Justice Biographies

Justice Richard Kenney Erwin

(Fifty-sixth Justice)

Justice Erwin

Justice Erwin was born July 11, 1860, in Union Township, Adams County, Indiana, and died on October 5, 1917, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.208

He was educated in the district school and attended one term at Methodist College, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.209 While studying law, he taught school in Allen and Adams counties.210 He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1886.211

In 1891, Justice Erwin was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives, and then re-elected in 1893.212 From 1889 to 1897, he was county attorney of Adams County, Indiana and then became judge of the 26th Indiana Judicial Circuit from 1901 to 1907.213 He was elected to the Indiana Supreme Court in 1912 by a plurality of 120,330 votes, the largest ever given any Indiana Supreme Court Justice.214 He served on the Indiana Supreme Court from January 6, 1913 until his death on October 5, 1917.215




208. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 290; C.J. Spencer, In Memoriam, 186 INDIANA REPORTS xxxvi, xxxvi (1918) [hereinafter Erwin Memoriam].
209. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 290.
210. Erwin Memoriam, supra note 208, at xxxvi.
211. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 290.
212. 1 id.
213. 1 id.
214. 1 id.
215. Erwin Memoriam, supra note 208, at xxxvii.

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.