Obadiah B. McFadden

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Obadiah B. McFadden
McFadden while serving in Congress
8th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Nominated by President Franklin Pierce
Preceded by Matthew Deady
Succeeded by Matthew Deady
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington Territory's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875
Preceded by Selucius Garfielde
Succeeded by Orange Jacobs
Personal details
Born November 18, 1815
West Middletown, Pennsylvania
Died June 25, 1875(1875-06-25) (aged 59)
Olympia, Washington
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Margaret Caldwell

Obadiah Benton McFadden (November 18, 1815 – June 25, 1875) was an American attorney and politician in the Pacific Northwest. He was the 8th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, temporarily serving on the court to replace Matthew Deady. A Pennsylvania native, he later was a legislator in the Washington Territory, and he served in Congress representing that territory.

Early life[edit]

Obadiah McFadden was born in West Middletown, Pennsylvania on November 18, 1815.[1] He was then educated locally in Washington County, Pennsylvania at the public schools and at McKeever Academy.[1] Then in 1837 he married Margaret Caldwell.[2] By 1843 he had been admitted to the bar allowing him to practice law.[2]


In 1853, U.S. President Franklin Pierce appointed McFadden an associate justice on the Oregon Supreme Court during the territorial period on a temporary assignment to replace Matthew Deady.[2] His term ended in 1854 and he left the Oregon court.[3] At the time he was one of three justices on the bench of the court.[3] Then in 1854 he was appointed to the Washington Supreme Court when Washington Territory was created out of Oregon Territory.[2] While on that court he served as Chief Justice from 1858 to 1861.[2] In 1861, he would become the president of the Washington Legislature’s Council Chamber and would serve on that body until 1864 representing Thurston, Lewis and Chehalis counties.[2][4] Also from 1855 to 1856 he fought in the Yakima War against the Yakima Indians.[2]

Later years[edit]

McFadden then returned to private law practice, setting up office in Olympia, Washington.[2] Then in 1872 he was elected as a Democrat to represent the territory in the 43rd United States Congress.[1] He served as a delegate from March 4, 1873 to March 3, 1875, and was not a candidate for renomination to the position. McFadden died in Olympia on June 25, 1875 and was buried at the Masonic Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Obadiah Benton McFadden. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on January 22, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  3. ^ a b Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 22, 2008.
  4. ^ Members of the Legislature: 1889-2001. State of Washington. Retrieved on January 22, 2008.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Selucius Garfielde
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington Territory's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875
Succeeded by
Orange Jacobs