Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Charles Noblet Buried in Pillow with Ku Klux Klan Rites, 1927

Posted By on June 14, 2017

In April 1927, Charles N. Noblet, an accident victim, was buried at Pillow‘s Grandview Cemetery, with full Ku Klux Klan honors conducted at graveside.

This post is a continuation of the reporting on hate groups that were active in the Lykens Valley area in the years following the Civil War.  It was a widely known fact that the third iteration of the Ku Klux Klan had a significant presence in the Lykens Valley and adjacent valleys during the early years of the 20th Century.  This third iteration of the Klan was strongly white supremacist and was opposed to equal rights for African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and immigrants.

From the Elizabethville Echo, 21 April 1927




Last Thursday afternoon, Charles N. Noblet and Moses Troutman, both of Pillow, were riding in a Ford Touring Car, and when they crossed the concrete bridge, north of that town, Troutman attempted to “take the steep grade on high.”  Some trouble developed with the steering gear the belief being that it buckles or locked, and the driver could not control the car.  About a hundred feet west of the bridge, the car plunged into a high rocky bank.  Pausing for a moment the car overturned and came to a stop, headed down hill.

Both men were thrown from the car and were taken to their homes in another automobile, by those who reached the scene soon after the accident.  Although Noblet was severely injured he had walked around the car and had attempted to aid Troutman extricate himself from the wreckage.  It was not until Noblet reached his home that he lost consciousness.

Dr. J. A. Blasser of Dalmatia was called and advised that Noblet be taken to the Harrisburg Hospital, after an examination that revealed a fractured scull, internal injuries, severe lacerations and one of his lungs punctured.  Mr. Troutman also suffered lacerations, a broken collar bone and other minor injuries, not serious.

Noblet was then rushed by motor for entrance into the hospital, but he died scarcely a mile south of Millersburg, and attendants returned to Pillow with the body.

“Kelly” as his friends best knew him, was not only well known in his community, but he had hosts of friends in this and adjoining valleys who regret the sudden passing of their friend.

Funeral services were conducted by the Rev. D. E. Fetterolf of Leck Kill, a former Pillow pastor, at the home of his parents on Monday morning at ten o’clock.  Members of the Ku Klux Klan conducted burial rites at the grave, interment being made in the Grand View Cemetery, Pillow.  Funeral Director, W. H. Bowman.

He was born in Pillow, 19 February 1894, the son of John F. Noblet and Isabella Noblet and passed his childhood there, and grew to manhood unable to do hard manual labor, and for the past ten years was in restaurant business, where he built up a very comfortable trade.  He was active in the affairs of the community, was a member of the P. O. S. of A….  [and] the Pillow Order [presumably the Ku Klux Klan]… and the Lykens…. [Note:  Lines of the obituary were transposed here, with at last one line left out].

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Noblet of Pillow, one brother, Edgar Noblet of Philadelphia, and a sister, Mrs. Omega Bowman of Millersburg.


News clipping from Newspapers.com.


Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is currently enabled so there will be a delay between when you post your comment and when it shows up. Patience is a virtue; there is no need to re-submit your comment.