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Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
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Klansmen have gala day here

Hundreds from all parts of Northwest attend picnic here Saturday
C.B. Sampley of Bellingham is speaker. Other speakers from Canada and Spokane

from the Anacortes American, Sept. 8, 1926, transcribed and researched by Claudia Lowman
Third in a Journalseries of three on the Ku Klux Klan
      Hundreds of Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from all parts of the northwest made Anacortes their meeting Saturday afternoon for the big Klan picnic at the Whitney school grounds. The speaking for the afternoon started at 4 o'clock, with Charles B. Sampley of Bellingham, "Great Titan,'" acting as presiding officer. Judge E.B. Quackenbush of Spokane [see below], "Grand Dragon of the Realm of Washington," was the principal speaker on the afternoon program.
      A picnic hour at dinner time in the evening was followed by a social hour. Several humorous readings were given by Mrs. Ray Tart. The first speaker on the evening program was Charles E. Batzold, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan of the Dominion of Canada. The second speaker was the "Grand Dame" of Women of the Ku Klux Klan of Canada.
      Following these addresses the Knights formed in a parade and marched through the streets of the town. In full regalia except for masks, the Klansmen presented an impressive appearance as they marched through the town. It was estimated that more than 325 Klansmen participated in the parade. The Anacortes Municipal band had been employed to furnish the music for the marchers.
      The parade was headed by the "Grand Dragon" and "Great Titan" of Province Number 1. The "Great Klubbe" of the province also marched at the head of the columns. The flag was carried by the local "Klalif." The cross was carried by the local "Knight Hawk."
      Following the parade the Klansmen returned to the Whitney school grounds where the program of speaking was continued. The principal speaker of the evening was Mr. England of Vancouver, B.C., "Imperial Klalif" of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Canada.

Claudia Lowman's background research
      1. One of the principals in the article was Charles E. Batzold. I even located a later photo of him in his role as Rev. Batzold of the Association of the Covenant People in British Columbia. He began working in 1924 in the "movement" as their website called his KKK work. He lived to 81 and died in 1960.
      2. Another of the principals, E.B. Quackenbush, was a judge in Spokane. His full name was Edmund Brown Quackenbush.
      3. I also located Mrs. Ray Tart, mentioned in the piece, but nothing about her that came up in regard to more info other than a few census reports, one in Spokane and another in Seattle. I also located her date of death in WA, but that's all.
      4. Charles B. Sampley, also mentioned prominently, lived in Bellingham. This biography of him directly below was transcribed online by Susan Nahas's GenWeb Whatcom County genealogy site.

Charles Blaine Sampley
History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 270
      Charles Blaine Sampley has chosen the practice of law as his life work and the nature and importance of the legal interests intrusted to his care establish him as one of Bellingham's leading attorneys. He was born November 17, 1884, in Elliott, Iowa, and his parents, John D. and Bettie (Ramsey) Sampley, were both natives of Perry county, Indiana. They migrated to Illinois in 1891, and both have passed away.
      Charles B. Sampley was reared on his father's farm, attending the district school near his home, and completed a course in the high school at Bethany, Illinois. He received his higher education in the university of Valparaiso, Indiana, and was graduated with the class of 1907, winning the degree of LL. B. In July of the same year he began his professional career in Bellingham and has also maintained an office in Lynden, Washington. He is a wise counselor and is equally able in his presentation of a case before the courts. He enjoys a large practice and is devoted to the interests of his clients, adhering at all time to the highest standard of professional ethics.
      On June 7, 1908, Mr. Sampley married Miss Laura Grimson, a daughter of Lorus and Toba Grimson, who came to Bellingham in 1905. Violet, the only child of this union, is attending high school, and she was chosen queen of the tulip festival of 1925. Mr. Sampley is nonpartisan in his political views and casts his ballot for the candidate whom he considers best qualified to conserve the public weal. He has been city attorney of Lynden and served for two years as game commissioner of the county. He is a member of the Optimists Club and along fraternal lines is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Sampley is a man of broad and liberal views, in hearty sympathy with every movement for public betterment, and stands deservedly high in the esteem of his fellow citizens.
      According to this source, in the fall of 1927, most of the Ku Klux Klan bodies in eastern and western Canada merged together, under the name of "The Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Canada," leaving as separate organizations only the Ku Klux Klan of the British Empire and the Saskatchewan organization. Four principal officials were appointed for the dominion-wide organization: Rev. George Marshall, Imperial Wizard, and J. S. Lord, Imperial Scribe, for eastern Canada with headquarters in Toronto; and Rev. Charles E. Batzold, Imperial Wizard, and A. J. England, Imperial Scribe, for western Canada with headquarters in Vancouver. However, it seems that the merging was never perfected, as most of the provincial Klan bodies were split by constant internal bickering, failing to attain stability for any length of time, and unable to organize dominion-wide conventions (White Hoods, p. 65-67)

Skagit River Journal research
      E.B. Quackenbush of Spokane proved to be an elusive character in this story. After we checked with research librarians in Spokane, they reported that they could not find any information about him. We did find an article from the Tacoma News Tribune in July 1929 that Quackenbush was a Spokane attorney, that he was grand dragon of the state chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, and that he welcomed 200 delegates to the annual convention in Bellingham.
      In a guide to KKK records for the Eastern Washington State Historical Society, we found this overview of KKK activities in the Pacific Northwest during that period.

      The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan swept the United States in the 1920s, and the Pacific Northwest was no exception. Thousands of local men and women joined the Klan during this period, drawn by the moral platform ostensibly supported by the Klan. The announced enemies were vice and corruption, but their targets were Blacks, Catholics, Jews, and the foreign-born. Qualifications for membership included being "native born, white, Protestant, Gentile, and an American citizen."
      The national organization of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was organized in 1915 at Stone Mountain, Georgia. The founders adopted many of the trappings of the nineteenth-century Klan, including exotic titles, white robes and hoods, and cross burning. Klan organizations around the country displayed a good deal of regional diversity, and Klan activity and influence also varied among states in the same region. The Klans in the Pacific Northwest were never as violent as those in the South or Midwest. Also, Montana and Washington Klans never enjoyed the membership numbers or political power that the Oregon Klan did. Estimates of Montana Klan membership, at its height in the mid-1920s, are a bit more than 5,000.
      The Kontinental Klan was organized in Butte, Montana, in 1923. It was one of forty-some Klans or chapters in Montana. Butte was considered to be "the worst place in the State of Montana, so far as alienism and Catholicism are concerned," according to Montana Grand Dragon Lewis Terwilliger.
      Klan membership experienced a sharp decline in the late 1920s. The Klans in the Pacific Northwest, again, were no exception to the national trend. The entire Butte membership appears to have been transferred to another Klan in September and October, 1929, although correspondence of the last Kligrapp continues through 1930. Records from the Montana state organization continue through 1931.

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Story posted on Nov. 25, 2008 . . . Please report any broken links so we can update them
This article originally appeared in Issue 45 of our Subscribers-paid Journal online magazine

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