Tulsa’s First Klan Burial

by Lee Roy Chapman


On the front page of the Tulsa World’s Dec. 22, 1921, issue, a headline ran with the title “Robed Klansman Honor Dead While Hundreds Stand Agape at Funeral of Harry Aurandt.”

By all accounts, fallen Tulsa Police Commissioner Secretary Harry Harrison Aurandt’s burial at Rose Hill Cemetery was quite a spectacle. An unannounced group of 12 Klansmen in full ceremonial  regalia approached the funeral tent from the south carrying a large flaming cross of red roses to pay tribute to Aurandt.

They silently circled the grave and laid the roses on the casket, then walked away in single file. According to the World, this was the first time the Klan had attended a public funeral in Tulsa.

And now for the rest of the story: Secretary Aurandt’s oldest son, Paul, grew up and attended Central High School. In 1933, when he was 15, he got a job at KVOO. Years later, while attending the University of Tulsa, he became a broadcaster for the station.

His name was Paul Harvey Aurandt, a.k.a. Paul Harvey. Good Day!