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 Howard was born on January 27, 1837 in Northfield, Michigan, and died July 9, 1916 in South Bend, Indiana.
He attended the University of Michigan from 1855 to 1857, but received his degrees, an A.B. in 1862, an A.M. in 1864, and an Honorary LL.D. in 1893, from the University of Notre Dame.350 He left school in 1862, shortly before graduation, to enlist in the 12th Michigan Infantry. During his Civil War service, he was wounded at Shiloh and was discharged because of a disability. Howard then returned to Notre Dame to continue his studies.351 He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1883. He held a variety of public offices, including Inspector of Schools in 1858, and served several terms between 1878 and 1913 as South Bend City Councilman. From 1879 to 1883, he was also the St. Joseph County Clerk. He was an Indiana State Senator from 1887 to 1891, and from 1888 to 1891, he was also the South Bend City Attorney. He served on the Indiana Supreme Court from 1893 to 1899. Later, he was the President of the Indiana Fee and Salary Commission and a member of the Commission for Revising and Codifying the Laws of Indiana.352
He began his professional career teaching in public school and was a professor of rhetoric and English at the University of Notre Dame, but he taught a variety of subjects including mathematics and astronomy.353 He apparently the left the university for a short period, indicating to the Reverend Father Sorin, the Founder of the University, in a letter dated January 22, 1867 that "as a college, Notre Dame is not successful." In his opinion, it was at best a prosperous high school because it required the instructors to teach too many disparate subjects. He later returned to teaching at Notre Dame and must have had a lighter teaching assignment because he was able to find time to read and practice law. In later years, he was a law professor, and during his time on the Indiana Supreme Court, he was an adjunct professor for a course on the appellate jurisdiction of the Indiana Supreme Court.354 In 1898, he was awarded the Laetare Medal, a prestigious award for catholic laypersons given by the University of Notre Dame.355 The Laetare Medal goes to an American Catholic distinguished in literature, science or art.356 His publications include: History of St. Joseph County, Indiana (1907), Excelsior (1868), History of Notre Dame, 1842-1891 (1895), Laws of Indiana (1900), Indiana Supreme Court (1900), Musings and Memories (1905).356
350. 1 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 55, at 192-193.
351. UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME, SILVER JUBILEE JUNE 23, 1869, at 113-14 (Joseph A. Lyons ed., Chicago, E.B. Myers & Co. 1869).
352. 1 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 55, at 193.
353. 1 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY OF INDIANA 257-60 (George I. Reed ed., Chicago, Century Publ. & Engraving Co. 1895) [hereinafter ENCYCLOPEDIA].
354. REV. PHILIP S. MOORE, A CENTURY OF LAW AT NOTRE DAME 8 n.18 (1969).
355. UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME GOLDEN JUBILEE: 1842-1892, at 192-93 (Chicago, Werner Co. 1895).
356. ARTHUR J. HOPE, NOTRE DAME: ONE HUNDRED YEARS 233 (1943).
357. 1 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 55, at 193.
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.