Lewis L. McArthur Biography


        Lewis Linn McArthur, son of William P. and Mary S. (Young) McArthur, was born in Portsmouth, Va., March 18, 1843. He was educated at Brown University, Providence R. I., and at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., and read law at York, Pa., where he was admitted to the bar on March 18, 1864.

       He then went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, joined an immigration party and started across the plains for Oregon. He began the practice of law at Umatilla, landing in the Fall of 1864, and in 1865 was elected City Recorder. He also edited a newspaper known as the "Index". In 1867 he moved to Auburn, Baker County, where he practiced his profession and engaged in mining. He was elected County Judge of Baker County in 1868, and in 1870 founded the "Bed Rock Democrat", a weekly newspaper, still published at Baker City. His connection with this paper was brief, however, for in the summer of 1870 he was elected as Supreme Judge from the old Fifth Judicial District, a position which he held until 1878, when the separate Supreme Court was established. Upon being legislated out of office of Supreme Judge, he was immediately appointed as Circuit Judge of the Fifth District by Governor Thayer and was elected to the same position in 1882. He resigned from the bench in 1883 and formed a partnership with Judge J. B. Condon of the Dalles. This partnership continued until 1886, when President Cleveland appointed Judge McArthur as United States District Attorney for Oregon.

        Upon the expiration of his term of office in 1890 he became a member of the Portland law firm of Bronaugh, Northrup & McArthur, which was afterward changed to Bronaugh, McArthur, Benton & Bronaugh. Judge McArthur maintained his connection with this firm until his death on May 10, 1897, at Walla Walla, Wash.

        He was married to Miss Harriet K. Nesmith, daughter of the late Senator James Willis Nesmith, on July 10, 1878. He was survived by two sons, c. N. and Lewis A. McArthur, besides his widow. Judge McArthur was identified with the educational interests of the state, being a regent of the University of Oregon for more than 24 years. In politics he was a Democrat of the old school, although he repudiated Bryan and free silver in 1896. He served as president of the Oregon Bar Association during the years 1890-1891, and was prominently identified with several fraternal orders and charitable associations.

(From Bench & Bar of Oregon, P. 270)

Arthur F. Benson's Original Biography Document