Horatio Jones

Horatio McLean Jones was an associate justice for Nevada Territory. Born in Howellsville, Pennsylvania, in 1826, Jones graduated from Oberlin College in 1849 and Harvard Law School in 1853. He practiced law in St. Louis in 1854, and the Missouri Supreme Court appointed him Court Reporter in 1856.

In 1861, President Lincoln appointed Jones Associate Justice for Nevada Territory. After receiving his commission, Jones met fellow justice George Turner, and they traveled to Carson City together. Jones was assigned to the Third District, which included Lyon, Churchill, Humboldt, and Lander Counties.

In 1862, after an unpopular jury decision in the single ledge case which determined the ownership of the Comstock Lode, the territorial legislature tried to switch Jones and Judge Gordon Mott between the First Judicial District and the Third District. When the bill came back from the Judiciary Committee, the council erupted in heated discussion. Neither Mott nor Jones wanted to exchange districts, though Mott apparently wasn't greatly bothered by the decision since he had been recently elected representative to Congress and would be leaving soon. But Jones was incensed. Jones maintained the bill was invalid because it was signed after the legislature's adjournment. He accused Thomas Hannah of improperly handling the bill in the Senate, and Hannah challenged Jones to a duel. Jones refused, then said he would not practice the kind of law the attorneys of the first district practiced. Jones walked out of his court and would not hear any more cases during the May term of 1863.

On July 30, Judge Jones unexpectedly resigned, tired of the plots and intrigues of the Storey County Bar. He left the bench and went to Austin to practice law. President Lincoln appointed John North as his temporary replacement on August 31.

When the Constitution of the State of Nevada was up for a vote in 1864, Jones gave many speeches supporting it. He practiced law in Austin until 1868. Jones lived for a while in California, and then returned to St. Louis, where he served as a district court judge from 1871 to 1877. Later he went to Vermontville Village, Michigan, where he died on June 10, 1906.

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