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William James Gilmore

William James Gilmore was an original member of the Ohio State Bar Association and served as its president in 1885.

He was born in Liberty, Va. on April 24, 1821 to Eli and Clara Mosby Clayton Gilmore. He moved with the family to Preble County, Ohio in 1825 and was educated in the Westfield and Hopewell academies after completing his primary education in the local log schoolhouse.

Gilmore read law under the supervision of Thomas Millikin and finished his studies with J.S. and A.J. Hawkins of Eaton, Ohio. During this time he supported himself teaching school, as a store clerk and as a farm laborer. Gilmore was admitted to the Ohio bar on Dec. 8, 1847 and went into private law practice with Col. Thomas Moore in Hamilton. He later returned to Eaton, where he formed a partnership with J.S. Hawkins. In 1862, he formed a partnership with Judge J.V. Campbell, which continued until 1867.

Gilmore entered public service in 1851 when he was elected by the voters as Preble County prosecuting attorney. He was re-elected in 1853 and served until 1856. In 1857, Gilmore was elected to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge James Clark on the Common Pleas Court for the Second District, First Subdivision. His term expired in 1862 and he was subsequently elected in 1866 and re-elected, serving on this bench until 1874.

Gilmore was elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1874 and served from Feb. 9, 1875, to Feb. 9, 1880. His opinions are in volumes 25, 26, 29, 31, 34 and 35 of the Ohio State Reports.

Gilmore retired from the bench in 1880, but continued to live in Columbus. He was a trustee of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society from 1891 to 1896.

Gilmore married Sarah Ann Rossman on Sept. 7, 1848 and they had two sons. Sallie Ann died April 29, 1885. Gilmore died at his home in Columbus on Aug. 9, 1896 and is buried with his wife at Mound Hill Cemetery in Eaton.

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b. April 24, 1821

d. Aug. 9, 1896

53rd Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio

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