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Carl E. Bailey Personal and Political Papers, 1871-2013

Carl E. Bailey Personal and Political Papers, 1871-2013

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Carl E. Bailey Personal and Political Papers, 1871-2013 UALR.MS.0005

UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
401 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, AR, 72201

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2015-06-03T10:04-0500

Repository: UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
Title: Carl E. Bailey Personal and Political Papers, 1871-2013
Dates: Bulk, 1930-1945
Dates: 1871-2013
Quantity: 22.0 linear feet; 39 document boxes, one half-size document box, one flat box, one oversize flat box, and one 5" x 3" item box
Identification: UALR.MS.0005


Series I: Personal Correspondence and Other PapersSeries II: Political PapersSeries III: Legal DocumentsSeries IV: FinancialSeries V: County Constituency Correspondence, Photographs, and Miscellaneous Material

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the personal and politcal papers of Carl E. Bailey, thirty-first governor of Arkansas (1937-1941), including correspondence with prominent politicians such as Harry S. Truman, personal financial papers, business records, legal documents, and speeches. In addition to Bailey's years as governor, this collection documents his terms as deputy prosecuting attorney, prosecuting attorney, and attorney general. This collection is arranged as follows:

Series I: Personal Correspondence and Other Papers contain letters, speeches, and documents concerning his church involvement, club activities, and civic involvement, including his membership in the Royal Order of Jesters, American War Dads (a nonprofit group organized during World War II in support of enlisted sons and daughters), and his interest in civil rights.

Series II: Political Papers contain correspondence and other material concerning Bailey's political career, including his work as deputy prosecuting attorney (1927-1931), prosecuting attorney (1931-1935), attorney general (1935-1937), and governor (1937-1941). Included are items concerning the extradition of Charles "Lucky" Luciano from Hot Springs to New York City in 1936, the implementation of the New Deal in Arkansas, the refinancing of state highway bonds, and Bailey’s bid for Joe T. Robinson's U.S. Senate seat in 1937. In addition to documenting Bailey's political career, this series contains correspondence and other materials concerning prominent Arkansas politicians, including Homer Adkins, Clyde T. Ellis, James William Fulbright, and Sid McMath.

Series III: Legal Documents including papers concerning Gustave Eisenmann v. Dorothy Eisenmann, 1920-1934, a high-society divorce case.

Series IV: Financial includes Bailey's business papers as well as personal and family financial records, including items concerning the Bloomfield Plantation where Bailey raised cotton, the Carl Bailey Company, Inc. (the family-holding company), the Central Tractor and Implement Company, the Fagan Electric Company, and the Fagan Electric Construction Company.

Series V: County Constituency Correspondence, Photographs, and Miscellaneous Material include letters from various constituents throughout Arkansas, maps, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and photographs taken during Bailey's gubernatorial campaign of 1938.

Biographical Note

Carl Edward Bailey was born in Bernie, Missouri, on 1894 October 8 to Edward Bailey, a logger and hardware salesman, and Margaret Elmyra McCorkle. In 1901, the family moved to Campbell, Missouri, where Bailey attended Campbell High School and played baseball and ran track, while also serving on the debate team. Bailey graduated from high school in 1912 and enrolled at the University of Missouri; however, he did not graduate due to a lack of personal funds.

In 1915, Bailey married Margaret Bristol of Campbell. After their wedding, Bailey attended Chillicothe Business College in Missouri and studied bookkeeping and accounting. Shortly after Carl completed his business studies, the Baileys moved to Augusta in Woodruff County, Arkansas, where he worked as a cashier for the Augusta Cooperage Lumber Company and the White River Hardwood Company. While in Augusta, Bailey studied law and passed the bar examination in 1923. Soon after, the Baileys moved to Little Rock, where Carl began the practice of law. By 1930, the Bailey family had grown to six children, and Carl's political ambitions had grown as well.

From 1927 to 1941, Bailey held the offices of deputy prosecuting attorney, prosecuting attorney, attorney general, and governor. Bailey held offices during the height of the Great Depression, and his political agenda addressed major concerns such as agriculture, bank litigation, civil service reform, education, and the re-financing of Arkansas's highway debt.

After Bailey lost to Homer Adkins in the gubernatorial race of 1941, he concentrated on his legal practice and business ventures, in particular Bloomfield Plantation, the Carl Bailey Company, Inc., and the Central Tractor and Implement Company, while maintaining his interest and influence in politics. Bailey supported James William Fulbright in his bid for the U.S. Senate in 1944 and backed Sid McMath for governor in 1948. Also in 1948, Bailey campaigned for Harry S. Truman's presidential reelection. Unfortunately, Bailey did not live to see the results of his campaign efforts on Truman's behalf and died 1948 October 23.

Arkansas--Politics and government--20th century
Bailey, Carl E., (Carl Edward), 1894-1948
Business enterprises--Arkansas--History--20th century
Lawyers--Arkansas--History--20th century
Luciano, Lucky, 1897-1962


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for viewing at the Arkansas Studies Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17-U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this material is liable for any infringement.

Copyright for correspondence in the collections belongs to those correspondents or their beneficiaries. Persons wanting to re-use those materials are advised to obtain permission from copyright holders.

Administrative Information

Citation Notes

Bibliographic Citation:

Carl E. Bailey Personal and Political Papers, 1893-2013. UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock.

Footnote or Endnote info:

Description of item, file number, and box number. Carl E. Bailey Personal and Political Papers, 1893-2013, UALR.MS.0005.

Processing by:

Kaye M. Lundgren, Archival Assistant, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2013.

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