Library of Congress
BECKHAM, John Crepps Wickliffe (1869-1940)
Senate Years of Service: 1915-1921

BECKHAM, JOHN CREPPS WICKLIFFE, (Grandson of Charles Anderson Wickliffe and cousin of Robert Charles Wickliffe), a Senator from Kentucky; born in Wickland, near Bardstown, Nelson County, Ky., August 5, 1869; attended the Roseland Academy at Bardstown and Central University, Richmond, Ky.; high school principal; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1889 and commenced practice in Bardstown in 1893; member, State house of representatives 1894-1898, serving as speaker in 1898; lieutenant governor of Kentucky in 1899, becoming Governor upon the death of the Governor, February 3, 1900; subsequently elected Governor for the unexpired term ending December 8, 1903, and reelected for the term 1903-1907; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1914 and served from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1921; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1920; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Labor (Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Congresses); resumed the practice of law in Louisville, Ky.; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Kentucky in 1927; unsuccessful candidate for nomination to the United States Senate in 1936; died in Louisville, Ky., January 9, 1940; interment in Frankfort Cemetery, Frankfort, Ky.

Eastern Kentucky University
Special Collections and Archives
Richmond, KY
Papers: Correspondence in Herman Lee Donovan papers, 1922-1943; Greater Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce records, 1931-1983; and in Keen Johnson papers, 1870-1970. Finding aid.

Filson Club Historical Society
Louisville, KY
Papers: Miscellaneous letters and references in various collections including Louisville mayors' records, 1870-1909. Finding aid.

Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
Frankfort, KY
Papers: Represented as governor in various agency and office records.

Kentucky Historical Society
Frankfort, KY
Papers: Items in the Beckham-Wickliffe family papers, 1818-1974; 3 letters (1918, 1926, 1930) in Historical Society Archives; 2 certificates (1903, 1906) in W. P. D. Haly papers; and copy of contract and check for construction of New Capitol. Also portrait and photographs.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: Correspondence in Robert Worth Bingham papers, 1879-1974. Finding aid.

University of Kentucky Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
Lexington, KY
Papers: 19 items (1899-1920) in various collections.

Western Kentucky University Library
Special Collections
Bowling Green, KY
Papers: 1903, 1940, 1942. 4 items. Letters, obituary, and autograph.

  • Burckel, Nicholas C. "From Beckham to McCreary: The Progressive Record of Kentucky Governors.'' Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 76 (October 1978): 285-306.
  • Finch, Glenn. "The Election of United States Senators in Kentucky: The Beckham Period.'' Filson Club History Quarterly 44 (January 1970): 38-50.
  • Schlup, Leonard. "Senator J.C.W. Beckham and the Fight for Ratification of the League of Nations." The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 95 (Winter 1997): 29-55.