Earl C. Latourette

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Earl C. Latourette
32nd Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Preceded by James T. Brand
Succeeded by Harold J. Warner
64th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Appointed by Douglas McKay
Preceded by E. M. Page
Succeeded by William M. McAllister
Personal details
Born February 10, 1889
Oregon City, Oregon
Died August 18, 1956(1956-08-18) (aged 67)
Spouse(s) Eleanor Marshall Latourette

Earl Cornelius Latourette (February 10, 1889 – August 18, 1956) was the 32nd Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and a Clackamas County Circuit Court judge. He served as chief justice for two years and died while still in office as an associate justice in 1956.

Early life[edit]

Latourette was born in Oregon City, Oregon, on February 10, 1889, to Charles David Latourette and his wife Sedonia Bird Shaw Latourette.[1] Both parents were pioneer settlers to Oregon.[1] He had three brothers; Mortimer Dillon, Howard Fenton, and John Randolph. After receiving his primary education in both Oregon City and nearby Portland, Oregon, Earl Latourette attended the University of Oregon in Eugene.[1]

There he was on the football and track teams.[citation needed] He was the quarterback on the 1910 Duck football team and scored the winning touchdown to beat what is now Oregon State University, and received All-Northwest Honors for two seasons.[citation needed] Following college, he enrolled at the University of Oregon School of Law, which at that time was located in Portland.[1] He graduated in 1912, and then passed the bar in 1915.[1] Latourette began practicing law in Oregon City after passing the bar, and remained in private practice until 1931.[1]

Judicial career[edit]

In 1931, he was appointed as a circuit court judge for Oregon’s 5th judicial district that included Clackamas County, holding that position until 1950.[1][2] During his time on the bench he lived in Oregon City, and in 1936 attended the funeral of fellow judge John Hugh McNary.[3] Then on January 19, 1950 Oregon Governor Douglas McKay appointed Latourette to replace E. M. Page on the Oregon Supreme Court.[4][5] Page had resigned from his position the day before, less than a year after he had been appointed to the court.[5] Later that year Latourette won election to a full six-year term on the bench.[5] Then in 1953 he was selected by his fellow justices to be Chief Justice, serving as Chief Justice until 1955.[5] During this time as Chief Justice, future politician Norma Paulus clerked for him. Latourette encouraged her to attend law school, which she did at Willamette University College of Law.[6] On August 18, 1956, Justice Earl Latourette died in office[5]


On April 30, 1912, Earl C. Latourette married Ruth Steiwer of Fossil, Oregon. Ruth was the daughter of William H. Steiwer, and a member of a prominent political family from Eastern Oregon.[1][7] The couple’s children included daughters Anne Latourette Cook, Jeanne Latourette Linklater and[8] Earl C. "Neil" Latourette, Jr. (d. 1982).[9] Earl C. later married Eleanor Marshall in 1949, and they did not have any children.


  • The oldest house in Gearhart, Oregon belonged to the Latourette family beginning in 1926. Earl’s father Charles David Latourette later had his two sons Earl and brother John flip a coin to determine who would inherit the property with John winning the coin toss.[10]
  • Justice Latourette donated the land in Oregon City where the Clackamas County Historical Society’s museum is located.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  2. ^ a b Patterson, Rod. New museum provides visitors with fine sense of county's history. The Oregonian, September 13, 1990.
  3. ^ Salem Pioneer Cemetery
  4. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Governors of Oregon
  5. ^ a b c d e Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon
  6. ^ Oregon State Capitol Foundation: May 2006
  7. ^ Butterworth, Beverly. Grand time had by all at Sir James's party. The Oregonian, July 24, 1988.
  8. ^ UO Law School: Scholarship Programs
  9. ^ Nora Jane Doyle Latourette. The Oregonian, January 19, 1994.
  10. ^ Butterworth, Beverly. A bang-up celebration heralds Fourth of July. The Oregonian, July 12, 1992.