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RG2427.AM:  Franz C. Radke, 1890-1966

Papers:  1900-1964

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Lawyer; state senator

Size:  4.0 cu.ft.


Franz C. Radke was born on a farm near Wynot, Cedar County, Nebraska. He attended high school in Hartington, Nebraska, and in 1909 graduated from Wayne State Teachers College. He taught school for a year in Tecumseh prior to enrolling in the University of Nebraska where, in 1914, he received his B.A. and in 1917, his L.L.B. In 1917 he was admitted to the Nebraska Bar and in the same year was elected to the Nebraska State Legislature from Cedar County. From 1919-1920 he was a member of the Nebraska Constitutional Convention, after which he practiced law in Hartington and Tecumseh until 1924 when he was elected Johnson County Judge. In 1929 he was elected to serve as city attorney for Tecumseh, and in 1931 he became general counsel of the Nebraska State Department of Banking. He was with the department for 10 years, the last four of which he headed the Judicial Receiverships Division.

Radke was an authority on banking law and drafted much of the legislation which forms the present state banking statutes. An active and influential Democratic Party member, he served as personal secretary to Governor Charles Bryan during the years 1923-1924 and 1930-1931. A Lincoln resident since 1932, F.C. Radke was a member of many civic, professionals and fraternal organizations. He died in Lincoln in April 1966.


This collection consists of eight manuscript boxes of material arranged in nine series: 1) Correspondence, 1900-1964; 2) Missouri Valley Authority, 1945-1948; 3) Democratic Party, 1940-1949; 4) Professional Men’s Club records, 1925-1933; 5) Legal files; 6) German Dramatic Club; 7) Diaries, 1918; 8) Printed matter; and 9) Miscellany.

The bulk of the material in this collection consists of correspondence, newspapers and clippings, mimeographed information sheets, and printed matter concerning the fight for a Missouri Valley Authority through the years 1945-1948. In addition the correspondence concerns his law practice, outside business interests, and personal affairs. There is also broad coverage of the activities of the Democratic Party in Nebraska through 1940-1950. Series 6 consists of minutes of meetings and information sheets of the Professional Men’s Club of Lincoln, affiliated with the Interprofessional Institute, from 1925-1933.

Correspondents include: Charles W. Bryan, 1932; Hugh Butler, 1945; Leif Erickson, 1945-1946; William E. Kavan, 1945-1949; Frank B. Morrison, 1948-1949; Val Peterson, 1947; Walter R. Raecke, 1956; Sam Rayburn, 1945; Clayton H. Shrout, 1948-1950; J. Hyde Sweet, 1945; Arthur J. Weaver, 1921; Kenneth S. Wherry, 1942 and 1944.

Note: For photographs, please see the photo component [RG2427.PH].


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1900-1964

Box 1


  1. 1900, 1901, 1910, 1912, 1920 and 1921

  2. 1930-1935

  3. 1940-1941

  4. 1942, political

  5. 1942

  6. 1943

  7. 1944, political

  8. 1944

  9. 1945, political

  10. 1945

  11. 1946, political

Box 2


  1. 1946

  2. 1947, political

  3. 1947

  4. 1948, political

  5. 1948

  6. 1949, political

  7. 1949

  8. 1950, political

  9. 1950

  10. 1951

  11. 1952

  12. 1953

Box 3


  1. 1954

  2. 1955

  3. 1956

  4. 1957

  5. 1958

  6. 1959

  7. 1960-1961

  8. 1962-1963

  9. 1964

  10. n.d.

Series 2 – Missouri Valley Authority

Box 3


  1. Printed matter, including:

    “Missouri Valley Development Quiz,” Missouri Valley Development Association, Lincoln, Nebraska, c.1945

    The Nebraska Recorder, Volume 6, No.3, May 29, 1946

    Printed remarks of Senators James E. Murray, Guy M. Gillette, and Hubert H. Humphrey in the Senate, 1949

    “Analyzing the M.V.A. Bill,” collected articles by Max Coffey from the Omaha World Herald, n.d.

    The Progressive, numbers for January and July 1949

    Other pamphlets and articles

  2. Printed matter, including:

    Newsletters of the Regional Committee for MVA

    “The Unicameral Valley Authority, Its Effect upon Water Appropriation, Use State Control and Vested Interest,” 16 page manuscript by Judge Leif Erickson

    Circular letters and mimeographed information sheets

  3. Printed matter, including: Newspaper and clippings dated 1945 relating to persons and activities involved with the MVA fight

Box 4


  1. Printed matter, including: Clippings relating to persons and activities involved with MVA Fight

Series 3 – Democratic Party

Box 4


  1. Clippings, printed matter and lists of workers, 1940-1949

  2. Clippings, 1948-1949

  3. Lists of names, clippings, typescript copies of addresses made by Radke during his campaigns for office

Series 4 – Professional Men’s Club, Lincoln Chapter

Box 5


  1. Minutes, 1925-1929

  2. Minutes, 1929-1933

  3. Bulletins, 1925-1930

  4. Circular letters, 1925-1933

  5. Miscellany, including rosters

  6. Membership lists

Box 6


  1. Receipts for memberships paid

Series 5 – Legal Files

Box 7


  1. Hannah Craft, financial records, tax receipts, legal papers

  2. Papers and transcripts from the case of the Federal Land Bank vs. Louis Radke, 1934-1936

  3. Miscellany, includes: carbons of legal instruments executed by F.C. Radke in his law practice

Series 6 – German Dramatic Club (University of Nebraska)

Box 7


  1. Programs, clippings, etc. of the German Dramatic Club of the University of Nebraska

Series 7 – Diaries

Box 7


  1. One diary of a school-girl, 1918

    A diary of a vacation trip by automobile through Nebraska, Wyoming, and the Dakotas, not dated or signed

Series 8 – Printed Matter

Box 7


  1. Message of Charles W. Bryan, Governor, to the fiftieth session of the Legislature of Nebraska, January 1935, two copies

  2. Three copies of two plays written by Magdalene Craft Radke, printed by the Eldridge Entertainment House, inc., dated 1923 and 1927. Titles are: “Celestine Hangs On,” and “Killarney”

  3. Programs and premium lists of the Otoe and Richardson County Fairs for 1942

  4. Eight pamphlets of British origin relating to conditions in wartime and post-World War II England

  5. Unsorted pamphlets

  6. The Outpost, Published by Americans in Britain, numbers from November 1943-November 1945

  7. Newspapers: “The Weisman Massacre,” by M.C. Radke; and the “St. James Cannon”

Series 9 – Miscellany

Box 8


  1. Notebooks and a composition book

  2. Sheet music, report cards, and teaching contracts; a scrapbook of pictures

  3. Unsorted notes and papers

  4. Unsorted notes and papers

  5. Cards, invitations and programs

  6. Handbook for Cornhusker Boys’ State, 1952



Banking law — Nebraska

Bryan, Charles Wayland, 1867-1945

Butler, Hugh Alfred, 1878-1954

Democratic Party — Nebraska

Erickson, Leif

German Dramatic Club (Lincoln, Neb.)

Kavan, William E., 1889-1956

Lawyers — Nebraska

Missouri Valley Authority (Proposed)

Morrison, Frank Brenner, 1905-2004

Peterson, Val, 1903-1983

Professional Men’s Club, Nebraska Chapter

Raecke, Walter R., 1895-1960

Rayburn, Samuel Taliaferro, 1882-1961

Shrout, Clayton H.

Sweet, John Hyde, 1880-1964

Water — Law and legislation — Missouri River

Weaver, Arthur J., 1873-1945

Wherry, Kenneth Spicer, 1892-1951


08-07-2007   Revised TMM