US Congressman. He was born in Leonidas, Michigan, but moved with his parents while still a child to Mendon, Michigan, where he attended local common schools. He later attended Albion College in Albion, Michigan, and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he graduated from in 1871. He then began the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1872. In 1873, he married Mary Elizabeth Hankinson in Winnebago, Illinois, and the couple would eventually have two sons. He completed a postgraduate course in 1874 and was engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1877. He returned to Mendon, Michigan, and began to commence the practice of law shortly thereafter. He then decided to run for a political office. He ran for a seat as a Fusion Candidate for the Greenback Party to the Forty-Seventh Congress but lost the election in 1880. He then decided to run for a seat in the United States Congress and won. A Democrat, he then served Michigan's 6th District in the United States House of Representatives from 1883 to 1885. He was defeated for reelection as a Fusion Candidate in 1884 and 1890, and again in 1892. He also served as a Fusion Candidate for Governor of Michigan in 1886, Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Michigan (as a Member of the Resolutions Committee) in 1888, and Circuit Judge for Michigan's 15th Circuit from 1894 to 1911. He was defeated in 1911. He lastly ran as a Candidate for Justice of the Michigan State Supreme Court in 1897 and 1912. He became a Member of the Republican Party in 1916. After his retirement from politics, he lived the rest of his life in Mendon, Michigan. He passed away following a long illness in Mendon, Michigan, at the age of 89. His funeral was held at the Olney Funeral Home and he was buried beside his wife Mary who had died in 1930. At the time of death, he had practiced law for almost 70 years and he was considered one of the most brilliant advocates of tariff reform from the Democratic viewpoint. One of his most famous and trying cases was the estate of United States Senator Francis Brown Stockbridge who passed away in Chicago, Illinois, in 1894. The case concerned a financier who increased holdings of a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. The court found it was the executor's duty to conserve the estate and not to expand it. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the judge and the case was closed.
Bio by: Peterborough K
Mary Elizabeth Hankinson Yaple