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
Coordinator for
Court History and
Public Education Programs


Pho: 317.233.8682
elizabeth.osborn@courts.IN.gov

Sarah Kidwell
Outreach Coordinator

Pho: 317.234.3055
sarah.kidwell@courts.IN.gov

NCPH 

Outstanding Public
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History

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Courts in the Classroom > Justice Biographies > Justice Alexander Cummings Downey Justice Biographies

Justice Alexander Cummings Downey

(Twenty-third Justice)

Justice Downey

Justice Downey was born September 10, 1817, near Cincinnati, Ohio,151 and died March 26, 1898, in Rising Sun, Indiana.152

He received a public school education and attended the county seminary at Wilmington, Ohio.153 After his graduation from the seminary, he studied law and was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1841.154

He was appointed circuit judge by Governor Wright in 1850, elected to the office in 1851, and served until August 1858.155

From 1854 to 1858, he chaired the law department of Asbury (now DePauw) University.156 He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Asbury University in 1858 and the same recognition from Indiana University in 1871.157 He was a member of the Indiana Senate from 1863 to 1865.158 His Indiana Supreme Court term was from January 3, 1871 to January 3, 1877.159 He became Dean of DePauw University Law School in 1884.160


151. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 258.
152. 1 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 55, at 105.
153. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 258.
154. 1 id.
155. 1 id.
156. 1 id.
157. 1 id.
158. 1 id.
159. 1 id.
160. 2 id. at 481.

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.