Charles E. Wolverton

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For other people of the same name, see Charles Wolverton (disambiguation).
Charles E. Wolverton
Charles E. Wolverton 1910.jpg
Wolverton c. 1910
18th Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
1898 – 1900, 1905
Preceded by Frank A. Moore
Succeeded by Robert S. Bean
Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon
In office
Nominated by Theodore Roosevelt
Preceded by Charles B. Bellinger
Succeeded by John Hugh McNary
Personal details
Born May 16, 1851
Des Moines, Iowa
Died September 21, 1926(1926-09-21) (aged 75)
Gearhart, Oregon
Spouse(s) Clara Ellen Price

Charles Edwin Wolverton (May 16, 1851-September 21, 1926) was an American state and federal judge in the state of Oregon. He was the 18th Chief Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court. He served as the chief twice during his eleven years on Oregon’s highest court, followed by 21 years on the bench of Oregon's sole federal court.

Early life[edit]

Charles Wolverton was born on May 16, 1851, in Des Moines, Iowa, to John Wolverton and his wife the former Mary Jane Nealy.[1] In 1853 the family immigrated to the Oregon Territory.[1] There Charles received an education at Christian College in Monmouth, Oregon, earning a bachelor of science degree in 1871.[1] The following year he earned an A.B. from the same school.[2] Wolverton then returned east and earned a law degree from the University of Kentucky’s law school in 1874.[2]

Legal career[edit]

Following law school Charles returned to Oregon where he began private practice in Albany, Oregon from 1874 until 1894.[2] During this time he was the attorney for the Linn County School Board from 1878 to 1881.[1] Also while in private practice Wolverton married Clara Ellen Price in 1878, a marriage from which there would be no children.[1]

Judicial career[edit]

In 1894 Wolverton was elected to the Oregon Supreme Court to replace William Paine Lord.[3] He won re-election for a second six-year term in 1900.[3] During his time on the court he served as chief justice twice from 1898 to 1900 and then again in 1905 until he resigned on December 4, 1905.[3] Thomas G. Hailey was appointed by Oregon Governor George Earle Chamberlain to finish Wolverton’s term.[3] While on the court he received an honorary law degree from Willamette University College of Law in 1900.[1]

Wolverton resigned from the Oregon Supreme Court in order to accept the position of federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Wolverton to the position on November 20, 1905 during a recess in Congress to replace Charles B. Bellinger who had died in office.[2] He was subsequently confirmed by the Senate on January 10, 1906, and received his commission the same day.[2] Wolverton would serve on the federal bench until his death on September 21, 1926 in Gearhart, Oregon.[2]

After each stint as chief justice on the Oregon court he was followed by Robert S. Bean.[3] Bean would then join Wolverton on the federal court in 1909 when Congress added an additional judgeship to the Oregon district.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Charles Wolverton. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  4. ^ Robert S. Bean. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles B. Bellinger
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
January 10, 1906 – September 21, 1926
Succeeded by
John Hugh McNary