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Court History Of Rock County, Wisconsin: 1836 to 2010

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In January, 1823, Congress passed an act providing for an additional judge for the Territory of Michigan. This judge was to have jurisdiction over the counties of Brown and Crawford, which had been organized in 1821, later adding Iowa County, and including the lands in what became the rest of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas. President James Monroe appointed James Duane Doty as the first judge of this new court.

Judge Doty held court in Green Bay, Prairie du Chien and Mineral Point, until his bench was abolished by the creation of the Territory of Wisconsin in 1836. Judge Doty was then elected to Congress in 1838, and subsequently appointed by President James Tyler, in 1841, as the first governor of the Territory of Wisconsin. As Rock County did not exist until 1836, no court activities occurred in Rock County in this era of our history.

Territory of Wisconsin and Territorial Justices'

The Territorial Government of Wisconsin was created by Act of Congress approved April 20, 1836. The Territory of Wisconsin consisted of all of the area embracing what is now Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and part of "Indian Territory," what was to become North Dakota and South Dakota. The judicial power of the territory was vested by the Act of Congress in a Supreme Court, district courts, probate courts and justices of the peace.

Wisconsin's first judiciary was a three member supreme court, appointed by President Andrew Jackson, consisting of Chief Judge Charles Dunn, Associate Justice David Irvin and Associate Justice William C. Frazer. Each justice was also assigned to preside over a judicial district. Rock County, at this time, formed a part of Milwaukee County, which with Brown County was constituted the Third District by act of the Territorial Legislature on October 25, 1836, and Justice William C. Frazer assigned as the District Judge. Justice Frazer never ventured West of Milwaukee during his short tenure.

It's probably beneficial to the growth of Rock County that Justice Frazer had no contact with the pioneers building our area along the Rock River. He is described in the "History of the Bench and Bar of Wisconsin," John Berryman, 1898, Volume 1, Page 81 - as follows:

"Although a man of fair ability and many years' experience as a lawyer, he had fallen into intemperate habits and his health, both physical and mental, had become seriously impaired by excesses. He was sixty years old, nervous, impatient, arbitrary and often harsh, overbearing and offensive in his judicial conduct and in his treatment of the members of the bar."

In November, 1837, a committee of lawyers was formed to ask the 62 year old jurist resign, he refused and returned to his home in Pennsylvania, reappearing in Milwaukee in June, 1838, announcing his retirement to be effective in October, 1838. He held court in Milwaukee until September, 1838, and returned to his Pennsylvania home. For some reason in the second week of October, 1838, Justice Frazer decided not to retire and again endured the hard four day trip by steamboat and railroad back to Milwaukee. Taken ill during the trip he was taken from the boat in Milwaukee harbor in a dying condition, dying on October 18, 1838.

On the death of Justice Frazer, President Martin Van Buren appointed Andrew G. Miller as an associate justice of the supreme court of the Territory of Wisconsin. On statehood in 1848, Justice Miller was appointed by President James J. Polk, judge of the District Court of the United States for the District of Wisconsin, with his court established in Milwaukee, where he continued in a long and distinguished career as a federal judge.


Second Judicial District, Territory of Wisconsin

In 1839, Rock County with a population of 1,701, together with Dane County, population 314, Walworth County, population 2,611, and Green County, population 926, were constituted by the Territorial Legislature as the Second Judicial District, with Justice David Irwin, assigned to the district. The Act provided for holding of at least two terms of the District Court in each organized County in the District.

The first term of the Second District Territorial Court held in Rock County convened in Janesville, April 15, 1839, to organize the court, and adjourned April 17, 1839. The first judgment rendered was in the case of Milton W. Warner vs. Charles Johnson, entered on default when Mr. Johnson failed to appear. There was no courthouse in Janesville, but on October 21, 1839, the Court convened again in Janesville and met in an unfinished hall in what was called the "Janesville Stage House" and continued to convene there until completion of the first Rock County Courthouse in December, 1841.

Although no photographs of the first Courthouse can be located, a description can be found in the 1879 History of Rock County, by C. W. Butterfield:

"Rock County's first Court House was a two-story frame, erected in Janesville in 1841. It stood upon the exact spot now occupied by the present Court House, but was much more difficult to reach, being on the apex of a formidable hill, which has since been dug away. It was destroyed by fire in 1859."

Records maintained by the Rock County Historical Society present further descriptions of the first Court House as:

Being of wood construction of severe colonial design with great white pillars on the west entrance. It was surrounded on the west end by a portico, and topped with a cupola. The cupola was tin-covered, and reportedly glistened in the sunlight and moonlight.

The first "criminal docket" contained the case of United States vs. Thomas Sidwell, in which Mr. Sidwell, under indictment for selling spirituous liquors in quantities of more than one quart, entered a guilty plea and was fined $10. The first jury trial was held in April, 1840, entitled E.B. Woodbury vs. Caleb Blodgett, Daniel Blodgett and C.D. Blodgett, resulting in a verdict for the plaintiff, his damages set at $242.

The "History of the Bench and Bar of Wisconsin," contains several colorful antidotes concerning Justice David Irwin, who must be considered as the first judge serving Rock County. Among the traditions of Green County, where he sometimes held term, it was remembered that he would adjourn court at a moment's notice to go shooting chickens. There is reported his address to a jury - "Gentlemen of the jury, it is a matter of indifference to me how you bring in your verdict" - and five minutes after the jury retired the sheriff was instructed to see if they had agreed. Informed they had not, he ordered in the jury and discharged it. Another quote reported in the book was his saying that "his horse, Pedro, had more sense than any lawyer in his court." And, an incident alleged to have been reported by an Andrew E. Elmore, in a speech in the legislature, that he once had a case where the jury brought in a verdict in his favor, and as he and his client sat at counsel table the judge's dog "York" became "annoyingly familiar" and the client gave the dog a kick which caused a yelp to reach the judge's ears, and he immediately set aside the verdict.

Justice David Irwin presided until the adoption of Wisconsin's Constitution and admission to the Union in 1848, which established Circuit Courts of Wisconsin. Justice David Irwin, had only spent enough time in Wisconsin to hold court sessions, and had continued to be a resident of Missouri. He promptly moved back St. Louis, and then to Texas where he became a cotton planter and slave owner, and during the Civil War organized a Calvary regiment, and as a Colonel supported the Confederacy.


First Judicial District, State of Wisconsin

The constitution of the State of Wisconsin divided the state into five judicial circuit court districts, and directed that the judges of the districts would also be judges of the Supreme Court.

Rock County, with its population grown to 20,750, Green County, population 8,568, and Racine County, population 14,973, were constituted the First Judicial Circuit, and in 1848, Edward V. Whilton, Janesville, was elected the first Circuit Judge. Judge Whilton was also one of the first members of the Wisconsin Assembly, served as its Speaker, and as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention which framed Wisconsin's Constitution. In 1853, with the creation of the Wisconsin Supreme Court as a separate judicial body, Judge Whilton was elected to the Supreme Court, and served as Chief Justice.

The first term of the First Judicial Circuit Court held in Rock County convened in the Janesville Courthouse on Monday, September 18, 1848, Judge Edward V. Whilton presiding.

The new Circuit Court immediately commenced its work and a jury trial was held September 20, 1848, a case of trespass commenced by Benjamin Cheeney vs. Daniel Blodgett and Herman Hill, in which the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Cheeney for $58.27. In this same term the grand jury returned an indictment entitled State of Wisconsin vs. Samuel M. Drake, in which Mr. Drake was charged with adultery, and for which he was tried - and acquitted.

The first homicide trial in Rock County, State of Wisconsin vs. Samuel Godfrey, resulted from an altercation between Samuel Godfrey and John S. Godfrey, a relative, growing out of an alleged trespass of animals of John S. Godfrey on land of Samuel Godfrey. In the altercation John S. Godfrey was killed when struck by a club in the hands of Samuel Godfrey. On trial Samuel Godfrey claimed self-defense, and a jury returned a verdict of not guilty, which reportedly met with general favor.

In 1853 Judge Edward V. Whilton was elected Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and resigned as Circuit Judge. His vacancy was filled by the appointment of Wyman Spooner, of Elkhorn, who served until the election to fill the vacancy was held in September, 1853, when James R. Doolittle, of Racine, was elected.

In 1855 Judge Doolittle presided over the case of State of Wisconsin vs. David F. Mayberry, which led to Rock County's first and only lynching. Mayberry, who had previously served time in an Illinois prison for horse theft, assaulted and killed Andrew Alger, a Beloit lumberman, who was on his way up the Rock River Road by buggy, with the payroll of his lumberjacks working North of Janesville on the Rock River, cutting and then logging the lumber on rafts to Beloit. Mayberry was quickly caught and brought to trial, where he was found guilty by a jury after a twenty minute deliberation.

Contemporary reports tell of the gathering of people about the Courthouse during the trial, and threats to hang Mayberry by Alger's former employees who lost their pay, and appeared to have a genuine affection for their former employer. This was coupled with the fact that Wisconsin, in 1853, had abolished capital punishment, and the crowd knew Mayberry would "only" receive a life sentence, caused concern over the life of Mayberry.

Mayberry received the following sentence: "Life at hard labor, the first twenty days of each year, commencing when he arrived at prison, and the first five days of October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May and June, in solitary confinement with nothing to eat except bread and water." This obviously did not satisfy some of the citizens, and after sentencing, as he was being taken from the Courthouse to the Jail, he was seized by a crowd, taken to the bottom of the hill (now S. Main Street in Janesville) and lynched. It was an ugly scene described: "The knot in the rope had been left under his chin, and he still breathed. He was then let down, the rope adjusted with the knot in the back of his neck and he was again drawn up and amid the wild yells of the infuriated mob, who were fixing upon their consciences a stain which time can never obliterate." The day following the hanging the Sheriff personally cut down the tree, as it was in the process of being cut-up by citizens for souvenirs.

Judge James R. Doolittle served to March, 1856, when he resigned and in 1857 was elected to the United States Senate where he served through the Civil War era. Following the resignation of Judge Doolittle, Charles M. Baker, of Geneva, served by appointment as Circuit Judge until the election of James M. Keep, of Beloit, in the Spring Election of 1856.

Judge James M. Keep was forced by ill health to resign his office in 1859, and was then succeeded by the election of David Noggle, of Beloit, who served until 1864.

In 1859 the Courthouse was destroyed by fire, with County offices distributed throughout Janesville, but with no courtroom for the Circuit Court. The First Judicial Circuit Court continued to hold sessions in Green County, Walworth County and Racine County, all having Courthouses still intact.

In 1864 William Penn Lyon, of Racine, while on active duty serving in the Union Army as Colonel of the 13th Wisconsin Regiment, was elected to the First Judicial Circuit, serving for eight years, until his appointment and then subsequent election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1872.

Eleven years after the fire that destroyed the first Courthouse, Rock County got around to building its second Courthouse, the building completed in 1870. Contemporary photographs of the second Courthouse exist and have been published numerous times. The reader is referred to "Wisconsin's Historic Courthouses" published by Badger Books, Inc., 1998, with photographs by L. Roger Turner and Text by Marv Balousek, for an excellent photograph, and also for information regarding other historic Wisconsin Courthouses of the past and present. Resorting again to the 1879 History of Rock County, the second Court House was described:

"The Court House is 107x77 feet on the ground and four stories in height, with a tower on the northerly end. The walls are of stone and brick, the cornices are of iron and the roof covered with tin. The rooms and offices are all large and capacious, with high ceilings. The building is warmed with steam and lighted with gas.

The erection of the building was commenced in the fall of 1869, and completed in the summer of 1870, and dedicated in February, 1871.

....the second floor is devoted to offices, there being six in number...the County Judge, County Treasurer, County Clerk, County Surveyor, Clerk of the Court and District Attorney.

....the third floor are the court-rooms, two jury-rooms, one cloak room, a private office for the Circuit Judge and an office for the Sheriff. The court-room is large, well furnished with high ceiling, and the walls and ceiling frescoed in beautiful design.

The original cost of the building....$124,672.62 (which included furniture at $4,348.69)."

Twelfth Judicial District, State of Wisconsin

By act of the Legislature, judicial circuits were adjusted in 1870. Rock, population 39,030, Green, population 20,646, and Jefferson County, population 34,050, were constituted as the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, and Harmon S. Conger, of Janesville, elected Circuit Judge, entering upon his duties January 1, 1871. Judge Conger (who had formerly served two terms as a Member of the United States Congress, from New York, prior to his relocation to Janesville) served until his death, October 22, 1882. Appointed to fill the vacancy at the death of Judge Conger was John R. Bennett, Janesville, who was then elected to the office on January 1, 1883, remaining on the bench until his death on June 9, 1899.

Following the death of Judge Bennett, Benjamin F. Dunwiddie, of Janesville, was appointed to serve for his unexpired term, and then elected to the office on January 1, 1901. Judge Dunwiddie, born in Green County, was the first circuit judge who had been born in Wisconsin, and the first circuit judge who had attended a law school having graduated from the "Law Department of the University of Wisconsin" in 1875. Judge Dunwiddie was to serve until succeeded by the election of George Grimm, of Jefferson, in 1907.

Judge George Grimm was to serve as Circuit Judge until the election of Jesse Earle, in 1937, and Jesse Earle continue his service until 1949, when Harry S. Fox was elected as Circuit Judge.

In 1955 it was determined that the Court House could no longer serve Rock County adequately because of the lack of space and deterioration of the building due to age. A popular story is that during the debate and vote on whether or not to build a new court house, the county board holding its meetings in the courtroom of the building, an inch and a half crack in the ceiling suddenly appeared, convincing several supervisors holding out or still in doubt, to vote for a new building. A new Court House was authorized by the Rock County Board, requiring the razing and demolition of the old Court House.

In 1957 the Court House was dedicated, remaining substantially unchanged until the new Court House Addition was constructed, attached to the 1957 structure, and opened in 1999. The present court facilities for Rock County provides five new courtrooms, and three renovated courtrooms in the "old" section of the present building.

On the death of Harry S. Fox in November, 1959, Arthur L. Luebke (judge of the Beloit Municipal Court) was appointed to serve the remainder of his term, and Judge Luebke then elected and re-elected as Circuit Judge until his retirement in 1978.

On the retirement of Judge Luebke, Mark J. Farnum (who from 1962 had been serving as County Judge of Branch 4), was elected in the Spring Election in 1978, as Circuit Judge for the Twelfth Judicial District, becoming the 17th jurist, dating back to 1836, elected as a Rock County Circuit Judge. Before Judge Farnum took office the Court Reorganization of 1978 intervened, and by operation of law he was designated as Circuit Judge of Branch 1.


County and Municipal Courts

The history of Rock County Courts and Municipal Courts of Rock County is essential and material to the development of the present court system of the County.

Under Territorial law, Rock County had created a Probate Court, and Dr. Horace White of Beloit, was elected in 1839 as the first judge of Probate in Rock County, the court first convened in Beloit, November 1, 1839, and then in Janesville, in June, 1840. The first will for record and probate was that of Major Charles Johnson, of Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin.

Following Dr. Horace White as Probate Judge, were:

Isreal C. Cheeney 1841-1843
A. C. Bailey 1843-1845
W. F. Thompkins 1845-1846
C. S. Jordon 1847-1847
David I. Daniels 1847-1849

With the adoption of the Wisconsin Constitution in 1848, a County Court was authorized to be created in each county, and the Rock County Court was created and directed to have probate authority.

The first Rock County Judge was James Armstrong, elected in September, 1849, who was succeeded in September, 1853, by Moses S. Prichard. Moses S. Prichard served to 1857, when his brother, Amos P. Prichard, was elected to serve for the next 28 years. On the death of Amos P. Prichard in 1885, John W. Sale was appointed for his unexpired term, and subsequently elected and re-elected, serving until 1917, when he was replaced by the election of Charles L. Fifield. Judge Fifield was the first County Judge who had attended a law school, graduating with a LL.B from Wisconsin in 1888. Judge Fifield continued as Rock County Judge until his retirement and the election in 1933 of Jesse Earle.

Judge Earle served as County Judge until his election as Circuit Judge in 1937, when he was succeeded by Harry S. Fox, Judge Harry S. Fox continued as Rock County Judge until the death of Circuit Judge Earle, at which time Judge Fox was appointed Circuit Judge, and replaced as Rock County Judge by Chester Christensen.

On the retirement of Judge Chester Christensen in 1960, he was succeeded by Sverre Roang as Rock County Judge.

Both Beloit and Janesville were operating Municipal Courts, going back into the early 1900's. Judges of the Janesville Municipal Court were H.L. Maxfield, Charles H. Lange, Ernest P. Agnew and Ralph F. Gunn. Judges of the Beloit Municipal Court were Charles Rosa, John R. Clark, Chester H. Christensen, Arthur L. Luebke and Edwin C. Dahlberg.

The Municipal Court of the City of Beloit had civil jurisdiction limited to $20,000, divorce matters, equitable actions such as foreclosures, and criminal jurisdiction for all matters except for first degree murder. Because of the presence of the Circuit Court in Janesville, the Municipal Court of the City of Janesville had limited jurisdiction of only $2,500, and only heard misdemeanors.

The 1959 Court Reorganization, effective January, 1962, provided for the abolishment of special statutory courts, which included the Beloit and Janesville Municipal Courts, and directed that where such courts had operated full time and had a full-time judge presiding, such courts were then to be designated as a County Court.


Reorganization to Circuit Court and County Courts

The 1959 Reorganization, effective January, 1962, found Rock County with a one Circuit Court, one County Court. The Janesville Municipal Court, and the Beloit Municipal Court, were operating full time with full time judges, and therefore the two municipal courts were, by statute, changed to County Courts, the Municipal Judges, declared to be County Judges.

On reorganization, effective in 1962, each County in Wisconsin was established as a circuit court jurisdiction. Arthur L. Luebke continued to serve as Rock County Circuit Judge; the Rock County Court was designated Rock County Court, Branch 1, under Sverre Roang; and there was created two (2) additional branches of the Rock County Court; Rock County Court, Branch 2, presided over by John J. Boyle (from the Janesville Municipal Court); and Rock County Court, Branch 3, presided over by Edwin C. Dahlberg (from the Beloit Municipal Court). By Act of the Legislature, Rock County Court, Branch 3, was authorized to hold court and maintain its courtrooms and records in the City of Beloit. The other three courts (Circuit Court, County Courts Branches 1 and 2) remained in the Rock County Courthouse. In 1962, by act of the legislature, another County Court was authorized, and Mark J. Farnum, was elected as Judge of Branch 4, Rock County Court, with courtrooms and records in Beloit.

Rock County Courts, Branch 2, Branch 3 and Branch 4, had concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court for all criminal matters (except treason) and all civil actions except those over $100,000, which had to be filed in Circuit Court. Branch 1 continued as the Probate Court.


Reorganization Establishing Present Circuit Court

A second major statewide change in the court system was created by The 1977-78 Court Reorganization, eliminating county courts (and the responsibility of counties to pay judges) for the entire State of Wisconsin, and providing:

The judicial power of this state shall be vested in a unified court system consisting of one Supreme Court, a court of appeals, a circuit court, such trial courts of general uniform general statewide jurisdiction as the legislature may create by law, and a municipal court if authorized by the legislature.

The designation of County Courts was abolished and County Judges denominated as Circuit Judges, branches of County Courts designated, and in some cases renumbered, as Circuit Courts.

Reorganization created branches of the Rock County Circuit Court with equal jurisdiction, and designated the following branches and Circuit Judges:

Mark J. Farnum (who had run for and been elected as Judge of Circuit Court on the retirement of Arthur L. Luebke) was designated as judge of Rock County Circuit Court, Branch 1.

John Lussow who had been elected to Rock County Court, Branch 1 on the retirement of Judge Sverre Roang, was designated as judge of Rock County Circuit Court, Branch 2.

Gerald W. Jaeckle, elected in 1976 as judge of Rock County Court, Branch 2, was designated as judge of Rock County Circuit Court, Branch 3.

Edwin C. Dahlberg, elected judge of County Court, Branch 3, was designated as judge of Rock County Circuit Court, Branch 4.

J. Richard Long was elected in 1979 as judge of Rock County Circuit Court, Branch 5, the former Rock County Court, Branch 4.

In 1980 the Legislature authorized the creation of Rock County Circuit Court, Branch 6, and Patrick J. Rude was elected as its first judge, and in 1988, authorized the creation of Rock County Circuit Court, Branch 7, and James E. Welker, elected as its first judge.

In 1993 the City of Beloit established a Municipal Court to have jurisdiction over violations of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Beloit. William T. Henderson was initially appointed to that bench, and then elected to office in 1994, 1996 and 1998.


Current Status of Rock County Circuit Court
Fifth Judicial District, State of Wisconsin


Circuit Court, Branch 1
History: Successor to Circuit Court of Rock County
Created by Court Reorganization 1978 from Circuit Court
Judges: Arthur L. Luebke
Appointed 1959, Served to Retirement 1978
Mark J. Farnum
Replaced Arthur L. Luebke (Retirement)
Elected 1978, 1984
Present Judge: James P. Daley
Took Bench: Appointed January, 1989
Replaced: Mark J. Farnum (Retirement)
Elected: 1992 and 1996
Circuit Court, Branch 2
History: Successor to Probate and County Court
Created by Court Reorganization 1978 from County Court, Branch 1
Judges: Sverre Roang - Appointed 1960
Elected 1962, 1968, 1974
Replaced: Chester Christensen (Retirement)
Judge: John Lussow
Replaced: Sverre Roang (Retirement)
Took Bench: May, 1979 on appointment to Branch 5, January, 1980, on election to Branch 2
Elected: 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998
Present Judge: R. Alan Bates
Replaced: John Lussow (Retirement)
Elected: Took bench on election 2004
Circuit Court, Branch 3
History: Created by Court Reorganization 1978 from County Court, Branch 2
Judges: John Boyle
Presiding from creation of Bench to 1976
Replaced By: Gerald W. Jaeckle
Elected and took Bench January 4, 1976
Elected 1976, 1982 & 1988
Replaced John Boyle (by Election)
Present Judge: Michael J. Byron
Took Bench: Appointed May 1, 1991
Replaced: Gerald Jaeckle (Retirement)
Elected: 1992, 1998
Circuit Court, Branch 4
History: Created by Court Reorganization 1978, from County Court, Branch 3
Judges: Edwin C. Dahlberg
Took Bench: Appointed in 1959, elected 1960, as Municipal Judge, City of Beloit
Became County Judge, Branch 3, 1962
Became Circuit Judge, Branch 4, 1978
Replaced: Municipal Judge Arthur L. Luebke, appointed Circuit Judge
Elected: 1960, 1966, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996
Present Judge: Daniel T. Dillon was appointed to serve the unexpired term of office of Judge Dahlberg.
Replaced: Edwin C. Dahlberg, retired April 30, 2000
Elected: 2002
Circuit Court, Branch 5
History: Created by Act of Legislature and from Branch 4, County Court, and by Court Reorganization 1978
Judges: Mark J. Farnum
Newly created court in 1962
Elected 1962, 1968 and 1974
J. Richard Long, elected 1979
Replaced Mark J. Farnum (when elected Circuit Judge) and took bench January 7, 1980, elected 1979, 1986 & 1992
Present Judge: John W. Roethe
Took Bench: Appointed June 1, 1996
Replaced: J. Richard Long (Retirement)
Elected: 1997, 2003
Circuit Court, Branch 6
History: Created by Act of Legislature
Judges: Patrick J. Rude
Replaced: Newly created court elected 1980, 1986, 1990
Present Judge: Richard T. Werner
Took Bench: Appointed May 13, 1996
Replaced: Patrick J. Rude (Death)
Elected: 1997, 2003
Circuit Court, Branch 6
History: Created by Act of Legislature
Judges: James E. Welker
Replaced: Newly created court, elected 1988
Present Judge: James E. Welker
Took Bench: August 1, 1988
Elected: 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006
COUNTY AND CIRCUIT JUDGES OF
ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN
1836 - 2000


TERRITORIAL COURT
William C. Frazer 1836-1838 Third Judicial District, Territory of Wisconsin
David Irwin 1839-1848 Third Judicial District, Territory of Wisconsin
Horace White 1839-1841 Territorial Probate Court, Rock County
Isreal C. Cheeney 1841-1843 Territorial Probate Court, Rock County
A.C. Bailey 1843-1845 Territorial Probate Court, Rock County
W. F. Thompkins 1845-1846 Territorial Probate Court, Rock County
C.S. Jordon 1847 Territorial Probate Court, Rock County
David I. Daniels 1847-1849 Territorial Probate Court, Rock County
STATE OF WISCONSIN
FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT 1848-1870
Edward V. Whilton 1848-1853 Circuit Judge
James Armstrong 1849-1853 Circuit Judge
Moses Prichard 1853-1857 Circuit Judge
Wymann Spooner 1853 Circuit Judge
James R. Doolittle 1853-1856 Circuit Judge
Charles M. Banker 1856 Circuit Judge
James M. Keep 1856-1859 Circuit Judge
Amos P. Prichard 1857-1885 County Judge
David Noggle 1859-1864 Circuit Judge
William Penn Lyon 1864-1871 Circuit Judge
TWELFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT 1870 - 2000
Harmon S. Conger 1871-1882 Circuit Judge
John R. Bennett 1882-1899 Circuit Judge
John W. Sale 1885-1917 Circuit Judge
Benjamin F. Dunwiddie  1899-1907 Circuit Judge
George Grim 1907-1937 Circuit Judge
Charles L. Fifield 1917-1933 Circuit Judge
Jesse Earl 1933-1949 County Judge/Circuit Judge
Harry S. Fox 1937-1949 County Judge/Circuit Judge
Chester Christensen 1949-1960 Circuit Judge
Arthur L. Luebke 1949-1978 Municipal Judge/Circuit Judge
Edwin C. Dahlberg 1959-2000 Municipal Judge/Circuit Judge
Sverre Roang 1960-1989 County Judge/Circuit Judge
John Boyle 1960-1976 Municipal Judge/Circuit Judge
Mark J. Farnum 1962-1989 County Judge/Circuit Judge
Gerald W. Jaeckle 1976-1991 County Judge/Circuit Judge
John H, Lussow 1979-2004 Circuit Judge
J. Richard Long 1979-1996 Circuit Judge
Patrick J. Rude 1980-1996 Circuit Judge
James P. Daley 1989- Circuit Judge
Michael J. Byron 1991- Circuit Judge
James E. Welker 1988- Circuit Judge
Richard T. Werner 1996- Circuit Judge
John W. Roethe 1996- Circuit Judge
Daniel T. Dillon 2000- Circuit Judge
A. Alan Bates 2004- Circuit Judge

Prepared for the Beloit Historical Society by Attorney William A. Bolgrien