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Introductory Documents - Judges of the Supreme Court
JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT

        The record shows that "February 18, 1841, I. L. Babcock was unanimously chosen Supreme Judge of Oregon with probate powers, and was instructed to act in accordance with the Code and laws of the State of New York until a Code should be adopted in Oregon." He was probably the first man to occupy this position. 
  
        "For the purpose of taking steps to organize a civil community and provide laws, Mr. W. E. Wilson was chosen Supreme Judge with probate powers," at Champooick May 2, 1843.
       
        In the Code and Primary Constitution submitted by the Legislative Committee July 5, 1843, this provision appears: "That judicial powers shall be vested in a Supreme Court consisting of a Supreme Judge and two Justices of the Peace. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall be both appellate and original."
 
        August 9, 1845, Hon. Nathaniel Ford, of Yamhill County, was elected "a Supreme Judge of Oregon." But he declined to serve, and the Legislature elected Hon. P. H. Burnett Supreme Judge for four years.
 
        February 11, 1847, Hon. J. Quinn Thornton took the oath of office as Supreme Judge of Oregon.
       
        November 13, 1847, Hon. Columbia Lancaster took the oath as Supreme Judge.
 
        February 13, 1849, Hon. A. L. Lovejoy was elected to the office. The early records are incomplete, but they show that Judges William P. Bryant and Thomas Nelson, who had been appointed Supreme Court Judges and who reached Oregon in 1849, were successors to Judge
Lovejoy.
 
        The first Chief Justice for the Territory of Oregon was Judge William P. Bryant (1849-1850). 
  
        The second Chief Justice was Judge Thomas Nelson (1850-1853). His Associate Justices were Orville c. Pratt and William Strong.
 
        The third Chief Justice was Judge George H. Williams (1853- 1859). 
  
        Judge Aaron E. Wait was the first Chief Justice after Oregon became a state (1859-1862).
 
        Judge Reuben P. Boise was Chief Justice from 1862 to 1864 and from 1868 to 1870.
 
        Judge Paige Prim was Chief Justice from 1859 to 1880, having been elected three times to this distinguished place, and was the sixth, ninth and twelfth to fill the position.
 
        Judge Erasmus D. Shattuck was Chief Justice from 1866 to 1868.
 
        William w. Upton was the tenth Chief Justice (1872-1874), and was Associate Justice from 1868 to 1872.
 
        Judge B. F. Bonham was Chief Justice from 1874 to 1876.
 
        Judge James K. Kelly was Chief Justice from 1878 to 1880.
 
        Judge William Paine Lord was Chief Justice at these periods: 1880-1882, 1886-1888, 1892-1894.
 
        Judge John Breckenridge Waldo was the sixteenth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, 1884-1886; Associate Justice, 1880-1884.
 
        Judge William Wallace Thayer was Chief Justice from 1885 to 1890.
 
        Judge R. S. Strahan was Chief Justice 1890-1892.
 
        Judge Robert S. Bean was Chief Justice 1892-1896.
 
        Frank A. Moore was Chief Justice 1896-1898; 1898-1902. Associate Justice 1902-1904, Chief Justice 1904-1908. Associate Justice; elected 1908 as Chief Justice, his term expiring in 1911, 1915-1916.
 
        Judge Charles E. Wolverton was Chief Justice 1898-1900. He was advanced to the United States District bench after the death of Judge Bellinger. Chief Justice 1904-1905. 
  
        Robert Eakin was Chief Justice 1911-1912. 
  
        Thomas A. McBride was Chief Justice 1913-1914; 1917-1921. 1923-1927.
 
        George H. Burnett was Chief Justice 1921-1923; Jan. 3, 1927 to Sept. 10, 1927.
 
        John L. Rand was Chief Justice Sept. 14, 1927 to Dec. 31, 1928. Jan. 3, 1933 to Jan. 7, 1935. Jan. 3, 1939 to Jan. 6, 1941.
 
        Oliver P. Coshow was Chief Justice 1929-1931.
 
        Henry J. Bean was Chief Justice 1931 to 1933. 1937 to 1939. 
  
        James U. Campbell was Chief Justice 1935-1937. 
  
        Percy R. Kelly was Chief Justice 1941 to 1943.