Logtown and the KKK

“Another true story”

“There was and still is a log church at Ayrshire. a mine village.   It is a one room small structure.   I think the Negro minister there was named Wickware.   I think my son could remember his successor Swearton, think he saw him at Otwell and Patoka Grove.   But the Pastor in about 1923 was having a service one weeknight and the church had an electricity switch in  a little hallway to keep the air during the winter from hurting when the front door was opened.   The lights went off and in about 1 minute on, and about 1 dozen came in like at Winslow.  Some screamed and went through the open windows.   At that time, there was no back door.   I think they have one now.  Everyone got out except the Pastor and a large heavy woman, one that would tell a fortune for 25c, some believed her.   She tried to leave by the window, but couldn’t get through, so she wilted down in a seat yelling “The Lord help me, the Lord help me”.   The Pastor was on the floor standing in front of his pulpit.   The 12 Klansmen walked two by two towards him, while he was shaking and his knees knocking.   I guess he was afraid to move .  When they came up two by two they would step to one side or circle the Pastor.   One stepped right in front of him and said, “Brother Wickware, we the Klu Klux Klan have heard of the good work you have been doing in your community and Fellow men, both white and black.  We the Klan want to thank you for your work and good deeds you have done in this little hamlet”.   He was still letting his knees give and shake and also his body, but not as bad as at first.    The old Gal was getting lower when she was praying.   Then the Klansmen said, “Brother Wickware, the Klu Klux Klan of America gave me authority to present this little token to you for your good conduct and work here”, dropping $25.00 in bills in the Pastor’s hand.   The Pastor looked at the money, then back at the Klansmen and said, “Gentlemen, bow your ‘haid’ “.    He prayed the Good Lord to forgive him for saying such unkind things he had said about these good, Godly, fine gentlemen that had come to help him, and the Klansmen to forgive him for the untrue thing he had said many times about them. Sometimes money makes people change their minds. ”

story from the memoirs of a family member, written in 1984

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