The Klan in Owosso

Helen Harrelson

Helen Harrelson was the author of a definitive Owosso history, Owosso, Michigan, A to Z. The city has had long-standing issues with race. When she was a young girl Mrs. Harrelson watched when the Klan paraded down her little city’s streets. She knew the hooded members by their shoes. (Never underestimate the abilities of a very bright young child ). The Klan maintained its state headquarters in Owosso for a time in the 1920s. In a sense of balance, when we filmed this, Catholic Services occupied the same offices, perhaps cleansing them.

Here is the transcript of the interview with Helen Harrelson.

Former Police Chief Nelson Gates

Nelson Gates was the former police chief in Owosso at the time of our inquiry. He remembers coming to work as a young police officer and being able to spot the KKK lettering on garage doors of select houses in the community.

Here is the transcript of the interview with Nelson Gates.