James Helmick Beatty

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James Helmick Beatty
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
In office
March 7, 1891 – March 1, 1907
Appointed byBenjamin Harrison
Preceded bySeat established by 26 Stat. 215
Succeeded byFrank Sigel Dietrich
Chief Justice of the Idaho Territorial Court
In office
May 1889 – July 3, 1890
Appointed byBenjamin Harrison
Preceded byH. W. Weir
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Personal details
James Helmick Beatty

(1836-05-08)May 8, 1836
Lancaster, Ohio
DiedOctober 21, 1927(1927-10-21) (aged 91)
Hollywood, California
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood, California
EducationOhio Wesleyan University (A.B.)
read law
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUS Department of the Army Seal.png United States Army
Years of service1863–1865
RankUS-O2 insignia.svg First lieutenant
UnitFourth Iowa Battery
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

James Helmick Beatty (May 8, 1836 – October 21, 1927) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Lancaster, Ohio, Beatty received an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1858 and read law to enter the bar in 1862. He was superintendent of Jackson Public Schools in Jackson, Mississippi, from 1858 to 1861, and was in the United States Army during the American Civil War, serving as first lieutenant of the Fourth Iowa Battery from 1863 to 1865. Following the war, Beatty was in private practice in Missouri at Lexington from 1865 to 1872, also serving as a register in bankruptcy during that time. He was an Assistant United States Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, from 1872 to 1882. Beatty returned to private practice in the Idaho Territory from 1882 to 1889 at Hailey, and was a Senator in the territorial legislature from 1886 to 1888. In May 1889, Beatty was appointed Chief Justice of the territorial court until it was dissolved when Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890.[1][2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Beatty was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Idaho on February 10, 1891, but the United States Senate never voted on his nomination, which expired with the sine die adjournment of the Senate on March 3, 1891.[2]

Beatty received a recess appointment from President Benjamin Harrison on March 7, 1891, to the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, to a new seat authorized by 26 Stat. 215. He was nominated to the same position by President Harrison on December 10, 1891. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 4, 1892, and received his commission the same day. His service terminated on March 1, 1907, due to his retirement.[2]


Beatty's appointment was originally held up by Idaho's two United States Senators, William J. McConnell and George L. Shoup, leading to the failure of his first nomination and a delay in confirmation on his second nomination, but ultimately they abandoned their efforts to stop his appointment.[3]


Beatty lived another twenty years and died at age 91, on October 21, 1927, in Hollywood, California,[2] and is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (formerly Hollywood Memorial Cemetery).[4]


  1. ^ "James H. Beatty-biography". Archived from the original on 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  2. ^ a b c d James Helmick Beatty at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ "James P. (H.) Beatty confirmed". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. February 4, 1892. p. 1.
  4. ^ James Helmick Beatty at Find a Grave


Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 26 Stat. 215
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho
Succeeded by
Frank Sigel Dietrich