FRINGE ELEMENT: Hiram Wesley Evans, a Dallas dentist, led the Klan here before becoming Imperial Wizard of the national organization.

History

When Dallas Was the Most Racist City in America

The Ku Klux Klan once ruled the city.

Earlier this year, when President Trump enacted the travel ban from predominantly Muslim countries, not long after we’d had Bill Holston, from the Human Rights Initiative, on our podcast, I got to thinking about a sorry part of Dallas’ history. In the early 1920s, one out of every three eligible men in the city belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. The Dallas chapter was the largest in the world. The State Fair of Texas had Ku Klux Klan Day. I had learned about this history, if memory serves, from Wick Allison, the founder and co-owner of D Magazine. His memory is even worse than mine, though, so I went looking for a more trustworthy account of the era. That’s when I came across a story about the KKK in Dallas written by Darwin Payne and published in 1997 by Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas. Reading that story about events nearly 100 years ago, I couldn’t help but see parallels between then and now, which is why we decided to reprint Payne’s piece in the June issue of D Magazine. The story went online today. 

Comments

  • Mavdog

    When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
    Burke

    • alexander troup

      Call it bad company and then vanish as soon as the party ended and no one will clean it up or drain the swamp or flush the toilet the whole point is Humans in each decade become waste and saved…..

    • alexander troup

      Amen to that Brother.

  • DubiousBrother
    • alexander troup

      My point of view also….. and even 15 years ago and my reason for not attending the 25 dollar event over in Bush County at S.M.U…in the past couple of weeks, while I am on to the next phase of Why Dallas cant get its Multi Cultural History right….and give the City of Hate a City of Love Approval…..

    • alexander troup

      Good point DBrother….while all trained seals In Dallas Please stand up, Dolphins from out of state have more common sense…

  • alexander troup

    One of the most overrated and least completely told stories on an event that has been retold over and over again by the same people for over 25 years…and why is that…. Well maybe Dallas is a City of Hate….then again there is another side to why men of that day and era took over and made this place a great Modern City back then and left….meanwhile having finished the 1921 Dallas Directory and having read every page, the Mexican American community was never brought up in this sad, No….. awful Fascist period in time known as the Warren S Harding Jazz age…

    And in reading the people and places who are listed, Hispanics this time at Portland Cement and who employed many families who were used in slave labor to bag and pour cement, then to go back to their cribs in the Little Mexico Frog Town area, while labor was at most 75 cents a day back then…so Darwin we love your writings as long and old as it is now becoming, time to turn the record over and realize there are other hits on why Dallas will always be on the endangered list as a possible City of Hate… then again You made the History of Frog Town possible 25 years ago, time to move over and lets finally see the other side of the story…. A Reader of yours for over 30 years and no reply to my fan mail sent to you yet..

  • alexander troup

    Read this weeks Follow up in the Local paper on the Removal of Cemeteries that house an hold old Confederate graves and a grave matter it will become….July 6th 2017,as Full Moons are a tipping point in the Summer of Love and Hate…

  • alexander troup

    Boy you guys did a great college here of the Trumped up stuff I have shared, fools folly can be fools gold later on.. we do have to live with..then again Every city in this Nation has to have a mindset a way of life, a beginning an then again an ending and Modern Dallas begins with the K.K.K in 1921….really all of the Good and Bad.