Lulu Markwell: Temperance Activist – Klan & WCTU Member

Lulu Markwell (Lulu Alice Boyers Markwell) was an avid temperance leader. She was the first head of the national Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). Markwell was also president of the Arkansas Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).

Lulu Markwell


Many women were members of both the WKKK and the WCTU. These groups vigorously promoted and defended Prohibition. They wanted all government police powers used to enforce it.

Lulu Boyers was born in Indiana in 1865. She graduated from college. Then she married a successful dentist. Next, she became active in a number of groups and causes. These included women’s suffrage. The Arkansas Democratic Party. And the Presbyterian Church.

Ms. Markwell served as president of the Little Rock Board of Censors. This was a city agency to protect public morality. The governor of Arkansas appointed her as a delegate to the Southern Sociological Congress. The purpose of the meeting was to promote social welfare and improved economic conditions in the region.

Lulu Markwell served as president of the Little Rock WCTU. It carried her name. She later also served as president of the Arkansas WCTU. She was very active in it for twenty years.

Effective Leader

Lulu MarkwellIn 1923, the Women of the Ku Klux Klan was founded in Little Rock. Lulu Markwell was its first head. It was a counterpart of the male-only Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Markwell was highly effective. as leader. She founded regional field offices, hired recruiters, and took recruiting trips. Within a year, she had chapters of the WKKK in every state.  At one period she was founding fifty new local chapter per week. Her zeal for temperance was remarkable.

Lulu Markwell made tremendous efforts promoting the WCTU and the WKKK. But she lived to see the virtual demise of both. She died in 1941.

Learn more at KKK and WCTU: Partners in Prohibition.