R. M. Wanamaker
|Reuben Melville Wanamaker|
|Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court|
January 1, 1913 – June 18, 1924
|Preceded by||William Z. Davis|
|Succeeded by||Harry L. Conn|
August 2, 1866|
North Jackson, Ohio
|Died||June 18, 1924
|Alma mater||Ohio Northern University
Pettit College of Law
R. M. Wanamaker was born August 2, 1866 at North Jackson, Mahoning County, Ohio. He grew up on a farm and attended the local schools, and a course to become a teacher at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. He taught school and was principal at Lima, Ohio, while studying law at a Lima firm.
Wanamaker entered law school at Ohio Northern in 1891, while teaching in Ada, and was admitted to the bar, March, 1893, before graduating. He located in Akron, Ohio that autumn, and opened a law practice with a classmate.
In 1912, the Republican Party in Ohio was in disarray, with Taft and Roosevelt factions disagreeing. Wanamaker decided to run as a Progressive, and was nominated at the state party convention. There were thirteen candidates for the two available seats. Wanamaker and Democrat Oscar W. Newman won. Wanamaker was the first candidate to be elected to the Supreme Court without major party support. Wanamaker was seated January 1, 1913. He ran for re-election in 1918, as a Republican, and won another six years.
Wanamaker began to suffer severe depression in 1923. Medical treatment did not help alleviate it. He did not hear cases, but did participate in conferences to break 3-3 ties on the court. He decided not to enter the 1924 Republican primary for re-election, and decided to run as an independent, hoping to recover enough to campaign.
Wanamaker entered Mount Carmel Hospital, Columbus, June 12, 1924 for treatment of his depression. On June 18, 1924, he committed suicide by leaping from his fourth story window of the hospital. His funeral was in Akron.
- The Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Judicial System - Reuben Melville (R.M.) Wanamaker
- The News Herald (Hillsboro, Ohio) October 31, 1912, page 6
- Powell, Thomas Edward, ed. (1913). The Democratic party of the state of Ohio: a comprehensive history. 1. The Ohio Publishing Company. pp. 454–455.
- Lima News, June 18, 1924