William M. Lanning

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William Mershon Lanning
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1903 — June 6, 1904
Preceded by De Witt C. Flanagan
Succeeded by Ira W. Wood
Personal details
Born January 1, 1849
Ewing Township, New Jersey, USA
Died February 16, 1912 (aged 63)
Trenton, New Jersey, USA
Political party Republican
Profession politician

William Mershon Lanning (January 1, 1849 - February 16, 1912) was an American Republican Party politician who represented New Jersey's 4th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1903 to 1904.


Born in Ewingville, New Jersey (in what is now Ewing Township, New Jersey), Lanning graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1866. He was employed as a teacher in the public schools of Mercer County and in the Trenton Academy, from 1866 to 1880. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1880 and commenced practice in Trenton, New Jersey. He became a Counselor in 1883.

Lanning was elected city solicitor for Trenton in 1884. He was appointed judge of the city district court in 1887 and served until 1891, when legislated out of office. He served as member of a commission to frame township laws and of the constitutional commission of 1894. He served as president of the Mechanics' National Bank of Trenton in 1899.

Lanning was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1903, to June 6, 1904, when he resigned to accept an appointment as a judge on United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. He served in that capacity until May 18, 1909, when he was appointed United States circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which position he held until his death in Trenton, New Jersey, February 16, 1912. He was interred in the Presbyterian Cemetery, Ewing Township, New Jersey. An elementary school built on Pennington Road (NJ 31) in Ewing in 1914 was named in Lanning's honor. The school was closed and the building sold to a private institution in the mid-1990s, but as of 2014, is still standing and continues to bear Lanning's name.

William Lanning's namesake school

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
De Witt C. Flanagan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1903—June 6, 1904
Succeeded by
Ira W. Wood