• Identification00066080
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the John Gutknecht papers, 1906-1972 (bulk 1920-1960)
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationJohn Gutknecht
  • Date
    • 1906-1972
    • 1920-1960
  • Physical Description
    • 2.75 linear ft. (5 boxes)
    • 11 vols.
    • 1 oversize folder
  • Location
    • MSS Lot G
    • MSS Oversize G

Processed with funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Gift of Mrs. John Gutknecht (accession #: M1972.0048).

John Gutknecht papers (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Biographical materials, correspondence, travel diaries (17 v.; 1934-1965), scrapbooks (11 v.; 1911-1960), transcripts, certificates, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and other papers of John Gutknecht, a Chicago lawyer and judge. Present are transcripts of radio broadcasts pertaining to traffic court (1930s) and the Chicago Boys' Court (ca. 1932-1943), and transcripts of speeches from Gutknecht's successful campaign for Cook County State's Attorney (1951-1952). A large portion of the collection consists of travel diaries and transcripts of radio broadcasts of Gutknecht's commentaries on the political situation in Europe and the rise of Fascism (1936-1945), as well as customs, social and economic conditions, and political problems in Latin and South America (1943-1944). The scrapbooks contain clippings related to Gutknecht's education and career.

John Gutknecht (1889-1972) was a Chicago lawyer and judge, and a professor of law at DePaul University and John Marshall Law School. Gutknecht served as a judge for the Municipal Court of Chicago (1932-1950), Cook County State's Attorney (1952-1956), and as a judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County (1958-1968). As a municipal court judge, Gutknecht was known for his work with the Chicago Boys' Court and the traffic court. Gutknecht also traveled extensively in Europe, Latin America, South America, Asia, and the Middle East, and gave many public addresses, reports, and radio broadcasts on his travel experiences, including commentaries on the rise of fascism in Europe.

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the John Gutknecht photograph collection (1980.0135).

  • Names
    • Gutknecht, John, 1889-1972--Archives
    • Chicago (Ill.) Boys' Court
    • Chicago (Ill.) Municipal Court
    • Chicago (Ill.) Municipal Court--Traffic Court
    • Cook County (Ill.) State's Attorney
    • John Marshall High School (Chicago, Ill.)--Students
  • Subject
    • Fascism--Italy
    • Judges--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Juvenile courts--Illinois--Cook County--20th century
    • Juvenile justice, Administration of--Illinois--Cook County--20th century
    • Lawyers--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • National socialism--Germany
    • Traffic courts--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Politics and government--20th century
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Social life and customs--20th century
    • China--Politics and government--1912-1949
    • Europe--Description and travel
    • Europe--Politics and government--1918-1945
    • Latin America--Description and travel
    • South America--Description and travel

The collection is arranged in five series.

Series 1. Biographical materials, 1906-1972 (box 1-3, 5, OSFF 1)

Series 1 consists of biographies, correspondence, travel diaries (17 v.; 1934-1965), newspaper clippings, notes, certificates, and other biographical materials. Also present are items related to Gutknecht's education at elementary school, John Marshall High School, the University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado, where Gutknecht earned his law degree. The series includes correspondence with former students living in China (1926-1931). Box 5 contains pins, debating medals, and a plaque. Some certificates are oversize.

Series 2. Traffic court broadcast transcripts, 1932-1968 (box 4)

Series 2 contains transcripts of radio broadcasts made by Gutknecht made during his time as a judge for the traffic court in Chicago. Also present are Gutknecht's typed notes. Topics include traffic rules, safety, statistics on deaths caused by automobiles, and civic responsibilities.

Series 3. Travel broadcast transcripts, 1936-1945 (box 4)

Series 3 consists of transcripts of speeches and radio broadcasts of Gutknecht's observations while traveling in Europe (1936-1941) and Latin and South America (1941-1945). Also present are Gutknecht's typed and handwritten notes. Materials relate to the political situation in Europe and the rise of Fascism (1936-1945). Included are 10 articles Gutknecht wrote for the "Chicago Sun-Times" regarding customs, social and economic conditions, and political problems in Latin and South America (1943-1944).

Series 4. General materials, 1933-1968 (box 4)

Series 4 contains transcripts, correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and other papers related to Gutknecht's law career. Transcripts include radio broadcasts and speeches made during his tenure as a judge for the Chicago Boys' Court (ca. 1932-1934) and from Gutknecht's successful campaign for Cook County State's Attorney (1951-1952). Newspaper clippings relate to traffic court and other legal hearings. Also present is a statement by Gutknecht opposing the parole of Nathan Leopold (1953).

Series 5. Scrapbooks, 1911-1960 (Vols. 1-11)

Series 5 consists of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings about Gutknecht, mostly pertaining to his education, career, and court cases with which he was involved.