Melinda Isler, Archivist
1010 Campus Drive
Big Rapids MI 49307
Collection Title: Women of the Ku Klux Klan (Ionia, Michigan) Records
Creator: Women of the Ku Klux Klan
Abstract: These records, compiled by a commander of the Kloverleaf Klan, no. 3, Ionia, Michigan, consist of form letters and pamphlets produced by the larger Michigan and national organizations. There are no membership lists, minutes or details of the activities of that particular chapter.
Quantity: 0.2 cubic feet; 1 Hollinger box
Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program
Very little is known about this particular chapter of Michigan's Ku Klux Klan. It was a member of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Invisible Empire. The Invisible Empire was founded in 1915 by William J Simmons in Georgia. This Klan movement opposed blacks, but was also virulently anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish and nativist supporters of the highest moral order. During the 1920s, Michigan had the eighth highest state membership in the Klan. Some Klan chapters were politically active.
For a detailed examination of a rural central Michigan Klan, please read Clark Ender's article "White Sheets in Mecosta: Anatomy of a Michigan Klan." Michigan Historical Review 14:2 (1988) pp. 59-81.
These records, compiled by a commander of the Kloverleaf Klan, no. 3, Ionia, Michigan, consist of form letters and pamphlets produced by the larger Michigan and national organizations. This collection reflects the connections that one particular clan leader had with others in the greater Michigan and national organizations. The correspondence of Mary Bishop details the events held throughout Michigan ca. 1930, and the Imperial Commander Robbie Comer discusses national legislation and programs of importance to the membership.
Of particular note is the publications folder. This contains Women of the Klan brochures, instruction manuals, creeds and burial services. There is a separate folder with blank application forms for Klan membership.
These are not the records of the particular chapter. There are no membership lists, minutes or details of the activities of that particular chapter. There are no objects, other than a membership card and a few random receipts.
The papers are contained in a single series.
The Women of the Ku Klux Klan (Ionia, Michigan) Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.
Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.
Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.
Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box (or url). Women of the Ku Klux Klan (Ionia, Michigan) Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.
Information is not available about the donation of these records.
The Women of the Ku Klux Klan (Ionia, Michigan) Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in February 2005. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).
This collection consists of paper based materials. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.
The Women of the Ku Klux Klan (Ionia, Michigan) records are organized into a single series. These records are very spotty and do not reflect a complete record of the actions of the Ionia chapter.
The files are arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name such as Mary Bishop or by type of record such as publications.
|1||1||Applications for citizens; petitions for membership. Undated.|
|1||2||Bulletin. January 1929.|
|1||3||Bishop, Jary Jo. Realm Commander of Michigan. Form correspondence. 1930.|
|1||4||Comer, Robbie Gil.. Imperial Commander. Form correspondence. 1929-1930.|
|1||5||Correspondence catalog. Undated.|
|1||6||Martin, Jennie L. Correspondence. 1929-1930.|
|1||7||Memorabilia; membership cards. 1929; undated.|
|1||8||Publications; pamphlets. Undated.|