University of Texas regents take KKK organizer's name off dorm

Associated Press/July 15, 2010

Austin - University of Texas regents agreed Thursday to strip the name of a former law school professor and early organizer of the Ku Klux Klan from a campus dormitory. The dorm named after William Stewart Simkins will be known as Creekside Residence Hall. The unanimous vote came on a motion by regent Printice Gary, who is African-American. Simkins, a Confederate colonel, helped organize the Klan in Florida. He taught law at Texas from 1899-1929. The dorm name became an issue in May after former Texas law professor Tom Russell published an online article detailing resistance by the university to integration in the 1950s and '60s. Texas named the dorm after Simkins in 1954. In a campus speech in 1914 and an article two years later in the alumni magazine, Simkins said he never drew blood as a Klansman. He did, however, admit to assaulting a black man, participating in a train robbery and sowing fear in Florida's "black belt" as a masked night rider.

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