The Klan and the Craft: An Analysis of Masonic Dual Membership with the Ku Klux Klan in Dallas, 1920-1926


This analysis examines and builds upon the work of Miguel Hernandez, professor of History and a Fraternal Studies scholar at the University of Exeter in England, by building a comprehensive dual membership list of Dallas Masons who were members of Klavern No. 66 between 1921 and 1926. In 2014, he published Fighting Fraternities: The Ku Klux Klan and Freemasonry in the 1920’s in which he studied dual membership within two Klaverns in the United States, Anaheim, California and Dallas, Texas. Dr. Hernandez, Adam Kendall, former Collections Manager for the Henry W. Coil Library & Museum of Freemasonry at the Grand Lodge of California, and Kristofer Allerfeldt, also from the University of Exeter, are the pioneers of this topic and have laid the foundation for further research to be conducted in this field. This examination will look at Freemasonry and the Klan in Dallas. It will explore the Grand Lodge of Texas’ response to the infiltration of the Klan into Masonic Lodges in Texas and in Dallas and how the Dallas Masonic lodges responded to the Grand Master. A dual membership list was created using the Grand Lodge of Texas Proceedings of 1920 to 1926 and cross referenced with Klan documents to determine a wide range of statistical information to help understand the type of men joining both organizations. The ability to determine dual membership was examined by analyzing three documents identifying Klansmen; The Dallas Dispatch list in May of 1922, the Special Examination audit of the Kolossal Karnival in Dallas, June of 1924 both located at the Dallas Historical Society, and the Klan Police list from the papers of Earle B. Cabell at the Degolyer Library at Southern Methodist University. Matching the names on these lists with Masonic rosters from lodges in the Dallas area then cross referencing them with the Dallas City Directories from the Dallas Public Library has allowed for the identification of either dual members or supporters of the Klan within the Masonic lodges. Using the comprehensive list, and analyzing the minutes of Dallas lodges allows for a glimpse into what these men were doing in the lodges and how Masonic lodges and its members responded to their attendance. Examining these documents provides a background for a much more detailed examination of dual membership between the two dominant fraternities in Dallas during the 1920’s, and opens up a microcosm of historical analysis never seen concerning the Ku Klux Klan and the Freemasons.



Freemasonry—Membership—Dallas (Tex.), Ku Klux Klan (1915- )—Membership—Dallas (Tex.), Fraternal organizations—Sociological aspects


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