Martin L. Pipes

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Martin Luther Pipes
Martin L. Pipes.jpg
54th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Appointed by Walter M. Pierce
Preceded by John McCourt
Succeeded by Harry H. Belt
Personal details
Born September 21, 1850
Died July 15, 1932
Portland, Oregon
Spouse(s) Mary Curtis Skipworth

Martin Luther Pipes (1850–1932) was an American attorney and judge in Oregon. He was the 54th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. A Louisiana native, he also was a judge on the Oregon Circuit Court and a member of the Oregon House of Representatives.

Early life[edit]

Martin Pipes was born to John Pipes and Harriet Shaffer Pipes in Ascension Parish, Louisiana on September 21, 1850.[1] In Louisiana Martin received his education and graduated in 1871 from Louisiana State Seminary.[1] On November 1, 1874 Pipes married Mary Curtis Skipworth in his home state.[1] The couple would have five children together.[1] The family moved to Oregon the following year and arrived on June 1, 1875, settling in Independence in the Willamette Valley.[1]

Legal career[edit]

In Independence Martin was a school teacher, newspaper editor, and from 1878 to 1881 the justice of the peace and city recorder.[1] During this time in 1880 he was elected and served in the Oregon House of Representatives as a Democrat from Polk County.[2] In 1881 he passed the bar and began practicing law there and in neighboring Dallas, Oregon until 1884.[1] Then in 1884 he moved south to Corvallis, Oregon where he practiced law until 1890.[1]

In 1890 he became a state circuit court judge in Corvallis, serving until 1892.[1] That year Martin moved to Portland, Oregon, where he practiced law until 1932.[1] While in Portland he worked with Joseph Simon in settling the estate of entrepreneur Simeon Gannett Reed that help lead to the establishment of Reed College in Portland.[1] In 1910 he was a professor at the University of Oregon School of Law when it was located in Portland.[1] On September 12, 1924, Pipes was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court to replace John McCourt by Oregon Governor Walter M. Pierce after McCourt died in office.[3][4] Pipes only served until the end of the term on December 31, 1924.[3] Martin Luther Pipes returned to law practice in Portland where he died on July 15, 1932.[1]

United States Supreme Court[edit]

While in private legal practice in 1902 Pipes was an attorney for the plaintiff against the city of Portland in the United States Supreme Court case of King v. City of Portland.[5] Later he was an attorney involved in the case of Ross v. State of Oregon, representing the defendant in error, Oregon.[6] In 1923 and 1925 he argued unsuccessfully with co-counsel William R. King to force the United States to pay back wages to postmaster Frank Myers in the landmark Myers v. United States decision of the court.[7]


In 1926, Martin Pipes had his son Wade Hampton Pipes, an architect, design and build a Tudor style home for the family in Southwest Portland.[8] Pipes lived in the home until his death in 1932, and his widow remained there until 1944.[8] The Martin Luther Pipes House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.[9] Wade Pipes was considered the "foremost exponent of English Cottage architecture" in the state.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  2. ^ Oregon Legislative Assembly (11th) 1880 Regular Session. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved on February 1, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on February 1, 2008.
  4. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Oregon Governors. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on February 1, 2008.
  5. ^ King v. City of Portland, 184 U.S. 61 (1902).
  6. ^ Ross v. State of Oregon, 227 U.S. 150 (1913).
  7. ^ Myers v. U.S., 272 U.S. 52 (1926).
  8. ^ a b c "Pipes House: An English Cottage Style". Portland Business Journal. April 30, 1999. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  9. ^ "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. June 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-08.