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Curtis Grover Shake

Curtis G. Shake Oral History
1968, 1972
2 transcripts, 2 reel-to-reel tapes
Manuscript Section, Indiana Division
Indiana State Library

Processed by: Christina Baich, March 2006

Biographical Note:

Curtis Grover Shake was born on July 14, 1887, in Knox County, Indiana, to Daniel W. and Arminda F Wyant Shake. He graduated from Vincennes University in 1906 and received his LL.B. from Indiana University in 1910. He was admitted to the bar in 1909 and practiced primarily in Vincennes, Indiana. On June 5, 1911, he married Ann Szelecki with whom he had one son, Gilbert.

Shake held a number of public offices including Knox County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (1911-1913); Bicknell City Attorney(1912-1915); U.S. Commissioner (1917-1921) ; Knox County Attorney (1923-1926); State Senator (1927); and Indiana Supreme Court Justice (1939-1946). He served on the Presidential Emergency Board for Settlement of Railroad Strikes under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S Truman (1944-1947). Shake was also the Executive Presiding Judge of the United States War Crimes Tribunal that tried I.G. Farben Industries officials in Nuremberg, Germany (1947-1948).

Shake’s first wife, Ann, died in 1946. He was married in 1952 to Alice Killion Hubbard. They had one daughter, Susan. He served on the Vincennes University Board of Trustees from 1923 to 1966 and was its President from 1945-1966. Shake was also the author of A History of Vincennes University (1928), The Old Cathedral and Its Environs (1934), and A Naval History of Vincennes (1936). He died on September 11, 1978, in Vincennes, Indiana.


Indiana Supreme Court Justice Biographies: Justice Curtis Grover Shake. Indiana Supreme Court. 16 Mar. 2006. 

Shepherd, Rebecca A., Charles W. Calhoun, Elizabeth Shanahan-Shoemaker, and Alan F. January, comp. A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, Volume 1, 1816-1899. Indianapolis: The Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly, 1980.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection contains transcripts of two interviews of Curtis G. Shake conducted by Thomas Krasean and Robert Montgomery on April 10, 1968 and April 23, 1972. In the 1968 interview, Shake discusses his boyhood days; his schooling; his acquaintances with such men as Paul McNutt, Wendell Willkie, and Sherman Minton; several of his most interesting cases as a lawyer; and concludes with his thoughts on the Nuremberg Trials. Following the interview transcript, is a transcript of a speech made by Shake before the Vincennes Historical and Antiquarian Society on May 14, 1968. The 1972 interview covers Shake’s life up to 1907.

Item Listing:

1968 Apr. 10 Reel-to-reel tape
1968 May 14 Reel-to-reel tape
1968 Apr. 10  Transcript
and May 14
1972 Apr. 23 Transcript

Collection Information:

Size of Collection:
 2 transcripts, 2 reel-to-reel tapes
Collection Dates:
1968, 1972
Indiana State Library Oral History Project; Byron R. Lewis Historical Library, Vincennes University, 1972
Access: This collection is open for research.
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.  Possession of a reproduction from an Indiana State Library collection does not constitute permission for use.
Language Materials are entirely in English
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