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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Senator John K. Shields Papers

Identifier: MPA-0120
This set of papers include numerous deeds and tax receipts of property owned by the Shields family throughout Tennessee. Also included are sets of business and personal correspondence for the Senator, his wife, and stepdaughter.


  • 1841-1948

Conditions Governing Access

The Modern Political Archives are housed at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy. Researchers interested in consulting the MPA collections are advised to contact the Modern Political Archives .

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Modern Political Archives .


3 Linear Feet

Biographical/Historical Note

The Honorable John K. Shields was born on August 15, 1858 in Grainger Co., Tennessee. Undertaking a career in law, Shields was admitted to the bar in 1879. He was in partnership with his father until 1891 when his father retired. In 1888, at the age of 30, Shields was appointed a master in Chancery Court, serving six years. He continued to practice law until 1902, when he was selected to the State Supreme Court. In 1910, he was re-elected to the Supreme Court and appointed Chief Justice. In 1913, Shields was elected to the United States Senate, a post he filled admirably until his defeat in 1924. Mr. Shields, a Democrat, was considered one of the top contenders for a seat on the United States Supreme Court in 1922. Upon his defeat in 1924, Mr. Shields retired to his Grainger Co. farm, where he resided until his death in 1934. Mr. Shields married twice. His last wife was Jeanette Cowan, who preceded him in death by two weeks. They had a stepdaughter, Jeanette Heth.

Previous Citation

This collection was previously listed as MS.1708

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA