Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham, Governor of Kentucky; Senator from Kentucky

Male 1869 - 1940  (70 years)


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  • Name John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham 
    Suffix Governor of Kentucky; Senator from Kentucky 
    Born 5 Aug 1869  Wickland, Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 9 Jan 1940  Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Buried Frankfort Cemetery, Frankfort, Franklin, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Person ID I12160  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2020 

    Father William Netherton Beckham,   b. 1832,   d. 1882, Bardstown, Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years) 
    Mother Julia Wickliffe,   b. 1835,   d. 1913, Bardstown, Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Family ID F5830  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jean Raphael Fuqua,   b. 19 Aug 1879,   d. 4 Oct 1962  (Age 83 years) 
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2020 
    Family ID F5393  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (citation details below):

      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.

      From Wikipedia (accessed 1 Nov 2020):

      John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham […] was the 35th Governor of Kentucky and a United States Senator from Kentucky. He was the state's first popularly-elected senator after the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment.

      Descended from a prominent political family, Beckham was chosen as Democrat William Goebel's running mate in the gubernatorial election of 1899 despite the fact that he had turned 30, the minimum age for governor, during the campaign. Goebel lost the election to Republican William S. Taylor, but the Kentucky General Assembly disputed the election results. During the political wrangling that followed, an unknown assassin shot Goebel. A day later the General Assembly invalidated enough votes to give the election to Goebel, who was sworn into office on his deathbed. Taylor claimed the election had been stolen by the Democratic majority in the General Assembly, and a legal fight occurred between him and Beckham over the governorship. Beckham ultimately prevailed and Taylor fled the state. Beckham later won a special election to fill the remainder of Goebel's term, since less than half the term had expired, and an election in his own right in 1903.

      During his second term as governor, in 1906, Beckham made a bid to become a US senator. His stance in favor of prohibition cost him the votes of four legislators in his own party, and in 1908 the General Assembly gave the seat to Republican William O. Bradley, who had been governor from 1895 to 1899. Six years later, Beckham secured the seat by popular election, but he lost his re-election bid in 1920, largely because of his pro-temperance views and his opposition to women's suffrage.

      Though he continued to play an active role in state politics for another two decades, he never returned to elected office, failing both in his gubernatorial bid in 1927 (with suspected electoral fraud) and his senatorial campaign in 1936. He died in Louisville on January 9, 1940.

      Beckham County, Oklahoma, is named for him.

  • Sources 
    1. [S2439] Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress.

    2. [S4707] Find a Grave page for J. C. W. Beckham.