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

 

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

More Awards

Courts in the Classroom > Justice Biographies > Justice John Wesley Spencer Justice Biographies

Justice John Wesley Spencer

(Fifty-third Justice)

Justice John Wesley Spencer

Justice Spencer was born March 7, 1864, at Mount Vernon, Indiana, and died June 28, 1939, in Madison, Wisconsin.

He graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1880, and afterwards was a student at the Central Indiana Normal College at Danville for one year. He studied law in his father's law office in Mount Vernon, and was admitted to the Indiana bar on his twenty-first birthday.497

He practiced law in Mount Vernon until 1890, when he was elected
prosecuting attorney of the 1st Indiana Judicial Circuit.498 He moved to Evansville, Indiana, in 1891. He was re-elected prosecuting attorney in 1892 and remained in this post until 1895.499 Judge Spencer was then affiliated with the firm of Spencer & Brill until he was appointed to the Vanderburgh Circuit Court in 1911.500 He was then elected to the Indiana Supreme Court, where he served from April 15, 1912 to January 17, 1919.501




497. J.W. Spencer Sr. Dies in Wisconsin, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, June 29, 1939, at 11, reprinted
in 19 INDIANA BIOGRAPHY SERIES, supra note 2, at 39.
498. 3 MONKS, supra note 25, at 1365.
499. 3 id.
500. 1 WHO WAS WHO, supra note 145, at 1162.
501. J.W. Spencer Sr. Dies in Wisconsin, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, June 29, 1939, at 11, reprinted
in 19 INDIANA BIOGRAPHY SERIES, supra note 2, at 39.

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.