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New Capitol Records, 1900-1985 (bulk 1900-1910)

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Archives Staff


New Capitol Records


1900-1985 (bulk 1900-1910)


Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections & Archives. Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-1931

Conditions Governing Access note

Access at KHS only. Use microfilm, transcriptions or images when available.

For microfilmed copies see Clift number(s): 0148

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], New Capitol. Records, 1900-1985 (bulk 1900-1910), 86SC18,Library Special Collections and Archives, Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort.


1 folder, .2 c.f.


Governor J.C.W. Beckham pushed a plan to erect a new capitol to replace the Old Capitol, designed by Gideon Shryock, which was located on the public square in Frankfort. The new building was also intended to be placed on the square, the site of the first three capitols, but the plans drawn up by the architects, F.M. Andrews & Co., called for a larger building than the old grounds could accommodate. A new site was chosen in South Frankfort.

A substantial amount of money was recovered in the early years of Beckham's administration from the federal government to pay claims owed Kentucky from the Civil War. This war reparation money supposedly enabled the state government to put its finances on a sound footing and initiate the new capitol project.

Scope and Content

This collection contains documents concerning the New Capitol of Kentucky and its construction, which took place between 1906 and 1910.

The materials in this collection include sixteen petitions drawn up and signed by women in several Kentucky counties in 1900 requesting the legislature to make appropriations for a new capitol. There is also a check for $1,323,999.35 written by Governor Beckham as chairman of the Sinking Fund Commission to the state treasury, from monies obtained from the payment by the U.S. Government to Kentucky for Civil War reparations.

Other materials include a copy of the act passed in 1904 authorizing "erection and completion of the Capitol", which is signed by the legislator who introduced the bill, Representative L.F. Johnson of Frankfort. There are also in the group, a copy of the contract let in 1905 for the actual construction work, two programs and an invitation for the cornerstone-laying ceremony in 1906, and a description of the bill considered (and later passed) in 1902 to create a State Board of Commissioners to plan the new capitol is included, as well as a descriptive pamphlet published in 1912 describing the new state house. It is inscribed as the property of Mrs. H.V. McChesney, wife of the former Secretary of State and early commissioner on the aforesaid Board.

The collection has two copies of a 1928 General Assembly resolution to create a legislative committee to oversee plans to paint murals in the building. There is also a clipping concerning Kentucky statehood from the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL Sesquicentennial edition of 1942, and a commemorative program from the 75th anniversary celebration of the Capitol in 1985 in the group.

Arrangement: Chronological

Variant Name: State Capitol Building. Frankfort, Kentucky

County: Franklin


  • Kentucky -- Capital and capitol
  • Capitols -- Design and construction
  • Resolutions, Legislative -- Kentucky
  • Beckham, John Crepps Wickliffe, -- 1869-1940

User Restrictions

Permission for commercial use must be requested from the Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections.

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