Kaspar Kubli, Jr.
Kaspar Kap Kubli Jr. (which was his real name, as indicated by the designation of “Jr”) was an obvious candidate for membership in the KKK. His membership should not be taken lightly, however, and he accepted a free membership (based on his improbable initials) and was a dedicated and enthusiastic supporter and practitioner of Klan activities.
Away from the Klan Kubli was an Oregon politician; a member of the Republican Party who believed in and supported the vibrancy of local politics over the national stage. Kubli was an early and avid supporter of tax money being used to build roads – a progressive viewpoint in the early 1920s – and a supporter of the National Guard and benefits for war widows in the aftermath of World War 1.
Kubli also strongly supported legislation which proposed the forced sterilization of many “undesirables” including homosexuals, the criminally insane, epileptics, and others. This legislation not only passed but led to more than 120 forced sterilizations in Oregon before the United States Supreme Court found the law to be unconstitutional in 1921. Nazi Germany would not pass a similar law until the 1930s.
Kubli’s KKK activities were well-received among his voters, and he used his popularity and KKK connections to actively recruit candidates for the state legislature from other districts, strengthening his voting bloc in Oregon. In the mid-1920s, with the backing of the KKK, Kubli introduced and pushed through legislation which forbade the wearing of religious clothing while teaching in both public and private schools, forbidding priests, nuns, and brothers, from wearing their religious garb in parochial classrooms. The law remained in effect until 2010. Kubli also helped pass legislation proposed which mandated public school attendance between the years of 8 – 16, eliminating parochial education. Although the law passed, the Supreme Court struck it down before it could be placed in effect.