Cunningham (James N.) Papers, 1918-1968

Descriptive Summary

Title
Cunningham (James N.) Papers, 1918-1968
Creator
Cunningham, James N., 1902-1969
Repository
University of Louisville

Collection Overview

Biography / History
James N. (Cap) Cunningham, a Louisville native, was best known for his restaurant, Cunningham's Cafe on Fifth and Breckinridge. He served in the Army during World War I and returned to Louisville to become active in Republican politics. His political activities won him an appointment as a secretary of the Louisville Police Department, and by 1920 he was named a captain. In addition to police work, Cunningham purchased his restaurant in 1922 and operated it until 1967. He decorated the restaurant and bar areas with numerous local history photographs secured by his friend. Richard G. Potter.
Scope and Content
This collection includes Cunningham's personal correspondence, his Last Will and Testament, and personal and business tax records. The tax records include detailed monthly profit and loss statements from Cunningham's Cafe dating from September 1943 to December 1967 when it was sold (possibly because it was no longer profitable). Also in this collection are a menu from Cunningham's, photographs - some by Potter - of the Cunningham family and the Louisville Police force, and a daybook of purchases for the restaurant and bar dating from October 1944 to January 1946. There are also some newspaper clippings saved by Cunningham and appointment yearbooks. The newspaper clippings are mostly undated and perhaps have come from out-of-town papers. Most are political articles or opinion columns on national politics. The three yearbooks from 1928 to 1930 are mostly empty and what entries do exist are hard to understand. Most entries are lists of fees such as telephone, rent, federal docket and court fees. None are explained.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence

Letter from Cunningham to his mother while at Camp Sherman in the Military Police, 8/9/18;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from Cunningham to his mother while he was in the Military Police, August 28, 1918;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Postcard from France signed Lucie, 6/10/19;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from France signed Lucie, December 11, 1919;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from France signed Lucie, February 22, 1920;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from Alice Becker to her father Dr. J.H. Becker, March 1920;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter to Chief of Police Petty from A. L. Hendrey, 5/30/20;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from Cunningham to A.L. Hendry, Louisville about police complaint, 6/2/20;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from France signed Lucie, October 1920;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from R.G. Potters to Cunningham, 12/27/32;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letter from J. Fred Smith, Attorney, Ohio, to Cunningham, 11/19/32;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Easter card to Cunningham from his mother, 1933;

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Postcard from someone in Canada to Cunningham, 8/11/42.

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Last Will and Testament of James N. Cunningham; 1 unsigned draft with notes; part of another draft with notes.

  • Box 1, folder 2
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U.S. and Kentucky tax returns, 1943-1968. itemized personal and business expenses included.

  • Box 1, folder 3
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Monthly profit and loss statements, 9/7/43-12/4/57, prepared by Louis T. Roth, C.P.A. for Cunningham's Cafe. __________, 3/5/58-12/31/67.

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Newspaper Clippings

"Today in Washington" by David Lawrence, about unions;

  • Box 2, folder 6
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"Time for Cleanup";

  • Box 2, folder 6
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"Today in Washington" by David Lawrence, about President Roosevelt wasting time;

  • Box 2, folder 6
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"Treadway Raps Aid Given Japan";

  • Box 2, folder 6
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" `Happy' and `Pappy' " about Kentucky Democrats and Happy Chandler;

  • Box 2, folder 6
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"The Great Game of Politics" by Frank R. Kent, 8/5/42 Washington, D.C. Evening Star;

  • Box 2, folder 6
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"Cunningham's Is Sold For Reported $175,000" Courier-Journal, 12/15/67;

  • Box 2, folder 6
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"Former Restaurateur J. N. Cunningham Dies";

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Miscellaneous Material

Certificate of Priority from Budweiser celebrating the end of prohibition, 4/7/33;

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Menu from Cunningham's;

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Envelope of bank records marked "sale of government bonds 1/13/65" (Liberty National Bank);

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Certificate for Edmond Herrick on discharge from Army 10/29/43;

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Sex Ration Card (parody of war time ration cards).

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Photographs

Many family snapshots [from 1920s];

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Some 8x10s [from 1960s];

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Some R. G. Potter Photos [from 1930s and 1940s];

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Louisville policemen and motorcycles 9/29/20.

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Books

Policeman's Black Reference Book;

  • Box 2, folder 8
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1928 Yearbook - mostly empty, what entries there are seem to be records of fee, rent and telephone payments and records of fees related to court cases and federal dockets;

  • Box 2, folder 8
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1929 Yearbook - same type entries as 1928 yearbook;

  • Box 2, folder 8
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1930 Yearbook - same type entries as 1928 yearbook. Two memo pages near back include monthly totals for some type of fees and expenses.

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Day Book (unboxed) - purchasing accounts for Cunningham's Cafe. 10/2/44-1/7/46.