Charles A., Elizabeth, and Charles E. Kading Papers, 1893-1976

Container Title
Wis Mss TX
Part 1 (Wis Mss TX): Original Collection, 1896-1937
Physical Description: 4.0 c.f. (10 archives boxes) 
Scope and Content Note

These papers, presented in the 1950s, consist largely of correspondence and, with one exception, relate chiefly to the years when Charles A. Kading was a member of Congress, 1927-1933. Correspondence for the years 1923 and 1924 is concerned with Mrs. Kading's work as president of the State Board of Control. According to a 1953 field report by Historical Society staff, Mr. Kading sorted through the papers before releasing them to the Society and is thought to have “destroyed much.” Of the papers received, about one third were concerned with Kading's efforts to get pensions and compensation for ex-soldiers and their widows. As veterans information is available from the Veteran's Bureau, and the correspondence was of little consequence, this group of papers was not retained. The Kading papers are arranged chronologically, by month only. An appendix to this finding aid contains an index to selected correspondents' letters. Prominent correspondents include Charles Goff, Charles E. Broughton, Herman L. Ekern, William Theodore Evjue, Carlisle V. Hibbard, Halbert L. Hoard, Philip Fox La Follette, Robert M. La Follette Jr., O.J.G. Peters, and Edward Voigt. A few non-correspondence items are filed following the correspondence.

Matters with which Kading's Congressional correspondence deals vary widely in importance. By far the larger number of letters are concerned with satisfying requests from constituents--sending them bulletins, helping them to get appointments, helping them to extend rural mail service, helping to secure post ofice buildings, taking up grievances against the government etc. While in Congress he was a member of the Accounts, Elections No. 1, Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Rivision of the Laws, and Labor committees, and yet none of his actual committee work is revealed in these papers.

Occasionally, one finds a letter to a constituent, or to his brother, John F., in which Kading expresses his position as a lawmaker; and by these it is shown that he opposed Prohibition, supported organized labor, and opposed a Federal sales tax. Letters showing Kading's political associations in his district are a little less meager; for instance, there is material on the elections of 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932, and 1934. The two latter years yield some information on Progressives in that year and problems raised by redistricting.

Two small groups of papers merit special mention. (1) From 1926 to 1933 letters were exchanged between Charles A. Kading and O.J.G. Peters of Portage, Chairman of the Portage Deep Waterway Committee, concerning the Portage canal. There are also letters from the U.S. Army Engineers in 1928 on the advisability of dredging the upper Fox River. (2) Between 1928 and 1930 there are several letters referring to a proposal to revoke the license of many small radio stations in order to increase the power of larger ones. Some interpreted this proposal of the Federal Radio Commission as an attempt to control radio stations for political reasons. Several small Wisconsin stations, including WIBA, Madison, and WIBU, Poynette, would have suffered by this move.

Among the miscellaneous items filed at the end of the correspondence is a business survey and report on Sheboygan made April 30, 1929 in connection with efforts to obtain a new post office. Also found there are campaign expense records for 1906-1910 and other financial records.

Box   1
1915, 1917, 1918, 1923-1926
Box   2
1927-1928 June
Box   3
1928 July-1929 October
Box   4
1929 November-1930 May
Box   5
1930 June-1931 April
Box   6
1931 May-1932 February
Box   7
1932 February-June
Box   8
1932 June-December
Box   9
1933-1934 August
Box   10
1934 September-1937 March
Box   10
Box   10
Biographical items
Box   10
Box   10
Campaign memoranda and expenses for 1906, 1908, and 1910 (Volume 1)
Box   10
Account book and Assets and Liabilities, 1907-1911 (Volume 2)