Apropos of the Ku Klux Klan's re-appearance in the news...

Salmagundi

March 20, 1992

Apropos of the Ku Klux Klan's re-appearance in the news, with its request for a parade permit in Elkton, we found of interest an explanation for Klan membership in this letter to the editor published in the winter 1992 issue of Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, which is a publication of the Indiana Historical Society:

"The reminiscences in the Winter 1991 Traces entitled 'H.L. Mencken and the Indiana Genii,' and 'A Gentleman of the Press in Skirts: Janet Flanner and the New Yorker,' bring back a plethora of memories.

"I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, in the mid-twenties when the first issues of the American Mercury and the New Yorker appeared. While I resided at the Madison Club, I also belonged to and took most of my meals at the University Club, which subscribed to both magazines. They were much in demand.

"I remember Mencken's degra- dation of the Ku Klux Klan particularly because my father, Robert Clark Mattox, together with Thomas Squibb, were leaders in Aurora in a fight which prevented the Klan's takeover of the city's schools. When the fight was over, Patsy Vahey, proprietor of one of the city's saloons, said to my father: 'A lot of the boys are joining the Klan. It's the only organization that will take them in.'

"Ronald Mattox

" Madison, Wisconsin"

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