Daisy Douglas Barr

Daisy Douglas Barr was the fiery Imperial Empress (leader) of the approximately 250,000 member Women's Ku Klux Klan (WKKK) in Indiana and seven other states in the early 1920s. Barr, along with the Indiana KKK's "Grand Wizard," D.C. Stevenson, was responsible for electing a Klan-friendly Governor in 1924.

In addition to her leadership in the WKKK, Barr was a powerful member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). In her role in the WCTU, Daisy Barr was a famous crusader for temperance. Professionally, Barr was a Quaker minister in two prominent churches.

A number of people were affiliated with both the KKK and the WCTU because the Ku Klux Klan was a very strong supporter and defender of temperance and National Prohibition.

However, in 1924, some Klan members charged that Rev. Barr "had amassed a fortune off the dues of Klansmen." Two years later Daisy Barr was replaced in her leadership position in the WKKK by Lillian Sedwick who was a state official in the WCTU.

Daisy Douglas Barr dropped out of public life and died in a traffic crash in 1938 in her home state of Indiana.

For information on the KKK and and prohibition in Indiana, visit Indiana Still Suffers Vestiges of Prohibition in Spite of Repeal. To learn about the KKK's support and defense of National Prohibition, visit The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Alcohol, & Prohibition.

Daisy Douglas Bar's temperance work was not entirely in vain. In spite of the failure of National Prohibition and the serious problems it created, many people and organizations today support neo-prohibition ideas and strongly defend the many vestiges of Prohibition that still continue to exist.

Resources on Daisy Douglas Barr (sometimes mis-spelled Daisey Douglass Barr):

  • Activities in Ku Klux Klan resented: Indiana War Mothers accept resignation of Reverend Daisy Barr, Muncie Press, March 21, p. 1.
  • Blee, Kathleen M. Women in the 1920's Ku Klux Klan Movement. In: Goldberg, Claire and Hartmen, Heidi (eds.) U.S. Women in Struggle. University of Illinois Press, 1995. Pp. 89-109.
  • Former teacher charges slander, Muncie Star, January 3, 1924, p. 1. Describes Mary Benadum - Daisy Douglas Barr dispute.
  • Hosmer, Dwight W. Daisy Douglas Barr: From Quaker to Klan "Kluckeress." Indiana Magazine of History, 1991 (June), LXXXVII (2).
  • Klan women shift slander onto wizard, Muncie EveningPost, November 14, 1924, p. 17. Daisy Douglas Barr was the wizard to which the article refers.
  • Klan women sue Daisy Barr, Muncie Star, June 3, 1924.
  • Ku Klux women battle, New York Times, January 8, 1924, p. 10. Reports dispute between Daisy Douglas Barr and Mary Benadum.
  • Lantzer, Jason S. Dark Beverages of Hell: The Transformation of Hamilton County's Dry Crusade, 1876-1936. (connerprairie.org/historyonline/fierycross.html) Includes material on Daisy Douglas Barr.
  • Mrs. Sedwick is new Klan head, Indianapolis Times, June 4, 1926, p. 1. Lillian Sedwick replaced Daisy Barr as head of WKKK.
  • Sues Daisy Barr and others for $50,000, Indianapolis News, January 3, 1924, p. 1.
  • Taylor, Janette, K. The Privileged Margin in Social Movement Rhetoric: Daisy Douglas Barr and the Women of the Ku Klux Klan. Thesis. Texas Tech University, 2000.
  • Who's Who and What's What in Indiana Politics. Indianapolis: James Perry Pub., 1944, p. 755. Discusses Daisy Douglas Barr.

Publications by Daisy Douglas Barr

  • Daisy Douglas Barr. Women in the ministry, Indianapolis News, November 1, 1916, supp. 2.
  • Daisy Douglas Barr. Springs that Run Dry and other Addresses. Noblesville, IN: Butler Printing House, 1915-1935.

Filed Under: Biography