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Curtis G. Shake oral history

Identifier: OH015


  • 1968


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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. Accessed March 16, 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.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 transcripts, 2 audiotape reels)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Christina Baich during March 2006. Finding aid revised by Bethany Fiechter on 2015/11/09. EAD finding aid created 2019/07/01 by Bethany Fiechter. Collection reprocessing completed 2020/02/28 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2020/02/28 by Brittany Kropf.


Curtis G. Shake oral history
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.