UT strips Klansman's name from Austin dorm

William Stewart Simkins residence hall, named after a Confederate colonel, will soon become Creekside dormitory

Published July 15, 2010 2:50PM (EDT)

University of Texas regents have stripped the name of a former law school professor and early organizer of the Ku Klux Klan from a campus dormitory.

Thursday's vote in Austin was unanimous.

The residence hall named after William Stewart Simkins will now be known as Creekside Dormitory. The two-story brick building was constructed in the 1950s near Waller Creek.

Simkins, who was a Confederate colonel, helped organize the Klan in Florida after the Civil War. He taught law at Texas from 1899-1929 and gave speeches and wrote papers promoting the Klan and terrorizing blacks.

Regents also voted to change the name of Simkins Park, a small green space next to the dorm that had been named after Simkins' brother, Eldred Simkins, who served on the university board from 1882-1896.

By Jim Vertuno

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