Daisy Douglas Barr (WCTU and KKK Temperance Leader)

Daisy Douglas Barr was the fiery leader of the Women’s Ku Klux Klan (WKKK) in Indiana and seven other states. Thus, she led about 250,000 WKKK members. That was in the early 1920s. Barr worked closely with the Indiana KKK‘s “Grand Wizard,” D.C. Stevenson. Together, they worked hard on the governor’s race. Many people consider them responsible for electing a Klan-friendly governor in 1924.


Daisy Douglas BarrIn 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. Barr was also a Quaker minister in two large churches.

A number of people were affiliated with both the KKK and the WCTU. They did so for a simple reason. That’s because the Ku Klux Klan was a very strong supporter and defender of temperance and National Prohibition. Indeed, the WCTU and the KKK were partners in Prohibition.

However, in 1924, some Klan members charged that 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. Sedwick was also a state official in the WCTU.

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

Daisy Douglas Bar’s temperance work was not entirely in vain. National Prohibition was a failure and caused many serious serious problems. Yet nearly one in five adults in the US today favors prohibition. That’s for every one. Of every age. And for any purpose. Not even National Prohibition did that. Learn want Prohibition didn’t prohibit.

    • Women in the ministry, Indianapolis News, Nov 1, 1916, supp. 2.
    • Springs that Run Dry and other Addresses. Noblesville, IN: Butler, 1915-1935.
About Barr
    • Blee, K. Women in the 1920’s Ku Klux Klan Movement. In: Goldberg, C. and Hartmen, H. (eds.) Women in Struggle. Pp. 89-109.
    • Former teacher charges slander, Muncie Star, Jan 3, 1924, p. 1. Describes Mary Benadum –  Barr dispute.
    • Hosmer, D. Daisy Douglas Barr. From Quaker to Klan “Kluckeress.” Ind Mag Hist, LXXXVII (2).
    • Klan women shift slander onto wizard, Muncie Eve Post, Nov 14, 1924, p. 17. 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, Jan 8, 1924, p. 10.
    • Lantzer, J. Dark Beverages of Hell. The Transformation of Hamilton County’s Dry Crusade, 1876-1936.
    • Mrs. Sedwick is new Klan head, Indianapolis Times, June 4, 1926, p. 1.
    • Sues Daisy Barr and others for $50,000, Indianapolis News, Jan 3, 1924, p. 1.
    • Taylor, J. Daisy Douglas Barr and the Women of the Ku Klux Klan. Thesis. Texas Tech U.
    • Who’s Who and What’s What in Indiana Politics, p. 755.