SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Robert C. Grier, 1846-1870

Justice Robert C. Grier, 1846-1870
ROBERT C. GRIER was born March 5, 1794, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He was tutored by his father until age seventeen, when he enrolled in Dickinson College. Grier was graduated in 1812 at the age of eighteen and remained at Dickinson College for one year as an instructor. Grier continued his teaching career at a small school headed by his father in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, where he taught subjects ranging from mathematics to Greek and in 1815 succeeded his father as principal of Northumberland Academy. While teaching, Grier read law and passed the bar in 1817. He began a practice immediately in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and later practiced law for fifteen years in Danville, Pennsylvania. On May 4, 1833, Grier was appointed to the newly created State District Court of Allegheny County and served there for thirteen years. On August 3, 1846, President James K. Polk nominated Grier to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on August 4, 1846. Grier served twenty-three years on the Supreme Court. He discontinued circuit riding in 1862 and retired on January 31, 1870. He died less than one year later, on September 25, 1870, at the age of seventy-six.