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Reynolds Robert Kinkade

With nearly 35 years of service as a judge, Reynolds Robert Kinkade’s opinions were “characterized by his incisive, forceful language, and evincing his mastery of the law and facts in issue,” according to one memorial.

Kinkade was born March 3, 1854 in Keokuk County, Iowa to Eleazer and Hannah Lyons Kinkade. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1878 and practiced law in Toledo and Marquette, Mich. from 1878 to 1899.

In 1899, Kinkade became a judge on the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas and held this position until 1908. He then was elected to serve as a judge on the Lucas County Circuit Court from 1908 to 1912, when that court officially became the Court of Appeals of Ohio. Kinkade continued to serve on this court until 1924.

Kinkade was elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1924 and served from 1925 to 1933, when he left the court due to ill health. One noted decision of his tenure includes State ex rel. Nolan v. Brown (1926).

In this case, Kinkade wrote an action in mandamus, finding that a supervisor of elections could not be compelled to appoint a candidate to a county board because proof sustained the supervisor’s decision that the candidate’s conduct in the ballot controversy that created the vacancy disqualified him. In this case, the relator encouraged a single member of a four-person county elections board to destroy suspect absentee ballots without discussing the situation or the facts with other board members. The relator then called for the dismissal of the board member and for his own appointment to the board.

In Justice Kinkade’s opinion, one member of a board of four may not assume, in important matters, to act for the four in the absence of the other three. “The contention is simply absurd from every possible view-point, and particularly so when no necessity is shown for the actions at the particular time in question,” Kinkade stated. “A majority of the court are of the opinion that the evidence in this case clearly and convincingly sustains the action of the respondent in refusing to appoint the relator.” The writ of mandamus was denied.

Kinkade married Addie George on June 15, 1881 and they had two children. Kinkade retired in 1933 due to ill health and died May 25, 1935. His funeral service was at First Congregational Church in Toledo, with burial in Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo.

Quick Details

b. March 3, 1854

d. May 25, 1935

92nd Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio

Jan 1, 1925
to Jan 1, 1933

See All Justices

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