Charles E. Wolverton Biography


        Chief Justice from 1898 to 1900.

        Judge Charles E. Wolverton deserves to be classed as a native son of Oregon, as he passed almost his entire life within the state. He was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, May 16, 1841, and was brought by his parents, John and Mary Jane (Nealy) Wolverton, across the plains in 1853, who settled upon a donation land claim in Polk county some eight miles south of the town of Monmouth, where they engaged in farming and agricultural pursuits. Judge Wolverton passed his boyhood days with them on the farm, attending the common district school, located within the neighborhood, as opportunity afforded.

       At the age of seventeen he entered Christian college at Monmouth, and there received his literary and general education under the tutorship of Prof. T. F. Campbell, the well known educator, and graduated from that institution in 1871, with B. S. degree, delivering the valedictory of his class in 1872 with A. B. degree. In the fall of that year he began the study of the law, having entered the law department of the university of Kentucky, at Lexington, Kentucky. He graduated from that department in 1874 with high honors, end at once returned to the state of his adoption, was admitted to the bar and took up the practice at Albany, which he pursued for twenty years, with gratifying success.

        He served as Justice of the Peace from 1876 to 1878 and was later appointed Attorney for the School Land Board for Linn county. In 1892 he was elected by the republican state convention a delegate at large to the national convention which met at Minneapolis, Minn., and which he attended in person, casting his vote with six others of the delegation from this state for William McKinley of Ohio. Two years later he was honored with the nomination and elected as a justice of the supreme court, for a term of six years, commencing the first Monday of July, 1894. From 1894 to 1896, as junior associate justice of the court, as now constituted, he wrote many able and important opinions, continuing his best
efforts in a large number of well written opinions, as senior associate from 1896 to 1898. On July 5th of that year, the office of chief justice devolved by regular rotation upon Judge Wolverton. He was reelected in 1900, serving until appointed to the District Federal Court for Oregon, in 1905. He served as a Trustee of the Pacific University and the Reed Institute. He was a member of Phi Delta Gamma Society, Masonic fraternity, Arlington Club and Waverly Golf Club. The honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred upon Judge Wolverton in 1900 by Willamette University

        He was married to Miss Clara E. Price of Albany, October 3, 1878, and both were prominent in social circles in the capital city and at their home in Albany.

Arthur F. Benson's Original Biography Document