Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Coordinator for
Court History and
Public Education Programs


Pho: 317.233.8682
elizabeth.osborn@courts.IN.gov

Sarah Kidwell
Outreach Coordinator

Pho: 317.234.3055
sarah.kidwell@courts.IN.gov

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Outstanding Public
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History

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Courts in the Classroom > Justice Biographies > Justice James McCabe Justice Biographies

Justice James McCabe

(Forty-second Justice)

Justice McCabe was born July 4, 1844, in Darke County, Ohio.400 He died in 1911, in Williamsport, Indiana.401

His parents left Ohio and moved to Illinois during McCabe's childhood. He did not attend school until he was seventeen years old, while he was working as a section hand for the Monon Railroad in Crawfordsville, Indiana.402 After attending a trial in Crawfordsville, he made up his mind to practice law. He taught school in the winter and began to study law in his spare time. He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1871.403

He was an avid Democrat and twice ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress. In 1892, he was elected to the Indiana Supreme Court, and served one six-year term, from January 2, 1893, until January 2, 1899. He was defeated in his bid for re-election, along with the rest of the Democratic slate. He returned to Williamsport, where he practiced law until his death.404 Former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan journeyed from Nebraska to speak at Justice McCabe's memorial service.405


400. 1 id. at 279.
401. TAYLOR, supra note 89, at 187; In Memoriam, 177 INDIANA REPORTS xxxix, xxxix-xl (1913) [hereinafter McCabe Memoriam].
402. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 279.
403. 1 id.
404. 1 id.
405. McCabe Memoriam, supra note 401, at xl.

Source: Browning, Minde C., Richard Humphrey, and Bruce Kleinschmidt. "Biographical Sketches of Indiana Supreme Court Justices." Indiana Law Review: Vol. 30, No. 1, 1997. View this source in PDF format.