Judge John Wesley Longyear

Prior to his appointment in 1870 to replace Judge Wilkins, John Wesley Longyear was active in politics, serving two terms in 1862 and 1864 in the U.S. House of Representatives. He died suddenly in 1875 at the age of 54 so his tenure lasted only five years. Judge Longyear was very interested in women’s education and served as president of the Board of Trustees of Michigan Female College in Lansing.

As reported in the Detroit Free Press edition of March 13th 1875, Judge Longyear received many eulogies after his untimely death. Alfred Russell, a member of the bar, said, “Every man, whether lawyer or suitor, who went out of Judge Longyear’s court bore with him the conviction that a just judge had decided his case. He was both anxious and able to do justice.”