John Paul, Sr. (judge)

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John Paul, Sr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
In office
September 5, 1883 – November 1, 1901
Appointed by Chester Arthur
Preceded by Alexander Rives
Succeeded by Henry C. McDowell, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1881 – September 5, 1883
Preceded by John T. Harris
Succeeded by Charles Triplett O'Ferrall
Member of the Virginia Senate from Rockingham County
In office
1878 – 1881
Preceded by District established
Succeeded by Joseph B. Webb
Personal details
Born (1839-06-30)June 30, 1839
Ottobine, Virginia
Died November 1, 1901(1901-11-01) (aged 62)
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Political party Readjuster (after 1881)
Other political
Democrat (before 1880)
Republican (1880 – 1881)
Alma mater University of Virginia
Occupation Attorney
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate Army
Rank captain
Unit 1st Virginia Cavalry
Battles/wars American Civil War

John Paul (June 30, 1839 – November 1, 1901) was a U.S. Representative and federal judge from Virginia.


Born June 30, 1839 in Rockinghan County, Va. at Ottobine, John Paul attended the local schools. During the Civil War, John Paul entered the Confederate States Army and became a captain in the 1st Virginia Cavalry. He studied law at the University of Virginia and graduated in 1867. He was admitted to the bar in 1867 and commenced practice in Harrisonburg. He served as the Commonwealth's attorney for Rockingham County from 1870 to 1877. He married Katherine Seymour Green, November 19, 1874. He served in the Virginia Senate from 1877 to 1880. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1878 to the Forty-sixth Congress.

John Paul was elected as a Readjuster Democrat to the Forty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1881-March 3, 1883), succeeding John T. Harris, and served from March 4, 1883, until September 5, 1883, when he resigned to take his judicial position. Paul's congressional election was successfully contested by Charles Triplett O'Ferrall.

John Paul was nominated to become judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia by Chester A. Arthur, filling the seat vacated by Alexander Rives, and he served from September 5, 1883, until his death in Harrisonburg, Virginia, November 1, 1901. Theodore Roosevelt appointed Henry C. McDowell, Jr. to replace Judge Paul.

Judge John Paul was interred in Woodbine Cemetery.

His son, John Paul, Jr., also served as U.S. Representative and as judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Electoral history[edit]

  • 1880; Paul was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 49.3% of the vote, defeating Democrat Henry C. Allen and Republican William C. Moseley.
  • 1882; Paul was re-elected with 50.2% of the vote, defeating Democrat Charles T. O'Ferrall and Republican James W. Cochran.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Alexander Rives
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
1883 – 1901
Succeeded by
Henry C. McDowell, Jr.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John T. Harris
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles Triplett O'Ferrall

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.