Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Court History and
Public Education Programs
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History
Justice Holman was born on October 24, 1784, in Danville, Kentucky, and died on March 28, 1842 in Aurora, Indiana.342
He attended a public school in Kentucky, and he read law in the Lexington office of Henry Clay.343 He moved to Indiana in 1810, and he was named the Prosecutor of Dearborn County, Indiana in 1811.344 He was elected to the Indiana Territorial Legislature in 1814, but resigned the same year to accept an appointment as a judge of the 2nd District of the Indiana Territory. He sat on the Indiana Supreme Court from December 1816 to December 1830.345 He was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate, losing to John Tipton by only one vote.346 In 1835, he became a federal district court judge, a post he held until death.347
It appears he come into a considerable estate soon after he turned twenty-one. Five years later, he brought his slaves to Indiana for the sole purpose of liberating them. He was the preacher at the Aurora Baptist Church for most of his life. He was also on the Board of Visitors of Indiana University for twenty years. He is considered a founder of both Indiana University and Franklin College.348
342. TAYLOR, supra note 89, at 33; WHO WAS WHO, HISTORICAL VOLUME, 1607-1896, at 257 (Marquis 1963).
343. TAYLOR, supra note 89, at 33.
345. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 186-87.
346. TAYLOR, supra note 89, at 32. This may seem somewhat unusual, but it must be remembered that until 1913, U.S. Senators were chosen by the state legislatures. U.S. CONST. art. I, § 3, cl. 1 (amended 1913).
347. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 186; 2 id. at 411.
348. 1 id. at 186-87.
Source: Browning, Minde C., Richard Humphrey, and Bruce Kleinschmidt. "Biographical Sketches of Indiana Supreme Court Justices." Indiana Law Review: Vol. 30, No. 1, 1997. View this source in PDF format.