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Charles Cecil Wyche Papers, 1906-1962

C.C. Wyche once noted, "A Judge cannot be a great Judge unless the members of the Bar of his State are great lawyers. Lawyers teach Judges the law. That feeling that Judges know all the law is clearly erroneous." Wyche would have known. The Prosperity native served for thirty years as a U.S. District Judge in Spartanburg.

Charles Cecil Wyche was born on 7 July 1885 to Cyril and Carrie Wyche. He graduated from The Citadel in 1906 and then attended Georgetown University. In 1909 he was admitted to the bar in South Carolina and began practicing law in Spartanburg. Wyche represented Spartanburg County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1913 to 1914. During World War I he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. From 1919 to 1933 he was city and then county attorney for Spartanburg. In 1924 he was appointed associate justice to the South Carolina Supreme Court. Between 1933 and 1937 he served as the U.S. District Attorney for the Western District in South Carolina and then on 30 January 1937 was appointed U.S. District Judge for the Western District. Wyche died in 1966 and was succeeded as U.S. District Judge by his former law partner, Donald S. Russell.

The collection consists of five linear feet of papers, 1906-1962, arranged in four series: General Papers, Judicial Papers, Topical Files, and Miscellany. General Papers, 1906-1961, consist largely of correspondence with individuals ranging from fellow judges Ashton Williams and George Bell Timmerman to prison inmates seeking to appeal their sentences. The correspondence chiefly documents the routine operation of a federal district court.

Judicial Papers include case decisions, Annual Reports of the Eastern and Western Districts in South Carolina, 1955-1963; and Reports of Examiner on Offices in the Eastern District, 1957-1961.

Topical Files relate to events and subjects of interest to Judge Wyche. Included in these files are speech materials from J. Strom Thurmond, James F. Byrnes, C.T. Graydon, W.W. ("Duck") Wannamaker, and other luminaries in South Carolina politics from 1932 to 1958; reports of court activities compiled for the 1961 and 1962 Judicial Conferences; and correspondence relating to Wyche's appointment as U.S. District Attorney for the Western District in South Carolina in 1933. The few Wyche speeches present reveal his attitudes towards his profession and his loyalty to the Democratic Party.

Included in the correspondence relating to Wyche's appointment as U.S. District Attorney is a letter to Abbeville mayor R.B. Cheatham, 12 June 1933, reflecting on his military experience in the First World War, "I too often recall how near you and I came to being buried at sea when we with thousands of others were attacked with influenza on the voyage overseas." In a letter to Greenville attorney W.D. Workman, 16 June 1933, Wyche expressed his high opinion of law partner Donald Russell, "I want to assure you that Donald Russell is one man I am not going to appoint as my assistant....He is too valuable for our firm to release to be an assistant district attorney."

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