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Luther Day served the Supreme Court of Ohio in two capacities: for two terms as a Justice and for three years on the Supreme Court Commission.

Day was born on July 9, 1813, in Granville, N.Y. to David and Rhoda Wheelock Day. His father died in a saw mill accident when he was 14-years-old, necessitating him to leave school to support his mother. In 1835, he was able to resume his studies, attending Middlebury College in Vermont for two years. He read law under Judge Rufus Spaulding beginning in 1838, and on Oct. 8, 1840, he was admitted to the bar. He went into partnership with Darius Lyman of Portage County, Ohio.

In 1843, Day was elected Portage County prosecuting attorney, serving one year, and was again elected in 1848. In 1851, he was elected to the common pleas court for the district comprising Portage, Trumbull and Mahoning counties. When his term expired in 1857, Day returned to private legal practice. He also served briefly as the Judge Advocate General under Gov. David Tod in 1862.

Day was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1863, but resigned after one year upon his 1864 election to the Supreme Court of Ohio. He assumed his seat Feb. 9, 1866, and was re-elected to the court in 1869. During his term, he served four years as Chief Justice. He ran for a third term, but was defeated. In April, 1875, Gov. William Allen appointed Day to a commission created by the Ohio Legislature to revise the Ohio statutes. His opinions are contained in volumes 16 through 24 of the Ohio State Reports.

On Feb. 1, 1876, Gov. Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Day to the first Supreme Court Commission, which was created to aid the Supreme Court in the disposition of the large backlog of cases before the Court. Day resigned from his position on the Revision Commission and took his place on the Supreme Court Commission, where he served three years. His commission opinions are contained in volumes 27, 28 and 30 through 33 of the Ohio State Reports. His term ended by statute on Feb. 1, 1879 and he returned to private practice in Ravenna.

Day married Emily Swift Spaulding on July 24, 1845 and they had three children. Emily Day died April 10, 1852. Day later married Ellen I. Barnes on April 26, 1854. They had six children. Day died at his home in Ravenna on March 8, 1885. Funeral services were held at the Methodist Episcopal Church and he is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Ravenna.

William Howard Taft

b. July 9, 1813

d. March 8, 1885

47th Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio

See All Justices

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