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James N. Cunningham papers

Identifier: 1987_042-UA

This collection includes Cunningham's personal correspondence, his Last Will and Testament, and personal and business tax records. The tax records include detailed monthly profit and loss statements from Cunningham's Cafe dating from September 1943 to December 1967 when it was sold (possibly because it was no longer profitable). Also in this collection are a menu from Cunningham's, photographs - some by Potter - of the Cunningham family and the Louisville Police force, and a daybook of purchases for the restaurant and bar dating from October 1944 to January 1946. There are also some newspaper clippings saved by Cunningham and appointment yearbooks. The newspaper clippings are mostly undated and perhaps have come from out-of-town papers. Most are political articles or opinion columns on national politics. The three yearbooks from 1928 to 1930 are mostly empty and what entries do exist are hard to understand. Most entries are lists of fees such as telephone, rent, federal docket and court fees. None are explained.


  • 1918-1968


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the University of Louisville.


1.0 linear foot

Biographical / Historical

James N. (Captain) Cunningham, a Louisville native, was best known for his restaurant, Cunningham's Cafe on Fifth and Breckinridge. He served in the Army during World War I and returned to Louisville to become active in Republican politics. His political activities won him an appointment as a secretary of the Louisville Police Department, and by 1920 he was named a captain. In addition to police work, Cunningham purchased his restaurant in 1922 and operated it until 1967. He decorated the restaurant and bar areas with numerous local history photographs secured by his friend. Richard G. Potter.

James N. Cunningham Papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752