Correspondence with family, other lawyers, judges, political
figures, etc.; legal files; office memoranda and financial statements. They relate to his
law practice in Shasta County, particularly cases involving water rights; prohibition
enforcement activities while district attorney; Democratic politics (including the 1932
national convention and the 1938 Olson gubernatorial campaign); Knights of Pythias; the
State Bar of California; and activities as state senator. Included also: miscellaneous
files, 1943-46, of Carlton & Shadwell, the law firm which succeeded Carter,
Barrett, Finley and Carlton; records re legal business of Redding, ca. 1947-52; and papers
of Oliver J. Carter relating to his career as state senator, ca. 1941-1948. (17 cartons)
Jesse Washington Carter was born in Carrville, California on December 19, 1888. He grew up
on a ranch in Trinity County and in 1905 went to San Francisco. After graduating from the
Golden Gate Law College, 1913, he was admitted to the state bar and practiced in the city.
In 1914 he moved to Redding, opening a law office there on February 5. Although a relative
newcomer, he ran for office of district attorney, losing the election by only twenty-three
votes. He was successful in his second try in 1918, and he held the position until 1927. The
major portion of his private practice was devoted to water litigation, in which he
invariably represented the farmers' side. He served also as city attorney for Mt.
Shasta, 1927 to 1939, and for Redding, 1937 to 1939. When he ceased law practice in 1939, he
had seven lawyers associated with him, and had two offices, one in Redding and one in Yreka.
Number of containers: 47 boxes, 91 cartons, and 8 oversize boxes.
Linear feet: 140.
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