I just noticed that
…Morley’s political ascent paralleled an anti-minority, anti-foreign, anti-Jewish, and anti-Catholic sentiment that existed throughout the country during the 1920′s. Proponents of these beliefs found many supporters in the Ku Klux Klan, which in Colorado came under the leadership of the charismatic and persuasive John Galen Locke. Locke focused less on the overt violence and racism that characterized many other Klan groups and more on creating one of the strongest political machines that Colorado had thus far seen. As the Denver Post wrote, “..beyond any doubt the KKK is the largest and most cohesive, most efficiently organized political force in the state…” Under Locke’s control, the Klan secured a variety of political seats and gained advantageous alliances, including one with Ben Stapleton, mayor of Denver. Taking advantage of weak leadership in the Republican Party, the Klan promoted Judge Morley as the party’s choice for governor. The primarily conservative voters of Colorado tended to vote for a straight Republican party ticket, and thus also chose the Klan. The Republicans, top-heavy with Klan members, won the 1924 election by a landslide. The Klan instituted Morley as Governor, obtained a majority in the House and Senate, elected the Secretary of State, and secured a Supreme Court Judgeship as well as seven benches on the Denver District Court. John Galen Locke’s Ku Klux Klan now seemed to be in control of the Colorado political system…
He was finally arrested in 1935… for mail fraud and died in Oklahoma City on November 15, 1948.
A newly opened gallery at the Colorado State Capitol also makes mention of the Klansman with a photo depicting him and his kin. The legend says during Morley only Klansmen worked at the Capitol.
KKK governor (first from right) and others at his office as seen in a Colorado State Capitol permanent gallery © Blogian 2007