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David F. Simpson


Born in Waupun, Wisconsin, June 13, 1860, David F. Simpson attended  Ripon College and the University of Wisconsin, from which he received his Bachelor's degree in 1882. He began his legal studies soon after his graduation and received an LL.B. in 1884 from Columbia University Law School. He moved to Minneapolis a few weeks after graduation and began his legal career, as many of his time did, by assisting in a law office. Showing early promise, in 1891 Simpson became Assistant City Attorney of Minneapolis and later, City Attorney from 1893 to 1897.  Simpson was elected to the bench as a Hennepin County District Court Judge in the Fall of 1896, and served until his appointment to Minnesota Supreme Court in 1910. While Simpsons's time on the Court was brief, his impact on the legal community was significant and is perhaps best measured by his creation, along with William Lancaster, of the law firm, Lancaster, Simpson & Purdy, which is known today as Dorsey & Whitney. Justice Simpson died on October 11, 1925.

You may read more about the life and work of Justice Simpson in his memorial, linked below, and in the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society's book: Testimony: Remembering Minnesota's Supreme Court Justices, which is the source of this brief biography.

David F. Simpson Portrait
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