Born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on May 18, 1822. Studied law in the office of Columbus Delano, who later became Secretary of Interior. Admitted to practice in Ohio in 1843. Elected Prosecuting Attorney for Knox County in 1846. Came to Minnesota in 1851. Served as Attorney General of the Territory of Minnesota from 1853-1858. Elected first Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court at age 35 and served from May 25, 1858, to January 10, 1865. Moved to southern Minnesota in 1872 and later to New Mexico, where one of his daughters married McGill Otero, then Governor of New Mexico. Died in Santa Fe on August 10, 1906.