Joseph W. McCorkle
Joseph Walker McCorkle
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's at-large district
March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853
|Preceded by||James A. McDougall|
|Succeeded by||Philemon T. Herbert|
|Born||June 24, 1819|
|Died||March 18, 1884 (aged 59)|
College Park, Maryland
|Resting place||Forest Hill Cemetery (Piqua, Ohio)|
Joseph Walker McCorkle (June 24, 1819 – March 18, 1884) was an American lawyer and politician who served one term as a California congressman from 1851 to 1853.
McCorkle was born in Piqua, Ohio on June 24, 1819. He attended Kenyon College as a member of the class of 1839, but left before graduating. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1842. He moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he established a law practice. From 1845 to 1849, McCorkle also served as Dayton's postmaster.
Later in 1850, McCorkle obtained the Democratic nomination for the California State Assembly. He won the general election and served one term, 1850 to 1852. In 1850, he was the Democratic nominee for Congress from California's 2nd District. He was elected and served one term, 1851 to 1853. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1852.
On June 1, 1853, a dispute with he fought a duel with William M. Gwin, a fellow Democrat and one of California's U.S. Senators, over the management of federal patronage. Gwin and McCorkle fired rifles at each other in San Mateo, California and came away unharmed. A donkey in a field several hundred yards away was accidentally struck and died.
After leaving Congress, McCorkle moved from San Francisco to Marysville, California where he returned to practicing law. In 1853, he was appointed judge of the 9th Judicial District, and he served until 1857. In 1855, he was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senator.
In 1857, McCorkle returned to San Francisco where he resumed practicing law. In 1860, just after the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, he moved to nearby Virginia City, Nevada, where he practiced law until 1870. He left Virginia City to practice law in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in cases before the American-Mexican Claims Commission.
Death and burial
In retirement, McCorkle resided in Branchville, College Park, Maryland. He died in Branchville on March 18, 1884. McCorkle was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua, Ohio. He was a lifelong bachelor and had no children.
- United States Congress (1961). Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1961. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. p. 1288 – via Google Books.
- Kenyon College (1899). General Catalogue of Kenyon College. Toledo, OH: Franklin Printing & Engraving Co. p. 31 – via Google Books.
- O'Meara, James (1881). Broderick and Gwin: The Most Extraordinary Contest for a Seat in the Senate. San Francisco, CA: Bacon & Company. pp. 38–40. ISBN 9780598278869 – via Google Books.
- Truman, Benjamin Cummings (1884). The Field of Honor. New York, NY: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert. p. 571 – via Google Books.
- Stutesman, John Hale (1983). Alexander McCorkle (1722-1800) & His Kin. San Francisco, CA: J.H. Stutesman. p. 80 – via Google Books.
- United States Congress. "Joseph W. McCorkle (id: M000362)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.