US Senator, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Civil War officer. Known for his brilliance he graduated from Kenyon College at the age of sixteen and was admitted to the bar at eighteen. He practiced law in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio and in Maury County, Tennessee from 1840 to 1845. In 1845 he returned to Ohio where he edited a Cincinnati newspaper, using this medium to proclaim his strong anti-slavery views. He worked as a clerk in the Ohio House of Representatives and served as a Cincinnati judge before being elected to the state Senate in 1856. In 1858 President James Buchanan appointed him US District Attorney of Southern Ohio. He held that position until 1861 when he resigned to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Union Army serving in the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry (with future US presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley ) before being transferred to the Fifty-first where he was promoted to the rank of colonel. In 1877 he was elected as a Republican to the US Senate to fill a vacancy left when John Sherman resigned. He served until 1879 and did not run for re-election. In 1881 he was nominated by President Rutherford B. Hayes to a seat on the US Supreme Court. The Senate accused Hayes of "cronyism" since the President and the nominee were former college classmates, had practiced law together and had served in the Civil War together. Later that year President James Garfield renominated him and Matthews was finally confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court by one vote. He held that seat until his death in 1889.
Bio by: Bigwoo
Mary Ann Black Matthews