John E. Martin

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The Honorable

John E. Martin
14th Chief Justice of the
Wisconsin Supreme Court
In office
January 7, 1957 – January 1, 1962
Preceded byEdward T. Fairchild
Succeeded byGrover L. Broadfoot
Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
In office
June 1, 1948 – January 1, 1962
Appointed byOscar Rennebohm
Preceded byChester A. Fowler
Succeeded byMyron L. Gordon
29th Attorney General of Wisconsin
In office
January 2, 1939 – June 1, 1948
Preceded byOrland Steen Loomis
Succeeded byGrover L. Broadfoot
Personal details
Born
John Edward Martin

(1891-11-15)November 15, 1891
Green Bay, Wisconsin
DiedDecember 9, 1968(1968-12-09) (aged 77)
Madison, Wisconsin
Resting placeResurrection Cemetery
Madison, Wisconsin
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mary Kerwin
ChildrenJohn Edward, Jr.
Mary Hope
MotherMary Ellen Wigman Martin
FatherPatrick Henry Martin
RelativesJoseph Martin (uncle)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison
Notre Dame Law School
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
American Expeditionary Forces
Years of service1917–1921
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit127th Infantry Reg., 32nd Div.
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsPurple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart

John Edward Martin, Sr., (November 15, 1891 – December 9, 1968) was an American politician and jurist from Wisconsin. He was the 14th Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and 29th Attorney General of Wisconsin.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Mary Ellen Wigman Martin and Patrick Henry Martin. A Roman Catholic, he was educated at parochial and public schools in Green Bay, graduating from Green Bay East High School in 1909. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Marquette University, and graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 1916 to become a practicing attorney.[1]

World War I[edit]

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 1917, and was commissioned a Lieutenant after attending officer training at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He fought in World War I as a First Lieutenant in Company E, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division. He was wounded during the war, and awarded a Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1921. During the war, he served alongside future Wisconsin Supreme Court justices Theodore G. Lewis, Edward J. Gehl, and Roland J. Steinle.[2]

Public office[edit]

After the war, Martin returned to Green Bay and practiced law, partnering with his father and his uncle, Joseph Martin, who would also later serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In 1933, John was appointed an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee.

In 1938, Martin was elected Wisconsin Attorney General, defeating incumbent Progressive Orland Steen Loomis. He would go on to serve nearly a decade in that office, earning re-election in 1940, 1942, 1944, and 1946. [2]

In June, 1948, he was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Governor Oscar Rennebohm to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Chester A. Fowler.[1] Martin was elected in 1950 to complete the remainder of Fowler's term, and was elected to a full term in 1951. He became chief justice in 1957 upon the retirement of Chief Justice Edward T. Fairchild.[1] In 1961, Martin was the first Wisconsinite to serve as chair of the National Conference of Chief Justices.[2] Martin did not seek re-election in 1961, and his term expired January 1962. However, after his term, he was appointed the first court administrator of Wisconsin.[1][3][4]

He retired due to poor health in 1967.

Personal life and family[edit]

Martin was married to Mary Kerwin; they had two children, John Jr. and Mary Hope.

Martin died December 9, 1968, in Madison, Wisconsin. He was buried at Resurrection Cemetery, in northwest Madison.

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin Attorney General (1938-1946)[edit]

Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1938
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election[5]
Progressive Orland Steen Loomis (incumbent) 136,005 30.94%
Republican John E. Martin 117,509 26.73%
Republican Richard P. Murray 67,804 15.43%
Democratic James E. Finnegan 50,268 11.44%
Democratic John E. Martin 36,820 8.38%
Democratic LaVern Dilweg 30,794 7.56%
Union Mr. Tierney 343 0.08%
Total votes 439,543 100.0%
General Election[6]
Republican John E. Martin 431,678 48.04%
Progressive Orland Steen Loomis (incumbent) 316,657 35.24%
Democratic James E. Finnegan 148,426 16.52%
Socialist Labor Adolf Wiggert, Jr. 1,758 0.20%
Total votes 898,519 100.0%
Republican gain from Progressive
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1940
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election[7]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 199,766 35.74%
Republican William H. Markham 114,090 20.41%
Democratic Gustave J. Keller 112,700 20.16%
Progressive Otto F. Christensen 61,890 11.07%
Progressive G. Erle Ingram 39,493 7.07%
Progressive Charles A. Kading 30,970 5.54%
Total votes 558,909 100.0%
General Election[8]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 605,680 49.12%
Progressive Otto F. Christensen 367,009 29.76%
Democratic Gustave J. Keller 257,786 20.91%
Socialist Labor Arnold Fortman 2,568 0.21%
Total votes 1,233,043 100.0% +37.23%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1942
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election[9]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 209,871 66.76%
Democratic James A. Fitzpatrick 52,736 16.78%
Progressive William H. Dieterich 25,398 8.08%
Progressive Arthur Spence 21,270 6.77%
Socialist Anna Mae Davis 5,076 1.61%
Total votes 314,351 100.0%
General Election[10]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 367,179 50.84%
Progressive William H. Dieterich 205,730 28.48%
Democratic James A. Fitzpatrick 135,889 18.81%
Socialist Anna Mae Davis 12,098 1.67%
Socialist Labor Alex Schaufelberger 1,376 1.67%
Total votes 722,272 100.0% -41.42%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1944
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election[11]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 230,867 67.01%
Democratic Gustave J. Keller 85,617 24.85%
Progressive William H. Dieterich 15,204 4.41%
Progressive Lloyd Chambers 9,797 2.84%
Socialist Anna Mae Davis 3,041 0.88%
Total votes 344,526 100.0%
General Election[12]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 645,261 53.13%
Democratic Gustave J. Keller 469,800 38.68%
Progressive William H. Dieterich 84,989 7.00%
Socialist Anna Mae Davis 14,406 1.19%
Total votes 1,214,456 100.0% +68.14%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Attorney General Election, 1946
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Primary Election[13]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 198,926 44.89%
Republican Herman C. Runge 95,041 21.45%
Republican William H. Dieterich 90,719 20.47%
Democratic Elizabeth Hawkes 54,874 12.38%
Socialist Anna Mae Davis 3,606 0.81%
Total votes 443,166 100.0%
General Election[14]
Republican John E. Martin (incumbent) 682,591 69.96%
Democratic Elizabeth Hawkes 280,145 28.71%
Socialist Anna Mae Davis 12,919 1.32%
Total votes 975,655 100.0% -19.66%
Republican hold

Wisconsin Supreme Court (1950, 1951)[edit]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Election, 1950[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent John E. Martin (incumbent) 300,476 58.89%
Independent Marshall Peterson 209,720 41.11%
Total votes 510,196 100.0%
Wisconsin Supreme Court Election, 1951[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent John E. Martin (incumbent) 515,599 100.0%
Total votes 515,599 100.0%


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Former Chief Justice of State Court Dies". The La Crosse Tribune. December 10, 1968. p. 1. Retrieved April 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  2. ^ a b c "John E. Martin (1891-1968)". Wisconsin Courts System. March 7, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  3. ^ Chief Justice John E. Martin, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  4. ^ John E. Martin, Wisconsin Historical Society. Wisconsinhistory.org. Retrieved on 2016-01-22.
  5. ^ "Parties and elections: the primary election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1940 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 540. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "Parties and elections: the general election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1940 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 610. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "Parties and elections: the primary election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1942 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 582. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "Parties and elections: the general election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1942 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 660. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  9. ^ "Parties and elections: the primary election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1944 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 576. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  10. ^ "Parties and elections: the general election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1944 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 660. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "Parties and elections: the primary election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1946 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 594. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  12. ^ "Parties and elections: the general election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1946 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 668. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  13. ^ "Parties and elections: the primary election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1948 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 603. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  14. ^ "Parties and elections: the general election". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1948 (Report). State of Wisconsin. p. 674. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Parties and elections: the judicial and nonpartisan elections". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1952 (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 755, 756. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Orland Steen Loomis
Chief Justice of the
Wisconsin Supreme Court

1957–1962
Succeeded by
Grover L. Broadfoot
Preceded by
Edward T. Fairchild
Attorney General of Wisconsin
1939–1948
Succeeded by
Grover L. Broadfoot