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The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians: Death in Court

Very incomplete list!

in chronological order

  Robert Selden Rose (1774-1835) — also known as Robert S. Rose — of Seneca County, N.Y.; Geneva, Ontario County, N.Y. Born in Amherst County, Va., February 24, 1774. Member of New York state assembly from Seneca County, 1810-11, 1819-21; delegate to New York state constitutional convention, 1821; U.S. Representative from New York 26th District, 1823-27, 1829-31. Died while attending a session of the circuit court, in Waterloo, Seneca County, N.Y., November 24, 1835 (age 61 years, 273 days). Original interment at Old Pulteney Street Cemetery (which no longer exists), Geneva, N.Y.; reinterment in 1925 at Glenwood Cemetery, Geneva, N.Y.
  Relatives: Father of Robert Lawson Rose (1804-1877).
  Political family: Rose family of Geneva, New York.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Clement F. Dorsey (1778-1846) — of Chaptico, St. Mary's County, Md. Born in Anne Arundel County, Md., 1778. Lawyer; member of Maryland state house of delegates, 1807-13, 1818-19, 1821-23; served in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812; member of Maryland state senate, 1816-18; U.S. Representative from Maryland 1st District, 1825-31; district judge in Maryland, 1832-46. Died while holding court session, Port Tobacco, Charles County, Md., August 8, 1846 (age about 68 years). Interment at Summerseat Cemetery, Laurel Grove, Md.
  Relatives: Son of John Dorsey (1736-1810) and Mary (Hammond) Dorsey (1738-1783); married, December 12, 1799, to Priscilla Hebb (1780-1802); married to Dicandia Ireland (1776-1839); first cousin once removed of Andrew Dorsey; first cousin thrice removed of Eli Huston Brown, Jr.; first cousin four times removed of Albin Owings, Jr. and Eli Huston Brown III; first cousin five times removed of Leonard Franklin Poffenbarger; first cousin six times removed of John T. Poffenbarger; second cousin once removed of George Madison; second cousin twice removed of Alexander Warfield Dorsey; third cousin of James Madison, Daniel Dorsey, William Taylor Madison and Thomas Beale Dorsey; third cousin once removed of Caleb Dorsey (1833-1896); third cousin twice removed of George Riggs Gaither, Jr.; fourth cousin of Richard Ridgely.
  Political families: Dorsey-Poffenbarger family of Maryland; Maull family of Lewes, Delaware (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Find-A-Grave memorial
  John D. Cummins (1791-1849) — of Ohio. Born in Pennsylvania, 1791. Democrat. U.S. Representative from Ohio 16th District, 1845-49. Died while attending a session of the circuit court, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wis., September 11, 1849 (age about 58 years). Burial location unknown.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Charles Gordon Atherton (1804-1853) — also known as Charles G. Atherton; "Gag Atherton"; "Shifty Atherton" — of Nashua, Hillsborough County, N.H. Born in Amherst, Hillsborough County, N.H., July 4, 1804. Democrat. Lawyer; member of New Hampshire state house of representatives, 1830, 1833-35; Speaker of the New Hampshire State House of Representatives, 1833-35; U.S. Representative from New Hampshire at-large, 1837-43; U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, 1843-49, 1853; died in office 1853; delegate to New Hampshire state constitutional convention, 1850. Suffered a stroke of paralysis while attending court, and died soon after, in Manchester, Hillsborough County, N.H., November 15, 1853 (age 49 years, 134 days). Interment at Nashua Cemetery, Nashua, N.H.
  Relatives: Son of Charles Humphrey Atherton (1773-1853) and Mary Ann (Toppan) Atherton; married 1828 to Ann Clark.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  John Fryatt Snodgrass (1804-1854) — also known as John F. Snodgrass — of Parkersburg, Wood County, Va. (now W.Va.). Born in Berkeley County, Va. (now W.Va.), March 2, 1804. Democrat. Lawyer; delegate to Virginia state constitutional convention, 1850-51; U.S. Representative from Virginia 11th District, 1853-54; died in office 1854. Died suddenly, while arguing a case in court, in Parkersburg, Wood County, Va (now W.Va.), June 5, 1854 (age 50 years, 95 days). Interment at Riverview Cemetery, Parkersburg, W.Va.; cenotaph at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
  Relatives: Son of William Snodgrass (1775-1836) and Ann (Fryatt) Snodgrass (1778-1852); married to Louisa Kinnaird; uncle of Isaac Breathed Snodgrass; granduncle of William Thornton Henshaw and John Snodgrass Henshaw; first cousin twice removed of Edgar Craven Henshaw (1859-1924).
  Political family: Henshaw-Breathitt-Snodgrass-Sappington family of West Virginia (subset of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Willis Allen (1806-1859) — of Marion, Williamson County, Ill. Born near Roanoke, Roanoke County, Va., December 15, 1806. Democrat. Member of Illinois state house of representatives, 1838-40; Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1844; member of Illinois state senate, 1845-49; delegate to Illinois state constitutional convention Williamson, Franklin and Jackson counties, 1847; U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1851-55 (2nd District 1851-53, 9th District 1853-55); circuit judge in Illinois, 1859; died in office 1859. Member, Freemasons. Died while holding court in Harrisburg, Saline County, Ill., April 15, 1859 (age 52 years, 121 days). Interment at Marion Cemetery, Marion, Ill.
  Relatives: Father of William Joshua Allen (1829-1901).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Thomas Dickens Arnold (1798-1870) — of Tennessee. Born in Spotsylvania County, Va., May 3, 1798. U.S. Representative from Tennessee, 1831-33, 1841-43 (2nd District 1831-33, 1st District 1841-43). Survived an assassination attempt against him, at the U.S. Capitol, 1833. Died while attending court in Jonesborough, Washington County, Tenn., May 26, 1870 (age 72 years, 23 days). Interment at Oak Grove Cemetery, Greeneville, Tenn.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Clement Laird Vallandigham (1820-1871) — also known as Clement L. Vallandigham — of Ohio. Born in New Lisbon (now Lisbon), Columbiana County, Ohio, July 29, 1820. Democrat. Lawyer; member of Ohio state house of representatives, 1845-46; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1856, 1864, 1868; U.S. Representative from Ohio 3rd District, 1858-63; defeated, 1852, 1854, 1862; candidate for Governor of Ohio, 1863. Leader of the pro-Southern "Copperheads" during the Civil War; arrested by the Union military authorities in 1863 for treasonable utterances, and banished to the Confederate States; returned to the North by way of Canada. Accidentally shot himself, while practicing a courtroom demonstration he planned as part of a defense in a murder trial (not actually in court at the time, contrary to legend), and died of his wound the next day, in the Lebanon House hotel, Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, June 17, 1871 (age 50 years, 323 days). Interment at Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.
  Relatives: Uncle of John A. McMahon (1833-1923).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  Francis Burton Craige (1811-1875) — also known as F. Burton Craige — of Salisbury, Rowan County, N.C. Born near Salisbury, Rowan County, N.C., March 13, 1811. Democrat. Member of North Carolina house of commons, 1832-34; U.S. Representative from North Carolina 7th District, 1853-61; delegate to North Carolina secession convention, 1861; Delegate from North Carolina to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-62. Died suddenly while attending court in Concord, Cabarrus County, N.C., December 30, 1875 (age 64 years, 292 days). Interment at Old English Cemetery, Salisbury, N.C.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Charles Magill Conrad (1804-1878) — of Louisiana. Born in Winchester, Va., December 24, 1804. Lawyer; fought a duel and killed his opponent; member of Louisiana state house of representatives, 1840-42; U.S. Senator from Louisiana, 1842-43; delegate to Louisiana state constitutional convention, 1844; U.S. Representative from Louisiana 2nd District, 1849-50; U.S. Secretary of War, 1850-53; Delegate from Louisiana to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-62; Representative from Louisiana in the Confederate Congress, 1862-65. Suffered a stroke while testifying in court, and died a few days later, in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, La., February 11, 1878 (age 73 years, 49 days). Originally entombed at Girod Street Cemetery (which no longer exists), New Orleans, La.; re-entombed in 1957 at Hope Mausoleum, New Orleans, La.
  Relatives: Grandnephew by marriage of George Washington (1732-1799).
  Political families: Roosevelt family of New York City, New York; Lee-Randolph family of Maryland and Virginia; Meriwether-Kellogg-Tyler family of Virginia and Connecticut; Washington family; Clay family of Kentucky; DeBruyn-Washington family of Savannah, Georgia; Marshall-Harrison-Randolph-Cabell family of Virginia (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article
  Theodoric Romeyn Westbrook (1821-1885) — also known as Theodoric R. Westbrook — of Kingston, Ulster County, N.Y. Born in Fishkill, Dutchess County, N.Y., November 20, 1821. Democrat. U.S. Representative from New York 11th District, 1853-55; Justice of New York Supreme Court 3rd District, 1874. Died while holding court, in Troy, Rensselaer County, N.Y., October 6, 1885 (age 63 years, 320 days). Interment at Wiltwyck Cemetery, Kingston, N.Y.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
Benjamin F. Butler Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818-1893) — also known as Benjamin F. Butler; "The Bold and Bilious Benjamin"; "Beast Butler" — of Lowell, Middlesex County, Mass. Born in Deerfield, Rockingham County, N.H., November 5, 1818. Lawyer; member of Massachusetts state house of representatives, 1853; member of Massachusetts state senate, 1859; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1860; general in the Union Army during the Civil War; U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, 1867-75, 1877-79 (5th District 1867-73, 6th District 1873-75, 7th District 1877-79); defeated, 1874; Governor of Massachusetts, 1883-84; defeated, 1859 (Democratic), 1860 (Democratic), 1878 (Butler Democrat), 1879 (Butler Democrat), 1883 (Democratic); Greenback candidate for President of the United States, 1884. Died while attending court in Washington, D.C., January 11, 1893 (age 74 years, 67 days). Interment at Hildreth Cemetery, Lowell, Mass.
  Presumably named for: Benjamin Franklin
  Relatives: Father of Blanche Butler (who married Adelbert Ames); grandfather of Butler Ames (1871-1954).
  Political family: Ames-Butler family of Lowell, Massachusetts.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Image source: James G. Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress, vol. 2 (1886)
Augustus H. Garland Augustus Hill Garland (1832-1899) — also known as Augustus H. Garland — of Little Rock, Pulaski County, Ark. Born in Tipton County, Tenn., June 11, 1832. Democrat. Lawyer; Presidential Elector for Arkansas, 1860; delegate to Arkansas secession convention, 1861; Delegate from Arkansas to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-62; Representative from Arkansas in the Confederate Congress 3rd District, 1862-64; Senator from Arkansas in the Confederate Congress, 1864-65; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1868; Governor of Arkansas, 1874-77; U.S. Senator from Arkansas, 1877-85; U.S. Attorney General, 1885-89. Died suddenly while arguing a case before the Supreme Court, in the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., January 26, 1899 (age 66 years, 229 days). Interment at Mt. Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Ark.
  Relatives: Brother of Rufus King Garland (1830-1886).
  Garland County, Ark. is named for him.
  The city of Garland, Texas, is named for him.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article
  Image source: James G. Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress, vol. 2 (1886)
  Herbert Porter Bissell (1856-1919) — also known as Herbert P. Bissell — of East Aurora, Erie County, N.Y.; Buffalo, Erie County, N.Y. Born in New London, Oneida County, N.Y., August 30, 1856. Democrat. Lawyer; candidate for mayor of Buffalo, N.Y., 1901; vice-president, Niagara Gorge Railroad; also counsel to the Buffalo Traction Co.; Justice of New York Supreme Court 8th District, 1912-19; died in office 1919. Episcopalian. Member, American Bar Association; Sons of the American Revolution; Freemasons; Scottish Rite Masons; Knights Templar. While presiding at a trial, in court, in the Niagara County Courthouse, he suffered a heart attack and died, in Lockport, Niagara County, N.Y., April 30, 1919 (age 62 years, 243 days). Interment at Oakwood Cemetery, East Aurora, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of Amos Alanson Bissell (1824-1890) and Amelia Susan (Willse) Bissell (1834-1890); married to Lucy Agnes Coffey (1857-1918).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Frederick Manwell Calder (1861-1921) — also known as Frederick M. Calder — of Utica, Oneida County, N.Y. Born in New York Mills, Oneida County, N.Y., March 20, 1861. Republican. Lawyer; chair of Oneida County Republican Party, 1891-92; Justice of New York Supreme Court 5th District, 1921; died in office 1921. Member, Freemasons; Odd Fellows. Died, from cerebral apoplexy, while presiding in court, in Utica, Oneida County, N.Y., January 17, 1921 (age 59 years, 303 days). Interment at Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of John Calder and Margaret (Huton) Calder; married, June 17, 1891, to Elizabeth Holbrook (1863-1926).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
Joseph W. Bailey Joseph Weldon Bailey (1862-1929) — also known as Joseph W. Bailey — of Gainesville, Cooke County, Tex.; Dallas, Dallas County, Tex. Born near Crystal Springs, Copiah County, Miss., October 6, 1862. Democrat. Lawyer; Presidential Elector for Texas, 1888; U.S. Representative from Texas 5th District, 1891-1901; U.S. Senator from Texas, 1901-13; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1904; candidate in primary for Governor of Texas, 1920. Died, from a coronary embolism, in a courtroom while defending a client, in the Grayson County Courthouse, Sherman, Grayson County, Tex., April 13, 1929 (age 66 years, 189 days). Interment at Fairview Cemetery, Gainesville, Tex.
  Relatives: Son of Joseph Weldon Bailey (1835-1906) and Harriett Lucinda (Dees) Bailey (1840-1906); married to Ellen Beaty Murray (1859-1926); father of Joseph Weldon Bailey, Jr. (1892-1943).
  Political family: Breckinridge-Preston-Cabell-Henry family of Virginia (subset of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Image source: American Monthly Review of Reviews, August 1902
  Motley H. Flint (1864-1930) — of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif. Born in Somerville, Middlesex County, Mass., February 19, 1864. Republican. Postmaster at Los Angeles, Calif., 1904-10; banker; provided critical support for the Warner Brothers Movie studio in its early years; one of the promoters of Julian Petroleum Corporation, a Ponzi scheme which collapsed in 1927; about 40,000 investors lost their money; tainted by the scandal, he moved to Europe for a time. Member, Freemasons. Called as a witness in a civil suit involving David O. Selznick; after his testimony, as he returned to the audience section of the courtroom, in Los Angeles City Hall, he was shot and killed by Frank Keaton, in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif., July 14, 1930 (age 66 years, 145 days). Keaton, who had lost his money in Julian Petroleum, was immediately arrested, and subsequently tried, convicted, and hanged. Entombed in mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Calif.
  Relatives: Son of Francis Eaton Flint (1823-1887) and Althea Louise (Hewes) Flint (1841-1930); brother of Frank Putnam Flint; fourth cousin once removed of Benjamin Dexter Sprague (1827-1893).
  Political families: Bache-Dallas family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Flint-Bache family (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Harlan Fiske Stone (1872-1946) — also known as Harlan F. Stone — Born in Chesterfield, Cheshire County, N.H., October 11, 1872. Lawyer; Dean of Columbia University Law School; U.S. Attorney General, 1924-25; Associate Justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1925-41; Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1941-46; died in office 1946. Episcopalian. Suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, in court, while reading his dissent in the case of Girouard v. United States, and died later that day, in Washington, D.C., April 22, 1946 (age 73 years, 193 days). Interment at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
  Relatives: Married 1899 to Agnes E. Harvey.
  Cross-reference: Eugene H. Nickerson
  See also federal judicial profile — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier
  Books about Harlan Fiske Stone: Melvin I. Urofsky, Division and Discord : The Supreme Court Under Stone and Vinson, 1941-1953
  Allison D. Wade (1902-1954) — of Warren, Warren County, Pa. Born in Warren, Warren County, Pa., September 17, 1902. Republican. District judge in Pennsylvania 37th District, 1942-54; died in office 1954; alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1944. Shot and killed in his courtroom, in the Warren County Courthouse, by Norman W. Moon, Warren, Warren County, Pa., January 13, 1954 (age 51 years, 118 days). Moon, who attempted suicide at the time of his arrest, believed the judge was involved with his ex-wife, and would personally benefit from ordering payment of alimony. Moon was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death; the sentence was commuted to a mental institution by Gov. George M. Leader, and then to life imprisonment. Interment at Oakland Cemetery, Warren, Pa.
  Relatives: Son of Harrison Douglas Wade (1860-1928) and Alice Cary (Jones) Wade (1869-1935); married to Ruth Tillotson.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Michael J. Montesano (c.1895-1961) — of Buffalo, Erie County, N.Y. Born about 1895. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; lawyer; candidate for New York state senate 48th District, 1930; Erie County Surrogate, 1939-40; circuit judge in New York 8th District, 1955-56; candidate for Justice of New York Supreme Court 8th District, 1956; alternate delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1960. Member, American Legion. Collapsed and died, apparently of a heart attack, while appearing in a court case in City Hall, Buffalo, Erie County, N.Y., August 24, 1961 (age about 66 years). Burial location unknown.
  Francis Marion Bistline (1896-1969) — also known as Francis M. Bistline; F. M. Bistline — of Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho. Born in Ransom, Ness County, Kan., March 25, 1896. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; lawyer; member of Idaho state house of representatives, 1937-47; Speaker of the Idaho State House of Representatives, 1941-43; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 1940, 1944 (member, Platform and Resolutions Committee); member of Democratic National Committee from Idaho, 1944-48. Congregationalist. Member, American Bar Association; American Judicature Society; American Legion; Forty and Eight; Sons of the American Revolution; Freemasons; Shriners; Lions; Elks; Sigma Nu; Phi Alpha Delta. While defending a client in a murder case, he suddenly collapsed and died from a heart attack, in the courtroom at the Bingham County Courthouse, Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho, January 20, 1969 (age 72 years, 301 days). Interment at Mountain View Cemetery, Pocatello, Idaho.
  Presumably named for: Francis Marion
  Relatives: Son of John M. Bistline and Martha (Shellenberger) Bistline; married, August 16, 1921, to Anne Glindemann (1897-1991); father of Beverly Barbara Bistline (1922-); nephew of Joseph Bistline.
  Political family: Bistline family of Pocatello, Idaho.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Guy Axline (1898-1975) — of Arizona. Born September 4, 1898. Republican. Served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War I; lawyer; candidate for U.S. Representative from Arizona at-large, 1928. Member, Rotary. Died, of a coronary infarction, in Navajo County Superior Court, Holbrook, Navajo County, Ariz., November 17, 1975 (age 77 years, 74 days). Interment at Holbrook Cemetery, Holbrook, Ariz.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
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The Political Graveyard is a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries. Founded in 1996, it is the Internet's most comprehensive free source for American political biography, listing 312,576 politicians, living and dead.
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