SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

David J. Brewer, 1890-1910

Justice David J. Brewer, 1890-1910
DAVID J. BREWER was born in Smyrna, Asia Minor, in what is now Izir, Turkey, on June 20, 1837. His missionary family returned to the United States one year after Brewer’s birth and settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Brewer attended Wesleyan University for two years and then transferred to Yale, where he was graduated in 1856. After reading law for one year, Brewer attended Albany Law School and was graduated in 1858. He then moved to Kansas, where he was admitted to the bar and established a law practice. In 1861, Brewer was appointed Commissioner of the Circuit Court in Leavenworth. Two years later, he was elected a Judge of the Probate and Criminal Courts of Leavenworth County. From 1865 to 1869, he served on the United States District Court for Kansas. Brewer was elected to the Kansas Supreme Court in 1870 and served for fourteen years. In 1884, President Chester A. Arthur appointed Brewer to the Circuit Court for the Eighth Circuit. On December 4, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison nominated Brewer to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 18, 1889. Brewer served on the Supreme Court for twenty years. He died on March 28, 1910, at the age of seventy-two.