Paine Page Prim

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Paine Page Prim
6th Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
1864-1866, 1870-1872 – 1876-1878
Preceded by Reuben P. Boise,
Erasmus D. Shattuck,
Benjamin F. Bonham
Succeeded by Erasmus D. Shattuck,
William W. Upton,
James K. Kelly
12th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Appointed by John Whiteaker
Preceded by Matthew P. Deady
Succeeded by Edward B. Watson
Personal details
Born May 2, 1822
Wilson County, Tennessee
Died August 8, 1899(1899-08-08) (aged 77)
Oakland, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Teresa M. Stearns

Paine (Payne) Page Prim (May 2, 1822 – August 8, 1899) was an American attorney and judge in the state of Oregon. He was the 6th Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court serving in that role from three times between 1864 and 1878. Prim served on Oregon’s highest court for 21 years. Prim was the first graduate of Cumberland Law School, and a participant at the Oregon Constitutional Convention.

Early life[edit]

On May 2, 1822, Paine P. Prim was born in Wilson County, Tennessee.[1] He grew up on his father’s farm before enrolling at Cumberland College in Lebanon, Tennessee.[1] At Cumberland Law School Prim received his legal education and was the school's first graduate.[1][2] Then in 1851 he traveled to Oregon via the Oregon Trail.[1] There he settled in Linn County where he set up a law practice.[1] Next, in 1857 he represented Jackson County at Oregon’s constitutional convention.[1]

Judicial career[edit]

In 1859, Prim was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Governor John Whiteaker to fill the seat of Matthew P. Deady who had resigned.[3][4] Then in 1860 he was elected to a full six-year term on the bench.[4] Prim won re-election in 1866, and 1872.[4] He term then ended in 1878, but was appointed on a temporary basis and served until 1880.[4] While on the court he was chief justice three times: 1864 to 1866, 1870 to 1872, and 1876 to 1878.[4]

Later life[edit]

Prior to serving on the bench, he married Teresa M. Stearns in 1857.[1] The couple produced three children.[1] In 1880, after his term on the court ended, Prim returned to private practice in Jacksonville, Oregon.[1] Then in 1882 he returned to politics when he was elected to the Oregon State Senate as a Democrat from Jackson County.[5] He served again at the next session in 1885 in both the regular and special sessions that year.[6] Paine Page Prim then died in Oakland, California, on August 8, 1899, at the age of 77 and is buried in Jacksonville, Oregon.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  2. ^ Cumberland University Law School. The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
  3. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Governors of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
  5. ^ Oregon State Archives: 1882 Regular Session. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Oregon State Archives: 1885 Special Session. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  7. ^ "Index of Burials Sorted by Name with Obituary notes". The Historic Jacksonville Oregon Cemetery. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 

External links[edit]