[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Andrew Judge Curran Collection

Intro | Donor Info | Bio | Scope & Content | Folder List | Index | Links

Andrew Judge Curran (1865-1949)

Andrew Judge Curran (1865-1949)

Andrew Judge Curran was born in South Haven, Michigan, on September 9, 1865. His family moved to Crawford County, Kansas, in 1871. Curran graduated from the State Normal School in Emporia, Kansas, in 1888. In 1895 he received a law degree from the University of Michigan. He then entered into a law practice in Pittsburg, Kansas. Curran became interested in politics and public affairs. He was elected deputy county attorney for Crawford County, and later became the city attorney of Pittsburg. In 1910 he was elected the judge for the 38th District Court of Kansas. He was re-elected in 1914 and 1918.

In January 1920 the government of Kansas established the Court of Industrial Relations to settle labor disputes. The court's first investigation centered on the coal industry. The court called Alexander Howat, president of the United Mine Workers of America for the fourteenth district of Kansas, to appear. Howat, a long-time labor leader and agitator, was not a supporter of the Industrial Court and he refused to appear. The court appealed to Judge Curran of the 38th District Court of Kansas to issue an order forcing Howat to appear. When Howat again refused, he was arrested and brought before Judge Curran who charged him with contempt of court, refused to grant him a new trial, and sent him to prison.

Because of this ruling, miners and left-wing factions in Crawford County did not support Judge Curran in his re-election campaign of 1922. Consequently, he lost the election and resumed his law practice in Pittsburg. Curran died on October 19, 1949.

Collection #3

Andrew Judge Curran (1865-1949)
Papers, 1878-1923

.4 linear feet


Collection of Andrew Judge Curran, the judge for the 38th District Court of Kansas from 1911-1922. The collection consists of personal and professional correspondence, court documents, a scrapbook, and miscellaneous collected materials.


The scrapbook was donated to the Leonard H. Axe Library by Frank and Patricia Kuhel. The donor or donors of the other documents in the Andrew Curran Collection are unknown.


~ ~ See above ~ ~


The Andrew Curran Collection consists of correspondence, court documents, a scrapbook, and miscellaneous materials that primarily document his years as the judge for the 38th District Court of Kansas. The collection is arranged into four series:

The Correspondence series is divided into five sub-series: Alexander Howat case, Elections, Naturalization, Court business, and Personal letters. Each of the sub-series is arranged chronologically.

The Alexander Howat Case sub-series is primarily letters from friends and supporters commenting on Curran's verdict in the case. The majority of these letters are dated April and May 1920. There are also several letters written to and from Curran in 1922-23 regarding Curran's decision in support of the Kansas Court of Industrial Relations. Also included in many of the letters are clippings from various newspapers in support of the "rule of law". Most of the letters are replete with people's ideas about Americanization, Communism, Socialism, Radicalism, and Anarchism.

The Elections sub-series contains letters congratulating Curran on his election victories in 1910, 1914, and 1918. It also includes letters and clippings expressing regrets for his election loss in 1922.

The Naturalization sub-series consists of letters and enclosures from the United States Department of Labor regarding policies and court cases on naturalization. Also in the sub-series are letters to and from the American Legion and the V.F.W. regarding naturalization laws, the rules of entry during World War I, and the status of married women. Among this correspondence is a letter dated May 10, 1922, referring to the "Amazon Army", a name attached to the wives and daughters of striking coal miners who protested against the "scab" miners employed in place of their husbands and fathers in southeast Kansas mines.

The Court Business sub-series consists of letters to Judge Curran regarding cases heard in his court. The letters pertain to child support and custody, parole, and fee payment.

The Personal Letters sub-series is primarily letters to and from friends, and letters asking for advice.

The Court Cases series is arranged chronologically, except for the last folder of undated material. The series contains briefs, petitions, and decrees mostly related to naturalization and citizenship cases not tried by Curran, but sent to him by the U.S. Department of Labor for reference. Similar documents are also enclosed with the correspondence in the Naturalization sub-series. There are also copies of court documents relating to prohibition, a road tax case, and a divorce case.

The Scrapbook series consists of one volume of pamphlets and newspaper clippings. Most of the material pertains to labor unions and political parties. There are also several reprints of speeches made by William Jennings Bryan during the election of 1896, and a few of Curran's financial and real estate records from 1896. The volume contains an index in its front.

The Miscellaneous series is arranged chronologically, expect for the last folder of undated material. The series contains pamphlets on a variety of subjects, presentations made by Curran, poems, and miscellaneous material. Of note in the series is a U.S. Department of Labor Student's Handbook on naturalization, a 1920 Court of Industrial Relations booklet with a message from Governor Henry J. Allen, William P. Dillard's 1920 election pamphlet "How Shall We Vote?" and World War I draft registration forms.


Correspondence Series

f. 1-2 Alexander Howat case, 1920-1923
f. 3-4 Elections, 1910-1923
f. 5-6 Naturalization, 1911-1922
f. 7 Court Cases, 1911-1922
f. 8 Personal, 1895-1923

Court Cases Series

f. 9-11 1878-1922, undated

Scrapbook Series

f. 12 Scrapbook, 1895-1897

Miscellaneous Series

f. 13-14 1911-1922, undated


Aliens - Handbooks, manuals, etc..
Allen, Henry J. (1868-1950).
Beezley, George F..
Brandenburg, William A. (1869-1940).
Bryan, William Jennings (1860-1925).
Court of Industrial Relations.
Curran, Andrew Judge (1865-1949).
Elections -- Judicial, 1910s.
Elections -- Presidential, 1896.
Elections -- Presidential, 1920.
Howat, Alexander M. (1876-1945).
Johnston, William A. (1848- ).
Judges -- Correspondence.
Labor Unions.
Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce.
Richardson, E.N.
Strikes -- Coal Miners.
United States. Dept. of Labor.
Work, George H.

Selected local material

Links to related sites

Last Modified: Jul 09, 2007 - 10:15

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]