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William L. Parsons arrived in Fergus Falls in 1882 to practice law. He was twenty-fours years old and already a member of the New York bar. In 1886, he formed a partnership with James A. Brown, and their firm soon became one of the most prominent in the area. In 1913, a third judgeship was added to the Seventh Judicial District, and Governor Eberhart appointed Parsons to fill this slot. He served until late 1927, when he resigned. He died on January 13, 1939, and the following day the Fergus Falls Daily Journal published his obituary.
Harry Andrew Blackman served as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from June 9, 1970 to August 3, 1994, when he retired. He died at age 90 on March 4, 1999. On October 27, 1999, a Memorial Proceeding was held for him in the Court.
Warren Earl Burger served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1969 to 1986, when he retired. He died at age 88 on June 25, 1995. On April 30, 1996, a Memorial Proceeding was held for him in the Court.
Pierce Butler served as Associate Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court from December 21, 1922, to his death on November 16, 1939, at the age of 73. Memorial proceedings for him were held in the Supreme Court on January 27, 1940, and May 20, 1940. They are posted in their entirety in this article.
This "appreciative sketch" of Associate Justice Pierce Butler appeared on pages 40-42 of the March-April, 1923, issue of "Case and Comment." It was written by William D. Riter, an Assistant Attorney General of the United States.
The Presentation of Picture Portraits of the Judges of the U. S. District Court of Minnesota. (1965)
On September 14, 1965, the judges of the U. S. District Court of Minnesota convened to receive "picture portraits" of the seventeen past and present judges of the court. The four incumbent judges were Gunnar H. Nordbye, Dennis F. Donovan, Edward J. Devitt and Earl R. Larson.
Dennis F. Donovan served as a federal district court judge in Minnesota from July 1945 through December 1965, when he took senior status. He died on September 16, 1974, at age eighty-five. Several days later, the Duluth Herald carried a short obituary.
Earl R. Larson served as United States District Court Judge from 1961 to 2001, when he died at age ninety. This tribute by Gary Weissman appeared first in the December 2001 issue of "The Hennepin Lawyer."
Donald Pomery Lay served on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals from July 22, 1966, to his death at age 80 on April 29, 2007. On September 26, 2007, a Memorial Session of the Court was held for him in the federal courthouse in St. Louis.
Five years after graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1929, George E. MacKinnon was elected as a Republican to the Minnesota House of Representatives. He was reelected three times. Though absorbed in politics, he maintained a private practice. After serving in the Navy during the war, he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives, serving in 1947-1949. Defeated for reelection in 1948, he returned to private practice but remained active in the Republican Party. He served as U. S. Attorney in Minnesota from 1953 to 1958, when he ran unsuccessfully for governor. During the 1960s, he was an executive and house counsel for a large mutual fund. Shortly after taking office in 1969, Richard Nixon nominated MacKinnon to a seat on the influential "D. C. Circuit." He was confirmed by the Senate on May 5, 1969, took senior status on 1983, and died on May 1, 1995, at age eighty-nine.
Before he was nominated for a seat on the federal bench, Philip Neville had achieved a long record of accomplishment at the bar. He was a successful trial lawyer, United States Attorney in 1952-1953, President of the Hennepin County Bar Association in 1956-1957, and President of the Minnesota State Bar Association in 1963. He served as Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota from August 4, 1967, to his death on February 13, 1974. On May 3, 1974, a memorial service was held for him in the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.
On March 17, 1892, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Walter Henry Sanborn to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Later that year, George Thompson, a St. Paul newspaper publisher, wrote a "Biographical Sketch" of Sanborn "To tell the lawyers of the Eighth Judicial Circuit . . . something about the man who is to sit in judgment upon the causes in which they shall, from time to time, appear before him." Thompson describes Sanborn's ancestry, beginning in the 1750s, education, work as a high school teacher, service on the St. Paul city council, and member of the renowned "John B. and W. H. Sanborn" law firm, the "John B." being a famous Civil War General and the Judge's uncle. He also mentions several of Sanborn's courtroom victories. Thompson's pamphlet is scarce if not rare. The text posted here is taken from an original held by the New Hampshire State Library.
According to court historian Jeffrey Brandon Morris, Walter H. Sanborn was "among the most able judges" to sit on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He served from 1892 to 1928, and wrote over 1,300 opinions.
John Benjamin Sanborn, Jr., was a judge for forty-two years. He served on the Ramsey County District Court from 1922 to 1925, when he was appointed to the United States District Court for Minnesota, a post he held until 1932, when he was appointed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. During his thirty-two years on the appeals court, he was, in the opinion of court historian Jeffrey Brandon Morris, its "most influential member." He died on March 7, 1964, and on September 11, 1964, memorial proceedings were held for him in the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis.
Luther Wallace Youngdahl served on the Minnesota Supreme Court, 1943-1946, as Governor, 1947-1951, and as Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from October 1951 to his death on June 21, 1978.
This is a list of the referees and judges of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota from 1898 to the present. They are listed by date of appointment.
Judge Robert J. Kressel: "History of United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota." (2007).
This history of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota from 1898, when the first comprehensive bankruptcy law was enacted, to the present day, was written by Judge Robert J. Kressel, who has served on the court since 1982.
William Burns arrived in Winona in 1882, attended school, and read law in the offices of former Chief Justice Thomas Wilson. He began practicing law in Winona in 1885, when he was admitted to the bar; he also served as Referee in Bankruptcy from 1902 to March 1917, when he died. The following month, the Winona County Bar Association presented a tribute to him in district court.
Joel Mark Dickey was a fixture in the federal district court in St. Paul for forty-three years. He began employment in 1890, and served as clerk and Assistant U. S. Attorney from 1894 to 1920, when he entered private practice. But not for long. Upon the retirement of Charles L. Spencer, Judge Page Morris appointed Dickey Clerk of Court, a position he held until his death on August 10, 1933.
Nancy C. Dreher was a Judge on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota from January 25, 1988 to her death on November 23, 2012. This memorial was prepared by her former colleague on that court, Judge Robert J. Kressel.
John P. Galbraith graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1891, practiced law in St. Paul and Grand Forks, served three terms in the North Dakota Legislature, and returned in 1901 to St. Paul where he worked in several private companies handling credit matters until 1920 when he resumed private practice. It was with this wealth of commercial experience that he was appointed a Bankruptcy Referee in December 1927, succeeding Gideon Ives. He died on March 30, 1933, after only five years on the bench. Two weeks later, the Ramsey County Bar Association presented a memorial to him in district court.
George Heisey served as a Bankruptcy Referee from 1945 to 1970, when he retired. He died on February 10, 1990, and a few months later a tribute to him was delivered at the annual bar memorial session of the Hennepin County Bar Association by Thomas Lovett and Connor Schmid.
In 1909, "Governor" Gideon Ives was appointed Referee in Bankruptcy. This appointment followed decades of public service in local and state government. He served St. Peter as city attorney and mayor, Nicollet County as state senator in 1887-1889, and the State of Minnesota as Lieutenant Governor in 1891-1893, whence the title "Governor." In 1903, he moved to St. Paul to practice law. He became active in several fraternal lodges, and served as President of the Minnesota Historical Society in 1918-1921. He was a Bankruptcy Referee until his death on December 20, 1927, at age eighty-one. In April of the following year the Ramsey County Bar Association presented a memorial to him in district court.
Admitted to practice in 1879, John Randall practiced law in Winona and several other southern Minnesota towns for the next two decades. He served one term as Winona County attorney and two years as a Bankruptcy Referee. In 1900, he was appointed superintendent of the State Reformatory in St. Cloud. He held that post for twelve years, building a national reputation for innovations in penal administration and rehabilitation. In 1912, he resigned to accept an executive position in the Massachusetts prison system, but declining health forced him to retire some years later. He died in Minneapolis on August 5, 1921, at age sixty-four. The following month the Winona County Bar Association presented a memorial to him in district court.
In 1883, holding a degree from the University of Michigan Law Department, William T. Valentine returned to his home town of Winona and practiced there until the late 1890s when, suddenly, he closed his office and went prospecting in Alaska, but without luck. He relocated to Long Prairie in Todd County and ran for a seat on the district court in 1904, again without success. Returning to Winona, he reestablished his law practice, and served as an assistant city attorney, a municipal court judge and a federal bankruptcy referee from mid-1917 to January 23, 1919, when he died at age sixty-nine. In April of the following year, the Winona County Bar Association delivered a memorial to him in district court.
Ole J. Vaule was the longest serving referee in the history of the bankruptcy court for the District of Minnesota. Appointed in 1898 by Judge William Lochren, he served to his death on August 6, 1938. It was a part-time position, and during these decades he maintained a private practice with William P. Murphy in Crookston.