The Bullitt County History Museum

Bullitt Memories: Attorney General A. E. Funk

The following article by Charles Hartley was originally published here on 16 Dec 2017.


Alverado Erwin Funk, the second by that name, was born in June 1895 to Judge Alverado Erwin "Rade" Funk and his second wife, Eugenia Holsclaw Funk, on their Bullitt County farm.


Attorney General
A. E. Funk

Erwin, as he was generally known, attended local schools before graduating from the law school in Louisville in 1917. He enlisted in Officers Training School at Fort Benjamin Harrison in July, and was a lieutenant aboard ship heading for France when the Armistice was signed.

In the year immediately following the end of the war, Erwin worked on the family farm. Then in 1923 he began practicing law in Shepherdsville, in the office of Judge C. P. Bradbury.

Funk ran for County Attorney in 1925, but lost the race. Not deterred, he ran again four years later and won. He served one term, before losing a reelection bid in 1933.

His support for Governor "Happy" Chandler led to his appointment as assistant attorney general in 1936; an appointed that lasted through the administration of Governor Keen Johnson.

During that time, he was assigned to the Department of Highways where he attained substantial stature.

When his boss, J. Lyter Donaldson, ran on the Democratic ticket for governor in 1943, Funk was nominated for attorney general. The Republican candidate for governor, Simeon Willis, defeated Donaldson by nearly nine thousand votes while Funk lost his race by fewer than seven hundred votes.

He returned to private practice in Frankfort for the next four years. Then in 1947, he again ran for attorney general on the Earle Clements ticket and won. He served his four year term before returning to private practice in 1951.

Then, unexpectedly, he died of a stroke in July 1954.

At his death, The Courier-Journal described him this way: "In Funk was combined unusual ability in both the civil and criminal branches of law. He was rated as one of the best trial lawyers in Kentucky. His dry, rasping voice, plus a facility to simplify the complex, impressed juries with gimlet-like precision."

J. D. Buckman, Jr., a fellow Bullitt Countian who succeeded Funk as attorney general, commented, "The death of General Funk is a great loss to the state. He was a man of the finest character who stanchly and sincerely held his principles. His able and forthright presentation of views on public questions was a great stimulus to public opinion."

Erwin married Myrtle Childers of Brooks Station in August 1917, and they had four children: Eleanor Lorraine, Eugenia Loretta, Alvarado Erwin, and Betty Belle.


The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 08 Sep 2018 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/memories/funk2.html

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