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Why is Howell considered the KKK capital of Michigan?

Sep 12, 2017

The scenes of white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, including the Ku Klux Klan, led many to think about these groups in our state.

Michigan Radio listener Zachary Jones from Ypsilanti was ahead of the game. He submitted the following question to our MI Curious team back in June:

Why is Livingston County considered the KKK capital of Michigan?

Robert Miles
Credit Courtesy of Buddy Moorehouse

Buddy Moorehouse​, former editor at the Livingston County Press in Howell and current blogger for the Livingston Post, joined Stateside today to answer that question. Moorehouse recently wrote a piece on the topic, "Death of a klansman, 25 years later: How the sick legacy of Bob Miles continues to haunt Howell."

Moorehouse said it's crucial to say straightaway that there is no active Ku Klux Klan chapter in Howell, or anywhere in Livingston County.

"But the reason why Howell has that reputation is actually very easily explained," he said. "And it's all because of one man who's been dead for 25 years now."

That man was Robert Miles. He lived on a farm near Howell in Cohoctah Township where he held cross burnings and hate rallies.

Listen above to hear how Robert Miles, and his love of publicity, made Howell out to be the KKK capital of Michigan when in fact it is not.

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