Fear: Ku Klux Klan, Shabbona in the 1920’s


The Shabbona Express newspaper also included several articles in the 1920s that referred to Klan activity. According to census records, there were 16 Blacks in Shabbona, most of the adults were born in Kentucky. However, as the newspaper clippings below illustrate, the Klan was also very anti-immigrant. Data regarding the immigrant population of Shabbona still has to be collected. Either way, there was clear support for making “others” feel unwelcome.  

A year later, there were reports of another Klan meeting: “There will be held at the Brewer Theater, Friday night, February 8, 1924, a Big Meeting of the Ku Klux Klan. Attorney Hoy, who has been endorsed by the Army and Navy and the Church, will speak on the Sensational Instructing and Educational Facts of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. All Protestant People Especially Invited. Doors will open at 7:30, lecture at 8 o’clock.” [1]

A week later, a follow-up article was published: 

Shabbona Express February 7, 1924.

“The Ku Klux Klan meeting at the Brewer Theatre last Friday night was decided success in point of numbers – the house being filled. 

Attorney Hoy gave an interesting lecture on and about the Kalb, the gist of which was that America should be kept American. Everyone who heard the lecture, seemed to be pleased with what the speaker said, in fact there was nothing that anyone could take exception to. Attorney Hoy talked for two hours on the doing of the Klan. He stated that the Klan were for enforcement of law at all times, and that they never had and never would be otherwise. They object to men going joyriding with other men’s wives and recommended men who have no wives to get married. He objected to foreigners coming to this county fastr [sic] than they can be assimilated, and was in favor of prohibiting all who had no desire to become citizens of the United States. Mr. Hoy stated that there are at present some seven million of foreigners in this country who have never made any attempt to become citizens of the U.S. He favors the different races holding and maintaining their individuality as such.” [2] 

Interest continued, with another meeting advertised in the Shabbona Express in October 1924. “Notice – the date of the Ku Klux Klan meeting at Shabbona should be Friday, October 24 instead of 27” Shabbona Express, October 23, 1924.

Shabbona Express October 23, 1924.

A Klan meeting invitation was listed in the local Shabbona newspaper listing that ‘everyone is invited.’

Country Courier, Hinckley October 31st 1996.

The newspaper discusses the environment of local cities when Klan’s meetings were held. The newsletter mentions that, “The meeting was [an] open [one] with everybody being invited. Non-Klansmen were not permitted to hear the words. They could see the white hooded figure moving about in their ceremonies of initiation.”

[1]  Shabbona Express, February 7, 1924.

[2] Shabbona Express, February 14, 1924. 

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