Charles K. Wheeler papers

Abstract

The Charles K. Wheeler papers (dated 1879-1933, undated; 3.5 cubic feet; 11 boxes, 1 folder) consists of correspondence, bound volumes of congressional material, legal documents, and case files pertaining to Charles K. Wheeler's career as a lawyer and member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Charles K. Wheeler papers
Creator
Wheeler, Charles Kennedy, 1863-
Extent
3.5 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Political corruption -- Kentucky.
Lawyers -- Kentucky.
Corporate lawyers.
Speeches, addresses, etc., American -- Kentucky.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged into four series: Bound volumes, Correspondence, Law firm, and Personal.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by Jeffery Suchanek; machine-readable finding aid created by Hilary Writt
Preferred Citation
92m4: [identification of item], Charles K. Wheeler papers, 1879-1933, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Wheeler was born in Christian County, Kentucky, on the plantation of his father, Dr. James Wheeler. His education was largely by tutors or private instruction until he attended Law School at Lebanon, Tennessee. After his graduation from law school at the age of seventeen, the Kentucky legislature passed a special act which relieved Charles K. Wheeler, of Christian County, of the disabilities of infancy. As a result, Wheeler was able to begin the practice of law.
Wheeler moved to Paducah, Kentucky, and formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, James Campbell. He became Corporation Counsel of the City of Paducah during the first term of Mayor Dr. D.A. Yeiser.
In 1896, at the age of 33, Wheeler ran for the U.S. House of Representatives against the incumbent, John K. Hendrick. He served three terms in Congress before retiring to practice law once again.
Certain incidents of Wheeler's public service were widely publicized. After the termination of the Spanish-American War, he opposed the appropriation of twenty million dollars to be paid to Spain for ceding the Philippine Islands to the United States. He was opposed to the United States becoming involved as a colonial power, encumbered with remote possessions.
During the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, Prince Henry of Prussia, the brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, visited the United States in order to receive a yacht that had been manufactured there. This incident and the proposed participation by the United States government and members of the president's family in the coronation of King Edward VII of England, caused Wheeler to express his discontent with the situation on the floor of the House of Representatives. In his speech, Wheeler announced his disapproval of the flunkeyism, toadyism, and snobbery of the Roosevelt administration, claiming favoritism toward foreign kings and princes, particularly Prince Henry. The opposition sought to make political capital of the event, and nationwide comment and publicity resulted. The enormous mail that Wheeler received after his speech ranged from high commendation to threats of assassination. The incident was recalled and publicized again during World War One when it was suggested that Prince Henry's visit was the beginning of German propaganda efforts in the United States.
During his service in Congress, Wheeler formed a partnership with Mark Worten. Later, after his retirement from Congress, he formed a partnership with D.H. Hughes and W.A. Berry. The firm of Wheeler, Hughes and Berry represented the railroads and utilities serving Paducah and enjoyed an active practice. The firm later became Wheeler and Hughes after the retirement of Judge Berry.
In 1911, Wheeler's son, James, became a member of the firm of Wheeler and Hughes. In 1930, Hughes retired and Wheeler formed a new firm with Roy M. Shelbourne of Bardwell, Kentucky. The firm Wheeler and Shelbourne continued until Wheeler's death in 1933. During his legal career, Wheeler argued cases in the state and federal courts of western Kentucky, the Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Scope and Content
The Charles K. Wheeler papers (dated 1879-1933, undated; 3.5 cubic feet; 11 boxes, 1 folder) consists of correspondence, bound volumes of congressional material, legal documents, and case files pertaining to Charles K. Wheeler's career as a lawyer and member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Bound volumes series contains bound Congressional Records, rules for Congress, a clippings book, and minutes from from the Ohio River Sand and Gravel Company. The Correspondence series consists of letters from across the country related to his speech on flunkeyism as well as letters regarding Wheeler's death. The Law firm series consists of legal documents and case files from his law practice. In the Personal series there is a small amount of personal correspondence as well as Wheeler's law school diploma.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of Kentucky. The University of Kentucky holds the copyright for materials created in the course of business by University of Kentucky employees. Copyright for all other materials has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky. For information about permission to reproduce or publish, please contact Special Collections.

Contents of the Collection

Bound volumes, 1879-1911

Acts of the Kentucky General Assembly, 1879-1880

  • Box 1
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Congressional Record for 55th Congress, 1899 February

  • Box 1
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Congressional Record for the 56th Congress, 1900 January

  • Box 1
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Constitution Manual and Digest; House Rules for 57th Congress, 1901

  • Box 2
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Congressional Record for 57th Congress, 1902 May

  • Box 2
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House Calendar for 57th Congress, 1902

  • Box 2
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Congressional Directory for 57th Congress, 1902 December

  • Box 3
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Clippings book, 1902

  • Box 3
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Congressional Record for 57th Congress, 1903 January

  • Box 3
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Ohio River Sand and Gravel Company - minutes, 1911

  • Box 3
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Correspondence, 1902, 1933, undated

Flunkeyism Speech (Folders A-F), 1902 February

  • Box 4
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Flunkeyism Speech (Folders G-L), 1902 February

  • Box 5
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Flunkeyism Speech (Folders M-N), 1902 February

  • Box 6
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Wheeler's death, 1933 June

  • Box 6
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Correspondence, biographical material, and miscellaneous congressional speeches and testimony, undated

  • Box 6
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Law firm, 1902-1932, undated

Christian County vs. Bassett, et al., 1929-1931

  • Box 7
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Ola Clark vs. Williams, 1932

  • Box 7
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Collins vs. Collins, 1932

  • Box 7
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First National Bank vs. Laird, undated

  • Box 7
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Haywood vs. Haywood, 1930 August-1932 April

  • Box 7
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Helson vs. Kentucky, 1928

  • Box 7
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Henderson vs. Western Kentucky Asylum (Folders A-C), 1902-1929

  • Box 8
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Insurance Company cases, 1925-1928, undated

  • Box 8
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Charles Raper vs. Columbia Amusement Co., 1932

  • Box 8
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Schmidt vs. Bradley (Folder A-B), 1927-1928

  • Box 8
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James Sears vs. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, 1927-1929

  • Box 9
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H. M. Thompkins vs. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 1930-1931

  • Box 9
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J. C. Utterback vs. Emmett L. Quick, 1929

  • Box 9
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Clyde Watts vs. Kentucky Utilities Co., 1931

  • Box 9
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Personal, 1900-1913, undated

Correspondence - personal, 1900-1913

  • Box 10
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Law school diploma, undated

  • Box 11
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Commercial and Manufacturers Association Resolution, 1902

  • Box 11
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Print, collage of photographs of members of the House of Representatives of the 55th Congress, 152/250, undated

  • Case 6, drawer 3
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Charles K. Wheeler photograph - back affectionately yours Cha. K. Wheeler, undated

  • Box 10
Includes modern negative of the photograph.
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For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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