publishing! Any plans to make it available as an e-book?

posted by endcycle on May 22, 2014 at 09:34:21 am     #  

Yes, an e-book is available in NOOK, Kindle, and e-pub formats, depending on the vendor, endcycle.

posted by historymike on May 22, 2014 at 09:56:33 am     #  

Yes, the Wood County Klan was virulently anti-Catholic in its heyday. They considered the Knights of Columbus to be some sort of front for the Pope to build an army, and they believed Catholic schools to be spreading "papal poison" in the U.S.
Explains why my mother may have been so anti-Catholic and actually moved from the Bancroft/Crissey area to Reynolds Corners to get me out of Raab School in the middle of the first grade. She'd turn over in her grave if she knew I married a Catholic Girl.

posted by Trilby on May 22, 2014 at 02:35:33 pm     #   1 person liked this

That's the upside of cremation.

posted by justread on May 22, 2014 at 08:59:38 pm     #   2 people liked this

According to Billy J darn catholic girls start much too late anyway. I can confirm.

posted by Mariner on May 23, 2014 at 06:16:48 am     #  

Mariner posted at 06:16:48 AM on May 23, 2014:

According to Billy J darn catholic girls start much too late anyway. I can confirm.

And I can dis-confirm. You just gotta know what moves to make.

Did I know what moves to make? Hell no. But my Catholic girlfriend was especially...um...let's say "outgoing."

It is, however, quite true that only the good die young.

posted by Sohio on May 23, 2014 at 09:11:19 am     #  

Sohio posted at 09:11:19 AM on May 23, 2014:
Mariner posted at 06:16:48 AM on May 23, 2014:

According to Billy J darn catholic girls start much too late anyway. I can confirm.

And I can dis-confirm. You just gotta know what moves to make.

Did I know what moves to make? Hell no. But my Catholic girlfriend was especially...um...let's say "outgoing."

It is, however, quite true that only the good die young.

Frank Zappa and I are with you on this.

posted by justread on May 23, 2014 at 09:33:09 am     #  

Here's to longevity, another rum, and a bad boy attitude.

posted by Mariner on May 23, 2014 at 09:36:01 am     #  

Mariner posted at 09:36:01 AM on May 23, 2014:

Here's to longevity, another rum, and a bad boy attitude.

I'll drink to that.

posted by madjack on May 23, 2014 at 10:25:09 am     #   1 person liked this

I'll drink to his drinking .

posted by justread on May 23, 2014 at 10:29:39 am     #   3 people liked this

justread posted at 10:29:39 AM on May 23, 2014:

I'll drink to his drinking .

Good, thanks. I'll drink to that.

posted by madjack on May 23, 2014 at 10:35:51 am     #   1 person liked this

Another rum for me and my mates.

posted by Mariner on May 23, 2014 at 11:12:01 am     #  

I'll have a drink and buy HistoryMike's tome.

Scary stuff. I didn't know that there were KKK people around here, ever! But that's why he's known as historymike. He has the history skinny!

posted by paulhem on May 23, 2014 at 03:03:55 pm     #   1 person liked this

Mariner posted at 11:12:01 AM on May 23, 2014:

Another rum for me and my mates.

Amen! But, it will be Gin for me, thanks.

posted by Sohio on May 23, 2014 at 05:40:24 pm     #  

This is just from vague memories of things I've read and heard but there was a huge upsurge in interest in the Klan in this area in the 20's and 30's. I have heard that many of the people who joined up during this period were really looking at it as a social group and looked forward to their dances and band recitals. Don't know how much of that is true but we have an expert here in Madjack, who can probably put me straight.

I just added the book to my Amazon wish list.

posted by hippiechick on May 27, 2014 at 10:21:46 am     #  

Sohio posted at 05:40:24 PM on May 23, 2014:
Mariner posted at 11:12:01 AM on May 23, 2014:

Another rum for me and my mates.

Amen! But, it will be Gin for me, thanks.

Gin! There's a man after my own heart. When it isn't bourbon, gin is my tipple of choice.

posted by madjack on May 27, 2014 at 04:26:42 pm     #  

...we have an expert here in Madjack, who can probably put me straight.

Given a block and tackle and a bottle of Seconal, I might. I don't know of any other way.

posted by madjack on May 27, 2014 at 04:28:32 pm     #  

I would think that the Seconal would make you tired before you finished the job.

posted by justread on May 27, 2014 at 06:35:59 pm     #   1 person liked this

justread posted at 06:35:59 PM on May 27, 2014:

I would think that the Seconal would make you tired before you finished the job.

The Seconal isn't for me, JustRead. It's for her. That, along with my gold-handled cattle prod should accomplish something. Just what that something is has yet to be determined.

posted by madjack on May 28, 2014 at 08:34:32 am     #  

hippiechick posted at 10:21:46 AM on May 27, 2014:

This is just from vague memories of things I've read and heard but there was a huge upsurge in interest in the Klan in this area in the 20's and 30's. I have heard that many of the people who joined up during this period were really looking at it as a social group and looked forward to their dances and band recitals. Don't know how much of that is true but we have an expert here in Madjack, who can probably put me straight.

I just added the book to my Amazon wish list.

Any social activities that the Klan sponsored were ancillary to the political purposes of the Klan, hippiechick, which were a militant blend of nativism, racism, and religious intolerance. The idea that people joined the Klan to go to dances and band recitals ignores the fact that the group was virulently anti-Catholic, racist, and anti-immigrant.

A person could not join the Klan without knowing the group's ideology, though admittedly some Klan members (such as salesmen and politicians) had additional motives for joining. A few others may have joined out of peer pressure, while some were swayed by the sermons of Protestant Klan ministers, but on the whole most Klan members willingly joined the group because it expressed their political views.

posted by historymike on May 28, 2014 at 08:46:08 am     #  

Hey, the Klan's having a dance down at the Armory. Yee-haw!

posted by madjack on May 28, 2014 at 08:04:48 pm     #  

For generations, many sections of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan could have been almost-confused with Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia as per Klan activity.

posted by McCaskey on May 29, 2014 at 11:43:12 am     #  

I am pretty sure that "The South" begins a few miles outside of Findlay.

posted by justread on May 29, 2014 at 11:56:48 am     #  

"A person could not join the Klan without knowing the group's ideology, though admittedly some Klan members (such as salesmen and politicians) had additional motives for joining. A few others may have joined out of peer pressure, while some were swayed by the sermons of Protestant Klan ministers, but on the whole most Klan members willingly joined the group because it expressed their political views.

! posted by historymike on May 28, 2014 at 08:46:08 am # + "

It's important to know, that as Bill Clinton pointed out at Robert Byrds' funeral, that Byrd had no other choice than to join the KKK when he decided to run for office. I believe Byrd was the klans' CFO for seven years.I'm not sure what Byrds' klan rank was, though. Maybe Grand Kleagle, Imperial Cyclops or Grand Wizard?

posted by Wulf on May 29, 2014 at 02:09:52 pm     #  

Byrd as a young man was a true believer in the racist ideology of the Klan, Wulf. Clinton may have been trying to be nice at the funeral, but the idea that Byrd was forced into joining the Klan is ludicrous. Plenty of West Virginia politicians in the period from 1940 to 1950 never joined the Klan.

Consider the following 1946 quote from Byrd in a letter to Mississippi senator Theodore Bilbo, who was an avowed segregationist:

I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side ... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.

West Virginia was never a Klan stronghold the way some Southern states were, and the Klan was certainly not the powerful force in the 1940s (when Byrd was a Klan figure) that it was in the 1920s. Byrd blamed his Klan membership on "tunnel vision" (that it was the best way to get elected) and his own immaturity.

posted by historymike on May 29, 2014 at 03:19:02 pm     #   1 person liked this