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John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham


Kentucky's Thirty-Fifth Governor

Serving from February 3, 1900 - December 1907

John C. W. Beckham was born on August 5, 1869 at Wickland, near Bardstown, Kentucky to William Netherton and Julia
Tevis Wickliffe.  His mother was the daughter of Kentucky's 14th governor, Charles A. Wickliffe and his wife Margaret Crepps.
In 1888 Beckham was appointed principal of the Bardstown public school where he served until 1893.  He was elected without
opposition in August as the Democratic nominee for the legislature. John served three terms in the Kentucky House of
Representatives (1894-1900).  Beckham was selected as the nominee for lieutenant governor on the Democrat ticket with
William Goebel in the election of 1899.  Republican, William S. Taylor was elected and sworn into office.  The Democratic
majority in the General Assembly reversed the decision.  On January 30, 1900 William Goebel was shot by an assassin
and given the oath of office on his death bed and John C. W. Beckham was sworn into office as governor of Kentucky.  
William S. Taylor refused to vacate the office. A special election was held on November 6, 1900 to determine who should fulfill
Goebel's term. J. C. W. Beckham defeated Republican John W. Yerkes and became Kentucky's 35th governor. In 1903 he was
re-elected to succeed himself for a full term.  After his service as governor he returned to his law practice.  He served the senate
again in 1915 to March 3, 1921.  Beckham was the Democratic candidate for governor in 1927, but lost to Flem D. Sampson.  
He supported Governor A. B. Chandler in 1935 and in return was appointed to Kentucky's Public Service Commission.

Governor Beckham married Jean Raphael Fuqua, daughter of Joseph A. Fuqua, of Owensboro, Kentucky on November 21, 1900.
They had two children; John, Jr. and Eleanor.  John Beckham died on January 9, 1940 and is buried in the Frankfort Cemetery
along with his wife and children.


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