Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Goebel family papers
University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Goebel family papers, 1865-1942, 1F50M-121, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.
2 reels of microfilm
Politicians. William Goebel was born near Pennsylvania, but grew up in Covington, Ky. He attended a Cincinnati law school. He established a successful practice in Covington and fought many lawsuits against the railroads, particularly the Louisville and Nashville line. Goebel built a large following based on his opposition to the railroad interests and image as a "friend to the common man." After sponsoring a controversial elections bill that left ultimate decisions in closely contested races to the Democratic- controlled legislature, Goebel ran for governor in 1899. His Republican opponent, William S. Taylor, was certified the winner in the close race. The Democrats appealed it to the General Assembly. Goebel was shot in front of the state capitol before a decision had been reached. Knowing that a victory by his opponent was imminent, Governor Taylor ordered the legislature to adjourn and meet in London, Ky.
He further sought to prevent the Democratic members from assembling elsewhere in Frankfort. Nevertheless, the Democratic majority did meet and declare Goebel the winner. The dying man was sworn in, along with his lieutenant governor, J. C. W. Beckham. When Goebel died four days later, Beckham succeeded him.
This is a microfilm copy of William Goebel's letters to his brothers, Arthur and Justus. They discuss the 1899 elections (primary and general), political issues of the 1890's and family news. Other materials include letters to William from his constituents, clippings about the assassination, letters of condolence sent to the family, and announcements for monument fundraisers.
There are also materials relating to family business, including Lowry and Goebel and the Cincinnati Ice Company. The collection also has copies of the letters exchanged by Justus Goebel and James Garrett, Kentucky Attorney General, over the question of railroad tax assessments.
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