Howell, MI, and nearby Cohoctah have the sad fates to have been “home” for Grand Dragon Robert Miles. First is Howell historian Duane Zemper, who, as a photographer, was hired by miles to capture his image.
Nor was he the only photographer who found Miles interesting. Bruce Cornelius, the former photo director for the Lansing State Journal sought out miles for a story. Boy, did he get one.
In 2005, long after Mile’s death in 1992, his family decided to sell his effects. That mean a lot of Klan matter, robes, hoods, publications, videos. Auctioneer Gary Gray handled the sale. For some, it was a chance to buy something that had been owned their hero. For others, it was an outrage.
The news of the auction drew news accounts from papers across the country, including the New York Times. The coverage really didn’t help things, according to Harry Griffith, who represented the owner of the building where the sale was held.
One who attended the auction and found it horrifying was David Pilgrim, former director of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University. He filed this report.
Now comes the hard part, showing a video recording that espouses nothing but hate. The Ku Klux Klan has been an abomination and the cause of untold misery. This film is intended for historical purposes only. Robert Miles was the Grand Dragon in Michigan and this work relates to interviews with him and his funeral. It was made by persons unknown.
Little Cohoctah. So small there isn’t even a four corners, just two threes. When we pulled in there to look around we received a reserved welcome. (That would be a nice way to put it.)
Bob Miles nearest neighbor said he was a fine fellow, friendly, a valued member of the Community.