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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

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Courts in the Classroom > Justice Biographies > Justice George Washington Henley Justice Biographies

Justice George Washington Henley

(Eighty-sixth Justice)

Justice Henley

Justice Henley was born May 13, 1890 in Washington, D.C., and died February 19, 1965 in Bloomington, Indiana.335

He attended Indiana University and received an A.B. in 1913 and an LL.B in 1914. He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1914 and represented a variety of corporate clients in his private practice. He was an Indiana State Representative from 1937 to 1947.336 On March 15, 1955, this prominent Republican was appointed by Governor George S. Craig to the Indiana Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Gilkison.337 From the start, it was apparent that Justice Henley's appointment was designed to be temporary. Immediately after the announcement of his appointment, Henley told the press that he did not want the appointment, but he only wanted the prestige of having served.338 On April 14, 1955, Governor Craig announced the imminent resignation of Justices Henley and Levine (another 1955 appointee). Justice Henley was replaced by Justice Arterburn. Justice Arterburn was one of the candidates at the time of Justice Henley's appointment.339 The Governor defended this temporary appointment by pointing out that the $13,000 salary level made it difficult to convince attorneys to give up private law practice.340 As it turned out, George Henley's moment of glory was fleeting. Newspaper reports covering the 1956 judicial elections indicated that Governor Craig appointed Justices Arterburn and Landis to replace Justices Gilkison and Draper, relegating Henley to immediate obscurity.341


335. 2 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 255, at 188-89.
336. 2 id.
337. State High Court Vacancy Filled, INDIANAPOLIS TIMES, Mar. 16, 1955, at 19, reprinted in 44 INDIANA BIOGRAPHY SERIES, supra note 2, at 36.
338. Attorneys Vie for Brief Tenure on Bench of Supreme Court, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, Mar. 17, 1955, at 1 (Henley appointed with the understanding that he would serve until May 21, 1955); Craig Names Two State Supreme Court Judges, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, Apr. 14, 1955, at 1 ("Levine and Henley were appointed with the understanding that they would enjoy the honor briefly and resign.").
339. State High Court Vacancy Filled, INDIANAPOLIS TIMES, Mar. 16, 1955, at 19, reprinted in 44 INDIANA BIOGRAPHY SERIES, supra note 2, at 36 (reporting that Norman Arterburn was among those mentioned to replace Justice Gilkison).
340. Top Lawyers Shun High Court, INDIANAPOLIS TIMES, May 20, 1955, at 1 (reporting the governor's defense of stop-gap appointments).
341. Three Judges of the All Republican Supreme Court Announce Renomination Bids, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, Jan. 27, 1956, at 19 (indicating that the re-election announcement states that Governor Craig appointed Arterburn and Landis to replace Gilkison and Draper).

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.