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Blood River Rising:

The Thompson-Crismon Feud of the 1920s

Victoria Pope Hubbell


ISBN: 978-1-60454-234-9





“The KKK weren’t never about race. It were always about power and greed.”

So begins 86-year-old Hadley Thompson, who insists a rural historian research why two people were murdered. At first, Hubbell has little interest in the matter. Not only did the murders take place in 1924, there never was a question of who committed them. What difference could a motive make now? It is Thompson’s insistence that an active Ku Klux Klan chapter fueled the feud between two blue-eyed, Baptist families that helps change Hubbell’s mind.

Soon Thompson and Hubbell are an unlikely duo, tramping through field grass, combing through copies of dusty newspapers, and driving down gravel roads to discover what made friends and neighbors turn against each other in post World War I America. More than just a story of a feud, Blood River Rising whispers a warning for today’s increasingly diverse society.

Praise for Blood River Rising

“A gripping tale of betrayal and revenge, with deep resonances for today’s world. Author and historian Victoria Hubbell has done a terrific job of bringing this story and its characters to life.”

—Sean Murphy,
Hemingway Award-winning author of
One Bird, One Stone, and The Time of New Weather.


“Hubbell presents an engaging, entertaining, and an earthy saga…. The author’s skillful rendition in grappling with competing reminiscences, compared to primary sources, offers a literary model for other writers.”

—Lynn Morrow,
Historian, Missouri State Archives (retired)


“Read Blood River Rising and take a journey back into the rural 1920s in the Missouri Ozarks. I promise that you will enjoy the trip!”

—Gary R. Kremer,
State Historical Society of Missouri, Executive Director



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