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Ru Klux Klan Arrives
Saturday morning in the mid 1920's a convoy of automobiles came into
town of Mountain. It was a warm summer day when this army of strangers
appeared on our main street with license plates from Ohio, Indiana,
and Wisconsin on their cars. These new faces in our town created an
of perplexed anticipation among the locals; what did these hooded men
white cloaks want here in a small town that had no real troubles ?
men, a hundred or more, masked and robed with high pointed hoods,
all of the places that had slot machines and turned the machines toward
the walls so they could not be operated.
then organized a march through the town to begin at the town creek
north to the Town Hall where ,. they then held a meeting, the leaders
this group setting themselves up on a raised platform at one end of the
speaker for the group addressed the assembly of local people who had
followed the procession, and he first spoke of patriotism, good
and the fine gualities there abouts. Then he went into a diatribe of
of the black man.
townspeople were silent except for a few who applauded, in minding
came a condemnation of the Jews, and then the Catholics. This time no
was heard from the townspeople, for this kind of talk was not to
liking , . -though they had heard of such troubles in other places,
were no blacks nor Jews in this community, Catholics had given no one
troubles, so why this ?
the speaker showed his contempt for the foreign bom and this hit a raw
nerve in the crowd, for this assemblage was either foreign born or the
offspring of the foreign born and were proud of their heritage.
Uncle John Olson, a native of Sweden, then strode up to the platform
confronted the speaker directly. In his strong Swedish accent he
"I'll tell you mister, I'm yust some good, some citizen, some nobody !"
The crowd immediately broke into applause, cheering loud and long,
took quite a bit of wind
of the sails of the bigots who called this assembly !
Ku Klux Klan did manage to organize a cell in Mountain, about 15 to 20
members then gathered at the meetings, and burned a few crosses as
tactics. They were harassed unmercifully by a group of young men from
and one time when the Klan was having a sort of picnic on a Saturday
the local boys drove clear to Green Bay and located a crate of rotten
since they had found out about this upcoming assembly. At the height of
the party the picnic-ers were pelted with the entire crate of eggs !
Saturday Night there was a moving picture play held in the High School
Auditorium in those years and one night when the townspeople were
to their homes after the movie they were treated to this sight;
dummy, dressed in a sheet and hood, with the letters K.K.K- printed in
black letters across his chest, was hanging by a rope around his neck,
to dangle from the main roads street light.
times crosses that had been made by the members of the K.K.K. were
by our young opponents of the Klan and burned at locations other than
which had been designated as 'targets' of the Ku Klux Klan.
took about 2 or 3 years before the K.K.K. finally got the hint and left
this area. No more has been heard of them since !
in 1931 Mountain was hit with a triple whammy. The Great Depression had
commenced its awful reign, the lumber companies had completed their
destruction of these virgin forests, and, the drought of the 30's was
in the full process of development.
lumbering companies that had gained vast wealth from these lands now
what cut-over land they could with the rest left to become tax
except for areas of land around certain lakes, which they thought might
one day gain a certain value.
cut-over, burned over wastelands reverted to the County, thus the tax
for the Towns in this area of Oconto County were greatly reduced. To