Doing some research as I try to wrap my head around how it is that in Goodhue County, Senate District 20, House District 20A, we elected “America First” election deniers, and that in this part of the world, the Goodhue County Republicans wound people up about January 6. Digging on America First (then and now in a number of permutations) and I remember reading about it it at the Lindbergh Museum in Little Falls.

On a similar vein, long ago I got “The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota,” which has a lot of good factoids and references but the writing is almost unbearable to read. I’d not gone further.

Learning about this is excruciating. Jawdropping, the numbers jumping on these bandwagons, then, and now, and getting the details down, whew. Eye strain and brain strain reading all this… But it’s necessary. This election got me thinking about it again because of the similarity of positions, and how did we get to where we are today — thinking about intellectual/moral heirs to America First and Ku Klux Klan.

Let’s go back about 100 years… and check out the Klan activity here in Minnesota, and specifically in Red Wing, and around Goodhue County too:

More coming soon… there’s a LOT to this. The themes, and the local papers, but that means a trek to the library. SOON!

And here’s some more:

One Response to “Ku Klux Klan in Red Wing and SE Minnesota”

  1. Peggy Vanhala Blackwell Says:

    My Mom grew up in Red Wing, her Dad Arvid Larson and Mom Lydia (Jacobson )Larson lived there. My brother had Arvid’s wallet from when he died in the 50s, it still contained his KKK membership card from 1927 and 1928. I found out that my maternal grandfather belonged to the KKK in Red Wing, Minnesota about 15 years ago when he show me the wallet..My grandfathers parents were from Sweden, one of the founding families in nearby Vasa. My Mom and her siblings are long gone, and we don’t know anything about this, nor do we have older relatives to ask about it.

    I was very happy to find that you are researching this topic. Have you watched this video bout the descendant of Jeremiah Patterson (former slave) and wife Julia Boywho was a daughter of wealthy business Vernon Gaylord in Red Wing. They were probably only tolerated because of the power and money of Vernon and his love for his daughter.

    The video states that demonstrations in the 1920s drove out that interracial family. My Mom was born in 1925, this must have been quite the news of the day. Red Wing is not so big that everyone was involved, informed, or complicit in this. The Pattersons never returned, to Red Wing, until this descendant Craig Patterson came back to try to know more about his family history in Red Wing.

    I tried to find the historian Fred Johnson, maybe I should call the historical society back and see if I can talk to someone else.

    Interestingly enough, my Mom was never racist instead she even took us to events about different cultures including black events, most of us 5 kids ended up in interracial marriages.

    I have not yet had time to look through your archives and see what I can learn but I would love to have a conversation with you sometime about this. My mobile number is (219) 939-0414, please text me.

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