Business and political leaders

Wilson, Judge Jeremiah M.

Category: Business and political leaders

Jeremiah Morrow Wilson (November 25, 1828 – September 24, 1901) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana and a lawyer.   He is on the site as a consequence of the strange case of the stopped clock.


Born near Lebanon, Ohio, Wilson studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced first in Connersville. He served as judge of the court of common pleas of Fayette County, Indiana from 1860-1865.  Wilson was elected judge of the circuit court in October 1865 and served until his election to Congress.   Wilson was elected as a Republican to the Forty-second and Forty-third Congresses (March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1875).

While in Congress, Wilson was chairman of the special committee of the House of Representatives to investigate the District of Columbia board of public works. This investigation was held in 1874 and lasted four months. The committee's finding resulted in changes to the form of the District of Columbia's government from that of a territory to one under control of three commissioners.

At the end of his second term, he declined renomination and instead chose to pursue private law practice in Washington, D.C., establishing a practice with Samuel Shallabarger [see photo left] until the latter's death in 1896.   It is during his time in Washington that the strange event took place.

During his long practice of the law, Wilson was connected with many famous cases, gaining a reputation as a criminal lawyer. One of his most famous cases involved serving as counsel for Henry W. Howgate when he was tried in 1894. That same year, he successfully prosecuted congressman W. C. P. Breckinridge for Breach of Promise for failing to honor his pledge to marry his client, Madeleine V. Pollard.

Whilst practising in Washington, he also taught at the Law School of Georgetown University. Prior to his death, Wilson's law partners were his son, Charles S. Wilson, and Adolph A. Hoehling, Jr.


 At the time of his death, Wilson was president of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, a director in the National Fidelity and Deposit Company and also of other corporations of the District. He was a member of the Metropolitan Club and of the District of Columbia Bar.

Wilson died on September 24, 1901 and was interred next to his wife in Rock Creek Cemetery.


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