Born in Burlington, Vermont, November 18, 1843, John A. Lovely was admitted to practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1864. He practiced law in Watertown, Wisconsin until 1867, when he moved to Albert Lea, Minnesota.
Lovely developed his legal practice in Albert Lea, quickly establising himself as a skilled trial lawyer. He partnered with several noted Minnesota attorneys during his carrer including: D. F Morgan, Henry A. Morgan, and H.H. Dunn.
Lovely was elected County Attorney for Freeborn County in 1869, and served in that position until 1874. Lovely also served his profession as president of the Minnesota Bar Association from 1875 to 1878.
While he was noted for his public service, Lovely spent the bulk of his life as a trial lawyer, garnering the respect and admiration of the bench and bar. Thus, it was with this reputation, that he was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in the general election of 1898. Justice Lovely served on the Court from 1900 until October 1905, when he returned to Albert Lea to resume his trial practice.
Justice Lovely died at his home in Albert Lea on January 28, 1908.
You may read more about the life and work of Justice Lovely in the memorial, linked below, and in the book Testimony: Remembering Minnesota's Supreme Court Justices, which is the source of this brief biography.